The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network advocates that food and water be classified nationally as “basic and ordinary” care. Food and water, delivered by means of intubation through a feeding tube, is treated in most parts of America as a form of extraordinary “medical treatment” rather than a basic and ordinary form of care.
Worse, food and water by means of feeding tubes are often treated as an “end of life” issue, yet millions of Americans each year rely on feeding tubes on either a temporary or prolonged basis who are not at the end of their lives or actively dying.
As Saint John Paul the Great clearly articulated in his March 2004 allocution on nutrition and hydration, food and water are always considered a basic right of all persons.
- National Catholic Bioethics Center - Nutrition and Hydration (Position Paper)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services
Advance Directive Documents