Wednesday, March 02, 2005


A Judge to Determine if Terri Schaivo Has a Right to Last Rites?

A Certain Slant brought up this point:

I'm Catholic, so when I read at BlogsforTerri just moments ago that among the motions Circuit Court Judge Greer will rule on during a hearing in his court scheduled for 1:30pm EST on Friday, March 4th, is whether or not Terri Schiavo is permitted to receive the sacrament of Extreme Unction, I came out of my chair. I'm not a lawyer. If a lawyer reads this post, I would very much appreciate an explanation of why this poor woman, a baptized, practicing Catholic at the time of her brain damage in 1990, needs the approval of a judge to receive the sacrament of Extreme Unction as she approaches death (should Judge Greer's death sentence not be overruled by a higher court)?

For non-Catholic readers of this post, Extreme Unction, otherwise known as the "Last Rites" of the Catholic Church, is an annointing of the dying by an ordained priest to give strength to the soul, mind, and body of the soon departed. It is a blessed sacrament.

Why is Terri Schindler-Schiavo's "Freedom of Religion" under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution a matter on which Judge Greer must rule?

For someone who is Catholic, this is an outrage. The implications, and possibly the precident have frightening implications:

Silent Raindrops asks, discussing this:

Where are we going if we allow the courts to decide if and when we can receive the Sacraments of our faith? This is extraordinarily dangerous ground. Not only do we jeopardize our ability to receive the Sacraments, as this author wisely points out, do we also run the risk of judicial interference in the right of the Church to withhold those Sacraments when it is appropriate as a matter of dogma?

Does the court have a right to tell a person how and when they can worship, or tell that church how to manage its normal affairs?

The fact that there is a dispute (no doubt part of the tug of war between Michael Schaivo and the Schindlers) is sad. But if the judge rules against the allowing a priest to be with her for her passing, a normal Catholic procedure, we could be entering a slippery slope of court controlled religious practice.

Not a pleasant thought.

Thanks for the link to A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT. As information, Circuit Court Judge George Greer disallowed Monsignor Malonowski to visit Terri and administer to her the sacrament of Extreme Unction ("Last Rites" of the Catholic Church)the last time her feeding tube was ordered removed (October, 2003). That was the time when the Florida legislature passed "Terri's Law" to empower Governor Jeb Bush to order the feeding tube re-inserted. I believe Terri was starving and suffering the effects of dehydration for six days that time. The whole thing is a nightmare and it's happening right here in America, where the right to life, liberty, and the practice of one's religious beliefs (among other rights) are supposed to be protected by the courts!
I am totally confused by the reaction to this poor woman's dead body. She is brain dead. There is no activity in her brain, but her greiving parents wish that it wasn't so, so they are trying to keep her "alive." She is already dead. She can not think or feel anything at all. Her body is like a science experiment being kept functioning without any hope of her coming out of this state.
Of course its wrong of the courts to interfere with faith... but lets face it last rights are irrelivent... god didnt give priests the power to decide who goes to heaven and hell... they are just irrelivant dogma...
As a liberal catholic (there are a few of us out there) I find this appalling that the courts are given the right to decide over this religious matter. It is a slipper slope --- I don't want it decided by the courts whether or not I can or can't have last rites.

If the guardian is not allowing last rites the parents should (and are very aggressively) have the courts take guardianship away. Taking the matter of last rites directly to court opens a potential flood gate of religous/government issues. Once that Pandora's box is opened who knows what will be 'ruled' upon.
This is horrible. However, I think the judge involvement in this is because her "death" is still being debated in court. If she is given the last rites, then it would mean that the battle is completely lost and she will die. I really do not know too much about the law, but this case makes me want to puke.

Please, if you ever talk to your husband or wife about not wanting to live connected to tubes... write down and make sure EVERYBODY knows. This is so unfortunate.
Forbush, you have a habit of coming in a topic and making statements that are both incorrect and unassociated with the topic at hand.

First of all you need to take a look at the facts presented in this case. Numerous nurses and doctors have stated that Terri is not in a persistant vegatative state (i.e. brain dead as you call it). She responds to her family and has even tried to communicate. Her brain does not function as it once did obviously but she is not brain dead. To say such is absolutely ludicrous. You need to research your statements.

I will say that while this particular issue is an outrage, it should not come as a surprise to anyone. Greer has been on the wrong side of this issue since his involvement in the case. How long are we going to allow the judicial system to carry on it's tyranny of this nation? Is nothing sacred to these people?
Well, according to the left, it's OK for the government to step in as long as it's against a Judeo-Christian religion.
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