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What I know as the mother of a "non-cognitive, vegetative state" 16-year-old
Jewish World Review ^ | Oct. 30, 2003/ | Marianne M. Jennings

Posted on 10/30/2003 5:49:43 AM PST by SJackson

Edited on 10/30/2003 7:52:42 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

The quest for utopian socialism has its twists and turns. A woman has the right to choose when it comes to the life of her unborn child. But, in the exception-ridden liberal conscience, choice regarding her own life belongs to her husband. Husbands have no say in wives' abortions, but, according to those wacky Florida courts, they have the final say on their wives' lives. In the case of 39-year-old Terri Schiavo, her husband, complete with mistress and their children, wants her starved to death. A Florida court, finally halted in its unrighteous dominion by another Bush, ordered it so. Liberals oppose the death penalty for criminals, but not for innocents.

(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: florida; schiavo; schindler; terrischiavo
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1 posted on 10/30/2003 5:49:44 AM PST by SJackson
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To: SJackson
When loved ones slip into vegetative states, life becomes so messy. The costs, the work, the clipped wings from the demands of care. But, Mrs. Schiavo's parents want to give that care and physicians have volunteered for pro bono services. Mr. Schiavo has no worries.

That Mrs. Schiavo is still alive is the answer to this so-called ethical dilemma. Our souls are too shallow and our minds too finite to comprehend why Mrs. Schiavo is still here with us. She and our other "vegetables" are a treasure trove of insight. Humility abounds in their minds, so unaffected by the shallow demands of a world that measures worth by trivial materialistic pursuits. They offer the lessons of unconditional love and the blessings of service.

As the parent of a "non-cognitive, vegetative state" 16-year-old, who was, by all medical experts, not destined to live more than six months, I offer advice. Seize the opportunity to honor life, in all its forms. A body not constrained by the pettiness of appearance or consumed by the drive of ambition is a glimpse of the purity of heaven. Spend fleeting moments in the company of these angels. They will leave us all too soon, even with their feeding tubes intact. The veil between the eternities and this world turns transparent when you look into what medical science calls "non-responsive eyes." When you catch a glimpse of that beyond you will wonder, "Who wouldn't want to live in their utopia?"

And I do mean live.

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University

2 posted on 10/30/2003 5:51:48 AM PST by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
3 posted on 10/30/2003 5:52:15 AM PST by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Thank you so much for posting this. This woman is eloquent out of the depths of her experience.
4 posted on 10/30/2003 5:54:29 AM PST by I still care
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To: SJackson
What continues to shock me is how many are supporting Michael's attempt to what obvously is not to divorce but to kill his wife. There was no such uproar over Sunny von Buhlen who is in much worse state than Terri.
5 posted on 10/30/2003 5:55:06 AM PST by Dante3
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To: SJackson
The costs,

And with the almost $2 million from the lawsuit, Michael should not be too concerned with costs. He got plenty of money to provide for her basic needs --- a daily bath, a few feedings through a tube, bedsore prevention, but not much more. $2 million is a lot more than most people have for a bedridden loved one.

6 posted on 10/30/2003 6:02:53 AM PST by FITZ
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To: SJackson
What she says at the start is something not everyone will accept these days, but I believe it is true. People have souls. If you look into the eyes of someone who is very ill, or has Altzheimers, or is mentally retarded, you still catch glimpses of a soul every bit as human as the souls of the most alert and intelligent people. You can see love there.

I presume that even if Terri never recovers, her soul is still there in her body. If her brain is damaged, her mind and soul are not damage. They merely lack some of the means of communicating with the outside world.

She is still a living human being, which is to say that her soul is still healthy, whatever the condition of her body.
7 posted on 10/30/2003 6:23:14 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SJackson
Wow!! What a fantastic article from someone who knows first hand. She should be on the Schindler's legal team. God bless her, Claire, Terri and the Schindlers.
8 posted on 10/30/2003 6:32:40 AM PST by mass55th
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To: SJackson
She and our other "vegetables" are a treasure trove of insight. Humility abounds in their minds, so unaffected by the shallow demands of a world that measures worth by trivial materialistic pursuits. They offer the lessons of unconditional love and the blessings of service...A body not constrained by the pettiness of appearance or consumed by the drive of ambition is a glimpse of the purity of heaven.

