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Question 165

Hi father, can you please explain how the church looks at palliative care ... Which includes operating on patients purely as palliative care, also these operations are life threatening with no better quality of life as an outcome but to merely extended the patients suffering ? 

 

Answer to Question 165

 

The way I understand palliative care is that it can give some relief to pain but cannot cure the illness. To use an example surgery can be performed on a cancer patient to cut away painful tumours to give some pain relief, but it cannot cure the cancer which is still eating away at the body. The church doesn't have an official guideline on the subject, but I would say that if it can give some comfort to a patient then it is a good thing, but if it causes more pain and suffering then the patient must have the choice to refuse the treatment.