Friday, February 25, 2005

Conscientious Objection for Terri Schiavo

I have been slow to catch up with blogging on behalf of Terri Schiavo, but I have written to Governor Bush on her behalf and feel strongly that we cannot abandon this woman and allow her to be killed. She is not in a vegetative state, and it boggles my mind that any legitimate court in this nation would allow her to die of dehydration and starvation.

The truth about Terri is all over the blogosphere. For a variety of articles about her true condition, try To learn what to do to help her, visit and follow the link on their front page.

I have wondered how the medical personnel who care for Terri now can possibly follow the order to remove her feeding tube. They have done it before. Are we all just good little Nazis at heart, following immoral orders for the sake of – what? Order? Taking action that ends innocent life is inherently disorderly.

If they remove her source of nourishment, I wonder if she will attempt to say, “I thirst.” Her caregivers have reported she tries to form words, like “Mommy” and “Help me.” But she doesn’t have to try to say it in order to feel it. She will hunger, and in her way of communicating, she will try to ask for help to squelch that gnawing feeling in her stomach. She will look to those who make her comfortable now to make her comfortable with food and water, and they won’t. She is in a hospice, so they must be accustomed to people dying. But surely they aren’t used to depriving their patients of basic care in order to cause their deaths. One goes to a hospice to die comfortably of one’s disease, not to be cruelly euthanized by caregivers who refuse to give care. They must know that Terri is not dying of anything – not yet. To die of her condition, she needs an agent of death, and that agent is going to be one of these who are otherwise sworn to do no harm.

Yesterday, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life celebrated Daily Mass at EWTN. His homily included an appeal to those entrusted with Terri’s care. For his sermon, Fr. Pavone drew on that most impressive of documents, Evangelium Vitae,

“73. Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. From the very beginnings of the Church, the apostolic preaching reminded Christians of their duty to obey legitimately constituted public authorities (cf. Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-14), but at the same time it firmly warned that "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. "They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live" (Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: "the midwives feared God" (ibid. ). It is precisely from obedience to God—to whom alone is due that fear which is acknowledgment of his absolute sovereignty—that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born. It is the strength and the courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned or put to the sword, in the certainty that this is what makes for "the endurance and faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10).

In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to "take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it".98 “

Boldly, and most admirably, Father Pavone calls on those responsible for Terri’s health care to disregard the immoral order to withhold nourishment. I pray they hear this call.


At 10:37 AM, Blogger Silent Rain Drops said...

I have the web address for Terry's blogs wrong - it's

I'll update the post, too.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Marlie said...

I wonder if Judge Greer starts feeling alot of heat (maybe he already is) he'll change his position. We should all send lots of emails, letters, and phone calls.


address: George W. Greer Rm. 484, 315 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

phone number: (727) 464-3933

Also, I think we should all send a donation to the Schindler family directly. Their website had the donation address, but the site is down.

Finally, we should contact the Diocese of St. Petersburg to demand that Bishop Lynch and local priests show solidarity with the Schindler family. I believe that the last statement about Terri's cause by Bishop Lynch was August 2003!


phone: 727-344-1611

Diocese of St. Petersburg
Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch
P.O. Box 40200
St. Petersburg, FL 33743

At 11:32 PM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

I've wondered about that. I've worked with vulnerable people and I can't imagine participating in starving one of them to death, even if it meant finding a way to sneak food into them or arrange a "kidnapping" to get the person to a place where they could be cared for.

I'd certainly do anything in my power to hele staff who got disciplined for failing to starve Terri. If ALL of them refused to be a party to it, what would happen?

Also, I want to start a hunger strike for Terri -- a worldwide refusal to eat when Terri is deprived of food. I've suggested it to Terri's family, but they've been swamped and are too busy to respond.


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