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March 31, 2007

Remembering Terri Two Years Later

Topics: Remembering Terri

Two years ago today, Terri Schiavo died after thirteen days without sustenance, having been denied by court order the most basic of necessities. We were stunned, watching in disbelief while this brain damaged, but otherwise healthy woman, was publicly subjected to a slow, excruciating death that her caregivers called "compassionate". Could this really have happened in our beloved country? Have we sunk so low that we are willing to termiate the lives of the weak and helpless because they do not have our capabilities or an acceptable "quality of life".

BlogsforTerri remembers...

We've learned many things, or at least realized and appreciated more deeply truths that were rarely tested. Life is precious and its value is independent of a person's capabilities or health status. All individuals, no matter how severe or hopeless their illness, have the basic right to nursing care, emotional support, food, and water. Our critics have a hard time understanding that diminished capabilities or suffering does not change the dignity of the individual's life.

Many have adopted a utilitarian standard on which to evaluate the acceptability of a person's life. Severe brain damage is therefore seen as dehumanizing rather than just disabling. When we asserted that Terri's life was intrinsically valuable, antagonists responded viciously, caustically attacking in the most vile and aggressive manner. Again, we were surprised.

And, we were caught off guard by the profound cultural change that began some 20 years ago and led to a redefinition of medical treatment and terminal conditions. Euthanasia activists and supporters of assisted suicide have worked together to change laws, set precedent and promote the previously mythical "right to die."

Although Michael Schiavo has received his fair share of criticism, the battle is not about him. He could be a faithful and caring husband or the devil incarnate. Neither scenario adds to or detracts from the fact that Terri Schiavo was killed, her life purposefully ended following the ruling of a U.S. Court. Michael was no doubt exploited by euthanasia activists and was a useful pawn in their pro-death agenda. Perhaps one day he will come to regret his decision to end his wife's life and his unfortunate role in the rise of euthanasia and his position as an icon of the movement's progress.

Although many of our friends (understandably) responded in despair, we were delighted that others pressed forward, realizing that the lessons of Terri's life and death provided an understanding of greater truths, of the grace of God and the value He places upon each individual. Truth brings hope and hope produces vision.

We are seeing vision from individuals who have suffered the most vitriolic criticism of all, the Schindler family. Their steadfastness during this week of extreme exposure is simply inspiring.

BlogsforTerri remains committed to the battle, beginning with education and promotion. Look around you and consider the future of your loved ones. How many will be subjected to the coming storm of active euthanasia if we don't do something now. Next time it will be easier. It always is.

Let the injustice of Terri's death build within us a resolve to protect the weak and defenseless and fight for the dignity of human life.

To begin with, on this, the second anniversary of Terri's death, purchase the book her family wrote called A Life that Matters. Read it with an eye toward life principles.

We have a lot to do... let's get going

Posted by tim at March 31, 2007 8:58 AM

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