Terri’s parents say she would not want her life terminated due to Catholic beliefs

The parents of a brain-damaged woman, at the center of a right-to-die case, said their daughter would not want to die due to her strong Catholic faith.

Yesterday, Bob and Mary Schindler stated that their daughter, Terri Schiavo, would choose to live in her current condition, based on the statement by Pope John Paul II in March that people in vegetative states have the right to nutrition and health care.

Based on the Pope's statement, Pat Anderson, the Schindlers' attorney, filed for a court motion, asking a state judge to remove Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, as her legal guardian and end his efforts to end her life, reported The Associated Press.

"As a practicing Catholic ... who was raised in the Church and who received 12 years of religious schooling and instruction, Terri does not want to commit a sin of the gravest proportion by foregoing treatment," said the motion.

This is the first time the Florida woman’s parents speak about the family’s strong Catholic faith as a source for their conviction that her life should not be terminated.

In a second ruling yesterday, a judge said the Schindlers’ attorney can question Michael Schiavo and his fiancee under oath in early August. The depositions will be used by the Schindlers to have him removed as their daughter's legal guardian.

These two rulings are the latest in a case that has been ongoing for more than four years. In 2000, a judge initially ruled in favor of Michael Schiavo. He argues that his wife, who has been in a persistent vegetative state for 14 years, had expressed when she was well that she would not want to be kept alive in this condition.

However, her parents doubt that she really said this; they believe her condition could improve with therapy.

In a more recent case, Michael Schiavo had been granted permission from a state probate judge to withdraw the feeding tube in October. But Florida Governor Jeb Bush passed state law, ordering the tube reinserted six days after it was removed.

Michael Schiavo sued Bush, and a circuit court judge struck down the law as unconstitutional. An appeal is now before the Florida Supreme Court; oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 31.

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