DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     September 24, 1998     vol. 9, no. 187

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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


          SPRINGFIELD, Virginia (CWNews.com) - Bishop Thomas Kelly of Louisville, Kentucky has backed a Virginia woman's fight to have the feeding tubes removed from her comatose husband to cause his death.

          Michele Finn was granted permission by a court order on Monday to have the tubes keeping her husband, Hugh, 44, alive removed because doctors have said he is in a "persistent vegetative state." Hugh Finn entered a coma 3 1/2 years ago after a car accident ruptured his aorta and deprived his brain of oxygen. His parents and other relatives oppose letting him die, and the judge set September 30 as a deadline for them to challenge his ruling.

          Bishop Kelly said on Tuesday that removing food and water from someone diagnosed in a persistent vegetative state is still a gray area in Catholic teaching. "The spiritual side of this is that everything inside of Hugh Finn calls for him to be reunited with God. While he remains in this state, it's like suspending that union. If Hugh goes to the Lord, then that's a gift to everyone," he said.

          Meanwhile, All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas is financially supporting the lawsuit filed by Finn's family to prevent the removal of the feeding tubes. Father Daniel Gee, associate pastor of the parish, said Finn's right to live must be respected. "Until he's declared dead, he still has brain activity. His soul still does reside in his body," Father Gee said.

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.

September 24, 1998       volume 9, no. 187


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