Wow! What a Godly truth that never entered my head. Thank you so much for posting that. What an inspiration to humble myself more at His feet.

Amen and amen!

9 posted on 10/30/2003 6:32:49 AM PST by lupie
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To: Cicero
So true, Cicero.

I can't even begin to imagine the pain her parents must feel knowing that their daughter may be legally murdered. They have loved her since birth. And I am sure they know she is inside there loving them back. How tragic this story is. =(
10 posted on 10/30/2003 6:40:04 AM PST by ecru
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To: Cicero
Very, very well stated Cicero. Thanks.
11 posted on 10/30/2003 6:41:40 AM PST by Magnolia
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To: Cicero
The goal is selective disenfranchisement, and it is based on dehumanization. We know this is the methodology because we've seen how abortion on demand has elevated the liberty of a woman so far above the LIFE of the unborn little one that the little one is no longer considered 'human enough'. The imperious courts in Florida have determined that Terri is not 'human enough' and their remedy is to grant ownership of her body to the man seeking to 'move on with his life' ... his 'quality of life', his liberty, trumps Terri's LIFE, in the sick, twisted liberal minds of the imperios courts of Florida. Once the courts bought into Terri no longer being 'person enough', the rest was easy to push through.
12 posted on 10/30/2003 6:52:55 AM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: SJackson; Alamo-Girl; backhoe; Woahhs; Victoria Delsoul; William Wallace; Bryan; aristeides; ...
PING)))))) to an important read. If you would like to be removed from this ping list, please just drop me a freepmail.
13 posted on 10/30/2003 6:59:33 AM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Cicero
I agree with your comment on this but up to a point. The legislature had NO RIGHT whatsoever to step in and over ride a courts decision that had been in the courts over a period of 10 years and passed by 15+ judges desks. Let me tell you why.

Evidence had been provided in court over and over again about this womans wishes to have a living will by word of mouth. Now I know many in here have said that the husband has ill intentions but don't you all think that that evidence made it to court and judges weighed that evidence? Apparently it had no weight. What right does the legislature have to step in and go against oa court ruling and someones RIGHT and personal wishes to die if in a vegetative state with very little brain activity? This is an overstepping of power and an infringement on someones rights. The ONLY people that know what Terri's wishes were are her, her husband, and her maker. Florida LAW states that if said person is unable to render such a decision, as is the case with Terri, then her CUSTODIAN (her husband) has the right to render such decision. This is LAW people plain and simple. Now if you want to change the laws there is a process for this but that process is not to override a decision that has spent its course thru the courts.

Remember people this same thing happened during the Florida election fiasco and conservatives were yelling high and low that you do not change the rules once the verdict has been rendered and the law on the books after the game is played.

Why the hypocricy now?
15+ judges
10 years
Same law
Same verdict
Emotional hijacking over ones wishes
It is this simple.
14 posted on 10/30/2003 7:10:53 AM PST by AbsoluteJustice (Kiss me I'm an INFIDEL!!!!)
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To: SJackson; Cicero
"Unless they are primary caregivers, doctors know little of the capabilities or desires of souls who remain captive in bodies that cannot function at full mental and/or physical speed. They view the smiles of glee and scrunched noses of distaste as "involuntary subcortical responses." What do they know of the power of a mother's voice? It induces eye flutters that spell out in Morse code, "I'm here. Talk to me again!"

The docs are cold-hearted because medicine is finite. Medicine cannot change these vegetative states. The same can be said of a hard-core addict or a victim of depression. Science has its limitations. But love and dedication combine with inner strength and miracles abound. Miracles need not be Lazarus-like risings from the bed to do the Macarena, but can emerge in the subtle sounds and movements of the indefatigable soul within screaming, "Hey, I'm alive!"

