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April 24, 2005

Clara Martinez: Saved From Death or Stay of Execution?

Topics: News

From the pages of Life Matters! . . .

"Let It Be as God Wishes," proclaims the headline in La Raza, whose crusading editor, Jorge Mederos, continues:

That was how Salvador Martínez reacted to the forces unleashed by La Raza, which in 24 hours had obligated him to change his decision to suspend feeding for his wife Clara. After 30 days he authorized reconnecting the feeding tube. The women who the physicians had declared beyond hope is now receiving food and water, while her future is being discussed at the family level.
In other words, "God's wishes" may yet be trumped by man's, as Clara's life remains in the hands of others in negotiations that include the man responsible for her being starved for more than 30 days!
The impact of the information published on the front page last week and on La Raza Online was felt immediately. The situation of this 39-year-old Mexican woman who a year and a half ago suffered the debilitating consequences of a stroke has shaken Chicago's Latin community and had repercussions throughout the United States.

Because of its similarity to the situation of the American Terri Schiavo, pro-life and anti-euthanasia groups were immediately alerted by Internet. The information from La Raza was also picked up by other press media in the city and within 24 hours several of them had echoed it with a wide emphasis. By Friday night it was already publicly known that this mother of two children aged five and seven years had gone for 30 days without food, and the next day she was reconnected to the feeding tube.
Thank you, La Raza, for demonstrating the power of a free press and showing up the mainstream media, which like Telemundo had shamefully ignored the story, which apparently conflicted with their anti-life agenda.
Her husband...had signed a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order and ordered feeding withheld. The woman survived through all those days with only water.

However, although the physicians had disconnected the feeding machine, they left the feeding tube in place for the case that the husband were to change his mind. The DNR was hung in full sight of everybody at the head of the bed.
Sort of like, "INRI" hung over the cross of Jesus Christ.

According to Pastor Guillermo Espinoza of the Hispanic Evangelical Church, who serves as chaplain at an area hospital and became aware of Clara's case while she was interned in a nursing home, Salvador Martínez always maintained that his wife would not want to go on living under these conditions.

However, there is nothing in writing to document this wish. Clara's mother, Gregoria Ruano, and other relatives were against the decision of Salvador, who has been acting as his wife's legal guardian.
As long as Salvador Martinez remains Clara's legal guardian, her life remains in danger, particularly, should he subsequently move to evict Clara's mother from the house he owns.
Last Sunday at three in the afternoon, some 40 people got together in front of the house for a vigil, praying and singing hymns. Inside several of Clara's relatives had gathered in a kind of "conclave."

The day before the house had been visited by a Human Services inspector, concerned by the news that there was a woman there who was dying of starvation. Following this visit, Clara's feeding was resumed, although sources in government explained that no official action had been taken because, in such situations, a judge is the only authority who can overrule the will of the legal guardian.
In other words, a legal guardian can starve you to death unless a judge--like Judge Greer, for instance?--overrules him. You see why Clara's life, why no man's life, is safe when murder is a private act and no longer treated as a crime.
Salvador Martínez and the rest of the family has avoided speaking to reporters. According to what Pastor Espinoza told La Raza, "There is still some resentment, but what is important is that Clara is well...."

Earl Appleby, Director of Citizens United Resisting Euthanasia (CURE), has offered legal support to Clara's family in the event that they decide to take the case to court.
That offer still stands. Indeed, CURE has been in touch with an attorney in Chicago, who has offered to assist the family in defending Clara Martinez's life.

Posted by earl at April 24, 2005 10:08 PM

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I find it really odd that they wouldn't have the authority or possibility to at least temporarily suspend any guardianship pending a hearing or investigation if they find grounds for abuse.

Posted by: Vanessa at April 25, 2005 3:16 AM

Earl, thank you for what you are offering to Clara's family! And I thank the Lord for the attorney willing to help, also. I will continue to pray for Clara. I am so grateful to know you, Earl.

Posted by: juleni at April 25, 2005 10:24 AM



"Darren & Debbie are asking if it would be at all possible to bring in a
pro-life doctor from elsewhere, with some knowledge in this field, to do
an independent assessment on Charlotte. Would you know of any leads, or
how we might go about this? They feel strongly that the NHS is not
working for her best interest, and just now it seems as if maybe an
American doctor might be able to make a less politicized assesment than a
British doctor.


EARL - Perhaps Dr. Byrne (neonatalist)? Were you able to ask him about Baby Charlotte's case?

Posted by: juleni at April 25, 2005 10:59 AM