Focus Weighs In On Shiavo Fight

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A senior official with the conservative Christian ministry Focus on the Family says she hopes the wrenching national debate over Terri Schiavo can transcend political and religious differences to spur thoughtful discussion of the issues.

Carrie Gordon Earll is a bioethics and policy analyst with Focus on the Family. She says she hopes the discussion can shift from being always right versus left.

The Colorado Springs-based organization is among the groups that have pressed for further review of medical and legal decisions upholding Michael Schiavo's efforts to let his brain-damaged wife die by removing her feeding tube.

The group's leader, James Dobson, says Terri Schiavo is being abused and murdered.


Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput agrees, saying depriving a person who isn't terminally ill of water and food amounts to a form of murder.

But the president emeritus of the Iliff School of Theology in Denver says he believes it's mercy to let Schiavo die. Donald Messer says most doctors agree that Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state since suffering brain damage in 1990 when her heart stopped briefly from a chemical imbalance possibly caused by an eating disorder.