This is a powerfully written, eloquent article. I know firsthand that the statements about the soul are true because of the not too dissimilar way that we received blessings for 2 1/2 years from our son who had Down Syndrome.

Cordially,

15 posted on 10/30/2003 7:15:05 AM PST by Diamond
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To: SJackson
Outstanding post!!!!
16 posted on 10/30/2003 7:15:50 AM PST by r9etb
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To: MHGinTN
BTTT!!!!!!
17 posted on 10/30/2003 7:16:23 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: cpforlife.org; cyn
ping
18 posted on 10/30/2003 7:17:37 AM PST by tutstar
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To: AbsoluteJustice
I agree with your comment on this but up to a point. The legislature had NO RIGHT whatsoever to step in and over ride a courts decision that had been in the courts over a period of 10 years and passed by 15+ judges desks.

Well, if you're going to make this argument based in "Florida LAW," then it seems perfectly appropriate that the Florida Legislature has a perfect right to change "Florida LAW" when it sees fit to do so.

19 posted on 10/30/2003 7:20:11 AM PST by r9etb
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To: SJackson
Death row inmates get more time, appeals and reprieves than these innocents.

bttt

20 posted on 10/30/2003 7:20:26 AM PST by FairWitness
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To: AbsoluteJustice
So, the LAW is more important than a woman's LIFE ?

Also, ... is there not a NEW LAW ?

21 posted on 10/30/2003 7:21:11 AM PST by Quester
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To: SJackson
She's right, we are to honor life.

God loves loves life. He loves life when it is easy and He loves life when it is hard.
22 posted on 10/30/2003 7:22:27 AM PST by GWfan
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To: AbsoluteJustice
The idea that justice can be codified and thus provide absolute justice, impatrially and fairly, was first written about by Aristotle, who claimed that such absolute justice was the goal of good government.

The core premise was that laws should be written to fairly and impartially cover all situations. This is what seems to be the basis of the pgrase "absolute justice" in the context of this thread and your post.

However, it was noted by that same Greek, that alas the city had grown to such a size (some 40,000+ people) as to make that impossible. He therefore said that judges and human judgement, would have to be relied upon.

To assume that the state can be codified to anything approaching perfection or even all situations is to start down the same slippery slope trod by the totalitarian states throughout history.

That is why we have juries, Grand Juries, and legislatures - not just courts.
23 posted on 10/30/2003 7:31:57 AM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: r9etb
Yes they do have that right but not when a verdict is rendered. Remember again I say Florida election fiasco? You cannot play by the rule of law with one instance and then not the next. This was passed on the cuff WITHOUT sifting through the 10 years of legal documents nor reviewing the case this was passed based SOLELY on emotion and from pressure by out of state activists. This is NOT how you pass law. This precedence is fanatical and not good policy. What is the next right that will be hi-jacked by the legislature because it is seen as unpopular? This was an overnight off the cuff law that should not have been passed. Most of the activists out there hadn't picked up one court paper to review the case and its history, much like the legislature.
24 posted on 10/30/2003 7:36:15 AM PST by AbsoluteJustice (Kiss me I'm an INFIDEL!!!!)
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To: FairWitness
And there is a good reason that the scum get so many appeals, while the innocents don't. Remember that ACLU was originally funded by teh old USSR to defend American Communists. Apples do not fall all that far from the tree.

The USSR was interested in destabilizing America. So is ACLU.

Nothing in the above should be construed in any way to the efffect that I disagree with Blackstone that it is better to free ten guilty than jail one innocent, for jailing the innocent undermines the trust in law which is the core of society.

