A Catholic themed weblogger here in Jacksonville, Jeffrey Miller, attended the funeral mass held today in his parish for Terri Schiavo by her parents:

The president of the Justice Coalition, Ted Hires, spoke after Bob Schindler. He gave a passionate speech about what happened to Terri and talked about how the Schindler's were going to be working in the future to "prevent anybody else from being starved to death." He mentioned that those who participated in the death of Terri will one day meet justice. This was the first time I have ever heard a number of Catholics shout out "amen."

Though I respect the strength of their convictions, I can't agree with people who would prevent doctors from ever removing feeding tubes, especially for patients who have expressed a desire not to be kept alive in a hopeless condition.

Read about the subject of palliative care, and you'll find that tube removal is both humane and commonplace, especially for people suffering from end-stage dementia:

Studies she and others have done show that for those with end-stage dementia -- the eventual fate of millions of Americans with Alzheimer's disease -- feeding tubes do not extend life, do not prevent pneumonia, and actually can inflict pain and discomfort.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

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