Catholic Church teaching on Euthanasia  

Pope Pius XII, who witnessed and condemned the eugenics and euthanasia programs of the Nazis, was the first to explicate clearly this moral problem and provide guidance. In 1980, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released its Declaration on Euthanasia which further clarified this guidance especially in the light of the increasing complexity of life-support systems and the promotion of euthanasia as a valid means of ending life. The new Catechism (No. 2276-2279) provides a succinct explanation of our Catholic teaching on this subject.

Before addressing the issue of euthanasia, we must first remember that the Catholic Church holds as sacred, both the dignity of each individual person and the gift of life. Therefore, the following principles are morally binding: First, to make an attempt on the life of, or to kill an innocent person, is an evil action. Second, each person is bound to lead his life in accord with God’s plan and with an openness to His will, looking to life’s fulfilLment in heaven. Finally, intentionally committing suicide is a murder of oneself and considered a rejection of God’s plan. For these reasons, the Second Vatican Council condemned “all offences against life itself, such as murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and wilflul suicide” (Gaudium et Spes, No. 27).

USA : New guidelines seek to address misdiagnosis of disorders of consciousness

About four in 10 people who are thought to be unconscious are actually aware, according to new clinical guidelines for disorders of consciousness published in the journal Neurology.  The article in Neurology  2018 notes that, while the prognosis of patients with this condition differs greatly, some will eventually be able to function on their own and some will be able to go back to work. According to the guideline, approximately one in five people with severe brain injury from trauma will recover to the point that they can live at home and care for themselves without help.

The guidelines, which outline best practice for managing patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states, are the product of an extensive consultation process with members of three speciality societies — the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Among its key recommendations, the document advocates for a careful evaluation of patients by a clinician with specialized training in management of disorders of consciousness, such as a neurologist or brain injury rehabilitation specialist. The evaluation should be repeated several times early in recovery—especially during the first three months after a brain injury. More via this link:

UK Royal College of Nursing



http://DHSSPS (2011) Promoting Good Nutrition – a strategy for good nutritional care for adults in all care settings in Northern Ireland

The care of dying adults in the last days of life (QS144) has been published on the NICE website 3/3/2017. You can view the quality standard by following this link:

Care of dying adults in the last days of life (QS144)

All consultation comments were considered by the Quality Standards Advisory Committee (QSAC) and the minutes of this meeting are now available:

A summary of the consultation comments, prepared by the NICE quality standards team and the full set of consultation comments are also available:

 Care Quality Commission – Standards

Organisations that provide care must meet standards required by law

The information on this page tells you what standards you should expect, and what you can do if you are worried about the quality of the care that you or the person you look after receives:

Royal College of Nursing updates guidance for nurses on ” I want to die” requests.

The updated version of guidance via the following link, first published five years ago, contains new and additional resources to help guide nursing staff to undertake and navigate these difficult conversations, says the RCN: