Skip to comments.It was wrong to kill her. [JimRob on Terri Schiavo]
Posted on 04/04/2005 8:35:23 PM PDT by Future Useless Eater
Jim Robinson is the founder and operator of FreeRepublic.com.
I said it was wrong to kill her. That is my opinion. Nothing can change it. No list of "facts" will ever change it.
And I put "facts" in quotes because most of the so-called "facts" posted here were in fact "opinion." Whether it was a poster's opinion, a reporter's opinion, her husband's opinion, a relative's opinion, a supporter's opinion, a detractor's opinion, a politician's opinion, a lawyer's opinion, a doctor's opinion, the president's opinion, the governor's opinion, or even the judge's opinion - they were and are all opinions.
And none of them are incontrovertible or indisputable fact.
In fact, they continue calling in more doctors and more experts to give their opinion even after it's all said and done. In this battle of press, public, politicians, doctors, lawyers and "experts" the side with the most thumbs down votes won and she was killed. What was it, two out of three or three out of five? How about we go for seven out of twelve? How about one "no" vote out of twelve and you don't execute?
The last I heard, in this country when you are on trial for your life, if there is one doubtful juror, you don't receive a death sentence. The accused receives the benefit of the doubt. Of course, Terri did not even receive the benefit of a trial much less the benefit of the doubt. She was simply snuffed out per a judge's order based on three out of five expert "opinions." It's a shame and a disgrace and a mockery of justice.
If you are not totally pro-life, then FR is probably not for you. Hopefully, some of the usual suspects will figure this out.
By the way, LOVE your tag line!
I like your tagline. I have been thinking all these past days on Terri's murder. I have no way of knowing this except for the fact it was reported she was praying with Father Pavone. Could it be she was offering up her torture to the poor suffering souls of purgatory? I can't even imagine the suffering she was going through. Not just the lack of food and water, but having to be with Mickey, Felos and the rest of the evil minions.
I only pray I will be as strong as her when I am faced with evil.
Terri was nearsighted and wore glasses or contacts all her life. In the last 15 years she has not been given ANY glasses (unless you count the sunglasses the day michael was showing her off for the cameras outside in a wheelchair for the malpractice jury's benefit)
When the 5 doctors examined her to determine PVS or NOT PVS,
3 spent very little time with her and gave their opinion: PVS
2 spent more time with her and gave their opinion: "NOT PVS"
Only the 1 doctor who spent the MOST time even noted she has trouble with her eyesight. He said she appeared to be nearly blind with a focal length of only 18 inches. It sounds like NONE of the doctors evem KNEW she needs glasses. It must NOT have been written down ANYWHERE in her charts!
THAT probably made her seem even more 'spaced out' for the euthanasia-leaning doctors.
we must not let Terri's death be in vain. We must work hard to stop Judical/State sanctioned murder. Thank you for the post.
God bless her. I don't think luck really had anything to do with it. It's all a lot of serendipitous coincidence that she and the Pope passed within seconds (in light of eternity) or nanoseconds really of each other during the season celebrating the resurrection of Christ. I read that the Pope had been apprised of her struggle up to the last minute and that he was upset about what had been done to her as well as having been a staunch supporter of Terri. Felos, Greer, Mikey and a few others are probably slapping themselves on the back right now over their "victory". This is the same thing that the Devil did when Christ died on the cross. Mel Gibson captured the Devil's reaction to His resurrection very well also in his movie "The Passion".
I didn't see The Passion (I can't take extreme violence in movies...I find violence of that calibre makes me physically ill. Having seen some of Mel's movies in the past, I knew better than to go in expecting a light touch!)...how did the satan character respond?
It was indescribable.
"The last I heard, in this country when you are on trial for your life, if there is one doubtful juror, you don't receive a death sentence. The accused receives the benefit of the doubt."
Link that puppy.
