President Bush

President Bush said today that he joins the millions of Americans saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo.

"The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak," Bush said. "In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in favor of life."

The Florida woman, who suffered severe brain damage after a heart attack 15 years ago, died today. The feeding tube that had been keeping her alive was removed with a judge's approval on March 18.

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Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

"After an extraordinarily difficult and tragic journey, Terri Schiavo is at rest,'' Gov. Jeb Bush said in a written statement. "Many across our state and around the world are deeply grieved by the way Terri died. I feel that grief very sharply as well. I remain convinced, however, that Terri's death is a window through which we can see the many issues left unresolved in our families and in our society. For that, we can be thankful for all that the life of Terri Schiavo has taught us.''

"I still firmly believe that human life is a gift and a mystery, and that its mystery is most evident at its beginning and ending. May all of us whose hearts were moved during the life of Terri Schiavo grow in wisdom at its ending."

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Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala

In Tallahassee, Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, announced to the Florida House that Terri Schiavo died. Baxley was one of the lawmakers pushing for a law to intervene in the case, but the measure was defeated in the Senate.

"We've received word this morning that Terri Schiavo has departed this life and gone to her maker," Baxley said. "I know and I'm thankful that God has mercy on the souls of the innocent, and I pray that he'll forgive the rest of us. Our hearts are broken."

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Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins

A Vatican cardinal denounced the death, saying removing the feeding tube that was keeping her alive was "an attack against God.''

Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Vatican's office for sainthood, told reporters that "an attack against life is an attack against God, who is the author of life.''

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson

"She was starved and dehydrated to death ... Her sickness has triggered a huge national health debate in our country.''