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Pope Francis Supports Principles of Medical Futility, Non-beneficial Treatment, and Therapeutic Obstinacy

In a recent message to the World Medical Association, Pope Francis confirmed his support (and that of Catholic doctrine) for principles of medical futility, non-beneficial treatment, and therapeutic obstinacy.

“The growing therapeutic capabilities of medical science . . . have become ever more effective, but they are not always beneficial: they can sustain, or even replace, failing vital functions, but that is not the same as promoting health.”

“Greater wisdom is called for today, because of the temptation to insist on treatments that have powerful effects on the body, yet at times do not serve the integral good of the person.”

“[I]t is morally licit to decide not to adopt therapeutic measures, or to discontinue them, when their use does not meet that ethical and humanistic standard that would later be called ‘due proportion in the use of remedies.’ . . .  It thus makes possible a decision that is morally qualified as withdrawal of ‘overzealous treatment.'”

“Such a decision responsibly acknowledges the limitations of our mortality, once it becomes clear that opposition to it is futile.  euthanasia is to end life and cause death.”

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

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