Blackstone was right - the guilty will commit another crime and can be dealt with then. Public trust in law and its administration must be rightly earned. Jailing the innocent damages such trust and therefore is the reason for caution in court.
25 posted on 10/30/2003 7:37:58 AM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: GladesGuru
"That is why we have juries, Grand Juries, and legislatures - not just courts"

Went to jury, Grand jury, and Supreme court failed to hear the case. It went thru its process. If the legislature was so concerned why is it that they spent 10 years doing nothing with the law that was on the books?

Great writing tho my friend, I respect your position on the matter just not agreeable. I respect all people's position on this matter.
26 posted on 10/30/2003 7:39:21 AM PST by AbsoluteJustice (Kiss me I'm an INFIDEL!!!!)
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To: AbsoluteJustice
Florida LAW states that if said person is unable to render such a decision, as is the case with Terri, then her CUSTODIAN (her husband) has the right to render such decision.

Uh, the word is GUARDIAN, not 'custodian'. A custodian takes care of PROPERTY. A guardian is a person assigned by a court to take care of another PERSON.

This is LAW people plain and simple.

Before bowing to your interpretation about what constitutes LAW, let me ask you this;

"Which is lawful, to do good or to do evil; to save life or to kill?"

Answer it. What do you think the purpose of law is in the first place? What aspect of "inalienable" as descriptive of the Right to Life don't you understand?

Cordially,

27 posted on 10/30/2003 7:44:01 AM PST by Diamond
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To: SJackson
2 Timothy 3: 1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
28 posted on 10/30/2003 7:52:08 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: AbsoluteJustice
If the legislature was so concerned why is it that they spent 10 years doing nothing with the law that was on the books?

Could it be that Terri's situation has uncovered a, hitherto, unrecognized flaw in Florida law regarding this issue ?

29 posted on 10/30/2003 7:52:43 AM PST by Quester
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To: Diamond
"Uh, the word is GUARDIAN, not 'custodian'. A custodian takes care of PROPERTY. A guardian is a person assigned by a court to take care of another PERSON. "

Please don't throw tit for tat in my wording if it says guardian then guardian it is. But you do acknowledge that law at least in some way.


"Which is lawful, to do good or to do evil; to save life or to kill?"

That is not the discussion and would be very flimsy in court. The law is simple it states that ones wishes to not continue life saving measures or continual vegetative non-cognitive state then the GUARDIAN, as appointed by the courts has the decision to end such procedures. This is not a good evil argument. It is not killing as you espouse. No matter what your PERSONAL feeling sin this maater that is not the discussion.

"What aspect of "inalienable" as descriptive of the Right to Life don't you understand? "

What is it that you do not understand when a wife who has told her husband that she did not wish to live a vegetable do you not understand? Were you privvy to the conversations in their bedrooms? Didn't think so. Before popping off about inalienable rights start thinking about ones personal rights and wishes.

10 years in courts
Decision was made.
LAW was on the books
he is guardian he made a decision.
If you cannot respect ones wishes/rights then what good is your little roll up constitution?

30 posted on 10/30/2003 8:07:57 AM PST by AbsoluteJustice (Kiss me I'm an INFIDEL!!!!)
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To: Quester
"Could it be that Terri's situation has uncovered a, hitherto, unrecognized flaw in Florida law regarding this issue ? "

It was known and has been a LOCAL issue for years. This was nothing new, only until the out of state activists bussed down to protest did it become apparent to the legislature to do something. That something was unconstitutional.
31 posted on 10/30/2003 8:09:12 AM PST by AbsoluteJustice (Kiss me I'm an INFIDEL!!!!)
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To: AbsoluteJustice
The way I see it, the FL legislature acted to stop what has all the earmarks of a court-approved murder. It seems clear that the key players -- especially Mr. Schaivo -- have significant conflicts of interest, such that one must wonder whether his motives in spending $2 million to kill his wife are actually pure.

Be that as it may, it is not "fanatical" to act to prevent a death (which harms no one) in a case where the jutification for that death appears to be open to question.

It is quite "fanatical," OTOH, to pound on the law books, demanding death, when those legitimate questions remain.

