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April 5, 2005

The Washington Dispatch on "The Execution of Terri Schiavo"

Topics: Commentary

Judie Brown writes of the great sadness of the death of Terri Schiavo who she describes as an innocent victim of a heinous crime, who was unjustly sentenced to die an excruciatingly painful death by starvation and dehydration. Although she says that words cannot express the inhumanity of the actions taken against Terri, I'd be willing to make a small wager that there are a lot of us who could think of more than just a few words to describe what was done to Terri by her husband(sic) and the courts, but such words would just be wasted on the choir, and those that never really understood the inhumanity of it all, will never get it anyway - so it's action that's required, not simple words of anquish and frustration.

However, Judie recaps and corrects some of the incorrect assumptions of the media and the euthanasia enthusiasts, and her commentary is a worthwhile read. Particularly her call to action that this tragedy will serve as an impetus for an awakening in this nation. We certainly can join with her in praying and taking thoughtful and concerted action to see to it that the wrongs that were forced upon Terri will help people to recognize the undeniable right to life - and the personhood - of every human being, regardless of his or her perceived condition. Most of us will agree with her that the truly frightening aspect of Terri's death is that it sets a precedent that can be used to impose a similar fate on other innocent, disabled human beings. Today's victim is Terri Schiavo. Tomorow it could be any one of us!

The citizens of this country and beyond should be outraged at the process that led to Terri's painful death. Terri's human rights were trampled as she was forced to die in a manner deemed inhumane for even an animal. The entire chain of events was deplorable and avoidable.

Read Julie's article ...

Cross posted at Hyscience

Posted by richard at April 5, 2005 9:20 AM

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Posted by: juleni at April 5, 2005 12:08 PM

". . . to insist that nutrition and hydration must be provided, except in the time immediately prior to death when the body can no longer process them."

I thank Julie for an insightful column. However, I believe a 'correction' should be made to the statement above.

Even if "the body can no longer process them" nutrition and hydration nonetheless must be provided since they are basics to human dignity and human survival. My point: why not 'waste' the nutrition/hydration instead of 'playing God'? No one in their right mind wants to be starved or dehydrated. Each person has a natural desire to survive, even while dying.

To allow anyone to make decisions against that God-given dignity of any human being is inherently wrong and evil.

The medical community's expertise is in the area of providing care and well-being for the sick and disabled. Most physicians, however, are ill-equipped to deal with ethical questions simply because their education/formation is extraordinarly focused and narrow. To allow them to make ethical decisions based on current medical 'facts' is to court futher Terri disasters.

Fourteen years ago my wife's neurologist declared her 'brain-dead' simply because she had not awoken from a month-long coma induced by viral encephalitis. His prognosois was based on [emphasis here] his current medical experience, current textbook-based prognoses, and pressures from administration to free up 'resources'. Therefore, she was 'brain-dead'.

After that 'care' conference, I went and prayed over her, asking for the same faith that the Centurion had for his servant. The next day, she awoke from the coma, yanked all the life-support tubes out herself, and struggled to breathe on her own. Further appraisals by the medical community attending her were equally dour - they told me that she would never walk, talk, eat, or toilet herself again. Well, the next day day, she walked, talked, ate, and toileted herself.

If I had listened to the medical consensus, and not to my heart, she would be dead. Fourteen years later, she is alive and alive in her much deepened faith, and in love with her Lord and His Mother. She is still 'disabled' but, unlike Terri's husband, I love my bride of twenty-three years, and it has been a joy to serve and care for her.

To withdraw hydration and nutrition [emphasis here] at anytime is barbaric, selfish, and so contrary to the Gospel that I cannot find the words to express what I feel!

Posted by: TuGGer at April 5, 2005 7:28 PM