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Weekly Ministry Focus

Schiavo tragedy reveals dark side of "hospice"

For immediate release
Monday, March 28, 2005
Terri Palmquist
(661) 323-2229

Terri Schiavo now faces more than just starvation and dehydration. Recent news reports which indicate that a morphine drip is now being administered may point to a common euthanasia tactic often applied by "hospice" nurses.

While morphine can be properly used at appropriate doses to relieve pain, this is apparently not the case with Terri Schiavo, because her caregivers purport to believe that she is in a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS). According to the American Academy of Neurology, patients in PVS "do not have the capacity to experience pain or suffering" (AAN 1988 position statement on PVS).

"My own mother was killed by a morphine overdose which was forced upon her while she was under 'hospice' care," explains Terri Palmquist, co-chairman of LifeSavers Ministries. "After the horrible experience of my mom's death, I learned that many hospice providers practice this deceptive method of euthanasia. The morphine slows down a patient's heart rate, reduces blood pressure and makes it harder for the victim to breathe. Just a few days ago I heard from a friend who attended a local class where students were taught how morphine may be used to cause death."

The Hospice Patients Alliance ( seeks to preserve the original mission of hospice, providing comfort for the sick and dying, not hastening their deaths. But euthanasia of hospice patients now seems to be an accepted practice.

"People who are shocked by the way our culture of death is killing Terri Schiavo would be well advised to be careful about choosing hospice care for their loved ones," suggested Tim Palmquist, co-chairman of LifeSavers Ministries.

For more information, please contact Terri at (661) 323-2229.

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