Here is the essence of the problem, as I see it, mileage may vary, caveat emptor and all that. A certain faction of the GOP / Right have witnessed a certain change of core position in terms of the Right to Life issue, the immigration issue and social issues in general. I sometimes have, admittedly, refered to them as the Big Tent faction, and brutally debated them here. With two of them, who left with an opus on the 1st, I admittedly crossed the line into fighting dirty - and even got a couple of suspensions for it. That such fighting has even occurred, is telling. And that the very same folks I've fought, are leaving, is as well. Here's the deal, IMHO - as we start to see rethinking going on at the WH and RNC, regarding what I'd term the classic Big Tent position, now that the election was won, I truly believe that Big Tenters are becoming more distant. It's frustrating to me, because many of them have good positions regarding things like tax reduction, tort reform and other business-unfriendly things, so I'd hate to have them bolt completely from the Right. That said, I won't miss the frustrating exchanges. I wish they would reevaluate their social positions, tolerance of things like CAIR, blindness to the downsides of illegal immigration, kowtow to PRC oriented interests, and tolerance of overblown government spending. It takes two to tango and if there is not tolerance, and an active effort to understand social conservatism on the parts of those who are afraid of it, then it will be a complete impasse.
Very well said.
It kinda sorta lays it out, no?
I don't know exactly when our laws became so corrupted that the horror Terri faced came to fruition, but I do know that I am forever changed by the breathtakingly lack of justice Terri and her family received. I did and still do find it 100% horrifying.
Don't know about most of you, but for 13 long days...I could not lift a glass without thinking about Terri's thirst. Or stand the thought, when it hit me, frequently, that her parents were HELPLESS to PROTECT their beloved, disabled daughter from a henious, in every way, untimely, unjust death. When did our nation become this cruel? IT was unbearable.
I do know that I will do everything I am able to counteract and fight to keep our right to LIFE, LIBERTY and PURSUIT of HAPPINESS front and center....even as Terri, was ROBBED of the basic tenet of our constitution.
Our fearless leader, jim rob, got it RIGHT! ( But........that is just an "opinion"! :^)
She was lucid this morning and discussed the subject with her son, my husband, and her doctor. Her choice is no amputation and sooner death from sepsis rather than later death from heart/kidney failure. Her choice was clear (she already had executed a living will, in any case). There is NO DOUBT at ALL about her clear wishes, and her wishes will be followed. For those who might be concerned about this, she is receiving very effective pain meds.
Terri's case was completely different. She was in no way dying, and her wishes were very unclear with a husband with a huge conflict of interest claiming her wish to die and friends and family claiming otherwise. Terri did not fit any humane model for withholding basic care such as hydration and nutrition. As a matter of fact, my husband is insisting that his mom be kept hydrated till she dies.
I post this to show the clear difference between an appropriate approach to these life-and-death decisions and a horrific one.
Was it wrong to kill Terri Schiavo?
Sean: ...and one of Terri's closest friends, Fran Kasler is with us, she also filed a affidavit in this case, Fran, let me just start with you...
Sean: You were one of Terri's best friends...
Sean: You were with her the day before this 'collapse'
Fran: [nodding yes]
Sean: and one of the things you said in this affidavit is that, and this was KEY to this case but was IGNORED by the judge, as to what Terri's wishes were, and this idea that Michael knew...
Sean: You testified that on hundreds of occasions, you heard Michael say, he didn't- ... when she first collapsed, he didn't KNOW what her wishes were. And it was only seven years into it, that he said, Oh by the way...
Fran: He suddenly remembered... that he knew what Terri's wishes were, but when I was with him, after Terri's collapse, he REPEATEDLY said to me, and everyone else that was within earshot, that he didn't KNOW what Terri's wishes were.
Sean: Does it make it hard on you, at this point, harder knowing that THAT became a critical point in the case, and you knew something VERY different?
Fran: My heart is just BURSTING. I just want to tell the WORLD what a LIAR Michael Schiavo really is.
Sean and Randall T. then discussed the memorial service just concluded.
[Alan Colmes asked about conservative mailing lists.]
Randall: ...when we get on these shows Alan, you go on these BIZARRE rabbit trails... You should just drink less 'Red Bull' or go see a psychiatrist, but just CALM DOWN, and stay focused on the issues.
[Alan shows video of lawyer Felos claiming Bobby got involved in an argument with a law enforcement official, and had to be ejected from the room by a police officer.]
