Thompson Cites Daughter's Death in Not Talking about Schiavo

Republican presidential hopeful former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. answers a question during a Republican presidential debate in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Republican Fred Thompson has previously sidestepped questions about the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case.

Yesterday (Monday) the former Tennessee senator said he's uncomfortable discussing it because of his own daughter's death.

Thompson was asked about the case in Florida, where is occurred and where it is still a major issue. He said it was an intensely personal issue.

Thompson said the decisions need to be made by the family -- and the federal and state government should stay out of it.

Thompson's daughter, Elizabeth "Betsy" Thompson Panici, died in 2002 of an accidental drug overdose. She died six days after being brought unconscious to a hospital emergency room.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)