Pope declares feeding tubes a 'moral obligation' - page 3

From: USA Today, April 2, 2004 Pope John Paul II has announced emphatically that it is "morally obligatory" to continue artificial feeding and hydration for people in a persistent vegetative... Read More

  1. by   Mimi2RN
    My mother passed away in a Catholic hospital in England. She was there for a couple of weeks before she died. No IV, no feeding tube, just whatever she could tolerate po using a cup with a spout.

    How things have changed!
  2. by   jenreg123
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    From: USA Today, April 2, 2004

    Pope John Paul II has announced emphatically that it is "morally obligatory" to continue artificial feeding and hydration for people in a persistent vegetative state, even if they remain so for years. His comments could require revision in directives on end-of-life care at 10 percent of U.S. hospitals.


    http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/2...2/6075622s.htm
    I trained years ago....(over 40) and I learned then that it is morally unethical to deny a patient food and water....If the patient refuses, that is another matter....but just to arbitrarily decide that the patient is too sick, too old, etc to have a feeding tube placed is unethical, in my humble opinion. No one can force YOU to eat if you don't want to, and YOU do not have to sign consent for procedures....but to deny another this fundamental need is cruel! Have you ever seen anyone starve to death?
  3. by   jenreg123
    Quote from Mimi2RN
    My mother passed away in a Catholic hospital in England. She was there for a couple of weeks before she died. No IV, no feeding tube, just whatever she could tolerate po using a cup with a spout.

    How things have changed!
    Hi....I went to school long ago in a Catholic Hospital, and fed people just the way your Mother was fed.....unless the patient :imbar wanted more treatment. She was able to drink a little...and died with dignity. I think that everybody is misinterpreting what the Pope said.
  4. by   adrienurse
    yet another reason I'm a lapsed Catholic :uhoh21:
  5. by   Energizer Bunny
    Quote from Shellsie
    1. tattoos......im getting "DNR" on my chest and "Turn Q2" on my butt

    2. but seriously i dont believe i need anyone to be a "middle man" between me and God....The pope is just a man himself...no "closer" to God than me or the preacher at my little town church. If he wants to make such a declaration as being what God wants done...he needs to quote a scripture reference to back up why he says this.
    This is what I think too and why I no longer go to church. I have yet to find a preacher that doesn't think he knows more than the Bible or spins it to get his beliefs out. I do my worshipping at home for now, but I'm still looking.
  6. by   wjf00
    Quote from Rapheal
    lol :chuckle

    Many Catholics (I am Catholic) believe the church law of papal infallibility. Which means that the pope cannot say anything that God does not approve of. God would not allow it. With that said it is easy to see how his opinion can stronly influence many Catholics.
    You are very wrong about papal infalliblity. It is not applied to everything the pope says. In fact the Pope must cite papal infallibility for it to be in effect. The last time any Pope cited Papal infallibility was Pope Pius in 1950!
  7. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from jenreg123
    I trained years ago....(over 40) and I learned then that it is morally unethical to deny a patient food and water....If the patient refuses, that is another matter....but just to arbitrarily decide that the patient is too sick, too old, etc to have a feeding tube placed is unethical, in my humble opinion. No one can force YOU to eat if you don't want to, and YOU do not have to sign consent for procedures....but to deny another this fundamental need is cruel! Have you ever seen anyone starve to death?
    I take it the Pope believes his followers and everyone else should consent to a tube, if the patient is unable to eat and unable to say "No" to a tube. So, he is telling all his followers in the Catholic faith to sign for tubes on their family that are without capacity to make decisions. I don't agree with that. And, yes, I have seen people go without food and fluid by choice or by the decision of their family that had to make the choice. I did not observe it to be a worse death than people who had IVs and G-tubes when they died. However, it is often a more prolonged death without much, if any, quality of life when the person has a G-Tube and is still very debilitated, etc.
    Last edit by NursesRmofun on Apr 7, '04 : Reason: clarifiying sentence
  8. by   Agnus
    As for papal infallability the declarations reads that the Papacy is infalliable in matterss of faith

    Did you ever consider where this declaration came from? It does not come from scripture.

    It comes from the papacy it self. So this is how it goes the pope says that God has declaired the pope is infalliable in decisions concering matters of faith. We know this is so because the pope says it is so.

    He gets his athority from God. We know this to be true because he says it is so. God declaired it and he told us God declaird it. Anybody see anyting just a little screwy with this?
  9. by   Agnus
    Quote from janhetherington
    Amen, Stevielynn!

    The Pope has a right, and yes, a duty to say whatever he believes God is telling him to say. He is not an elected official, who has to worry about his "poll numbers". It is not his calling to change what he believes God wants to "keep in step with modern Catholics." It is up to modern Catholics to keep in step with God. If they choose not to believe in what the Pope is saying, they can quit being Catholics. It's all part of the same process.