Sean: What's your response to that... Charges that Bobby was disruptive and was asked to leave to have more peace in that room, during the final moments?
Randall: My response is that George Felos is a LYING MONSTER.
Alan: A lying monster?
Randall: A lying monster, he's got a bizarre agenda, his book, that we heard read from earlier, is BIZARRE. And the family- ... Look, I think the most unconscionable thing that has happened in the last 48 hours, besides Terri's DEATH, is that the FAMILY was pushed out of the room. THAT woman wanted to be with her SIBLINGS, NOT with Michael!
Sean: Thank you both for being with us...
Carla Iyer Sayers -R.N.: I took care of Terri for 18 months, I interacted with her EVERY day, even up to 16 hours per day. We would even have her at the, you know, nurses station, and she was interacting with the visitors, let alone the nursing staff.
Carla: I heard her, and I'd seen her, saying words such as "mommy", "help me", and the word "pain". She would let you know when she was having pain, during her menstrual cycle.
Alan: Judge Greer, in his response to these claims, said the claims were incredible, and he said neither in the testimony or in the medical records is there any support for these affidavits, including yours, as they purport to detailed activities and responses of Terri Schiavo. That's what the judge had to say.
Carla: Well, in some of the hearings that I went to, Judge Greer would show dis-interest, contempt, for any POSITIVE evidence regarding Terri. He would even be making smalltalk with the attorney, about "what are we going to do this weekend?", instead of focusing on Terri's cognitave abilities.
Sean: [pointing to Carla] You took care of Terri for 18 months, and you say she was conscious, alert and aware?
Sean: [pointing to Trudy] You took care of her for how long Trudy?
Trudy Capone -L.P.N.: About 2 and a half years.
Sean: And she was conscious, alert and aware?
Sean: She was NOT in a persistent vegetative state?
Trudy: [large head-shake NO]
Sean: You two are both PROFESSIONAL nurses?
Both nurses: [nodding] Yes, yes.
Sean: NEITHER one of you had contact with the family, except you were taking care of their daughter?
Sean: No AGENDAS?
Carla: No. Trudy also shakes head no.
Sean: Heidi Law said the same thing... Other doctors have said the same thing. So I guess you are all... to believe ONE person [meaning Michael Schiavo]... you're all liars? It's amazing to me how liberals work.
[nurses smile in agreement]
Sean: I want to play this tape for you, and this is Bob Schindler brought an audio tape in, and a LOT of people say this PROVES what both of you and other nurses and doctors have said. Lets roll the tape.
[the TV screen shows a still photo of Bob Schindler next to the bed of Terri, while the audio plays. Bob is asking Terri where (if anywhere, does she hurt) Bob S. ask "does anything hurt you?", "does your arm hurt?" "does your toes hurt?" "does your mouth hurt?" "does your back hurt?" After most questions, Terri responds with varying unintelligible [to me] sounds. Some sound like "yea", some sound like "no".]
Sean: Well the TIMING of her answers is somewhat suspicious. It CONFIRMS what ALL of you professionals have said.
Trudy: [nodding] Yes.
Sean: What happened here? How did that happen? And with SO MUCH conflicting testimony about her health, did we end up where we are today?
Carla: Well I have facts and evidence, I don't have any opinions or judgements. I was there. I would hear Terri communicate. [Trudy nods in agreement] Not JUST with the nursing staff, but with the visitors.
Sean: You know something Trudy, you ALSO say in your affidavit Trudy, that you heard Michael early on, say that he didn't know what Terri's wishes were?
Trudy: ABSOLUTELY. Several times. I was very close to him. I was his confidant. We went places together. We went to choose clothes together.
Sean: And he said it often?
Trudy: [nodding yes] Often! He didn't know what to-... He asked me... He followed me to one of my jobs. He sent me flowers. He called me at my job. Over and over again.
Sean: Ok, So you're... that's the SECOND person tonight who said, "He said early on..."
Sean: [then pointing to Carla] You were the one that said in YOUR signed affidavit, at the risk of PURJURY, that he would say "Has the 'B' died yet?, has she died?"
