|Catholic Questions and Answers -
This section covers some of most frequently asked questions (FAQ) that we receive here at The Crossroads Initiative about Morality. If you have any questions you can check this page frequently for more Catholic Q & A. We are adding new Questions and Answers every week. Please select the topic that you have questions about. If you don't find an answer to your question, feel free to contact us and Dr. D'Ambrosio will try to answer.
Main Q & A Page
Q -My teen has stopped having a regular cycle-she is not sexually active or has ever been. What is the view if a doctor wants to put her on birth control pills for medically reasons-because of a hormonal imbalance?
A -Dear G,
Using "the Pill" to block natural processes and avoid conception is morally illicit. Using the same pill to restore natural processes and hormonal imbalance is not contrary to the moral law. It may or may not be the most effective and healthiest way to deal with the problem. That is a medical decision. But it is not immoral.
Faithfully in Christ,
Dr. M D'Ambrosio
Q -What is the Churchís position on whether to give IV feedings/liquids at the end of life when the person can no longer eat or drink? Is it a sin to withhold? Do you give IVs till they die?
A -Hi Karen,
It is not morally necessary to employ extraordinary means to prolong life.
But nutrition and hydration, even through IV or a feeding tube, is not considered extraordinary means by the church. Example of extraordinary means would be a respirator or chemotherapy.
Therefore, one may not ethically remove IV and feeding tubes thus withhold nutrition and hydration from a terminally ill patient.
Faithfully in Christ,
Q -Hi there Dr. DíAmbrosio,
My wife and I are trying to update our will and other legal documents and I had a question as how to answer the options under the medical directives to be consistent with church teaching. We both want to live and die a natural death as we understand the church teaches. If you have any time, can you see if you agree with my choices?
Our church told me the best advice is to make sure that the person you appoint to make the decisions if you canít make them yourself would carry out your wishes. So, if you wife survives, it is easy. Probably not a big deal, but thought you might be interested.
Thanks for your help and if you are too busy donít worry about it.
A -Hi Shanon,
According to Church teaching, you are under no moral obligation to continual extraordinary life sustaining treatments when judged to be in a terminal condition. This would apply to artificial respirators, chemotherapy medications, etc.
The ambiguity in this document is in regard to a feeding tube. Some today would consider the provision of nutrition and hydration through a feeding tube or intravenous apparatus as extraordinary, life-prolonging treatment. However, Catholic Church teaching is clear on this point. The provision of nutrition and hydration is not extraordinary care, even if a feeding tube and intravenous nutrition and hydration are required. One should not authorize the withdrawal of these things for oneself or for others. This is not allowing someone to die but hastening death. There is a space in this document where you can do away with this ambiguity and specify that nutrition and hydration should never be withdrawn, and I would strongly urge you to write this into the document and verbally instruct your loved ones of your wishes in this regard.
It is wonderful that you have taken such care to assure that you follow Godís will and the teaching of His church until you are safely home with Him. God bless you and your family!
Dr. Marcellino DíAmbrosio
Q -Dr. D,
What is the Church's teaching on fertility drugs like chlomid? My friend is
considering taking it and asked my opinion. I had no good answer. Maybe
you can enlighten me! Sharon
A - Sharon,
I'm not 100% sure of this, since bioethics is not my specialty. But I believe the use of such drugs is fine as a therapeutic measure since I assume it (they) helps encourage the ovaries to release eggs. Sometimes multiple eggs are released and therefore there are twins born, which is fine.
When a natural process is not working correctly, medical intervention to correct the problem and restore a natural state is ethical as long as it does not violate the unbreakable union between the marital act and conception or directly take the life of an embryo or fetus.
I hope this helps.
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