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March 15, 2006

Fr. Pavone: Justice O'Connor Gravely Mistaken

Topics: Commentary

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in a recent speech at Georgetown University, criticized the efforts of lawmakers last year to save the life of Terri Schiavo, and complained about harsh criticism of the courts. She even suggested the legal efforts constituted the beginnings of dictatorship.

In response, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and one who was at Terri Schiavo's bedside in her final hours and moments, declared, "Justice O'Connor has it backwards. Dictatorships begin with the idea that government can deprive people of their fundamental rights. That's what happened to Terri, who was neither terminally ill, nor comatose, nor on life support." Fr. Pavone added, "When Supreme Court Justices get such fundamental points wrong, we've got a problem, and they deserve all the criticism we can muster."

Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

HT: TerrisFight

Posted by tim at March 15, 2006 5:19 AM

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This is what I was thinking when I heard this..if anyone is running a 'dictatorship' it's judges like Greer and O'Connor (good riddance to both) who pretty much (indirectly) get to dispatch the innocent by fiat.

Posted by: thedegu [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2006 7:53 PM

Thankfully we have a separation of powers in these United States and dispassionate, objective judges who carefully review the facts, testimony, evidence, science and the law (as it is written) before deciding cases.

Hey thedegu where were you when the laws were being written and debated in Florida? Where were you all those years leading up to this much publicized case? Did you care a wit about the law before you heard the name Schiavo?

Fr Frank Pavone is a little mixed up on his "facts", either that or the truth is not in him. He may disagree with Flroidas definition of what constitutes "life support" but the truth and the fact of the matter is that under Florida law Mrs Schiavo most definately was on life support.

Hard to imagine any medical procedure as invasive as planting a tube through the abdominal wall and into the stomache. Yet this is being viewed as trivial and inconsequential- hardly worth mentioning. Everyone should have one, right? Gee golly, every American would agree to this procedure because its just a way to be fed when you cannot eat, right?

No one in their right mind would refuse a medical procedure intended to help them, right? If you need a transfusion you MUST accept a transfusion. If your kidneys fail you must accept that transplant, right?

Dictatorships begin with an assault on the peoples right to make their own choices.

In particular we are all endangered when our right to make choices about the medical treatments we would accept or reject is threatened or utterly removed.

Mrs Schiavo made and expressed a choice. Perhaps it was a choice that her parents could not accept but thankfully the courts upheld HER right to chose and in so doing affirmed MY right to refuse unwanted medical treatments- even if MY parents disagree. Even if my church disagrees.

Posted by: TheDumbingOfAmerica at March 19, 2006 7:55 PM

The law in Florida changed in 1999 (I think) regarding food and water being extraordinary care. Prior to that, food and water were considered normal care, not even medical treatment, even delivered via feeding tube. When Mrs. Schiavo made her "expressed choice" food and water were NOT medical treatment.

Posted by: CeCe [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 20, 2006 1:58 PM