Carla: [nodding] Yes. "When is she gonna die?", "Can't you do ANYTHING to accellerate her death?"
Sean: [to Trudy] Did YOU ever hear that?
Trudy: I never heard that, but what I couldn't understand was that at a facility where I worked, I worked with Theresa at TWO facilities, he was SET on leaving her in a DARK ROOM, the shades COULDN'T be UP. and we WEREN'T permitted to turn the television set on, because he was concerned that "she would hear something that would upset her".
Trudy: And HOW dis-ingenuous is THAT? He doesn't want the television on, Sean, because he's concerned that she might HEAR something!
Alan: We're out of time for this segment. We thank you both for being on...
ABRAMS: Were joined now by Terri Schiavos friend, Sheri Payne, who first visited with Terri last night. She saw her again two times today. Thanks very much for coming on the program. I know you met Terri just after she married Michael Schiavo, and youre really the only friend thats been allowed to visit her. So give us a sense from your perspective of what she looks like to you.
SHERI PAYNE, TERRI SCHIAVOS FRIEND: I think Terri looks well. Each day, it, of course, is going to change, when were going into our 11th day. Last night, I was in late with her. I spoke to her. She was very verbal. I talked to her about things we used to do, going dancing. Both of her arms came up several times when I mentioned the word dancing. When I talked to her about concerts, or just things we used to do together, she got very verbal, more verbal than Ive ever heard her of all the times Ive been to see her.
ABRAMS: You can understand, when you use the term very verbal, that even the doctors who are being cited by the Schiavo parents wouldnt say in a minimally conscious state that you could be very verbal.
PAYNE: Well, she doesnt speak, like Im speaking right now, of course, but she follows you. Her eyes follow you. If you go to one side of the bed, she follows you. But when I was speaking to her last night about all the good times we used to have together, she lifted her face up to me and she started trying to talk. Her mouth was going. Her eyes were fluttering. And very loud. She was very, very loud, to the point that the police officer came around to the bed and looked at her, and my friend, Fran, was with me, and Fran couldnt believe it, either.
ABRAMS: And I assume, againthis is just to be fairthat you do not then accept the medical explanation for that, which is that this is just a reaction, that this is very typical of someone in a persistent vegetative state, that they do make noise at times, that they can give the appearance of being alert, but, in fact, that they really dont have a very good concept of what is going on around them?
PAYNE: Right. I do not agree with it. If your foot were to hit Terris bed, then that is when she really reacts. As far as when you speak to her, she looks at you. She follows you. She tries to speak to you. Last night was unbelievable to me. It was wonderful. I was glad to be able to be with her last night.
ABRAMS: But you can understand why some people are very skeptical of hearing the idea because it seems with each day, Terri Schiavo is doing more and more, right? I mean, in 2000, parents were conceding that she was in a persistent vegetative state. And now, you know, your account, which is really remarkable, in conjunction with the Schiavo parents, are now saying that shes actually trying to have conversations. It would seem that shes come quite a long way, despite the injury remaining about the same, in three years.
PAYNE: Well, she has. She has come a long way. And Ive been into see her lots of times, and she has always been verbal. I hate to repeat myself, but last night, she was more so. And whenever I spoke to her about dancing, both of her arms would come up, and then they went down. And then I mentioned it again, and both of her arms came up again. And thats when she kept trying to speak to me.
ABRAMS: Yes. All right. Well, again, you know the doctors would say thats just a reaction. It has nothing do with what youre saying, that shes not responding. But look, youre seeing it differently. Very quicklyI dont want to forget about who Terri was back then. Very quickly, just tell me about Terri, the woman you knew.
PAYNE: When I think of Terri, I think of a fun person. Terri and I had a lot of fun together. Wed go to clubs. Wed go to the beach. Wed go to concerts on the beach. We had lots of dinners together. She was happy. Terri is a happy person. She was always laughing. She loves animals. Terri was a joy to be with and still is.
ABRAMS: Well, I wanted an opportunity to show those pictures of Terri as a young woman because it drives me crazy that the only pictures that are out there of Terri are those ones of what she looked like in 2001. So I wanted an opportunity as you spoke to put up some beautiful pictures of Terri. So thank you very much, Sheri Payne, for coming on the program. I appreciate it.
