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March 21, 2005

Killed Because Their Lives are Not Worth Living

Topics: General

One of our regular contributors, Dori from WittenbergGate, has captured an important aspect of the long-term vision of BlogsforTerri in a recent post. She writes,

Terri's situation is important, not only because of her precious life, but also because her case takes our country a step over an important line. That is the line between avoiding fruitless efforts to save a dying person and withdrawing efforts to sustain a person who is not dying, on the basis of our assessment of his or her "quality of life." The truth is, many people are killed because someone decides their life would not be worth living. It happens to disabled newborn babies all the time. It happens to disabled children and adults. The difference in Terri's case is that it is happening in full public view.
Some have written that the tragedy of Terri Schiavo's situation is that she did not have a living will. From my perspective, the real tragedy is that she is being legally killed because her presumed "quality of life" does not meet an acceptable standard.

Another tragedy is that Terri is not alone in her struggle for survival. In reality, there are numerous unnamed victims of mercy killing each year whose lives are taken because they lack some attribute or quality that others deem necessary to be a member of the ambiguous category of "persons".

We stand with Terri and all those who are suffering the same fate because their lives have an intrinsic value that does not depend upon their capabilities. We oppose those who would provide a litmus test for others to meet in order to be considered a person. Will you stand with us?


If they succeed in killing Terri, judges and politicians will increasingly determine who will be born, live, and die. We will enter a progressively more frightening and dreary society moving ever closer to the America portrayed in Joseph Bayly�s, Winterflight, where the elderly, and even the young who have treatable chronic diseases, are eliminated. Donald May, Townhall, March 21, 2005

Posted by tim at March 21, 2005 3:20 PM

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» Thirty Pieces of Silver from Christianity and Middle-Earth
A few weeks after my brother began his delayed recovery from ARDS (when I told him) the dr. had wanted me to let him die, my brother piped up angrily: “That’s when you tell ‘em to go to hell!” [Read More]

Tracked on March 21, 2005 4:32 PM

» Have You Learned Anything? from Matt Margolis - Blog
Almost a month ago, with the Terri Schiavo case heating up again, I advocated that people ought to get living wills. If Terri Schiavo had a living will, this case wouldn't be in the news, and Congress wouldn't be intervening, and we'd all be going o... [Read More]

Tracked on March 23, 2005 12:09 AM


And if you're new to the issue of "quality of life", please read my brother's story at http://www.lordofthepeeps.com/.

Posted by: Baillie at March 21, 2005 4:18 PM

I sincerely feel for the parents and family of this young lady. But, I have to disagree with the notions that are being taken in this case. When does Congress have the right to step in a family dispute? They do not. I do believe that the parents should have some say in what happens to Terri, but going to Congress is not the right or constituitional way.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 21, 2005 4:23 PM

Thank you for mentioning disabled newborns. I maintain a website for parents who are carrying a pregnancy to term even though the baby has been diagnosed with a fatal condition. Even though these babies can only live while in their mothers' bodies, their parents have rejected the doctors' offers of an abortion in order to spend what time they may with their children. Short life does not mean worthless life. Disabled life does not mean worthless life.

Posted by: Jane at March 21, 2005 4:29 PM

There is something very disturbing, to me, however, in Terri's husband's "enthusiasm" to want to see her out of the picture...The fact that he has another family would automatically give me pause for thought about his so-called humane reasons or what she might have said many, many years ago now, in disconnecting Terri's feeding tube... call me cynical...

Posted by: Regina Clare Jane at March 21, 2005 4:45 PM

All of this really has nothing to do with the question should Terri live or die. It has to be brought into the light concerning the ephiany that Michael Schiavo had many years latter and much richer that Terri would not want to be kept alive this way. I find it unbelievable that he has been able to pull the will over the whole court system, involve his brother and sister-in-law and even many in the U.S. Congress. This has got to be one of the worst miscarriages of justice for a human being that I have ever seen, (i.e. Terri Schiavo).

Everyone must follow the trail of the money and the time line. Michael must keep up this fight to have her die lest he be found out. All you have to do is look at this mans face on T.V. and the guilt that prevails over it. Michael must keep up the lie. He never put into the mix when he constructed this lie that anyone would question it. My hope is that this judge affords Terri her right to have a voice through a court appointed GAL and the focus is on this clear and credible testimony that surrounds this resurfaced memory after so many years. Let us all remember that Scott Peterson tried this and yes he too got caught.

Michael may not get caught today or tommarrow, but at some point this will completely unravel and ut-oh, they all figured it out.

