Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Do the autopsy results matter?

Distribution Source : U.S. Newswire

Date : Wednesday - June 15, 2005

To: National Desk

Contact: Jerry Horn of Priests for Life, 540-785-4733

WASHINGTON, June 15 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Fr. Frank Pavone, who was with Terri Schiavo in the final hours and moments of her life and has called her death a murder, issued the following statement upon today's release of her autopsy report:

"No details of this autopsy change the moral evaluation of what happened to Terri. Her physical injuries and disabilities never made her less of a person. No amount of brain injury ever justifies denying a person proper humane care. That includes food and water.

"A person with a 'profoundly atrophied' brain needs profound care and love. Terri did not die from an atrophied brain. She died from an atrophy of compassion on the part of her estranged husband and those who helped him to have her deliberately killed."

I agree that Terri Schiavo deserved compassionate care. However, the definition of "compassionate care" may vary. Is it compassionate to force feed people artificially for years when there is no hope for recovery? Is withholding medical care the same as deliberate killing?

Michael Schiavo said his wife would not have found years of tube feedings compassionate. Her parents disagreed.

However, call me skeptical, but I find it difficult to believe her parents. First, they claimed that Michael Schiavo was a devoted, loving and sacrificial husband. I believed them. Then, years later, they claimed he was an abuser whose physical attack on their daughter and attempted murder by strangulation caused her collapse.

The autopsy shows otherwise.

They claimed that Terri, during the last years of her life, "talked", "sang", "joked", "laughed at jokes", "hugged", etc. No one else seemed to be able to verify these claims. They claimed Terri followed movements with her eyes, that she was alert and observant, that she would respond to what she saw. The autopsy proved she was actually blind.

The Schindlers falsely accused Michael Schiavo of all sorts of despicable things and, in the end, they claimed that he had hastened Terri's death with drugs and poison. The autopsy proved these claims false.

"Wouldn't you do anything to save your daughter?" several people have asked me. God help me, but I hope that "anything" would remain in the realm of Christian morality, that I would not exaggerate, lie, and falsely accuse. Leave that up to the father of lies and his demonic minions. We, as Christians, should be known for matter what, no matter how unpleasant that truth may be to us.

My heart goes out to the Schindlers. Perhaps they really believed what they were claiming. God help them. God help us.

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