PAYNE: Thank you. Thank you.
KING: Let's go to Pinellas Park. Sheri Payne and Fran Casler are standing by. They are close friends of the Schindlers. Is it true, Sheri, did you see Terri yesterday?
SHERI PAYNE, FRIEND OF THE SCHINDLERS: Yes, Larry, I saw her three times yesterday, the last time being 10:00 last night.
KING: What did you observe?
PAYNE: She looked very tired. Her cheeks were sunken. She seemed cold to me. But she still, when I spoke to her, she looked right at me, and I talked to her about different things that we used to do, even though she did not make the noise or trying to speak to me like she did the other night, she still looked me right in the eye, and I'm very thankful for it.
KING: Fran, how are the Schindlers doing? Have you spoken to them since?
FRAN CASLER, FRIEND OF THE SCHINDLERS: Oh, yes, Larry. The Schindlers are a remarkable family, and it's a privilege to have known them for 25 years. They're very strong, and they feel that Terri's gone to a better place, and she's got a higher purpose in life.
KING: Where are they tonight, Fran? (CROSSTALK)
CASLER: Well, I understand that Bob Schindler, the dad, was at the memorial service. I know that Mary is at home with family, and Bobby and Suzanne are, I believe, around here, or they just went home.
KING: Do you think there's any chance, Sheri, of some sort of some reconciliation, where all these people could gather in a memorial service or a funeral? Sheri, do you think that's possible?
PAYNE: Definitely not. Are you talking about with the Schiavo family, the Schindlers with the Schiavos?
PAYNE: Never, never in a million years.
KING: They all loved the same person.
PAYNE: I realize that, but Michael stopped that love. That was his decision. It's over. I can't say anymore about what he did. He is not a friend of mine.
KING: Fran, do you feel the same way, that this is irrevocable?
CASLER: It is irrevocable. And we'll never -- they will never be reconciled. Michael Schiavo is a liar, and we can prove it, and I just hope that there's a criminal investigation on this.
KING: Are you glad, Fran, there's going to be an autopsy?
PAYNE: Oh, yeah.
CASLER: Oh, yeah.
PAYNE: Definitely. I think the family has a right to know what happened to their daughter and why she has so many broken bones. It didn't happen with physical therapy or rehab.
KING: And you're -- what if it shows that that -- what if it shows there were no violence?
CASLER: Oh, it's already been proven that she had broken bones.
PAYNE: Oh, it's been proven.
PAYNE: It's on the record. There was a bone scan done, and it's in the records.
KING: Thank you both very much. I'm sorry. Sheri Payne and Fran Casler, thank you very much.
KING: Dr. Jay Carpenter is the internist who observed Terri a number of years ago and concluded that she was able to swallow. Meaning what, Doctor?
DR. JAY CARPENTER, INTERNIST: Well, just that. She was able to swallow.
CARPENTER: I would like to just respond to what was just said, that the rules in this case were followed. That's exactly right. The rules of the law were followed. That does not mean that the right thing was done, however. The fact of the matter is that Terri was determined to be in a persistent vegetative state when the facts are very much in dispute.
CARPENTER: At the first trial, Terri's parents did not have money enough to hire a lawyer that had -- she did not get any medical testimony. There was no medical testimony given at Terri's first trial about her medical condition. And Mr. Schiavo had this money, the $700,000 that he was supposed to spend on rehabilitating her. He had enough money to buy lawyers -- I'm sorry, physicians, that were pro-euthanasia, that said that she was in a persistent vegetative state.
CARPENTER: I think what your viewers need to know, that the diagnosis of persistent vegetative state is very tenuous; 43 percent of the time, it is wrong. People that are given the diagnosis turn out to be wrong, 43 percent. In another study, it was 53 percent.
KING: So, what are you saying the courts should have done?
CARPENTER: Well, here's the -- yes, here's the problem.
CARPENTER: The courts should have erred on the side of life. They should have looked further. What they looked at, they had -- they should -- basically, they should have examined her for a more prolonged period of time.
