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Autopsy irrelevant; Schiavo’s death morally unacceptable

"The results of Terri Schiavo's autopsy provide some answers concerning her physical condition," said American Life League president Judie Brown, "but in no way do these findings justify the cruel death by dehydration that was imposed on a living human being."

The medical examiner reported that Terri Schiavo had suffered extensive, irreversible brain damage and would not have been able to recover from the injury that left her disabled. However, the report did not indicate that Terri's injuries would have killed her. "The fact remains," said Brown, "that Terri was not dying, did not have a terminal condition, and could have continued to survive with proper nutrition and hydration."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that "whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable."

"There are those who will use this autopsy report to claim that the death by dehydration imposed on Terri Schiavo was compassionate or merciful," said Brown. "Others would say such a life is not worth living. Such thinking is misguided and absolutely wrong. Those decisions are not ours to make."

Brown urges anyone concerned with Terri's plight to ensure that they have a morally acceptable healthcare directive in place, such as American Life League's Loving Will, so the tragedy Terri's family experienced is not repeated. "The bottom line is, Terri died an excruciatingly cruel death which simply cannot be justified."

Release issued: 15 Jun 05