That the federal government could intervene in the [Terri] Schiavo case was a threat to all the families that had seen their loved ones suffer through terminal illness. It was a threat to people who were terrified that their own lives might someday be artificially extended in nightmarish circumstances. It was a threat to some of our most heartfelt values. It was Big Brotherism in the extreme, an exercise of the raw and awesome power of the federal government. They intervened not in the name of principle, but at the expense of principle, They abandoned principle by deciding a medical question without any firsthand knowledge of what they were doing.
— Former Missouri Republican Senator John Danforth, an Episcopalian minister