471. What medical procedures are permitted when death is considered imminent?

When death is considered imminent the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. However, it is legitimate to use pain-killers which do not aim at in death and to refuse “over-zealous treatment”, that is the utilization of disproportionate medical procedures without reasonable hope of a positive outcome.


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Paragraph 2278

2278. Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

Paragraph 2279

2279. Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What does the Bible say about the need to forgive, according to Colossians 3:13?

What is the importance of faith in the Christian life, according to the Bible?

How to experience communion with God?

What does the Bible teach us about asserting personal identity within a loving relationship?

What is meant by the statement that the love of God is revealed in Christ, as mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:9?

What does the Bible teach us about wisdom as a gift from God?

What is the importance of persevering in the faith, according to 2 John 1:8?

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