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Health Care Proxy
Rabbinical Council's Response Towards Health Care Proxy and Medical Directive of New York City Hospice and Supportive Care AIDS Initiative
Policies Headlines
Jul 8, 1997 -- A. P. 2 of proxy - option to withdraw artificially administered nutrition/hydration is in Jewish Law active Euthanasia.

B. To withhold care in case of "substantial and irreversible loss of mental functions" this terminology is too vague to be anything more than confusing or subject to litigation.

C. Problem of withholding respiratory support when needed for comfort care i.e. to ease air hunger Is not addressed. This is a most frequent occurrence. The decision to give ever increasing dosages of morphine to ease the discomfort is actually doctor assisted suicide.

D. There should be a clear statement that when respiratory support is needed to produce a finite result e.g. in case of pneumonia or reaction to an anesthetic, such support must be offered despite a DNR order.

E. If "permanently unconscious" - but not terminally ill e.g. P.V.S. (persistent vegetative state) there is no "burden" to the patient or physiological or psychological pain, Jewish Law would require a different list from that in section 4.

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