    And I'm not even Catholic.
    Oh but he is elected. He does need to be concerned about papal opinion. Mayby not public opinion but he was put into Holy Office by election of the cardinals also know as the princes of the church.

    Also, according to Catholic Doctrine you cannot Quit being a Catholic, once a Catholic always a Catholic. The way the Church looks at it you may not be a practicing Catholic but once baptized you are forever one of them.
  10. by   Agnus
    Speaking of election It was no accident that the first non roman pope in modern times was polish and elected into office at a time when the Polish revolt took place.

    It is politics my dear friends plain and simple. The Roman Empire Lives today. though the Papacy. Rome exerts very strong influence in world government. There is nothing in original christian movement that even supports the existance of the papacy.

    Infact the Papcy did not come into existance until very much later. It is modeled very carefully on the Roman empiracal government.
  11. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from jenreg123
    Have you ever seen anyone starve to death?
    Actually,no...I see patients dehydrate which decreases oral secretions-which are often the hardest thing for the loved ones to deal with...With good mouth care they are comfortable and I can honestly say I have never seen anyone cry with hunger....I believe that the body slows down and turns off..-the demand for food decreases to the point where it stops-forcefeeding orally or via a tube causes nausea and vomiting because the body rejects the food...I truly believe this in my heart.....
  12. by   RNMedic1977
    benefits of not using artificial methods

    potential benefits of not using tube feedings and iv's

    effect on body
    benefit
    less fluid in the lungseasier to breatheless fluid in the throat less need for suctioning less pressure on tumors less pain less frequent urination sheets can be changed less frequently less risk of skin breakdown and bedsores increase in the body's natural pain-relieving hormones increased comfort and less pain

    adapted from the handbook for mortals: guidance for people facing serious illness, by joanne lynn and joan harrold, copyright by joanne lynn, used by
    permission of oxford university press.

    the "handbook for mortals" is excellent, it is great for anybody facing serious illness, or caring for someone with a serious illness. i thought this info on dehydration would benefit this thread.
  13. by   Owney
    I was born into a Roman Catholic family of six children. I went to public school for kindergarten, since my local Catholic school did not have one. I went to first grade in one Catholic school and second grade in another since my family had moved. When we moved again, it was too late to enroll me in the local Catholic school for that year, so I went to public school for third grade. My mother decided to leave me in public school and let me attend Catechism, since she did not want me to have to switch to a fifth school in as many years. Going to public school for third grade was a mixed blessing for me. I learned to print in second grade, but in those days cursive handwriting was not taught until third grade in Catholic schools. So, I was behind in handwriting. I was, however, way ahead of all of the other children since I had learned to read by phonics, and not by word recognition, as everyone in public schools had been. When the teacher found out how well I could read, she would frequently have me read for the class. This helped to deal with some of my diminished self-esteem at having to learn cursive handwriting. I never did get really good with cursive, as I still print much of the time to this day.

    I must say that I probably got the last of the good religious education from the Catholic Church.
    I felt one of the most attractive aspects of Catholicism was its immutability. "These are the rules. If you don't like them, find another church." The mass was conducted every day, and we were required to attend every Sunday. The mass was in spoken or sung in Latin. Our missal was like an operatic libretto, giving us subtitles to follow this deliberately "dead" language. We were taught that there were venial sins, and mortal sins. Venial sins could be forgiven through prayer, but we could only be absolved of mortal sins by confessing them to a priest. We could not take communion with mortal sins on our souls. We were only required to take communion once a year, so the confessional line was usually quite long just before Easter Sunday. Catholic marriages were for life, there being no divorce, but separations were not forbidden. Neither party could ever re-marry. If I wanted to find out what the mass would be like, all I had to do was to look in my missal. The rules were well defined and understandable by most of us in high school.

    After I graduated from high school (and Catechism), the church adopted "Vatican II." Everything changed. The altar was turned around and the mass was performed in English, taking away the art and beauty Latin, and leaving it subject to the ever-changing characteristics of a dynamic, living language. I was on shaky ground with the church when I came back from Viet Nam. We now had guitar masses and other silly attempts to "modernize" the mass. One mass I attended the priest said, "I am supposed to ask you to all shake hands and greet each other, but I know that in twenty minutes, you will all be trying to run over each other in the parking lot, so we will dispense with that." One of my sisters had had a Catholic wedding. After a few years of fighting they went to the priest and were granted an annulment, so she was allowed another Catholic wedding. All of the rules have changed so much that I feel that I did not leave the church, but that the church left me.

