The following information sheet contains
anti-life rethoric to promote euthanasia.
Medical Center in Missouri's information sheet on fluid
deprivation and the terminaly ill; drafted from directives issued by the
National Institute of Health (NIH)
(natural dehydration therapy)
FLUID DEPRIVATION AND TERMINALY ILL
Compassionate, thorough, yet appropriate treatment of the dying patient is difficult. It requires sensitivity to the patient's physical and emotionalneeds. During the course of treatment, the physician may be required to decide if the original treatment goal should change from Controlling the
disease, to comfort. It is important at this time to have! an understanding of the patient's and family member's feeling about this issue and to be sure that there is agreement about the original treatment goal.
When the decision has been made in favor of comfort care, the decision not to provide hydration, (IV fluids) and nutrition (feeding tubes, etc.) may be helpful. Artificial hydration has been thought to ease the discomfort of terminal illness. Recent studies suggest that it does the opposite.
As death approaches, dehydration occurs naturally. Thirst, dry mouth and changes in mental condition may occur. While upsetting to, relatives, these side effects are temporary and the mental changes often bring relief to patients by decreasing their awareness of suffering. (5)
In one of the more frequently quoted articles favoring hydration of the terminally ill, it is argued that the reason dying patient's should be given nutrition and hydration is that humans have a moral desire: to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty. It is assumed that dying patients must be hungry, probably because most do not eat or drink for some, time. Therefore,
some feel the patient should have a tube feeding or IV fl\iids started so that nutrition and hydration may be administered. The assumption that the dying must be hungry and thirsty has not been proved. As has been noted by physicians and nurses who work closely with the dying, the, opposite is suspected. It is thought that the terminally ill are probably more comfortable without medical nutrition and hydration. (1-4)
Administering IV fluids to a terminally ill patient can increase urine output, often creating the need for a catheter or frequent use of a bedpan. Administering tube feedings can result in nausea, vomiting; or diarrhea. Additionally, the administration of fluids either by IV 0] by mouth, can result in swelling of feet and hands that contributes to the formation of
pressure sores. (1-4)
Oral discomfort is noted to be the only known drawback to natural dehydration. Excellent oral care such as saliva substitutes, non-alcoholic mouth rinses, ice chips and sips of favorite drinks, lip ba1tn to dry lips every 2 hours, along with medicines to reduce inflammation in the mouth will bring relief.
Because food and fluids have such powerful symbo1nbolic meaning it is often very difficult for family members to decide in favor of natural dehydration for their terminally ill loved one. Each situation should be focused on individually with strong emotional support for the patient and
family, keeping in mind the comfort and wishes of the patient.
National Institute of Health (NIH) Directive
(natural dehydration therapy)
A heinous form of murder
Pro-Life Response to euthansia rethoric
Dehydration is a pathologic state or symptom of an anomaly or disease that is to be treated, not produced by withholding fluids and or nutrition.
Withholding hydration, nutrition or any medical treatment should not be done unless death is imminent, (not terminal) and the removal of such hydration:, nutrition or medical treatment should not be the etiological or causative factor in the death of that individual but as a natural consequence of the disease state.
The policy on removal of hydration from the terminally ill is tantamount to passive euthanasia (murder) and needs to be corrected for this institution to have the support of the Catholic community and all other denominations and religions of good faith. The phraseology of this policy is inconsistent with the sacredness and dignity of human life and the mission entrusted to us by God to heal those sick and infirmed.
We must eliminate this policy on the terminally ill since the word "terminal" has many definitions and it is too illusive or subjective to be used in policies affecting those patients in whom death is imminent. All policies affecting the medical treatment of patients whose death is imminent need to safeguard the patient and/or significant power of attorney that if the patient's .condition changes and death is not imminent all hydration, nutrition and appropriate medical treatment will be re-initiated ("imminent" defined as the relation to death of a patient in an irreversible, persistent" catabolic state of irreversible respiratory or metabolic acidosis.