Terri Schiavo case bothers me . . .

I can’t believe what’s going on in Florida, or around our country for that matter.

There is a woman in a hospital, who’s doctors have sworn under oath in court that she is in a “persistant vegitative state.” She’s in a coma. She can’t do anything for herself. Even if there is any brain function, she is totally cut off from everyone around her.

To boil it all down, her husband says that she repeatedly expressed that she did NOT want to be kept alive artificially. It would seem that her parents know this and agree that it was her wish, because the only thing I’ve read that they say on that subject is that, if she’d been awake to hear a statement from the Vatican on patient rights (which was issued several years after Terri entered her coma) then Terri would have changed her mind. Case closed – Terri did not want this.

Next issue – who gets to decide what is right for Terri? Her parents want that right. Her doctors don’t want it, because of all the notariety that goes with it. The courts are more than happy to intervine “in everyone’s best interests”.

I disagree with them all. I think Terri told us who got to make that decision in the event she couldn’t. She chose Michael Schiavo. You think I’m wrong? Look at her wedding vows – especially the part about “foresaking all others.” That includes her parents, siblings, elected representatives, and politically appointed judges. She sure as HELL didn’t appoint several thousand total strangers connected mostly by the internet as her legal guardians!

On page A3 of the March 14, 2005 edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, there is a picture of 3 ladies from Tennessee who think THEY know what is best for Terri. They are cute ladies. They don’t know shit. For instance, I know that Terri Schiavo’s case has caused my wife to write a living will. I’d bet none of the 3 on page A3 has one. They would rather trust the government to “do what’s right” while believing that the same government should bow to public pressure from total strangers outside it’s jurisdiction if the issue is made emotional enough. How’s that for a contradiction? After all, Terri is in Florida – so why should any Florida official care about the opinions of 3 pretty ladies in Tennessee? Because it’s the right thing to do? Not according to Terri, it isn’t.

Back to my wife’s (Barbara) living will. It wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Terri Schiavo. Barbara wrote it specifically to prevent being in the same situation Terri is in. In her living will, Barbara states specifically that no familly member but me is to have any say in her medical care if she looses the ability to speak for herself. She also specifies that she does not want any form of mechanical or artificial life support if her body is unable to care for itself. She also, legally and specifically, forbids her health care providers (and hopefully also the courts and all others) from giving any credibility to anything said by her mother about Barbara’s health care. Why?

A fair question. It’s because Barbara’s mother has never tried to really know her only daughter. She’s pretended to know her, bemoaned not understanding her, criticized her choices, and more, but she doesn’t know Barbara at all. I have to wonder if the Schindlers in Florida listened as well to Terri Schiavo. I have to wonder if they really understood what was happening when they consented to Terri’s marriage to Michael Schiavo. Did the Schindlers ever try to put their foot down about where Terri and Michael were going to live? Or about which church they would attend services at? Who made those decisions?

I’d be willing to bet that Terri and Michael made them. They probably talked it over with Terri’s parents, and Michael’s parents too. Most of us would. But, I’d also bet that Terri & Michael made those decisions alone. Terri, “foresaking all others,” went with her husband, and did what was best for THEM. Don’t forget – the Schindlers seem to agree that Terri did not want artificial life support. Where did they get any legal say in overturning her wishes? Is this about what is best for Terri – or Mr. & Mrs. Schindler?

Even more importantly – Do Mr. & Mrs. Schindler have the right to tell YOU what is right for you? If they in any way prevail in their efforts to save Terri, they will succeed in overturning 10 years worth of Florida case law that says you have the right to choose whether or not to receive the care they want to force on Terri. So, do they have the right to impose their values on you – or the rest of the society? Does anyone?


2 thoughts on “Terri Schiavo case bothers me . . .

  1. Update . . . .

    I know, it’s been only 12 hours since I wrote that last night, but I saw another article this morning, and it got my blood boiling again. Here is a quote:

    “Ian Carr, 17 said teachers frequently mention Schiavo in class. Bishop Joseph McFadden asked the students to pray that the tube will remain in place and told them it would be against Catholic teaching to allow Schiavo to die.

    “As a Christian community, we must pray that all will come to recognize God as the sole proprietor of life and that he alone has the right to call us home to his kingdom in his own time,” McFadden said.

    Schiavo, 41, collapsed in Florida in 1990 and suffered brain damage that has left her in what some doctors say is a persistent vegetative state. Schiavo grew up in Huntingdon Valley, a Philadelphia suburb.”

    Now, what boils my buns is the remark by Bishop McFadden. Let’s see, Terri has been in this condition for – 15 years? Who’s to say God didn’t call her home 15 years ago, and modern technology is causing him to get a busy signal? Or worse, He called her home, and she’s there, and Terri’s mom & dad are forcing the expense of thousands of dollars a day to keep her corpse “alive.”

    The bottom line has become a contest between science and faith. What is the definition of life, and who has the power to grant/create/sustain that life? Hmmmm……..

    I seem to remember studying about a similar question when I was a child – oh, yes. It was in Sunday School class. I recall that the end of that story was mankind got pretty wet, but then God promised not to use water to punish us ever again. He said the next time would be fire.

    I think it’s time to invest in fire-proof clothing. . . .

  2. Good point! I believe that the more people mess with nature, the more their lives get messed up. We should respect creation/nature and its laws — they’re there to protect us and make things run smoothly. Respect for other people and their property (including the bodies they live in) is included. Keeping someone’s body “alive” unnaturally, if they didn’t/don’t wish it, is one example of not showing respect or honour, just as killing someone who wanted and had every reason/right to stay alive would be disrespectful or dishonourable, too.

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