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Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation Thanks Holy See for Reaffirming Obligation to Care for Disabled

Vatican Statement Defends Pope John Paul II’s 2004 Allocution on the Moral Obligation to Care for and Show Compassion for All People Like Terri

Contact: Suzanne Vitadamo, The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, 727-490-7603, info@terrisfight.org


ST. PETERSBURG, Fl., Sept. 14  /Christian Newswire/ -- By issuing its latest statement on the obligation to feed and hydrate those persons deemed to be in a "vegetative" or even comatose state, the Vatican today reiterated its two thousand year old teaching that all human life is sacred and deserving of our care, no matter its condition. The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation (Terri's Foundation) wishes to extend its sincere thanks to the Holy See for again repeating this vital truth.

Even if a person is severely injured, compromised or otherwise limited in his or her abilities, they still retain their "fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care" according to the Vatican. This includes providing them both food and water, even if by artificial means.

It is our fervent hope that the clergy, religious and those who administer Catholic health care, as well as the laity who persistently ignored the basic right to life of our daughter and sister Terri, and who persist to this day to dissent from this basic moral teaching of the Church by claiming that Pope John Paul II's March 20th allocution is "up for discussion", will begin to open their eyes and hearts to the immutable and incontrovertible truth re-affirmed by the Holy See today.

"We find it sad that many of those who claim to speak on behalf of the betterment of society and concern for the poor were against Terri and our efforts to care for her," said Robert Schindler, Terri's father. 

As the Associated Press was quick to point out, "the Vatican condemned [Terri] Schiavo's death as 'arbitrarily hastened' and called the removal of her feeding tube a violation of the principles of Christianity and civilization."

Our fight continues every day to defend the lives of vulnerable persons threatened by new laws which redefine feeding tubes as "artificial life support" and also "medical futility" laws that allow hospitals, nursing and hospice facilities and family members to abandon our fellow human beings to a torturous death by starvation and dehydration or by any other means.

As we stated to His Eminence, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in April of 2006, "Our goal is to defend the rights of our severely brain-injured or otherwise disabled brothers and sisters in the hope of preventing what happened to our Terri from ever happening to another."

Today's statement from the Vatican moves us much closer toward that goal.

About the Schindler Family: Mary and Robert Schindler as well as Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo and Bobby Schindler now work for The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation in St. Petersburg, Florida, an organization dedicated to promoting the Culture of Life, embracing the true meaning of compassion by opposing the practice of euthanasia.