Thursday, March 10, 2005

Judge Orders Terry Schiavo Murdered

There's no other way to put it, folks. A judge has just sanctioned the State of Florida to end the life of a living woman who has committed no crime. The State of Florida is going to allow Terry Schiavo to be murdered. Story here.

Saying the case"appears to (have been) brought ..... in violation of the separation of powers doctrine", a circuit court judge in Florida denied a last minute appeal by the Department of Children and Families (DFC) to put a 60-day hold on the removal of Terry Schiavo's feeding tube, in order to investigate alleged abuses by her husband during his handling of Terry's case. The feeding tube is now set to be removed March 18th. After 7-9 days, Terry Schiavo will suffer a painful, horrifying death from dehydration and hunger.

I can't tell you sickened and saddened by this case I am. Honestly, it makes my stomach queasy and nauseous to write about it. It sickens me that this can happen in the the USA. An otherwise healthy person, suffering only from brain damage, will be denied food and water, and be allowed to die, BY COURT ORDER, based on the testimony of her husband, who is now living with and has 2 children by another woman. All the while, the victim's parents plead with the court to save their child's life, and let them care for her.

My God, can you imagine, pleading for your child's life, and having a judge tell you, NO... her husband said she would rather die.

My God, where have we come as a nation?

If Terry is truly brain-dead and vegetative, as her husband and some doctors contend, then Terry shouldn't be aware of her surroundings, of her life, or of anything going on. If she's brain-dead, she's not home. What's the harm if she's fed a little longer? The idea of letting someone die in this type of situation is to alleviate suffering. If she's brain-dead, she's not suffering, she doesn't know anything, and doesn't care.

But what if she isn't brain-dead? Her parents insist she's not. Her parents, and others, insist they see signs of life, of activity, and of awareness. If she's not brain-dead, then she will suffer as no one should suffer if she dies of starvation and dehydration.

What's the rush to kill her? I know, I know, this case has been winding it's way through Florida courts for years. But, still...why the rush to kill her? Why the demand to get it done? Where's the harm in waiting before killing her?

And yes, I call it "killing her" because that's what it is. Killing. Not "allowing to die".

Killing. Murder.

What would we call it if a mother decided to stop feeding her severely retarded 10-year old child, who was otherwise unable to feed himself?

What would they have called it if Stephen Hawking's parents and stopped feeding him when he was small and they thought he was brain-damaged beyond repair?

We'd call it murder.

How about if a family stopped feeding a severely disabled elderly person in the late stages of alzheimers? They're gonna die soon, anyway, and their life sucks. Why keep them alive?

Why keep feeding a terminally ill cancer patient?

Why keep feeding a woman who's been in a coma for 20 years, and never showed any sign of recovering? Oh, wait, I can answer this one. BECAUSE SHE MIGHT WAKE UP and be glad to be alive. Ask Sarah Scantlin of Kansas, who was in a vegetative state for 20 years before waking up just last month.

In fact, I can answer all of these. We feed and care for retarded, handicapped, ill, injured, lame, diseased and disfigured people because they are human beings, just like every last one of us, granted life by their creator, or at least someone other than the State of Florida. That life is their's, to be lived to fullest possible, whatever that means to an individual.

Quality of life? It's a hollow and meaningless argument. An individual must spell out for themselves the quality of life they desire to live before a debilitating injury removes their ability to articulate it for themselves. Who are we to say for them? Shoeless tots in mud-filled fields in Guatemala have horrible "quality of life" by our standards, but children all over the world find find a measure of joy in their lives. Who are we to judge, without direct communication with the affected person?

Life is precious and sacred, and in every instance, and I mean EVERY instance where there is the least possible doubt, we MUST err on the side of life. To do otherwise is to step even further down this slippery slope we're on that began with Roe V. Wade, and the idea that it's ok to deny life to the voiceless who are unable to argue for themselves (Terry is the adult ancillary here), in favor of not causing inconvenience to another life that is able to have it's voice heard (think Terry's husband here).

Think about it. We can't execute anyone in the USA without a jury hearing the case against the accused, thinking it over, arguing it, and coming to the unanimous conclusion that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused is guilty of a crime and deserves to die, and still the vast majority of are never put to death! Terry Shiavo has been accused of nothing, has had no jury hear her case, and there's a lot of reasonable doubt to be raised in her situation. And a single, lone judge has said enough is enough.... pull her tube and kill her.

Isn't the USA amazing?

Folks, death must NEVER be the default choice over life. Adults should make a living will and express your choice, and if your choice is to die instead of live in a similar situation, that's fine. I'm all for honoring a persons clear choice. But in cases of abiguity and doubt, we must never let the State make the final choice of who lives and who dies.

When there is doubt, we must ALWAYS choose life.

We do it for murderers. We should do it for Terry.

Hopefully this guy will change Michael Schiavo's mind.

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