I am sorry about your mother-in-law, very.
And I like your screen name (THE woman).
Except when it comes to the death penalty, right? Then you aren't truly pro-life.
You really raise an excellent point.
Can those who think that our justice system failed Terri Schiavo remain confident that our justice system isn't occasionally making mistakes in death penalty cases? When we grant our judicial system the power to make life/death decisions, don't we just have to accept that there will be some occasional mistakes? Is it more or less moral of us to, because of an honest mistake, kill a perfectly healthy, but innocent human being by lethal injection than to, because of an honest mistake, kill a less than perfectly healthy, but innocent patient by starvation?
Maybe Terri Schiavo's death was just an honest mistake. ;-)
I asked because I always hear about people being staunchly pro-life, but apparently only pro-life for certain circumstances.
I understand and, as I said, I think you raised a very important question. My understanding is that the late Pope reexamined these issues and withdrew whatever tetative and occasional support he had once expressed for the death penalty.
And, quite aside from the Terri Schiavo case itself, can anyone who thinks our judges are "out of control" really believe that they become infallible when they handle death penalty cases? Many people oppose the death penalty not out of any sympathy for criminals but because they just aren't comfortable about the inevitable mistakes when the consequences are life and death.
Like I said, your question is a good one. ;-)
Oh, if that isn't a liberal thing to say! A criminal who is being punished for a crime is a far cry from a bed ridden, handicapped woman being starved to death just because she IS handicapped. And criminals, at the very least get the lethal injection. Count to ten and you're gone. Terri went 13 days without food and water.
If you're going to argue, you're going to have to do better than Lib 101 dialogue.
Actually, I am not against the death penalty at all. It's just I like consistency. So, say you are pro-life, but not for criminals, ok?
Tell the Media to report the REAL Schiavo polls!
My account, etc. of Terri Schindler's Funeral Mass:
I'm just very tired of the argument. Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying. Pro-death abortionists are always throwing that question at me and it makes me want to absolutely scream! How one can equate a killer being punished with an innocent baby or someone in Terri's condition is horrifying. Sorry if I misunderstood you.
When you have a culture that communicates by way of catch phrases and text messaging, and who shows very little interest in the true definition of words, one can only expect individuals to accept such language.
Let's not forget about "Is." And this from the former president of The United States.
So, from that perspective, clearly I feel exactly the same about any death penmalty case...if there is doubt, you cannot convict. Therefore your assertion about me is false. If there is no reasonable doubt about a heinious killer or criminal, that you should convict. That is the law and it is a good one.
As rtegards life in geenral, my feeling is that innocent life must be preserved at all costs. Terri was innocent, the unborn are innocent.
Terri Shindler's death was *not* an "honest mistake."
It was a deliberate killing. Murder, for the morally unsqueamish.
And there is nothing inconsistent about being pro-Life and pro-death penalty.
I wonder why certain people refuse to grant reasonable doubt in the case of murdering Terri?
I think that was Jim Robinson's point too... and I agree...
Bingo. Terri was innocent and was killed in spite of significant doubt...on the orders of a faithless and adulterous husband and a Judge who was himself conflicted hoplessly (IMHO) with the attorney of the husband and the very hospice that carried out his dreadful and fatal judgement. A horrific travesty and a styain and a blight on this land of the brave and the free.
Well, now, not so fast, k2!! Some people thought that a mistake was made about her status. Not everyone thought she was in a "persistent vegetative state." Some people felt that she was just in a diminished state of consciousness and that she might even benefit from rehabilitation. And I'll bet there are others who still think it was a mistake for the court to conclude as it did about about "what Terri said she wanted" under these circumstances.
My point is perhaps just a minot one. If we want to give courts the power to make life or death decisions that depend upon findings of fact, we have to accept that mistakes will be made from time to time. However, I'll be the first to admit that most of the time, the judicial system does get most of the facts right. It's not a perfect system for finding truth, but it's usually pretty darned good!
