DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     October 5, 1998     vol. 9, no. 194

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          MANASSAS, Virginia (CWNews.com) - A Virginia judge has refused an appeal by Gov. Jim Gilmore to prevent a wife from removing the feeding tubes from her semi-comatose husband over the objections of the man's family.

          Michele Finn has been given approval to withhold food and water from Hugh Finn who has been kept alive through the feeding tubes for 3 1/2 years. An auto accident damaged his aorta in March 1995, starving his brain of oxygen and leaving him in a semi-comatose state. Judge Frank Hoss, Jr. said Virginia law allows the withholding of life-sustaining treatment if a person is in a persistent vegetative state.

          While doctors have diagnosed Finn as suffering from a persistent vegetative state, his family contends that Finn sometimes answers questions verbally, and he can blink his eyes to answer them. When told he would no longer be able to receive Holy Communion when the feeding would be stopped, he reportedly cried.

          Gilmore said Finn's family asked him to step in. He also said state law gives him the right to act on behalf of Virginia citizens when he determines existing procedures fail to adequately protect legal rights and interests. The state attorney general's office said it is considering avenues for appeal.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

October 5, 1998       volume 9, no. 194


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