From the Catholic Herald of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the bishops of Wisconsin warn about an important health care issue:
Wisconsin’s Roman Catholic bishops issued a warning against the use of POLST, Physician (or Provider) Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, in a statement issued Wednesday, July 25.
In “Upholding the Dignity of Human Life,” the bishops wrote that the use of POLST has grave implications for the dignity of human life and they “encourage all Catholics to avoid using all such documents, programs and materials.”
“The POLST form should not be regarded as the standard model for designating treatment preferences,” read the statement signed by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, Madison Bishop Robert C. Morlino, Green Bay Bishop David L. Ricken, La Crosse Bishop William P. Callahan and Superior Bishop Peter F. Christensen.
Upon issuance of the pastoral letter, Archbishop Listecki told your Catholic Herald, “This is an important issue. As a church we are concerned about the dignity of the human person at every stage of life – from conception to natural death.”
Because use is on the rise and because increasingly Catholics are questioning the morality of this end-of-life document, Wadas said the bishops felt it was time to address the question.
A major concern regarding the form, according to a press release issued by the WCC, is the “form presents options for treatments as if they were morally neutral.
In fact, they are not. Because we cannot predict the future, it is difficult to determine in advance whether specific medical treatments, from an ethical perspective, are absolutely necessary or optional.”
“A POLST oversimplifies these decisions,” wrote the bishops, “and bears the real risk that an indication may be made on it to withhold a treatment that, in particular circumstances, might be an act of euthanasia. Despite the possible benefits of these documents, this risk is too grave to be acceptable,” they wrote.
Wisconsin Catholic Conference HERE.