Sunday, March 20, 2005

CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS protesting the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube have focused heavily on the cruelty of allowing her to starve to death. An article in today's New York Times quotes experts in palliative medical care to the effect that when a patient who does not have any conscious awareness, like Terri Schiavo, stops receiving food and water, death is not the agonizingly painful process it would be for normally healthy people who are not terminally ill. In fact, many patients who are terminally ill but still conscious choose to stop eating and drinking as a way of dying that involves relatively little discomfort.

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