(Also known as International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters)
Terri's Day is observed next on Friday, March 31st, 2023 (184 days from today).
National Terri's Day is celebrated every year on March 31, the same day as the death of a woman bound between the right to live and the right to die. Terri Schindler Schiavo. It's not a coincidence that people celebrate Terri's Day, because her death has indeed caused a lot of long-standing controversy, involving both politics and the supreme courts.
On February 25, 1990, at the age of 26, Terri Schindler Schiavo suffered a cardiac arrest while at her home in Florida. Because of the lack of oxygen, she suffered brain damage, resulting in a persistent, irreversible vegetative state. She was then given artificial nutrition and hydration through a feeding tube. In 1998, her husband, Michael, her legal guardian, said she would not want to be kept alive this way, and he decided to take away the feeding tube and let her die. Her parents disagreed that she would want to die, they assumed she knew what was going on, and they struggled to continue using a feeding tube. A seven-year legal battle ensued.
Michael asked Florida's Six Circuit Court to have the feed tube removed, and they agreed with him. For the first time on April 24, 2001Terri's feeding tube was removed. It was brought back a few days later. A Pinellas County judge ordered the tube removed on February 25, 2005. There were several appeals afterwards, as well as government intervention. For example, President George W. Bush signed legislation referring the case to the federal courts. The decision to remove the tube was upheld although appeals took place in these courts. It was disconnected on March 18, 2005. Terri Schindler Schiavo died on March 31, 2005.
History of National Terri's Day
As Terri's case became nationally known, there was an increase in activism in the right to die movement, the pro-life movement, and disability rights groups. After her death, Pope Benedict XVI said that those in Terri's condition - and those in worse condition than hers, who likely won't recover - must not lack food and water. Terri's parents and siblings started the Life Network.
On National Terri's day, on the anniversary of Terri's death.
One of the day's goals is to "promote education, prayer, and activism, and combat discrimination against people with disabilities." Observers of the day are invited to learn about Terri and pray for others whose lives are threatened in a similar way. Churches are invited to hold memorial services and educate the congregation about the dignity of human life, regardless of disability or illness. To provide accurate information about Terri's life and death, educational institutions are invited, also information about the weak and vulnerable, and to contribute to the disability rights debate. Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, who was by Terri's side during her final hours and also preached at her funeral, said that Terri's Day was a day by the culture of death when congregations and people of faith across the country remember the woman whose life was cut short.
How to Observe Terri's Day
The creators of the day suggest using it to learn about Terri and to pray for others whose lives are threatened in a similar way. If you join a church, they suggest holding a memorial service and educating the congregation on the value of all human life. If you are a member of an educational organization, they offer to provide information about Terri's death, information about the weak and vulnerable, and to contribute to the debate about disabled people's rights. With that in mind, some suggested activities for families, parishes, and schools from Life Priests include: Say a prayer in Remembrance of Terri every day of the week before and after "Ter's Day." ". Conduct or participate in a parish or school essay contest about what happened to Terri, and issues around caring for people with disabilities and their right to life. Create and publish a website in Terri's honor. Invite a speaker to your school, parish, or community organization to address issues around disability care. Organize a letter-writing campaign for Terri by one or more individuals in local newspapers or blogs. You can spend time volunteering to help some people at a nursing home or hospital. Spend time with a friend or loved one who has a disability. Besides, as a way to reach out to other families facing similar challenges, you are encouraged to donate to the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation. Writing to or visiting elected officials about the law will increase protections for those facing circumstances like Terri did. Fill and let others know about "Will to live." Register to vote and vote. Challenge the candidates for their views regarding Terri and those facing the same challenges and dangers she did. Another idea of the day is to spend it reading. You can read Pope John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae, which talks about the "sacred value of human life from its beginning to its end". For different perspectives on the Schiavo case, you can also read Terri: The Truth of Michael Schiavo or A Life that Matters: Terri Schiavo's Legacy - Lessons for All of Us by Parents Terri, Robert and Mary Shindler. Some of the other books on the case include Fighting for a Beloved Life: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo and What It Means for Us All, and The Silent Witness: The Untold Story of His Death Terry Schiavo.
ObservedTerri's Day has been observed annually on March 31st.
Wednesday, March 31st, 2021
Thursday, March 31st, 2022
Friday, March 31st, 2023
Sunday, March 31st, 2024
Monday, March 31st, 2025