Saturday, February 19, 2005
"But last March, Pope John Paul II, speaking to a group of physicians'....said it is "never morally permissible to withdraw food or water because both are basic to human survival and can never be deemed to be extraordinary.'
"Father Harbour and Janice Hart, the lay woman who coordinates the Catholic chaplains at Rhode Island Hospital, recently were asked to explain to other members of the hospital's ethics committee what that all means.
"Our view was that since the pope didn't speak it as an official teaching and didn't put his imprimatur on it, we still had a lot of leeway as to what's happening here, and that they could continue to do what they've been doing," Father Harbour said. "To this day, as far as I know, the theologians are still trying to negotiate with the Vatican to see if it's a teaching that has to be abided by."
Pope John Paul II's teaching
"I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering."
(ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESSON "LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENTS AND VEGETATIVE STATE:SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND ETHICAL DILEMMAS" : 20 March 2004)
PADRE POINT: Last time I checked, we still are called to give our assent of mind and will in obedience to AUTHORITATIVE TEACHINGS! NEGOTIATIONS?...We are Catholics not Congregationalists!