    I went to Viet Nam as an agnostic if not an atheist. On our way to Pearl Harbor I was impressed with our navigator's ability to find a pinpoint the minute of our arrival in the middle of the largest ocean in the world. I believe it also renewed my faith in God. My faith was buttressed the night when we survived a typhoon in an area where four ships exactly like mine went down during WWII with the loss of hundreds of lives. I said a prayer, "God, get me through this night, and I will never doubt you again." Our ship set a record for her type in the number of miles steamed during that cruise. We did not lose a man. We survived several combat engagements where we could watch the death that we inflicted on the enemy. We watch F4 Phantoms covering hillsides with napalm, and people being dismembered an immolated on the beach by our five inch guns. God did bring us all back alive. So my belief in God had been restored, but I felt that there was no church that fulfill my religious needs.

    I did go back to mass occasionally and still do to this day. Each mass seems sillier than the last, although I do like the greetings and blessings that we exchange. I did even take communion once, but only because I was at a wedding where there were no other Catholic friend in attendance who would know that I had not confessed mortal sins to a priest. One is not supposed to take Holy Communion with mortal sins on one's soul. I did say my confession directly to God, (like a Protestant) said my Act of Contrition and penance. I may one day go to confession and thus reconcile me with the church, but this would require me to abide by some rules that I cannot live with. I believe I would have no problem convincing my wife to re-marry me in a Catholic marriage since she might agree to raise any children Catholic. Since she had a pan hysterectomy in her twenties, neither that nor birth control would be much of an issue.

    Where I take issue with the church is their exclusivity clause, "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before thee." The Catholic Church forbids believing in any other entity or force, which could influence life on earth or in the hereafter. For a number of years I hung out with a group of born again Christians. These folks were the finest examples of practicing what Jesus taught us--how to help each other. What troubled me was when one of them told me that regardless of how much good you do on earth, if you do not accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you will not get into Heaven. The Catholics do not say that. They say that once you have been confirmed you must follow the rules, but those that have never heard the word you could get into Heaven, if you've been good.

    My wife, a non-Catholic, and I have had many discussions about Purgatory. Purgatory is something that the Catholic Church has over all other Christians. I find it hard to believe that there is not some form of only paying for our sins by how bad they are. I simply cannot believe that since I have lived in sin all these years in a non-Catholic marriage, I will be burning in the eternal fires of Hell right next to Adolph Hitler. It might be nice to have conversations with Adolph, Josef Stalin, Idi Amin, Andre Chouchescu, and Sadaam Hussein, but not forever. If I died today I would proudly stand before Saint Peter and he might send me to Purgatory for a few weeks to pay for my sins. He might not, because I believe he will consider the amount of "hell on earth" I have already suffered. After I have paid my dues I would be able to walk through the Pearly Gates into the Promised Land.

    I first heard of Unitarians from the folksinger Utah Phillips, who said that he had performed in their churches in Utah, a state that has very few public performance venues. In the late eighties I discovered Unitarian Universalism. A friend took us to First Friday, a monthly social event at our local U-U Church. We went to three or four of them before I discovered that Stan, another First Friday attendee, was the MINISTER. A few weeks after that I saw a letter to the editor of our local paper which said that our state governor was a member of the U-U Church, which does not require a belief in God! So we decided to check it out. At the first service a lady stood in the pulpit and said that there was no testament of faith. My wife and I signed the book that day. We could believe anything we wanted, or so we thought. After hanging around for a while we learned we could not believe anything we wanted, but that we were obligated, as thinkers, to find faith that we could believe and follow. This has led me to be a religious eclectic. Every recent poll has shown that most modern Catholics "pick and choose" those precepts of Catholicism they choose to live by, especially in the area of birth control (thank God, he even created many of THEM with the ability to think). So I CAN be a practicing Catholic, MY way. But I can also be a Jew, Moslem, Buddhist, Shinto, Voodoo, Zoroastrian, Druid, Pagan, Nature Worshiper, Native American, First Nation Member, Ignostic, Agnostic, Humanist, Atheist, and member of any other religion or belief which has something good to offer me.

    Most of my religion today is Roman Catholic. I wear a St. Christopher medal on my dog tag chain and pray to him frequently, since he has pulled me through so many perilous journeys. I believe in St. Christopher in spite of the fact that a few years ago the Vatican decided that he, like St. Nicholas, might never have existed. But I also practice a lot of First Nation/Native American beliefs. Last year I did a sun dance in my back yard to fend off intermittent showers for our yard sale. It worked. I frequently pray to the planets, sun, moon and stars. Even in my Catholic prayers I remember to thank God for giving me the wisdom to do this.

    Go with God, whoever you believe her to be.

    Love, :blushkiss

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