Question from Sue on 2/15/2008:
Can a Catholic practicing their faith decline taking chemotherapy and other harsh treatments for cancer which is considered terminal (no cure)? Does the church require that treatments be pursued if the patients does not wish to live out the remainder of time undergoing debilitating treatment? I watched someone I love suffer for over a year with awful, powerful, high dose chemotherapy which drastically affected quality of life right til the end. I also know others who chose not to pursue such treatment. What does the church require?
Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 2/16/2008:
Sue, The Church teaches we all must accept ordinary treatment in such cases, but not extraordinary treatment. Again all must accept food and drink to stay alive. So someone has to judge whether this treatment is of one kind or another. God bless. Fr. Bob Levis