The Ave Maria Oratory at Ave Maria University will host the “National Mass for Terri’s Day” on March 31 to commemorate the death of Terri Schindler Schiavo, event organizers have announced.
Schiavo was a severely disabled woman who in 2005 died of dehydration after a judge ordered her nutrition tube removed in a contentious legal and political fight.
Last year Terri’s Foundation and Priests for Life established the “International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters,” or “Terri’s Day,” to foster education, prayer and activism concerning discrimination against the disabled. The observance is also intended to advance advocacy for those in situations similar to what Terri Schiavo and her family faced, the organizers’ say.
"As we just witnessed with Italy's Eluana Englaro's tragic death by dehydration, people with disabilities, like my sister Terri, are routinely being denied their most basic rights. These cases are spreading like a virus and my family is committed to stopping this form of discrimination against people with disabilities," said Bobby Schindler, Schiavo’s brother.
A press release from Terri’s Foundation and Priests for Life warned about the potential threat of hospital ethics committees that seek to remove food and water even from those who are not terminally ill.
The groups say that doctors and hospitals in all but ten states have been empowered to disregard advance directives for medical care when they call for treatment, food or fluids.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will be the main celebrant of The National Mass for Terri’s Day. He will be joined by Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President of Human Life International.More information on Terri’s Day is available at www.TerrisDay.org