Priests for Life - Chirch Teaching
EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
The Catechism

From the Pope
Encyclicals
Letters, Addresses,
and Homilies


From the Vatican

From Individual Bishops

From the
US Bishops’ Conference


From Other Sources Associated with
the Magisterium

OTHER SECTIONS
America Will Not Reject Abortion Until America
Sees Abortion


Prayer Campaign

Join our Facebook Cause
"Pray to End Abortion"


Take Action

Social Networking

Rachel's Vineyard,
A Ministry of Priests For Life


Silent No More Awareness Campaign, A Project
of Priests For Life

Clergy Resources
SIGN UP FOR EMAIL


 

Cardinal Keeler Statement on Florida Schiavo Case; Stresses Church Teaching on Feeding, Hydration

March 9, 2005

The case of Terri Schindler Schiavo in Florida has focused national attention on the plight of patients diagnosed as being in a "vegetative" state.

In a speech last year, Pope John Paul II affirmed the inherent dignity of every human being: "Even our brothers and sisters who find themselves in the clinical condition of a ‘vegetative state’," he said, "retain their human dignity in all its fullness." They are not "vegetables," but fellow human beings in need of our love and care.

The Holy Father added that these patients have "the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.)." He reminded us that providing water and food, even by artificial means, is "morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering."

There are times when even such basic means may cease to be morally obligatory, because they have become useless or unduly burdensome for the patient. Deliberately to remove them in order to hasten a patient’s death, however, would be a form of euthanasia, which is gravely wrong.

I applaud the February 28 statement of the Catholic bishops of Florida, applying this teaching to the Schiavo case. The bishops reiterated their plea that Terri Schindler Schiavo "continue to receive all treatments and care that will be of benefit to her." I join with them in praying that those who hold power over Terri Schindler Schiavo’s fate will see that she "continues to receive nourishment, comfort and loving care."

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org