This morning we received a call from a concerned FIC supporter. Our friend was calling on behalf of a patient she serves who tragically fell into a coma. The patient is currently at a hospital in CT with her mother at her bedside. In what is a terribly difficult time for this mother, the doctors on staff are aggravating the situation and adding to her pain.  Instead of offering positive support the doctors are pressuring the mother to end her daughter’s life. The friend who called us knows her patient is not in a hopeless situation. She asked us to contact the mother as she’s in the hospital to inform her she has rights.

Minutes after receiving this heart-wrenching call I saw a post on Facebook from Bobby Schindler. Bobby is the brother of Terri Schiavo and the President of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network. This December 3rd, 2018 would have been Terri’s 55th birthday. Sadly her life was ended against the wishes of her brother Bobby and mother Mary Schindler. Terro Schiavo’s cruel court enforced death by starvation ignited a national discussion on medically-vulnerable individuals, patient rights and end of life issues. Watch Bobby Schindler describe in detail the frightening ordeal that led to his sister’s death:

Bobby states that situations like Terri’s happen every day in our country. Just this year we worked alongside a disability activist group, Second Thoughts Connecticut to oppose H.B. 5417- a bill to legalize assisted suicide in Connecticut. A team from FIC went to CT’s Capital to share testimonies and support those in the elderly and disabled communities. Assisted suicide laws promise ‘death with dignity’ but in reality, it can be used as an excuse to offer a quick death instead of needed and often costly medical treatment. Death becomes the easy way out which opens a door for elder abuse and pressure from medical staff.

Today we connected a hurting mother with an advocate who gave her important advice. That support helps her to know she’s not alone in the fight for her daughter’s life. If you or a loved one is dealing with pressure from medical staff or have questions about end-of-life issues, there is help available.

The Terri Schavio Life and Hope Network has a 24/7 Crisis Lifeline for at-risk patients and families. Their website states:

Every day, patients and families find themselves at-risk of their human dignity being violated due to a physician, medical institution, or insurance company with differing views about what sort of treatment they deserve. In the most extreme cases, patients face the prospect of someone in a position of power denying them food and water through forcible removal of a feeding tube. In more common cases, patients and families face other forms of denial of care that lead to poor, sometimes fatal, outcomes. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network’s 24/7 Crisis Lifeline connects at-risk patients and families with the medical and legal advocates they need to ensure the best outcome possible at a difficult time.

If you or a family member is at-risk, contact our 24/7 Crisis Lifeline for assistance:

In addition, The National Catholic Bioethics Center offers free consultation services to individuals in need. The center conducts research, consultation, publishing, and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences. They derive their messages directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. If you contact them an ethicist will respond to you by email within 5 business days.

There are 3 ways to submit a consultation request:

1) E-Mail a Consult Request

2) Online Consultation Request Form

3) Call during regular business hours 9am – 5pm Eastern Time: 215-877-2660

For a specific time-sensitive question that cannot wait until our regular business hours, please call:

(215) 877-266024 hours/day — 7 days/week

Follow the prompts to leave a message and an ethicist will be paged and respond to your call.

In honor of Terri Schiavo’s life and legacy may we reach out in love to those suffering and offer support to their families.