EWTN Catholic Q&A
End of Life with feeding tube
Question from anon on 09-18-2012:

What is the correct catholic action to be takem for a loved one who requires a feeding tube to sustain life. This would be for a loved one who has suffered a second stroke, has had no verbal communication for over a week and may have suffered brain damage to the point that they would not be expected to ever be able to talk or acknowledge their loved ones.

Should the feeding tube be removed from the nose (to avoid infection) and replace the feeding tube directly into the stomach to sustain this loved ones life indefinately? No other measure, aside from the feeding tube is required to keep this loved one alive.

Answer by Judie Brown on 09-27-2012:

Dear Anon

Let me ask you this: would you want to see the loved writhe in pain from starving to death?

Though you may have been told that your loved one will live "indefinitely" with a feeding tube in the stomach, that is not accurate. Nutrition does not cure, it does not treat illness, but it does keep your loved one comfortable in the interim until God calls him home.

Judie Brown