Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Terri is not tired -- she wants to live

By Aussiegirl

According to the Miami Herald, which also has the entire history of this case, if you want to check, Terri is still responding to her visitors:

Terri Schiavo had an ''extraordinary'' reaction to a friend's Sunday night visit, her parents' spokesman claimed Monday morning.
Friar Paul O'Donnell, spiritual adviser to Bob and Mary Schindler, said Schiavo received a visit from her father and friend Sunday night. When the friend, identified as Sherry, recalled their days dancing and partying together, Schiavo ''raised her hands up and was moving and started making guttural sounds like she does when she talks to her mother,'' O'Donnell said.

No doubt the doctors will tell us that Terri has had another "reflex" action -- but her family and spiritual advisor say that she reacted to a friend's visit who recalled their happy days together. This tallies with the testimony of the Mayo Clinic doctor who testified that his examination of Terri revealed that her sounds were not random, but were reactions to specific events, people or questions put to her in her presence.

But then -- how could the death people feel good about what they are doing?

Terri seems to be putting up a valiant struggle for life, given her desire to be put to death, which is what her husband never tires of telling us.

At this point, I think we all are worn-out by this sad and tragic case. I can only imagine the grief and exhaustion and desperation of the Schindler family.

We are worn out trying to endlessly dispel all the lies and distortions put out by the mainstream media. We are worn out from hoping against hope that some branch of government, or that some individual, would look beyond the letter of the law and allow some common sense and decency into this tragic miscarriage of justice.

We are tired of saying that this is not a right-to-die case -- or an end-of-life situation -- or a "death with dignity" situation. We are tired of saying that this case is about a disabled woman's rights -- not a dying woman's wish.

We are tired of saying that Terri Schiavo is not dying -- she has lived with only the sustenance of food and water for the last 15 years -- not unlike you and me. She is a brain-damaged person and disabled person -- like many others -- and the fact that many people are horrified at her plight and would like to eliminate her on the pretext of "compassion" for her predicament, is a sad testament to the state we have come to in our society. Shall we execute all the mentally challenged and physically handicapped individuals trapped in bodies that terrify us and repel us -- and do it by deprivation of food and water?

But we are tired, because we have said all these things and more, over and over.
Now the politicians tell us how their hands were tied. God help us all -- for when the courts come to put us out of our misery there will be no one to help -- because -- they all did what they could -- they are tired too.

I now understand the sense of helplessness and hopelessness that settles in on people who live in countries where they have no say in what happens to them. It is a sense of resignation -- and fatigue.

Terri is lost. But will this all be swept under the rug? Will no good come of it? Will Congress hold hearings? Is this as important as steroids in baseball? Is this as important as Social Security reform --- when we could very easily solve those problems by eliminating the disabled and the sick who are a drain on our resources.

Will anyone make sure that this does not happen again? What guarantees to do we have that this is not merely the beginning of a trend which will be unstoppable?

I don't see any moves afoot to ensure that the law is clarified in this regard. The Florida legislature failed to act on a completely common sense law which stated that a person could not have a feeding tube removed without a prior written and notarized document. We need some law to deal with situations such as this when family members vehemently disagree on the course of action to be taken. We need a law to deal with a situation when the person requesting the termination of life (see how easily we slip into the terminology) has ulterior motives in the case.

I want to see a clarification of the powers of the various branches of government in situations such as this. I want to know if the rulings of a state judge trump all the powers of the Congress, the Governor, the President, the Attorney General's and whoever there is left in power in this country.

I want to see that a disabled person who has left no express instructions will have the same rights as a convicted murder, with her own counsel, before she is put to death by the state. I want the Supreme Court to look into the matter of "cruel and unusual" punishment when it comes to the slow death by dehydration and starvation -- although I could envision a legalistic argument being made that being "terminated" is not a "punishment" per se -- as the victim is innocent of any crime -- therefore it may proceed. These are the types of nonsensical legal angels that can be called on to dance upon the head of a pin at the drop of a legal brief.

But I don't detect any such movements among the political classes. Instead -- I detect a strong odor of wanting to forget this whole sorry mess, to get back to business as usual, to try to minimize the political damage -- and most of all -- to relegate this dirty business of prematurely ending people's lives to the dark recesses of hospices and hospitals, where people may be put to death quietly, and without all this embarrassing fuss. Let's not embarrass ourselves, by all means. It's so unseemly.


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Great post! You`ve put your finger on the whole matter. Terri`s death should not be in vain, and we on the right should demand accountability for this heinous act. Things need to change so we can avoid this in the future.


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