Page 7 - The Final Journey

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D
irective 58
“In principle, there is an obligation to provide patients with
food andwater, includingmedically assisted nutrition and
hydration for those who cannot take food orally.
This obligation extends to patients in chronic and presumably
irreversible conditions
(e.g., the persistent vegetative state)
who
can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care.
Medically assisted nutrition and hydration become morally optional
when they cannot reasonably be expected to prolong life or when
they would be ‘excessively burdensome for the patient or (would)
cause significant physical discomfort, for example resulting from
complications in the use of the means employed.’
For instance,
as a patient draws close to inevitable death from
an underlying progressive and fatal condition, certain measures
to provide nutrition and hydration may become excessively
burdensome and therefore not obligatory in light of their very limited
ability to prolong life or provide comfort.”
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