Posted by: Cjmartin at March 21, 2005 4:46 PM

"Some have written that the tragedy of Terri Schiavo's situation is that she did not have a living will. From my perspective, the real tragedy is that she is being legally killed because her presumed "quality of life" does not meet an acceptable standard."

And you are absolutely right! It shouldn't take more than ordinary common sense to realize that. But common sense became scarce in this "petrified" society, devoid of moral intuition and intellectual discernment.

Posted by: Vlad Socaciu at March 21, 2005 5:38 PM

As a Special Education teacher with 35 years of empowering, enabling and embracing the lives of our disabled American citizens, I whole heartedly will stand with you Tim ! I have long regarded my professional role as being an advocate for the disabled and as such have learned the difference between when it is my turn to speak and when it is their's. Mr Schiavo needs to "zip it" about what Terri wants and give her the training she requires to express her own wants without the contamination of his personal bias and self serving interests attached.
Insight of inequality #1
Why is it that Mr Schiavo has been afforded the greatest possible allowance by the court to change his mind on most of his decisions during the past 15 years , yet Terri has been held to the same unwavering position which she allegedly stated 15 years ago. Isn't it most likely and probable that Terri has changed her mind during those years? Can we morally accept the staement of a young and relatively inexperienced woman to the advances in medical science and treatments. Did she have full and current knowledge of advances in Medical treatment and Neurological recovery that were possible in 1997 as apposed to when she made the alleged statments? I think not.Isn't it possible that she would have changed her mind over time as she learned that odds of therapy recoveries were a valid reason for staying alive.
CONSIDER THIS MIND BENDER>>>>> Isn't it most probable that When making her original statement she was describing her opinion that She would "never want to live that way" as meaning , -Given a variety of options, to be "hooked up to machines" would not be one of her first choices., in fact she would choose other options ratherthan to be hooked up to machine. Which is qualitatively different than meaning that Given being "hooked up to machines" as her ONLY option of staying alive ,she would prefer death over accepting one available possibility of life. I believe that this approach in the court room could logically hold its own. To try to speculate which of the two interpretations of Terri's words as recollected by Mr Schiavo was indeed meant by Terri would certainly lead to the obvious conclusion that NO one can know exactly what Terri meant when she said those words nor of which particular conditions she amy be more tolerant ,; and that since Mr Schiavo did not recall having asked to which of the two situations she was making referrence, then it would be dubious that the court could ASSUME that for Terri. Thus her words would be clearly hearsay and insufficient in clearly determining her wishes. And if she had known that the machine she would be disconnectd to would be a feeding machine, not breathing or brain stimulator, would she still have chosen to die. Would she have decided differently if she had been given/considered all of the specificsand conditions ? It's possible yet UNCLEAR that she would have. Again It is unclear based on the limited scope of her exact words there fore no determination can be made..

Wow and I am not even an attorney !

Posted by: JoMarley at March 21, 2005 5:57 PM

Jo Marley,

for the lack of legal training you have just done a great job of legal analysis. It is quite logical and that is the real problem, because George Greer has defied logic and continued to grant Michael Schiavo his desire to kill his wife.

I will take you up on one point about the hearsay evidence. Now that I have had the opportunity of seeing live footage of both Schiavo and Felos here in Australia, I have come to the conclusion that Terri never said anything at all to her husband on the subject and that he has been coached by George Felos to make this claim.

I have been doing some of my own investigation into Felos and his pro-death activity. There is an issue related to Estelle Browning that needs a little bit in the way of publicity. Felos claimed that he could hear her spirit crying out to be released. Felos is a smart cookie and he obviously reads up on what has been decided in cases where there is no living will to determine whether or not the person truly does want to be put to death.

The use of court appointed guardians for those adjuged to be incompetent is also a problem and an issue, because that appointment gives the guardian unlimited power of the ward. We can see that in this particular case Michael Schiavo has been exercising his power to deny treatment to his wife.

It is true, he needs Terri to die so that he can cover up the lie of his claim that he loves her and that he wants to spend the rest of her life looking after her. That is why he has made every conceivable effort to try and end her life - by refusing to allow her to have treatment for urinary and other infections, by making sure that her window was open so that she would get a chill and die of pneumonia. There has been an absolute litany of his attempts to kill his wife. Yet George Greer refused to look at any of this information and calls it groundless.

It gives a whole new meaning to those words "Is the bitch dead yet". What a loving statement and question!!!

Posted by: Maggie at March 21, 2005 8:07 PM

Thanks for your important work. I hope you will take up the monstrous Texas Futile Care Law, which permits the killing of even conscious patients who have terminal diseases. Little Sun Hudson died on March 15, executed for the crimes of being born poor and with a congenital defect. See http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/3084934

Posted by: Sid Rose at March 21, 2005 11:34 PM