32 posted on 10/30/2003 8:15:21 AM PST by r9etb
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To: MHGinTN
Thanks for the heads up!
33 posted on 10/30/2003 8:18:28 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: AbsoluteJustice
It was known and has been a LOCAL issue for years. This was nothing new, only until the out of state activists bussed down to protest did it become apparent to the legislature to do something. That something was unconstitutional.

And Terri Schaivo is not dead, as a result. But you seem to miss the point here: just suppose that Terri's guardian does not have her best interests at heart? Claims to that effect are precisely why this has been an issue "for years."

34 posted on 10/30/2003 8:20:44 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
"just suppose that Terri's guardian does not have her best interests at heart? Claims to that effect are precisely why this has been an issue "for years."

I do agree with you on this point but don't we have to trust the process of the courts on this one? The 10 years spent on this case? I do not see the courts making a hasty decision on this woman's life. But I did see that in the legislature.

Thank you for the good argument on this. You seem pretty level headed. Worthy of debate
LOL
:)

35 posted on 10/30/2003 8:24:17 AM PST by AbsoluteJustice (Kiss me I'm an INFIDEL!!!!)
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To: SJackson
This is a great find. Thank you so much for posting it.
36 posted on 10/30/2003 8:30:23 AM PST by keri
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To: MHGinTN
As the parent of a "non-cognitive, vegetative state" 16-year-old, who was, by all medical experts, not destined to live more than six months, I offer advice. Seize the opportunity to honor life, in all its forms. A body not constrained by the pettiness of appearance or consumed by the drive of ambition is a glimpse of the purity of heaven. Spend fleeting moments in the company of these angels. They will leave us all too soon, even with their feeding tubes intact. The veil between the eternities and this world turns transparent when you look into what medical science calls "non-responsive eyes." When you catch a glimpse of that beyond you will wonder, "Who wouldn't want to live in their utopia?"

And I do mean live.

Thanks Marvin.

I've been there, and it is a humbling and blessed joy to spend a few precious moments taking care of one of God's wounded angels.

Choose life.

37 posted on 10/30/2003 8:30:28 AM PST by William Wallace (Abortion is to the culture of death what baptism is to the people of God.)
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To: pc93; sweetliberty; EternalVigilance; Aliska; dandelion; floriduh voter; sarasmom; ...
Ping for Terri!



Let me know if you want on or off this ping list.

38 posted on 10/30/2003 8:32:18 AM PST by TaxRelief (Ask me about the connection between Socialism, Communism, Drug Warlords and Vodka.)
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To: AbsoluteJustice
Most of the activists out there hadn't picked up one court paper to review the case and its history, much like the legislature.

Actually, the exact opposite is true. Because the activists read through the court documents and because the bizarre inconsistencies and conflicts of interests between the judges and the lawyers became clear to them, they became energized and got involved with preventing a miscarriage of justice.

The legislators who wanted the information, were also provided with many of the same documents on which to base their decisions.

Jeb Bush was aware of the situation and also made an attempt to reason with the court well in advance of the climax in the legislature last week.

39 posted on 10/30/2003 8:43:51 AM PST by TaxRelief (Ask me about the connection between Socialism, Communism, Drug Warlords and Vodka.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez; Mare; Victoria Delsoul; xsmommy; .30Carbine; DeSoto; Ragtime Cowgirl; ...
Flagging a few other good folks who will appreciate this.

xsm, bring a hankie. :-)

40 posted on 10/30/2003 8:44:07 AM PST by William Wallace (Abortion is to the culture of death what baptism is to the people of God.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
3without love....well I saw an outpour of love in the world and on these threads by our fellow freepers, and it made me ever so proud, so I really don't think we have to about the last days just yet!!!
41 posted on 10/30/2003 8:45:14 AM PST by GrandMoM ("Without prayer, the hand of GOD stops, BUT, with prayer the hand of GOD moves !!!)
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To: GrandMoM
OOP'S, make that--so I really don't think we have to "WORRY "about the last days just yet!!!
42 posted on 10/30/2003 8:47:51 AM PST by GrandMoM ("Without prayer, the hand of GOD stops, BUT, with prayer the hand of GOD moves !!!)
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To: SJackson
Those paragraphs are the same that I had just copied and was about to paste. Worth repeating, because as a mom of a precious little fella that is "non-cognitive, non-mobile" I try to let others know exactly what this mom wrote here whenever I can.
These children, folks are a blessing. My son touches apart of my heart no one else ever has and I never knew was there.


