Priests for Life to honor Terry Schiavo with anniversary Mass [CNA]

Ave Maria, Fla., Mar 31, 2010 / 09:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Today, the fifth anniversary of the death of Terry Schiavo, Priests for Life will celebrate an honorary Mass and a day of prayer and advocacy on behalf of the vulnerable.

Full article…

“On March 31, five years ago, Terri Schiavo died a court mandated and government enforced death,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, on Wednesday. “I saw for myself, as I held her hand and prayed at her bedside, that this death was not ‘peaceful’ and ‘beautiful’ as euthanasia advocates want us to think.”

Ms. Schaivo had been brain dead for 15 years when the artificial means to keep her body alive were removed. She was not murdered by the government. In fact, the resources that went into keeping her brain dead body alive were probably freed up to actually save the lives of others.

I cannot let that completely false and misleading statement stand as the last word on Terri, a poor woman who was in effect murdered by her husband with the whole world watching, and those who loved her not allowed to offer her a bit of comfort, much less any food or water.

It appears that you are a victim of the liberal press, which did a fine job of deliberately misleading people about Terri’s condition. For years before her death I had been following her case. She was not on any life support systems, unless you want to call food and water life support. I read affidavits from nurses who cared for her and were fired for trying to help her. Terri was able to indicate to them when she was in pain or discomfort of some kind, such as menstrual pain. Her husband directed that she be confined to bed and not allowed any therapy, which he had promised he was going to do and then renigged on it. He wouldn’t allow her so much as to get to be taken outside or to even see the sun. One nurse had been feeding Terri gelatin and was fired for it. If she had been given some simple therapy we don’t know how far she might have progressed.

May God help us all for allowing these kinds of things to happan.

It was totally criminal the way Terri was treated, and it’s frightening to think that in this country police can be stationed outside someone’s door to see that noone is allowed to give a person dying of thirst a simple bit of water. Before the murder of Terri happened I wouldn’t have believed it could happen in this country.

Look how people lie: “the artificial means to keep her body alive were removed.” What?

Food and water were removed. Are food and water an artificial means to keep you alive?

She was starved and dehydrated to death. In other words, she was murdered.

It is extraordinary and artificial to keep a body alive when the brain is dead. The medical evidence pointed this out and the judges agreed:

) In October 2002, on remand by the Second District Court of Appeal, an evidentiary hearing was held in Judge Greer’s court to determine whether new therapy treatments could help Schiavo restore any cognitive function. In preparation for the trial,** a new computed axial tomography scan (CAT scan) was performed, which showed severe cerebral atrophy. An EEG showed no measurable brain activity.**

The five physicians chosen were Dr. William Maxfield, a radiologist, and four neurologists: Dr. William Hammesfahr , Dr. Ronald Cranford , Dr. Melvin Greer and Dr. Peter Bambakidis.[33] The five doctors examined Schiavo’s medical records, brain scans, the videos, and Schiavo herself. Drs. Cranford, Greer, and Bambakidis testified that Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state. Drs. Maxfield and Hammesfahr testified that she was in a minimally conscious state.

As part of the court-ordered medical exam, six hours of video of Schiavo were taped and filed at the Pinellas County courthouse. The tape included Schiavo with her mother and neurologist William Hammesfahr. The entire tape was viewed by Judge Greer, who wrote, Schiavo “clearly does not consistently respond to her mother”. From that six hours of video, the Schindlers and their supporters produced six clips totaling almost six minutes and released those clips to public websites.[34] Judge Greer ruled that Schiavo was in a PVS, and was beyond hope of significant improvement. The trial court order was particularly critical of Hammesfahr’s testimony, which claimed positive results in similar cases by use of vasodilation therapy, the success of which is unsupported in the medical literature.[35] This ruling was later affirmed by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, which stated that “this court has closely examined all of the evidence in the record,” and “we have… carefully observed the video tapes in their entirety.” The court concluded that “…if we were called upon to review the guardianship court’s decision de novo, we would still affirm it.”

Note that Michael Schiavo, a man much maligned by the pro-life movement, spent 15 years taking care of his wife. He even became a respiratory therapist and emergency room nurse in order to take care of his wife.

Couldn’t those actions have also been those of a man obsessed with supervising the death of his wife? There are any number of questions regarding all parties involved in this travesty. A little search of the Internet will unearth much evidence that the court chose to ignore.

Whatever conclusion you may come to, civilized human beings do not refuse food and water to another living human. You would be arrested if you did that to your dog! Do you know there were people, including children, arrested for trying to take Terri just a sip of water to wet her parched lips? It is the grace of God to us that this unfolded during Holy Week when we might see more starkly the comparison to Jesus. It makes for a sobering meditation. God help us.

As one blogger put it, “Terri is me. Terri is you. Terri is us.”

I agree that if Terri was a “living human being” then she should be kept alive. However, the doctors found and the court ruled that she was in fact brain dead. Keeping her alive would be akin to leaving an arm alive or a leg alive- it was keeping alive a body without the brain.

Note that the autopsy found that there was no sign of abuse, something Michael Schiavo was accused of. Michael also turned down a $1 million dollar offer in order to follow what he thought were his wife’s wishes.

