Bonnie asked:

I updated my will recently and they told me there is a statement in there that I could or could not sign. The statement said if I’m in a permanently unconscious state and my physician and at least one other physician who have examined me and have determined to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that artificial or technological supplied nutrition and hydration will not provide comfort to me, or relieve my pain then my named health care power of attorney can withdraw consent to provide this artificial or technologically supplied nutrition or hydration under these circumstances. Is this correct?

Tim Staples replied:

"The Catholic church does not require someone to receive nutrition and hydration until they die. It is required as long as the body is able to metabolize it. If it is still useful for the human being. There comes a time, and it’s not rare in the last hours of someone’s life where the body refuses food and actually by giving it to them you are causing them more pain and it’s doing absolutely no good for them because their body is effectively shutting down. So that’s the key. That’s what you want to make sure, and you might want to have somebody take a look at this. I’d recommend the bioethics center in Philadelphia ..."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: September 17, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Tim Staples

Question appeared in show: 14:01

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