To the editor:
Father McBrien’s article, “Case of Terry Schiavo was morally clear-cut” said some unnamed “theologians” commented that removing the feeding tube for Mrs. Schiavo was consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Catechism. Actually, the Catechism states “Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of the handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable. ‘Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his creator. …'” (2277).
Father McBrien quoted Catechism paragraph 2278 out of context because (this section on the discontinuation of medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary or disproportionate) further states: “Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted.” We have to remember Terri was not dying, could swallow, and had a loving family who wanted to care for her.
Let’s live our Catholic faith by making sure this never happens again and certainly never promote euthanasia.