Schiavo Religion and Faith-Based Resources

Religion-related resources


See also the general bibliography resource. Please send additions, comments, suggestions and corrections to Ken Goodman, UM Ethics Programs, at

Braiker B. No moral sense: An interview with Rev. John Parris. Newsweek/MSNBC, March 24, 2005. A Jesuit bioethicist believes the religious right is exploiting Terri Schiavo and that there is no moral or legal obligation to keep her alive.
Text of interview

Crispe, Sara Esther. The Right to Live. Magazine, March 25, 2005. A Lubavitch Jewish commentary.

Dolan JM, Flannery K. Statement Concerning the Case of Theresa, Oct. 14, 2002. A statement from two Catholic scholars who challenge the testimony given by Fr. Gerard Murphy in the Schiavo case regarding Church teaching.Statement by Dr. Dolan and Fr. Flannery

Florida Council of Bishops.  Statement on the Life, Death, and the Treatment of Dying Patients.  The Florida Catholic Conference, 1989.
Document addresses a variety of end-of-life issues, including "the provision of nourishment and fluids."

Florida Council of Bishops.  Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. The Florida Catholic Conference, 2003.
Statement specifically addresses the Schiavo case and expands on and notes full support of Bishop Lynch's statement (see below).
Florida bishops 8-27-03.htm

Official Statement of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, 2002.
This brief document says, in part, that "The Church, however, will refrain from passing judgement on the actions of anyone in this tragic moment."
Offical Statement of St. Petersburg Diocese.pdf

Lynch RN.  Statement of Bishop Robert N. Lynch Concerning the Terri Schiavo Case.  Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg 2003.
Official statement by Bishop Robert N. Lynch suggesting, in part, that "Excessive rhetoric like the use of 'murder' or the designation of the trial judge or appellate judges as 'murderers' not be used by anyone from our Judeo-Christian tradition. This is a much harder case than those who use facile language might know."
Statement of Bishop Lynch

Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Article 5:  The Fifth Commandment. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office for the Catechism The Vatican Library, 1994.
Official Catholic doctrine on euthanasia, murder, treatment of the ill, etc.
Catechism, Article 5

Pope John Paul II's March 20, 2004, address to World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Pontifical Academy for Life congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas."
Pope's remarks

World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Pontifical Academy for Life. Considerations on the Scientific and Ethical Problems Related to Vegetative State. Rome, March 17-20, 2004.
Joint statement in response to Pope John Paul II's remarks at the congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas."
FIAMC/PAV statement

Hamel R, Panicola M. Must we preserve life? America: The National Catholic Weekley 2004;190(14[April 19-26]) (discussing the view of many Catholic theologians that the Pope's allocution doesn't change previous Church teachings on life-sustaining care).
Text of article (subscription required)

Shannon TA, Walter JJ. Artificial nutrition, hydration: Assessing papal statement. National Catholic Reporter, April 16, 2004.
Analysis of Pope John Paul II's remarks at the Congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas."
Shannon and Walter analysis

Washifsky M. A Jewish Guide to the Moral Maze of Hi-Tech Medicine: Is it morally permissible to remove artificial nutrition and hydration from a patient who would otherwise continue to live? Reform Judiasm Online Fall 2005.
Text of article