Quotes on the Schiavo Case

Friday, April 01, 2005
Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) - The highly politicized debate over whether 41-year-old Terri Schiavo, a severely brain damaged Florida woman, should be allowed to die, unleashed a torrent of emotional rhetoric from politicians, lawyers, religious figures and family members on all sides of the right-to-die issue. Schiavo died on Thursday morning, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

Here are some notable quotes:

"It's a sad day for everyone in this country because the U.S. government is going to come in and trample all over your personal, family matters." -- Michael Schiavo, husband and legal guardian, who said his wife would not have wanted to live. He spoke after U.S. congressional action in the case.

"This is judicial homicide." -- Bob Schindler, Terri Schiavo's father, after court ruling against reinserting the feeding tube.

"In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life." -- President George W. Bush.

"One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America. Americans would be so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks." -- House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican.

"Congress is turning the Schiavo family's personal tragedy into a national political farce." -- Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California.

"This rush to exploit a personal tragedy is not fair to those involved and will not create good policy." -- House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

"What we experienced today ... is nothing short of thuggery." -- Michael Schiavo's lawyer George Felos after the U.S. House of Representatives issued a subpoena for Terri Schiavo in a vain attempt to force reinsertion of her feeding tube.

"What drew me here is the horror of the idea of starving someone to death who's vulnerable and who has not asked that to happen." -- protester Eleanor Smith of Decatur Georgia, outside Schiavo's hospice.

"When a society comes to believe that human life is not inherently worth living, it is a slippery slope to the gas chamber. You wind up on a low road that twists past Columbine and leads toward Auschwitz. Today that road runs through Pinellas Park, Fla." -- Peggy Noonan in Wall Street Journal. Pinellas Park was the hospice caring for Schiavo.

"Supplying sustenance to someone diagnosed as in a vegetative state is "morally obligatory." -- Pope John Paul II in March, 2004.

"Nobody wins in this." - Bob Kassay, resident of Pinellas Park, Florida.

"Terri Schiavo has passed away just a little while ago." -- Brother Paul O'Donnell, a Franciscan monk and spiritual adviser to Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, announcing her death on March 31, 2005.