A recent address by Pope John Paul II regarding the care of patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) has left many people—Catholics and others—scratching their heads. If the withdrawal of tube feeding or artificially administered hydration can be the equivalent of “euthanasia by omission,” do we all need to rethink the decisions we have made in our advance directives and living wills? What immediate impact will this statement have on Catholic...
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Rev. John F. Tuohey holds the Endowed Chair of Applied Health Care Ethics, and is regional director of the Providence Center for Health Care Ethics for Providence Health & Services in Oregon, a part of Providence Health & Services health system based in Renton, Washington.