Terri Schiavo

Hello buddies in Christ!!:love:

I just heard a reference to Terri Schiavo tonight on something and decided to look her up. I remember the controversy when it happened but I was very young, so I couldn’t
remember all the details. I had remembered that the conflict was between her parents and her husband, but had always thought that Terri was in a coma, on life support. However, now I understand that she was in fact conscious? though in a permanent vegetative state? Was this correct until her death? How horrible!! I mean, it was a terrible story anyway, but how could her husband look into her eyes and consent to her death? What did the nurses\medics feel when they took away her feeding tube?

Can anyone give me more details?
God Bless,

[H]ow could her husband look into her eyes and consent to her death?

Because he was living with another woman whom he called his “fiancee,” and with whom he had two children while still married to Terri.

But why did people support his wishes?!

Because it went to court and the judge allowed it. It was a terrible, terrible thing.

Her husband also stood to gain financially from her death as opposed to just divorcing her.
This whole situation was such a travesty of the greatest proportion.Her parents wanted to care for her,but the ruling judge favored her husbands’ assertion that Teri had verbally told him she didn’t want any extraordinary measures taken to prolong her life,if the occasion should ever arise. Nothing on paper,just his word.
I remember this all occurred right around the same time St.Pope John Paul ll died.It was a very sad time for sure.:frowning:

I met Terri Schiavo’s brother and mother. Her brother speaks about end of life issues and euthanasia for the Church.

According to her brother and mother, she was able to move around in wheel chair, etc. She was also responding to treatment, but the insurance companies and doctors didn’t wan to continue with them (this was early on). She knew when people were there. She was in a state similar to Steven Hawking, but didn’t have the chance to learn how to communicate that Steven did (as his condition gradually happened)

All she needed to live was a feeding tube for food and water. No life support. She was far more than simply a vegetable. The family was willing to take care of her for the rest of her life, and had been. But the husband felt that she shouldn’t live like that and didn’t respect the Catholic beliefs she shared with her family.

So Terri was starved and dehydrated to death (the thought of this makes me terribly angry)

Because of a change in the law regarding the definition of extraordinary care in the 1990s, feeding tubes are now consisted similar to life support. This change in the law was influenced by a paper written by a doctor in the 1980s who was trying to figure out how to have hospitals make more money. He concluded that if they could get rid of people on feeding tubes, then the fees associated with that care would diminish and they could reduce the number of beds required in a hospital. Hence use that space to offer more services to increase revenue and lower expenses. Teri’s brother taught use about this too (which is now an official part of end of life training for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia)


And unfortuanly until the 1990s, receiving food and water via a feeding tube was NOT considered extraordinary measures. It was considered ordinary. But due to changes in the law pushed by greedy, pro death people, receiving food and water IS NOW considered extraordinary.

Terri’s brother said that the costs to feed Terri was less that the costs to feed a teenage child!

The fact that receiving food and water is considered extraordinary is purely the work of the devil.

For anymore reading this: you must be 100% that everyone (especially the medical community) understands that you do not want the feeding tube pulled if it is working.

Below is an example of a living will written by the Bishops here in Pennsylvania for your FYI


My father passed away just shy of 5 years ago. He was placed in the care of hospice as the doctors stated that death was inevitable. I was not there when the decision was made and I have felt wrong about it since. Just like Terry Shaivo, my father had food and water denied him and he eventually passed away after 10 days. What stance does the CC take upon Hospice care? My mom and I still talk about the guilt we feel for what he had to go thru.

I feel like I should comment because my mother is in a PBS like Terri Shiavo for 5 and a half years.

As for the mentality of her husband, as someone who has a loved one in a PVS, it’s hard and I can’t count the times I’ve asked our Heavenly Father to take her home so that she may embrace Him and our Blessed Mother. Though I wolf never think of starving her to death.

My own father has been dating someone for two years. While I don’t approve of their relationship, I’m friendly with her as my relationship with my father was almost non-existent after he told me about her and realized that he’s what I have left and of I have t be friendly with his new “girlfriend” to have a relationship with my father, it’s worth it.

My father and I have had many fights over my mother’s condition. According to him, she died 5 and a half years ago and now it’s just a matter of her body going, her soul, he argues, is already gone. Who she was, is dead. That’s his reasoning.

While I really disagree with this line of thinking, I can understand it, and hopefully this gives you some understanding of where the husbands who “move on” are coming from.

First, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your mother. I will also pray for the soul of your father, may he rest in peace with The Lord.

To your question: the Church teaches that food & water should be given in terminal situations as long as the body still accepts the food & water.

Meaning, if the stomach has already shut down and the body cannot digest the food, then no need to continue. Someone who is dying should die from the illness or condition they have, not by being starved and dehydrated to death if they could have digested the food and water.

God Bless.

Thank you for your story. I will say a prayer for you, your mother & your father.

This is where we need better evangelization and better catechesis. The soul is what animates our bodies and gives us life. The body cannot live with the soul, organs cannot function without the soul. If our organs are naturally functioning, then the soul is still in the body. The soul is in perfect working condition, but the body is just broken.

There have been stories of people who’s bodies are finally healed and get better after 20 or 30 years. And there have been stories of people who got better much faster and have commented on how terrified and mortified they were about how doctors or family members wanted to pull their feeding tube.

It’s such a crime that people often do not know the truth about what pulling the feeding tube does. No person (even the euthanasia fans) would not want to die via starvation and dehydration.

I said at the time, and I’ll say again now (unpopular opinion but is within CAF rules), that Terri Schiavo could still be alive today if her family had gone with a different picture to release to the media. What’s the picture everything thinks of when they hear about Terri Schiavo? Even today, at the “official web site?” That’s right: The hospital picture. Not the most flattering picture, and not the best way to “win” in the court of public opinion.

Why didn’t her family go with this picture? --> terri-schiavo-memorial.com/

Thankfully, it was used for a book cover --> hyscience.com/archives/2006/03/terris_story_an.php

Again, I mean no disrespect. I just think she would still be alive today if her family had released a different picture to the media. To answer another poster’s question, so many people “supported her husband’s wishes” because (to ignorant and uninformed people) she LOOKED like a vegetable based upon the only picture we saw of her. If she LOOKED a little more attractive, however, such as would be indicated by other pictures available, her husband wouldn’t have stood a chance in court. Remember: If it’s going to play out in the media, you’re not going to win with the most unflattering picture. Again, no disrespect - a little PR (something as basic as a different picture) could have gone a long way in the matter.

Thank you for your response and prayers. My dad, in the final months of his life did acknowledge Christ as his Savior although I’m pretty certain that he had a seed of faith within him throughout his life … he just didn’t have good role models in his family to help that faith grow. His children and grandchildren help him pass that hurdle so that he wanted to go to church and learn more about his faith.

God bless!

I agree with you that this shoukd not have happened to Terry and her family. There was a lot of coverage at the time on Fox News and they did show some different pictures and videos of her. Such a sad situation to have to see your family member be treated in such a way!

Hospice if done correctly (big IF), is a beautiful and life affirming thing. Some, but by no means most or all hospices have bought into the assisted suicide lies, but the nature of such a facility militates against such a mindset.

What you posted here is not necessarily wrong. You can’t deprive someone of food in order to cause death. That would be immoral and should be confessed. But you CAN deprive food and water if they are causing more harm than good and death is imminent anyways. For some, even an IV can cause painful bloating and unnecessary pain in the few days of life remaining. In that case, removing the food and water isn’t the primary cause of death.

In the TS case, she could have lived on for years with minimal medical care. They actively starved her to death. It was murder. You haven’t presented enough facts about your father’s case to make it clear what happened. If he was dying anyways and the food/water was withdrawn to reduce his pain level in the few days he clearly had left, that’s a very different thing than what happened to TS.

Exactly. In my father-in-law’s case, he suffered a brain aneurysm and my mother-in-law opted to bring him home instead of having him flown to a hospital several hours away after the doctors confirmed that he only had a few hours, maybe a day, left. Dad lived for three days with a hospice nurse guiding us, his family, on how to care for him, administer his pain medication, etc. The question of a feeding tube came up from a family member and the nurse said that his body was no longer processing food and trying to “force feed” him would only make his final days worse. Prior to this, he had regained consciousness long enough to indicate his farewell and receive the anointing of the sick from his son, a priest, who had flown in from Spain, before slipping into a coma. We held a Mass at his bedside and his breathing grew shallower and shallower, until the consecration. When my brother-in-law held up the Host, Dad’s eyes opened and he leaned forward for a second or two before slipping back into unconsciousness. His last nourishment was a particle of the Host and he died a few minutes after the Mass ended.

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