Medically assisted nutrition and hydration in medicine and moral theology: A contextualization of its past and a direction for its future

The Thomist 68 (1):69-104 (2004)
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Despite the expansive literature detailing various arguments for or against the use of MANH in caring for the dying and debilitated, the thesis of this paper is that a large part, if not the main thrust, of the debates over MANH have been inadequate and misguided on a number of different levels. The paper hopes to reorient and redirect the debate by attending to the medical history of MANH (part one) and recent medical developments with regard to MANH (part five), examining and contextualizing the earliest debate (i.e. in the 1950s) over MANH among moral theologians (part two), a more recent debate over MANH involving numerous American Catholic bishops (part three), and critically evaluating the types of moral arguments that preoccupy many of those who currently write on the ethics of MANH (part four).



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John Berkman
Regis College

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