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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

To Be Or Not To Be

Terry Schindler-Schiavo. I've held off commenting on this case, but I feel I'd like to say a few things now.

First, I'd like to offer my compassion and sympathy to the family of this woman. Even without the death/life issue now extant, this is still a heartrending case. To have a loved one in that state of limbo must be torturous. I don't know what it feels like, and I'm glad I don't. Now I’m going to get into the part that some will probably find offensive.

(BTW, if you don’t know what I’m talking about…well…you must watch no news, just Google her name)

I’ll run down the basics: Terry is in a vegetative state and on a feeding tube. She breathes on her own. Her husband wants the food and water removed so she can die because, he says, that was her wish, not to live this way. Terry’s parents want to take her home and care for her there and get Michael out of Terry’s, and their, lives.

First, I believe we should ask ourselves, “Why is the husband so adamant that she be allowed to die?”. Some people thought money was the issue, some he didn’t want to care for her, some thought maybe he just wanted to find another woman.

According to the lawyers of Mr. Schiavo and the lawyers of the Schindler family, the husband, Michael, does stand to inherit some money from a settlement. However, the Schindler family has said Michael can have all that money if he would just stop trying to let her die.

Some have said that Michael wants Terry dead because he doesn’t want to care for her anymore. Well, her family has offered to take full custody and responsibility of Mrs. Schindler-Schiavo. So, that’s not it.

What about finding another woman? Well, he’s been living with another woman for a while, seven years actually. He has 2 children with her, and no one seems to care about that. So, that’s not it either.

Is it possible, just maybe, that he wants her to pass on because that was her wish? That’s what he claims, and I can find no other reason for him to be so unwavering that she be allowed to die.

Now, having said that, I do not state that as fact. It is my opinion based on my limited information here. But I do ask that people think about this rationally and not let themselves be blinded by emotion.

Also, under (at least) Florida law, the husband is the bearer of a wife’s last wishes. Legally, it’s his decision. The parents really don’t have a say. Again, not my words or my wishes, that’s just the law.

Next issue: Her state. One of the arguments of Terry’s parents is that she shouldn’t be allowed to die because she might get better. They say she responds to them, responds to things happening. Again, I base this on my limited knowledge of the case and what I’ve read on the subject (which is a fairly good bit, I think, for a not professionally). But she’s not coming back. She is not interacting, she is not responding. Mrs. Schindler-Schiavo is not in a coma. She isn’t knocked out. She is in a permanent vegetative state. Her brain is so damaged, physically. Parts of it are completely dead. It is not possible at all for her to return to us, as much as I HATE that that is true.

I’m sorry, but that is the case now. And there’s my take.

One final thing, there are allegations that the husband caused her brain damage somehow. I will be watching this. If any of this comes out to be true, then obviously my opinions would change concerning anything he has to do with her.

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