In 1990, Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage at her home. Over the next three years, she slowly made progress while her husband, Michael Schiavo, filed lawsuits for her care and rehabilitation.
After winning two sizeable medical malpractice awards, Michael refused to use the funds to improve Terri’s situation or provide her rehabilitative care—going against his previous claims in court and the wishes of her loving parents. Instead, he moved in with a woman he later had two children with and eventually married. He then petitioned the court to medically execute Terri.
During a lengthy court battle, Michael locked Terri away from public view by committing her to a hospice facility (with the blinds ordered closed), severely limited her access to visitors, and engaged in a campaign of public deception about her condition through his lawyer, George Felos. Most of the popular media blindly retold this inaccurate narrative, much of which persists today.
Pinellas County Probate Court Judge George W. Greer declared Terri to be in a “persistent vegetative state” (PVS) and ordered her feeding tube removed. Despite Judge Greer’s refusal to visit Terri or allow her in court, he overrode her previous guardian ad litem’s assessment and named himself to the role.
In truth, Terri was NOT in a persistent vegetative state and actually WAS responsive to verbal, visual, and physical cues. But that didn’t stop Judge Greer from ordering her to be starved and dehydrated until she suffered a labored death. Her feeding tube was removed three times, despite the heroic efforts of her parents, numerous lawyers, majorities of the Florida Legislature and U.S. Congress, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and President George W. Bush.
The third time her feeding tube was removed by court order, Terri Schiavo, a lovely, vibrant, disabled woman with brain damage was starved and dehydrated to death under police guard. She passed away on March 31, 2005.
You and I must:
- Stand for God’s truth and against popular false narratives, especially intentional falsehoods
- Fight for the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the aged
- Oppose active euthanasia in all forms
- Raise awareness about the power of others to override your end-of-life wishes
Today, America needs spiritual rebirth. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Please pray for our country. Together, we can accomplish much by seeking God’s face.
Maximum Ministry. Minimum Liability.
- Pray: In order to provide ministry without penalty or interruption, faith-based organizations must navigate a complex pattern of statutes and regulations. The NCLL gives fellow ministries the counsel and direction they need to respond successfully.
Please pray for the process to go smoothly for a preschool that needs to come into compliance for religious exemption to operate successfully in the state of Florida.
- Pray: Opponents of ministry may use social and other media to shame, silence, or isolate Christian voices. They may rezone or impose other regulatory restrictions. The courts remain an active battleground. The NCLL fights in court for the rights of ministries to continue their life-changing care.
Please pray for a church that had a fraudulent lien filed against church property.
- Praise: Please praise the Lord that we won a lawsuit on behalf of a children’s home facility that was fighting against individuals who wanted to see it shut down.
- Pray: As communities (and the churches and ministries serving them) go through changes, solutions to meet the current need can involve transfer of property, financial concerns, and other substantive issues. The NCLL works to give understanding, comprehensive counsel that supports the mission of the Gospel.
Please pray for a church that is going through the process to merge with another church to successfully minister as a single body of Christ.
Please also pray for a girls’ home that is transferring ownership from one church to another.
- Praise: Christian schools and other ministries operate in the context of state and local laws. To ensure liberty, the NCLL advises Christian educators and others in areas of regulation and oversight.
Please praise the Lord that the NCLL was able to assist a Christian school to successfully resolve an investigation from their state government.
As you and I reflect on the fourteen years since Terri Schiavo’s passing, I thank God for your partnership in the Gospel today. By the end, our fight for Terri’s life went from local court to the U.S. Supreme Court twice in ten days. And the commitment of prayer partners like you were crucial then and they’re crucial today.
We remember the countless messages of support for Terri, her parents, and our team of lawyers and allies who gave it all we had to rescue her. Today, please continue our fight for dear life and for our cherished liberties. You have my commitment, and I pray I have yours. “If it’s wrong, fight it. If it’s right, fight for it.