I think it was a judicial homicide and, after several years of litigation, I guess it has to be described as deliberate. I thought it extraordinary that the court ordered her death. The court didn't just make a determination that, under these circumstances, Mr. Schiavo would be justified in removing the feeding tube. The court went beyond that and actually ordered him to pull the tube. Specifically, the court:
It was, like you say, a very deliberate act, but deliberate acts are often based upon honest mistakes as to the underlying facts.
Agreed, they aren't necessarily inconsistent. Even with the occasional mistakes, the operation of a death penalty might, on balance, save lives in the long run. If, for example, the death penalty does deter others from criminal acts, it will serve as a deterrent without regard to whether the person executed is actually guilty or innocent. Some people, though, just aren't very comfortable with those kinds of calculations. ;-)
I suppose that my view is so extreme, that if I had my way, this discussion would be irrelevant. I don't believe ANYONE should be denied food and water for ANY reason. I don't believe the courts, the family, or even the patient themselves has a "right" to willfully die. I wrote an e-mail shortly after Terri's passing, explaining why I feel this way:
"This whole thing is really freaking me out. I just cant believe that there are so many people out there who believe what went on here was not only okay for Terri, but it is also what they would wish upon themselves if they were to end up like her. How vain, selfish, and arrogant these people are!
I think it is flat-out impossible to ascertain whether a person in Terri's condition would want to live. That person might hold a different position (brain damage does tend to change your perspective) than they held when they "expressed the will to die". To me, it's quite possible that the pleasant smell of shampoo, the soft caress of a loved one, or the wonder sparked by a simple, shiny balloon, were experiences/sensations that were sufficient enough for a brain-damaged Terri to want to live. The truth is that our values and long-held beliefs are subject to change as our circumstances do. Becoming a parent is a good example of this. I try very hard not to state what I would or wouldn't do in any given situation, because I have so many times failed to act in the manner I would have previously predicted. We are ever maturing, learning, changing, and adapting. Healthy, 21 year old Terri Shiavos statements should not have been attributed to a brain-damaged, 41 year old Terri Shiavo. Bottom line.
The selfishness of our society is demonstrated by the fact that most people believe the "right to die" belongs strictly to the patient. That fact assumes that our lives are lived only for ourselves. For most of us, there are others who would be affected by our decision to starve, ahem, "dehydrate" ourselves to death. If Terri ever did wish such a fate upon herself, it would have no doubt been difficult to contemplate her parents being forced to bear witness to her slow, agonizing death. Of course, we are not encouraged to think of others when making this kind of a decision, and it is almost always assumed that we would be a burden to our loved ones. Or God forbid, the State. But, it is wrong to believe your life begins and ends with you. Your presence on this earth, whatever your condition, could potentially affect those around you. And its wrong to assume that the effect would be negative. Particularly if you are loved and valued by those around you.
..And isn't there an element of suicide here? Doesn't it really boil down to: "Life sucks, and I don't want to live like this anymore..."? Who hasn't expressed that sentiment at one time or another? Can everyone of us be trusted to decide what amount of pain and suffering we can endure? I don't mean to be rude here, but there are those of us who are a little on the wimpy side. For those of us who truly believe that God does not give us more than we can handle, the decision whether or not to willfully end our lives in order to prematurely escape our misery, is easily made.
In 1993, Michael Shiavo wanted to withhold antibiotic from Terri, hoping that she would develop sepsis and die. If the nursing home had accommodated Michael, then withholding the antibiotic could be construed as removing Terri's "artificial life support". Down the line, anything that can save your life or improve your health becomes "life support" if someone has the motivation to kill you. Be it the State, or a loving husband. Judge Greer's denial of Terri's parent's motion to feed her naturally, tells us that even if Terri could have been fed by mouth, she was still deemed by the court not fit to live. So here they've raised the bar again. This is just scary to me.