You’re looking at the findings of a questionable court that accepted only evidence that led to a predetermined outcome. There were drs. and nurses’ testimony that contradicted what the court accepted. I believe the whole thing was rigged by the Hemlock Society and Michael to see that she died. She was not on any life-sustaining equipment which would have had to have been the case were she brain-dead as you assert. Her brain was functioning and keeping her alive. I believe Fr. Pavone, her parents, nurses and others who loved her, and not a man who spent years trying to kill her.

And that bit about her expressing a desire to die was clearly made up. He all of a sudden " remembered" that, had no proof of it and the story just wasn’t consistent. I don’t buy it. A convenient story. Besides, if you really love someone you don’t try to kill them on some flimsy story that they said they “wouldn’t want” to live some way. If you have Christian concept of life then it means a whole lot more than a few flippant words made off-handedly. His actions spoke mounds more than his clearly lying words.

Agree! That was an act of cold blooded murder.

I kept up with the case too, especially since I have a handicapped child and saw this for what it was. I’ve also donated my time with the handicapped and the elderly. You would not even call me religious, but what a slippery slope to hell that case created!

I was wondering how George P. Felos, the attorney, was allowed to even stay on the case, then realized he stepped down as board Chair of The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. The same hospice where Terri lived. Most Judges in my state would have removed him citing a conflict of interests. Of course he had a connection to that Judge as well.

Felos was also a founding member of National Legal Advisers Committee on Choice in Dying. Later it merged into the “Partnership for Caring”, which was founded by a Ira Byock, MD. They were all connected. You would have to google.

The Philadelphia Times reported records showed that Michael had payed Felos over 200, 000.00 since 1997.

I was creeped out when Felos stated in an interview, right before she died, that he had never seen her look this beautiful in the entire time he had known her.

If I am not mistaken Felos is a Scientologist. Ever look into his book: “Litigation as Spiritual Practice.”? In it he writes about his first right to die case.

I looked into it because of statements he made to the effect that he knew, spiritually, that Terri was ready to go.

Here is a quote from his Litigation book:

** As I continued to stay beside Mrs. Browning at her nursing home bed, I felt my mind relax and my weight sink into the ground. I began to feel light-headed as I became more reposed. Although feeling like I could drift into sleep, I also experienced a sense of heightened awareness.

As Mrs. Browning lay motionless before my gaze, I suddenly heard a loud, deep moan and scream and wondered if the nursing home personnel heard it and would respond to the unfortunate resident. In the next moment, as this cry of pain and torment continued, I realized it was Mrs. Browning.
I felt the mid-section of my body open and noticed a strange quality to the light in the room. I sensed her soul in agony. As she screamed I heard her say, in confusion, "Why am I still here . . . Why am I here?" My soul touched hers and in some way I communicated that she was still locked in her body. I promised I would do everything in my power to gain the release her soul cried for. With that the screaming immediately stopped. I felt like I was back in my head again, the room resumed its normal appearance, and Mrs. Browning, as she had throughout this experience, lay silent.**

Terri’s old fractures were troublesome, especially in light of the fact that she had been out apartment hunting, and not with her husband right before her “fall”.

Something was rotten there! Someone has a lot to answer for after death.

Moral law says that you may not deny a person food, water, oxygen or medicine, regardless of the patient’s condition. These are natural rights that every human being has. As Pope John Paul said, “the term vegitative state is deceptive, because it reduces a human being to a vegetable.” It strips a human being of his or her dignity. You can only remove food and water if they do more harm than good. But Mrs. Schiavo had been on a feeding tube for a long time and it was not doing her any harm. Therefore, there was no morally justifiable reason to remove it.

Faith is not concerned with whether or not there is brain activity. Faith is concerned with doing the greater good. When doing the greater good, if you’re going to err, you always err on the side of life.

Mrs. Schiavo’s brain could not have been dead, since she was breathing on her own and her heart was beating on its own. Also, she was digesting the nutrients that were being fed through the tube. These functions are not possible when the brain is dead.

There is a difference betweene brain damaged and brain dead. A person with brain damage is a disabled person, but very much alive.

For more information on Catholic moral doctrine on this subject go to and click on life issues on the left hand side. Also, if you contact me privately, I have written on this subject a very brief but pretty complete summary on our faith’s teaching on euthanasia.

We as Catholics must live a life that is consistent with the universal call to holiness. This requires that we always choose the highest moral good, regardless of what the law and science say.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

There’s nothing “natural” about a feeding tube. The poor woman was brain dead (as the doctors insisted and the autopsy proved) and I don’t know why so many Catholics can’t accept that. I thank God that Terry Schaivo’s body was allowed to die peacefully. There was no suffering because her brain was gone. the fact that so many Catholics say she suffered displays an incredible amount of ignorance.
I’ve also heard people say that removing the feeding tube was playing God, another ridiculous statement. Adding a feeding tube is playing God, removing it is not.
I think it’s disgusting to believe that Terry Schaivo’s brainless body should have been left to rot on a hospital bed like some sort of sick science experiment.

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