Pope's 2004 Allocution
In March of 2004, almost one year prior to the day (March 18, 2005) that Terri Schiavo's food and hydration was removed, Pope John Paul II eloquently addressed the Participants in the International Congress regarding situations like Terri's titled, "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas".
March 20, 2004: Parts of Pope John Paul's allocution:
"Even our brothers and sisters who find themselves in the clinical condition of a 'vegetative state' retain their human dignity in all its fullness. The loving gaze of God the Father continues to fall upon them, acknowledging them as his sons and daughters, especially in need of help.
"I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering."