Feeding Tube Removal Protested
Oct. 05, 1998
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) _ The family of a severely brain-damaged man joined more than 100 people at a vigil to protest the removal of the man's feeding tube.
Thomas and Joan Finn said they don't support the decision of Finn's wife to remove the tube that has kept their son Hugh alive for 3 1/2 years. But they believe there is nothing they can do.
``We had run out of avenues and options,'' said Joan Finn, wiping her eyes during Sunday's demonstration. ``We still feel we don't want this to happen to Hugh. ... I just don't think that he should be put to death. Tom and I are willing to take care of him.''
Two of Hugh Finn's seven brothers and sisters and his mother-in-law also took part in the vigil, held outside of the nursing home where Finn lives.
The tube was removed from Finn, a 44-year-old former television news anchorman in Louisville, Ky., on Thursday after his wife, Michele, won a court battle with Finn's brother. Doctors have said Finn is in a persistent vegetative state from a 1995 car crash that left him unable to eat, care for himself or communicate.
Gov. Jim Gilmore also lost in court when he tried to prevent the tube from being removed. Virginia's Supreme Court also rejected his bid to have the tube reinserted Friday.
Michele Finn has said her husband told her he would never want to live in such a condition.
Without the water and nutrition provided by the tube, Finn is expected to go into a coma and die within a couple of weeks.