Our opinions and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.

Final Thoughts

I haven't commented on the Terri Schiavo story simply because the entire affair disgusted me and I didn't want to pay any attention to it. But since her life has ended I figure I might as well give my thoughts on the matter. Before her death I wanted to reach through my computer screen and choke anyone who supported her former husband so it was best that I just shut up and ignored it.

Anyways, now that she is gone, I have a few questions I would like answered by those who supported the final outcome.

The first would be why do you believe the husband's claim that she said she didn't want to live in that condition when he never mentioned it for the first 7 years? Was he lying then or is he lying now? If he was lying then should he face legal consequences for the way this played out? He did after all want her to die because he wanted to 'end her suffering' and if that is the way he viewed her life should he not face legal consequences for making her suffer for so many years?

Another question would be if you apply the same principle to every case where a person claimed their sponse or child said they wouldn't want to live in such a situation? Heck when talking about the situations of some people I've known, or when seeing a similar situation on TV, I know that at times I've said I would never want to live that way. But guess what... I sure as hell don't want the courts pulling the plug on me!

I've heard people say such things lots of times but I've never taken the notion that they wanted me to pull the plug on them if they found themselves in such a situation. They rarely quantified the statement by saying under what conditions they would like to be killed. Is anyone but her former husband privy to what Terri said?

Anyways, I guess my real concern on this matter can best be summed up by Leo Alexander who spoke at the Nuremberg Tribunals after WWII:
Whatever proportion these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they had started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitudes of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually, the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans. But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which the entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude towards the non-rehabilitative sick.
I feel more sorrow for those who believe there is such a thing as a 'life not worth living' than I do for those their so-called 'compassion' is directed.

crossposted to The Shotgun


Anonymous said...

Right. I hope you right about the Texas Futile Care Law that was used to put a six month old infant (Sun Hudson)to death over the objection of the mother. This has to stop here is the law

Richard Anthony Hein said...

It certainly tears me up to think about both her husband and family. They both have points, however, as far as I know he was the one taking care of her over the years.

All the photos and film of her I've seen is from 2002, where she seemed to have conscious awareness. Her family says she did. Her husband certainly thought she did for years.

It was allegedly after many years that he admitted to himself that she wasn't there anymore, or in such a state that it was merciful to end her life.

Who do you believe? Well, in the end I didn't know her, so anyone who doesn't know her doesn't have any clue what she wanted, or if she still had a mind working in there someplace.

I do know that it's not easy to allow someone you love to die, especially when you really don't know if they'll somehow get better, or if/when there will be new research and medical technology that helps cure the disease or illness.

I do know that I saw my brother turning into a human that couldn't move. Slowly, over decades. His mind was always there, but his body was deteriorating.

My family didn't take him to the hospital to be put on life support. He didn't want it. He had decades to think about it. He had oxygen, but not a breathing tube. Food was fed to him by hand for a decade, but he had no feeding tube.

When he could no longer hold the pages back in the books he was reading, he told my mother and father that that was the end, and within a couple months he died naturally.

For my brother, it must have been like if being buried alive, so that all your movement slowly is taken from you, until you can barely breathe a single rattled breath without struggle and discomfort, drowning. You're in pain but they can't stop the pain of your bones collapsing under their own weight, crushing your internal organs, because your muscles can't hold your body up anymore.

Still, you talk, laugh, have fun, read, watch movies, etc.... But then eventually, it's too much.

Your brain is dying from straining for life-giving oxygen. Eventually you can't move anymore at all, and words are becoming harder and harder to speak.

They stick a tube in you and keep you alive to be fully aware of this? Torturous hell. Life support should only ever be temporary. Years? Decades? How long?

Of course, here I am thinking about my brother. Terry didn't have the luxury of time to talk about this stuff happening. If she felt this kind of suffering, then it was merciful to end her life.

If she didn't feel this kind of suffering, then she didn't feel anything at all, and was no longer alive in any non-mechanical sense.

Life is precious. There are fates worse than death however.

Now if we are worried about precedence and what-not, well that's why love is supposed to rule over law.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've been getting your information via the media. Check out this site that collects all the legal documents, and you'll realized you've been swallowing balloney. The second link is the guardian ad litem report (Terri's guardian who reported to Gov. Bush).

Anonymous said...

You have not read this have you anonymous.

Sounds like you've been getting your information via the media. Check out this site that collects all the legal documents, and you'll realized you've been swallowing balloney. The second link is the guardian ad litem report (Terri's guardian who reported to Gov. Bush).

It does not say what you think it does read and comprehend it ALL

Anonymous said...

I found the quotation you selected from Nuremburg to be very powerful and impactful, even profound, as applied to Terri's case.