Catholic Monk Who Advised Terri Schiavo Family Says Human Life at Risk

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Monk Who Advised Terri Schiavo Family Says Human Life at Risk Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 21, 2006

Duluth, MN ( — A Catholic monk who advised Terri Schiavo’s family during the final days of her life spoke to a group of college students at University of Minnesota Duluth on Monday and told them that human life is at risk. He asked the students to stand up to assisted suicide and euthanasia that are violating the sanctity of human life.

Brother Paul O’Donnell frequently made the news this time last year with his strong condemnations of the painful starvation and dehydration Terri endured before dying. After her death, he told the hundreds of pro-life people who gathered outside Woodside Hospice what happened.

"It is with great sadness that — it has been reported to us that Terri Schiavo has passed away," he said.

Since then, O’Donnell has spoken to about 50 audiences across the nation bringing them the "truth about Terri Schiavo."

"Society has chosen to kill our most vulnerable," O’Donnell said, according to a Duluth Superior report. "I ask you to choose life and defend life."

O’Donnell called the Schindler family’s legal battle to protect Terri’s right to live the Roe v. Wade of the euthanasia debate.

He encouraged students to contact their lawmakers about a new bill in the Minnesota legislature that would presume incapacitated patients like Terri would not want food and water withdrawn unless an advance directive they wrote says otherwise.

The measure received approval from a state House committee last week and is expected to be approved by the full House. However, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, a Democrat, told the Superior he’s not sure if it will get a hearing in the Senate.

O’Donnell said he was disturbed by people who refer to incapacitated patients as "vegetative" saying the term is offensive to disabled people. He also said society is now dominated by a pro-death agenda including the media, the health care industry and insurance companies.

"This is a disabled woman who was murdered. She was court-ordered to death," he said.

He also blasted the media for inaccurately reporting on her case, saying she was never hooked up to a respirator and that she could eat, but not without a feeding tube.