ST. PETERSBURG, August 14, 2003 ( – Robert N. Lynch, the Roman Catholic bishop of St. Petersburg, has come to the defence of Terri Schiavo, the woman whose ex-husband wants to remove her from life support because of her alleged “persistent vegetative state,” even though her own family believes therapy should be tried first.  In an August 12 statement, Bishop Lynch says “Church teaching is that there should be a presumption in favor of providing medically assisted nutrition and hydration to all patients as long as it is of sufficient benefit to outweigh the burdens involved to the patient…. If [life support] were to be removed simply because she is not dying quickly enough and some believe she would be better off because of her low quality of life, this would be wrong. … Terri’s family be allowed to attempt a medical protocol which they feel would improve her condition.”  For the full statement, with the recommendation that every Catholic provide for such an eventuality:

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