The fifth anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo will be marked by a memorial Mass and a day of prayer and advocacy on behalf of the vulnerable.
Schiavo, a victim of severe brain damage, was barred from receiving nutrition and hydration by a Florida court order after a long legal fight between her husband and her family.
The National Mass for Terri’s Day will be celebrated at the Ave Maria Oratory at Ave Maria University near Naples, Florida.
Two years ago Priests for Life and Terri’s Foundation established Terri’s Day, formally known as the “International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters.”
The day is intended to encourage prayer, education and advocacy about discrimination against the disabled and about those in situations similar to Terri Schiavo’s last days.
Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, cited a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that some people diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) are in fact responsive.
"What is worse is that persons with cognitive disabilities thought to be in this 'PVS' condition, like Terri, are routinely being denied food and hydration -- their most basic rights,” Schindler commented. He said the new findings underscore the importance of why the “dangerous and often mistaken” PVS diagnosis should not be used as “a standard to kill our most vulnerable.”
The Terri’s Day website is located at http://www.TerrisDay.org