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Terminally ill must receive basic care, US Catholics say

The United States Catholic Conference, in a statement approved by the US Catholic Bishops' Committee, has warned that medical treatment for patients diagnosed as terminally ill must avoid any direct attack on life. The policy statement urges that patients be assured basic nursing care, nutrition, and water as needed.

While the Catholic Church may not require heroic measures to preserve life in the terminally ill, it opposes withholding minimum needs of a patient to hasten death, said William Ryan, a spokesman for the conference.

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