I read Sally Kalson's column "We Spend Too Much in Dying" (April 7), which was reprinted in the DuBois Courier Express and would like to set straight some inaccuracies on this personal and painful subject.
In her opening example regarding Terri Schiavo, Ms. Kalson stated, "...her parents and brother, who wanted to keep her alive with all extraordinary measures...."
This is a deception and totally inaccurate. The "extraordinary measures" which her blood relatives wanted to provide to her was food and water. Is giving food and water "extraordinary?"
I know many people who are given liquids intravenously almost routinely. This is normal for someone with diarrhea. Actually, the hospital would probably be sued if it neglected to give liquids. Feeding through a tube is not difficult and is definitely not extraordinary.
Oh, and the family thought that Terri should receive therapy to help her develop speech, as some professional thought that it would improve her condition. Is therapy "extraordinary?"
We wonder why tragedies like Newtown and the Boston marathon bombing occur; what do you expect if giving water to a thirsting family member is considered "extraordinary?" Respect for human life has become a "radical extreme" of the right-wing and religionists, according to "progressive" American politicians.
Coordinator, Pro-Life Office
Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Falls Creek, Pa.