“For many Catholics–including priests and theologians educated in the years prior to, during, and immediately after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65)–the Terri Schiavo case was always morally clear-cut.
The traditional teaching of the Catholic Church for at least four centuries–a teaching reaffirmed and extended by the most prominent of the pre-Vatican II popes, Pius XII (1939-58)–distinguished between ordinary and extraordinary means of preserving life. No one, the church consistently taught, is obliged to use extraordinary means to sustain their life on this earth…
Almost every reputable Catholic moral theologian who commented on the Schiavo case concluded that continuing the use of a feeding tube to keep Mrs. Schiavo alive was a clear instance of an extraordinary means, and as such could be dispensed with. In the words of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, such means would be ‘disproportionate to the expected outcome’ (n. 2278).
The autopsy report removed all doubt that the withdrawal of the feeding tube, far from being an act of euthanasia or even outright murder, was entirely consistent with traditional Catholic moral principles.
Terri Schiavo, for her part, was re-born into eternal life.”Aug. 5, 2005