(RNS) — Remember Terri Schiavo? She was a beloved daughter, sister and (new) wife when, in 1990, at the age of 26, she had a heart attack.
Though she was revived and breathed on her own, Terri sustained significant brain damage and was deemed to be in a permanent vegetative state.
A big part of the debate that gripped the U.S. in the mid-2000s about whether to take Schiavo off of life support had to do with her Catholic upbringing.
While her husband maintained that Schiavo wouldn’t have wanted to live with the aid of a feeding tube, her parents and brother said she would have agreed with Pope John Paul II, who weighed in on her case, that food and water are care, not medical treatment, and are basic to respect fundamental human dignity. CONTINUE