April 15, 2005
Another Terri Schiavo-Like Case - This One's in ChicagoTopics: News
Several people have emailed me the following story about Clara Martinez, a Chicago woman who is reportedly being starved to death.
Martinez suffered a debilitating stroke a year ago and her husband signed a "Do Not Resuscitate" order that led to the disconnection of her feeding tube. She is able to consume liquids through her mouth and, so far, has survived for thirty days without food.
Under "normal" circumstances her situation would have gone unnoticed had it not been for the intervention of a pastor of the Hispanic Evangelical Church. Her family also opposes the husband's decision.
I spoke to the article's author, Jorge Mederos. He said the family feels "powerless" and has called the media without response. "No one is paying attention," he said. "The family is planning a protest tomorrow or over the weekend."
Here is the first portion of the article.
In a house on Chicago's southeast side, a Mexican family is going through a heartbreak like the tragedy that befell the American Terri Schiavo's family and deeply affected both those who defend the right to life and partisans of euthanasia. But no voices had been raised so far in this case because very few knew about the situation concerning the 39-year-old Latin woman whose husband decided to disconnect the tube that had been feeding her during her three and a half years in a vegetative state.
This woman has remained in this condition since suffering a stroke. She was cared for in the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Medical Center, later at an intermediate care facility, then at the hospital again, and finally she was taken to her home. At that time the physicians had judged her condition to be irreversible.Update: I had a long conversation with Pastor Espinoza and am assembling my notes to give you an update. It is clear that this family needs prayer and support. They have been looking unsuccessfully for help.
It is also clear that for 29 days Clara has been slowly starving to death without any intervention until Pastor Espinoza stepped in and began contacting different media organizations. After being turned away by the Mainstream Press, Jorge Mederos of the La Raza, picked up the story.
Pastor Espinoza did verify that he believes Clara is responsive. He explained, "Last week when we were in her house we were singing and I talked to her and I said , 'Can you hear me. If you can, close your eyes.' And she did , she was responding." She also moves here head and hands in reponse to her mother.
Espinoza's motivation for fighting to keep Martinez alive is simple. "First of all," he said, "Life has been given by God and only He has the power to take it away. Second, I am a chaplain in a local hospital and see a lot of people in this condition. This could effect them." He described one woman he regularly saw who was in the same condition as Martinez yet is now talking, smiling, singing. "She had a stroke," he expalined, It took 2 years to recover."
more to follow ...
We've been in contact with Citizens United Resisting Euthanasia and they are moving rapidly to offer assistance to the family. Earl writes, "May God bless Pastor Espinoza for raising his voice in defense of Clara Martinez's God-given right to life. Our compliments to Mr. Mederos and La Raza for exposing this covert crime in the making, which is no longer hidden thanks to their professional reporting."
Posted by tim at April 15, 2005 5:03 PM
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