Palliative Care: Euthanasia by Another Name?
Is palliative care simply euthanasia by another name, or “stealth euthanasia,” as some have called it? Is there any legitimacy to the concerns these individuals raise and to the observations they make that lead them to this conclusion, a conclusion that unfortunately can plant seeds of doubt about and even undermine one of the desired hallmarks of Catholic health care and even imperil good, holistic care of sick and dying persons? Are their claims the equivalent of the canary in the coalmine? Are they signaling significant dangers in palliative care and hospice that call for vigilance and possible corrective actions? In what follows, I will examine the claims being made about palliative care and hospice being stealth euthanasia, the legitimacy of these claims, and their implications for palliative care and hospice in Catholic health care.
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