And until a few months ago, I didnt understand what a calm, peaceful, and I even heard one doctor say, "loving" experience, dehydration is for the patient. To hear these doctors on TV describe the process, I cant imagine why it is illegal to do this to animals. Sounds like it would be an inexpensive, convenient, and loving way to dispose of your unwanted pet. No vet bills, heck, you dont even have to transport the animal into town simply stop re-filling the food and water dish, and let nature take it from there. I honestly feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. I mean, I always kind of took for granted that dying of hunger and thirst was a terrible way to expire. Its a no-brainer, right? Wrong! Now the doctors are coming out of the woodwork (or out from under their rocks) to proclaim to the world how serene, merciful, and natural the process of death by dehydration can be! As a result, people who have believed their entire lives that starving to death was a horrible way to die, today will look you in the face and tell you that death by starvation and dehydration is painless! Those people would rather appear as utter fools, than admit Terri suffered as she died. Cowards. They wont so much as glance at her suffering, yet in the days before her death, they were screaming for it to be done to her.
I cannot let this go. I will not let this go. I will never forget Terri and what the good ole boy network did to her down there in Florida. I know that Terri is at peace now, but I continue to suffer at the thought of what she endured in that hospice. Tortured for the pleasure of her husband, and most people were okay with it. Most people would prefer to die Terris death, than to live Terris life. Shocking. Just unbelievable."
>>Well, now, not so fast, k2!! Some people thought that a mistake was made about her status. Not everyone thought she was in a "persistent vegetative state." Some people felt that she was just in a diminished state of consciousness and that she might even benefit from rehabilitation. And I'll bet there are others who still think it was a mistake for the court to conclude as it did about about "what Terri said she wanted" under these circumstances.
>>My point is perhaps just a minor one. If we want to give courts the power to make life or death decisions that depend upon findings of fact, we have to accept that mistakes will be made.
No we don't have to accept that mistakes will be made in life and death "fact" determinations, we can do like criminals and make it very very difficult for mistakes to be made, like Jim says if 1 out of 12 persons is doubtful, you dont execute. Murders also have the 'do-over' option for a trial de novo. Those are all safeguards to virtually eliminate mistakes with life and death.
I think your ORIGINAL point was sarcasm, since you used a smiley face. Then in post 240, you are both saying about the same thing, but different ways: that mistakes were most likely made. Don't forget the word HONEST, though. There is no good reason to believe it was an HONEST mistake.
Why, even Michael and his attorney in 1992 maintained that Terri was NOT in PVS, they said she was "somewhat responsive", and since that time, some of her medical tests, (brain scans around 2002 I believe) had even improved slightly...
Her parents, siblings, friends, caregivers, priests, paralegals, etc, were all just saying in 2005, the same thing MICHAEL said in 1992: That she was somewhat responsive (and better than PVS)
This says there WILL BE testimony in the malpractice trial by Michael and his witnesses that Terri is NOT in PVS.
We certainly wouldn't starve any patients by mistake if we followed that rule!!
It just doesn't get much better than that, backtalk - beautiful, very eloquent. ;-)
I was reading your reply on the Granddaughter yanks grandma's feeding tube thread...Jim Robinson on this thread was one of the "turkey"s who was against Terri's death.
If I was good at posting links, I would have. However you may want the anti-Terri's to see this.
Actually, the poster was, I believe referring to me as a "turkey". I would never refer to Jim Robinson in any other than respectful terms.
"I read that the Pope had been apprised of her struggle up to the last minute and that he was upset about what had been done to her as well as having been a staunch supporter of Terri."
The more I think about it, it's not that hard to be pro-life, pro Jews, anti-slavery. Sure it seemed nice to have a leader being pro-life, and pro-Terri. But did he cancel communion for all catholics working with Terri keeping her away from food and water? Did he command all priests, bishops etc. to talk to the nurses, building owners, car repair people, paramedics, etcs to rescue her? Did he use the power he had?
The real church, if it sees unrepentant sin, can close communion to the person, and excommunicate them. Maybe they would've backed off enough so that she could've been rescued.
Terri's dead, thanks to him. He didn't love her. You can be pro-life, but in reality not be a good or loving person.
After reading this, I corrected another post I'd done. I think Dawn Sanborn is right, that we can't know what we would want in a situation like that.
I had unwittingly used the argument against suffering in writing about Shelly and Brian Howard's tragic death this week. I thought we shouldn't ask her to suffer painful burn therapy, how selfish of us. But that was wrong. Thinking it's merciful, when in actuality it's murder. It's one step away from killing Terri.
Thank you for the post.