There is a spectrum in the process of dying. It ranges from unbearable suffering for patients and their families to a reasonable quality of life in which symptoms are controlled until the end. Either way, survivors are left to grieve.
Chances are good that we will soon be acknowledging JPII as "Saint," but none of this will make much difference in how Catholics live their lives everyday. There is a more important reason, I think, to remember JPII.
A person's last days may still be off in the distant horizon, but the yearning for a death that honors the life and the determination to remain a free person is palpable when thoughts turn to life's end.
More than ever, we need Congress to take end-of-life care seriously. We still need legislation that will encourage physicians to take the time to talk to patients about the choices that are available to them.
The consumer electronics industry is defined by rapid innovation and falling prices. Advocates on every side should consider these market-based lessons, as they are relevant to the current health care debate.