University of California, Santa Barbara
William F. May
President's Council on Bioethics
United Hospital Fund
Ressurection Health Care
National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
National Catholic Bioethics Center
M. Therese Lysaught
University of Dayton
Yale Law School
Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.
Georgetown Law School
Last spring, the events surrounding the court decision to remove the feeding tube from Theresa Schiavo were the center of a national uprorar, including interventions by Washington policy makers, round-the-clock vigils at her hospice, charges and counter-charges by family members and pundits, and contradictory assessments by medical experts, lawyers, and religious leaders.
The story has gone off the front pages, but many of the issues still need in-depth examination and analysis.
• Persistent vegetative state: What is it? What do we know about it? And with what certainty?
• What are the ethical implications of a drastically altered self?
• Withdrawing medically provided nutrition and hydration: The state of the moral question
• Our faiths and our families: Support and discord in end-of-lifecare
• The role of the state
Thoughtful representatives of different religious and ethical perspectives will explore the end-of-life questions raised during the Schiavo case. The discussion will not rehearse the case itself but explore the larger medical, ethical, religious, and policy issues involved in this kind of decision to withdraw medically provided nutrition.