These statements too are reflected in the allocution. Directive 58 of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services states a presumption in favor of ANH.
We think that the papal allocution at least has been used to support these more recent moves.
But why is a reassertion necessary, if the papal allocution and other documents did not intimate something different as a challenge?
An allocution, of course, does not carry the authority of universal church teaching.
Walter, "Artificial Nutrition, Hydration: Assessing Papal Statement," National Catholic Reporter 40 (April 16, 2004) 9-10; and "Implications of the Papal Allocution on Feeding Tubes," Hastings Center Report 34 (July/August 2004) 18-20.
A third question concerns how the allocution will be implemented.
What should the facility do with administrators and staff, the ethics committee, the various chaplains, and other people involved in the daily working of the facility who might conscientiously disagree with the allocution?
On what basis would these be granted, since the papal allocution states that such a practice would be euthanasia by omission?
The fact that this allocution is understood by many Catholic moral theologians to sit uneasily with the dominant method and basis for determining when a treatment is ordinary or extraordinary pales in comparison with the myriad of personal and institutional issues that the allocution raises.
The strict implementation of a policy such as that in the Pope's allocution seems to us simply to prolong the agony by prohibiting responsible medical and moral evaluation of the patient's condition.