Saturday, September 22, 2007

Was John Paul II Euthanized?

From Time magazine this week, an article that made raise my eyebrows:

"In a provocative article, an Italian medical professor argues that Pope John Paul II didn't just simply slip away as his weakness and illness overtook him in April 2005. Intensive care specialist Dr. Lina Pavanelli has concluded that the ailing Pope's April 2 death was caused by what the Catholic Church itself would consider euthanasia. She bases this conclusion on her medical expertise and her own observations of the ailing pontiff on television, as well as press reports and a subsequent book by John Paul's personal physician. The failure to insert a feeding tube into the patient until just a few days before he died accelerated John Paul's death, Pavanelli concludes. Moreover, Pavanelli says she believes that the Pope's doctors dutifully explained the situation to him, and thus she surmises that it was the pontiff himself who likely refused the feeding tube after he'd been twice rushed to the hospital in February and March. Catholics are enjoined to pursue all means to prolong life."

To read on, click here.


frjim said...

what is troubling is the last line....... catholics are not enjoined to pursue all means to prolong life.

Sadly, we're once again being portrayed as "religion" behind "science" in an attempt to relegate the religious to the irrelevant and by this means trying to say: you catholics have to pay, pray and obey, but we, the pope, bishop, clergy can do what we want.


I would suggest that Time's next article be: "If I Did It" by PP JP II on how he had his own hand in his death.

If I'm not mistaken, the Pope, like OJ, is really not dead, he's in Las Vegas. For as we know: "what happens there....."

davegkugler said...

My impression from the article was that he (the Pope) simply outlined artificial procedures that were unacceptable to him for prolonging life -- that isn't euthanasia, per se. Euthanasia would have been halting life prior to natural causes; i.e. artificially inducing death.

How is what was done much different from a DNR (do not resuscitate)?

Anonymous said...

What I'm hearing as a distinction (and I'm not sure this is correct) is that withdrawal of artificially administered nutrition and hydration is 'euthanasia', but not it's not started, but if it's not started, then it's not euthanasia? And I was always under the impression that a ventilator was 'extraordinary means' -- but is there a difference now between not starting and withdrawing?
And what's the difference between forcing air into someone's lungs and forcing food (via tube) into someone's stomach?

wreeseWordsmith said...

I've been a non-practicing Catholic for a number of years, but it would seem to me that the Pontiff had the right--and took reigns of authority--in deciding the timing and manner of his departure.

The prognosis was obviously a grave one, with a decision of not if but when. It appears He simply took the lead in his manner of care and death. Even given this "new information", I don't see a connection to euthanasia.
Done deal.