Nearly three years ago, on March 31, 2005, Terri Schindler Schiavo died as a result of thelong, painful and barbaric process of the court-ordered execution by starvation and dehydration at the behest of her husband in-name only Michael Schiavo.
Terri Schiavo had committed no crime, she just received food and water in an alternative manner than the norm. Many called it court-sanctioned murder and it has set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the country, allowing family members or guardians who believe an individual can no longer be productive in society to simply get a court order to end their life.
This past December, The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation and Priests for Life jointly announced the establishment of the “International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters” (”Terri’s Day”) to be observed each year on March 31, the date of Terri’s death.
The purpose of the day, the groups explained, is to foster education, prayer, and activism regarding discrimination against the disabled, and advocacy for people in situations similar to what Terri and her family faced.
Educational information and prayer materials are now available on both Terri’s Foundation and Priests for Life’s Websites. Some activities by which Terri’s Day can be observed are:
- Say the prayer in Remembrance of Terri each day during the week before and after “Terri’s Day.”
- Conduct or participate in a parish or school essay contest about what happened to Terri, and the issues surrounding care for the disabled and their right to life.
- Invite a speaker to your school, parish, or community organization to address issues surrounding the care of the disabled.
- Organize a letter writing campaign in remembrance of Terri by one or more individuals to local papers or blogs.
- Spend time volunteering at a nursing home or hospital.
- Spend time with a disabled friend or relative.
Please visit Terri’s Foundation (http://www.terrisfight.org/) and Priests for Life (www.PriestsForLife.org) to learn all the ways that you can participate in this very special day.
Fr. Frank Pavone said, “Those of us who were with Terri will never forget her life and her death. For the sake of all the vulnerable, it is critically important that those who never knew Terri likewise remember the lessons that God taught us through her.”
Suzanne Vitadamo, Terri’s sister, adds “No family should ever have to witness what my family witnessed, watching a loved one slowly dehydrate to death. We want Terri’s day to remind us all that persons with disabilities are never burdens and should be treated with nothing but our unconditional love and compassion.”
Terri sustained serious brain damage as the result of a sudden collapse at her home on Feb. 25, 1990. While the autopsy indicated that the immediate cause of death was dehydration, the cause of the brain damage was not determined. Bulimia and heart attack were ruled out as the causes for Terri’s condition.
The case is not closed.
“It is the policy of this office that no case is ever closed and that all determinations are to be reconsidered upon receipt of credible, new information”, the medical examiner said.
Priests for Life is the largest Catholic organization exclusively dedicated to fighting abortion and euthanasia.
Terri’s Foundation is dedicated to promoting the Culture of Life, embracing the true meaning of compassion by opposing the practice of euthanasia.