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Was John Paul II Euthanized?
In a provocative article, an Italian medical professor argues that Pope John Paul II didn't just simply slip away as his weakness and illness overtook him in April 2005. Intensive care specialist Dr. Lina Pavanelli has concluded that the ailing Pope's April 2 death was caused by what the Catholic Church itself would consider euthanasia. She bases this conclusion on her medical expertise and her own observations of the ailing pontiff on television, as well as press reports and a subsequent book by John Paul's personal physician. The failure to insert a feeding tube into the patient until just a few days before he died accelerated John Paul's death, Pavanelli concludes. Moreover, Pavanelli says she believes that the Pope's doctors dutifully explained the situation to him, and thus she surmises that it was the pontiff himself who likely refused the feeding tube after he'd been twice rushed to the hospital in February and March. Catholics are enjoined to pursue all means to prolong life.
HNN Editor: HNN received the following comment from Gerald Gutek, Professor Emeritus, Education and History, Loyola University, Chicago:
The Yahoo article on HNN Breaking News--Was Pope John Paul II Euthanized? is an inaccurate statement about Roman Catholic principles about death and dying. All ordinary medical means are to be taken to prolong, to save a person's life. People, near death, are not to be denied nourishment and water. However, when a person is dying as in the case of John Paul II extraordinary medical means need not be undertaken to prolong life. I would think that in the final stage of his life the Pope, or his physicians, regarded the insertion of a feeding tube an extraordinary measure.
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