VATICAN, March 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following on the heels of two public statements by another highly placed Vatican official, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has spoken out against a US judge’s decision to permit the starvation of cognitively disabled Florida woman Terri Shiavo.
The Italian press agency AGI carries a transcript of the remarks of Bishop Sgreccia on the One O Five Live radio program which is part of the official Vatican radio station, Radio Vaticana.
Bishop Sgreccia said:
"Even if it is not habitual of this Academy to interject supporting specific cases of human suffering or threats to life, Mrs Terri Schiavo's case goes beyond individual situations due to her exemplary character and the importance that the media have rightly attributed to it. Silence, in this case, could have been interpreted as approval, with consequences that could go greatly beyond the specific case".
The bishop said, Mrs. Shiavo, “should be considered a living human, deprived of full conscience, whose juridical rights should be recognized, respected and defended".
Sgreccia Noted that, “the removal of the gastric probe from her, in these conditions, could be considered direct euthanasia, because it is an integral part of the way in which Mrs Terri Schiavo can be fed and hydrated.”
Bishop Sgreccia said: “As far as we can see, prohibiting someone access to food and water represents a ruthless way to kill that person. We feel it our duty to affirm that such a decision goes against the rights of Mrs. Terri Schiavo and therefore constitutes an abuse of the juridical authority".
In conclusion he warned, “A juridical precedence would be created and would present euthanasia as a right in the Court of the United States, with grave consequences that can easily be imagined for the lives of many other people, more or less autonomous, in this country and in others. For this reason we consider the decision to remove the tube from Mrs Terri Schiavo illicit".
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