The Nation

The Roman Catholic bishop of Providence, R.I., backed a diocese theologian's opinion that it would be morally permissible to withhold nourishment from a woman who is in a seemingly irreversible coma. Bishop Louis E. Gelineau's endorsement of the opinion by the Rev. Robert J. McManus meant it could be released to the woman's attorney, who had asked for guidance in the case. Gelineau stressed at a news conference that his stand, which differs from many in the church hierarchy, concerns only the case of Marcia Gray, a 48-year-old Catholic from South Kingstown who fell into a coma in 1986 after a cerebral hemorrhage.

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