That Mrs. Schiavo is still alive is the answer to this so-called ethical dilemma. Our souls are too shallow and our minds too finite to comprehend why Mrs. Schiavo is still here with us. She and our other "vegetables" are a treasure trove of insight. Humility abounds in their minds, so unaffected by the shallow demands of a world that measures worth by trivial materialistic pursuits. They offer the lessons of unconditional love and the blessings of service.


As the parent of a "non-cognitive, vegetative state" 16-year-old, who was, by all medical experts, not destined to live more than six months, I offer advice. Seize the opportunity to honor life, in all its forms. A body not constrained by the pettiness of appearance or consumed by the drive of ambition is a glimpse of the purity of heaven. Spend fleeting moments in the company of these angels. They will leave us all too soon, even with their feeding tubes intact. The veil between the eternities and this world turns transparent when you look into what medical science calls "non-responsive eyes." When you catch a glimpse of that beyond you will wonder, "Who wouldn't want to live in their utopia?"


And I do mean live.
43 posted on 10/30/2003 9:00:25 AM PST by 4Godsoloved..Hegave (Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:)
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To: SJackson
There are a lot of arguments, pro and con to this one, but this has to be the stupidest. If it were reversed, the wife could make the decision for her husband. People will stop at nothing to feed their own agendas.
44 posted on 10/30/2003 9:02:11 AM PST by Hildy
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To: SJackson
Eloquent Insight!
45 posted on 10/30/2003 9:04:52 AM PST by thepizzalady
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To: AbsoluteJustice
I do agree with you on this point but don't we have to trust the process of the courts on this one? The 10 years spent on this case? I do not see the courts making a hasty decision on this woman's life. But I did see that in the legislature.

Within those 10 years, Terri Schaivo's feeding tube was removed one other time that I'm aware of, and was reinserted by court order. Clearly the questions have been bouncing around for a long time.

With the current case, there were a number of what appear to be significant irregularities, both with Michael Schaivo and the judge. There are real and significant questions about the propriety of the decisions being made.

You're decrying a "hasty decision" by the legislature; however, the fact was that Terri Schiavo had only days to live. Presented with reasonable doubt, would you have had them move at a stately pace, only to see their deliberations rendered moot by the death they might have voted to prevent?

46 posted on 10/30/2003 9:06:33 AM PST by r9etb
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To: SJackson
Thanks for posting; why not post entire article?
47 posted on 10/30/2003 9:13:16 AM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: r9etb; AbsoluteJustice
AJ, you say "...only until the out of state activists bussed down to protest did it become apparent to the legislature to do something."

I'm not aware of 'out of state activists bussed down'.

At least, there were no busses or bussed-in people when I was there on 10/19 & 20, the weekend before the legislature acted.

I did meet people who responded to Terri's situation by spending their vacation time & $$$ to come on their own (by plane, car, bus).

I can check with others who've been there all along to see if I'm just missing something.

48 posted on 10/30/2003 9:25:22 AM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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correction: 10/18 -19, sat/sun
49 posted on 10/30/2003 9:27:24 AM PST by cyn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: Cicero
It's also great that the Jewish World Review has let the world know how they feel.
The Jewish people know exactly what all this can lead to.
How many Jewish people were killed simply because they weren't blond haired and blue eyed and they remember it started by starving their elderly and disabled.
Hitler had a lot of people convinced he was doing the world a favor.
50 posted on 10/30/2003 9:27:26 AM PST by pickyourpoison
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