Actor-turned-politician FRED THOMPSON has spoken of his heartbreak at the death of his daughter on the U.S. presidential campaign trail on Monday (22Oct07). Elizabeth Thompson Panici died in 2002 aged 38 from a brain injury following cardiac arrest after an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Hollywood veteran Thompson now believes the government should not have control over whether those with brain injuries should be kept alive - following the 2005 case of Terri Schiavo, who was in a vegetative state, but against whom it was ruled should not have a feeding tube removed. He said, "This will probably be the last time I ever address it. It should be decided by the family. The federal government - and the state government too, except for the court system - should stay out of these matters, as far as I'm concerned." "I had to make those decisions with the rest of my family. And I will assure you one thing: No matter which decision you make, you will never know whether or not you made exactly the right decision." The death of Elizabeth, Thompson's only daughter from his first marriage, is said to have devastated him, with friends claiming it played a major role in his decision not to seek re-election two months later.
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