OK I’ve not commented up until now on this case because I didn’t know that much about it. I just wasn’t keeping up with it. This is a revised post on the subject because, honestly, I still don’t know as much about it as I probably should, and don’t have time to do adequate research.
Here’s a few things you won’t hear on the local news:
* Though an advance directive is required in Florida prior to removing nutrition, Terri never had one. All they have is Michael Schiavo’s word, which may or may not be trustworthy.
* Terri has received no meaningful therapy since 1991 (!) because her husband has refused consent. It has reportedly been more than 3 years since a doctor even evaluated her condition.
* When a judge ordered her tube removed (sentenced her to die), her parents petitioned the court to allow them to at least try to feed her bread and water themselves (without machines) and, incredibly, were denied. The court refused to allow parents to try to feed their child! A police officer stands guard at the door to prevent such action from taking place. Unbelievable!
I don’t understand why her husband persists in his crusade to see his wife dead. It’s not character assassination to point out that he has lived with another woman by whom he has two children. I wonder if shehas a living will? Does he stand to gain insurance money from Terri’s death? I’d be interested to find out. He certainly didn’t catch that part in his marriage vows about loving, serving, cherishing in sickness and in health. I certainly don’t admire the position he’s been in since the ordeal began, but neither do I admire the way he handles it now. Why won’t he simply divorce her and let her parents take over since they’re willing?
And I don’t understand a court system that could allow him to enact involuntary euthanasia. Could the father of a mentally retarded child refuse to feed him and thus have him starve to death? The logic is the same, isn’t it? In an earlier post I discussed some of the issues at play more fully – I don’t have the time tonight to go back over it. Suffice to say the case is complicated, but I’m concerned about the precedents that are being set.