Vatican Statement on Terri Schiavo
For the full text go here.
ROME, March 7, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has reiterated a call, first issued last month, to stop the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from a cognitively disabled Florida woman. In startlingly urgent language, Cardinal Renato Martino today issued an urgent appeal against starving Terri Schiavo.
"She will die a horrible and cruel death. She will not simply die; she will have death inflicted upon her over a number of terrible days even weeks . . . how is it that this woman, who has done nothing wrong, will suffer a fate which society would never tolerate in the case of a convicted murderer or anyone else convicted of the most horrendous crimes?," writes the Cardinal. ....
... In his Message for the Eleventh World Day of the Sick (11 February 2003) His Holiness Pope John Paul II stated: "And while palliative treatment in the final stage of life can be encouraged, avoiding a 'treatment at all costs' mentality, it will never be permissible to resort to actions or omissions which by their nature or in the intention of the person acting are designed to bring about death."
Palliative care, by its definition is the alleviation of suffering and relieving pain. In the last stage of life, it is this care for which we all must hope because, if the feeding tube is removed and Terri is forced to die this slow, terrible, painful death, we must ask ourselves, "And who will be next?"
Will this open the door for a state to decide whether this or that incapacitated person should die...not be allowed to die a dignified death but that they should have death inflicted upon them?
It must stop here and now. The courts, the judges and everyone involved with this must understand that all of the questions involved in the case of Terri Schiavo have not yet been answered. Society must realize that we can never inflict this sort of death on a human being, on any other creature, without each and every one of us and society as a whole suffering a terrible fate.