Murder of Terri Schiavo
By Doug Patton
that you are physically incapacitated, unable to speak,
to write a message or in any other way to communicate your
thoughts, feelings or wishes. Imagine that you are incapable
of feeding yourself, and must rely on tubes pumping nourishment
and hydration into your body.
what it would be like to be utterly dependent upon the kindness
and mercy of others. Occasionally, the face of someone you
loved – your mother, perhaps –comes into view. You attempt
to smile, but you don’t really know if it is registering
pretty shape – is that a balloon? – passes before your line
of vision. You follow it with your eyes, your head turning
as it goes by,
one day, someone tells you that you will be allowed to die
unless you can communicate that you want to live. You lunge
forward from your partial sitting position to let the world
know that you are alive in here! You want to live!
in the end, it doesn’t matter. Suddenly, the people you
love are no longer around. You are alone. You are uncomfortable.
Is that thirst you feel? Hunger? Then, as morphine drips
into your tubes to replace the life sustaining moisture
and nourishment, you drift off into a euphoric state of
semi-death, waiting for the end to come.
priest who has ministered to you for the last 13 years is
forbidden to give you communion as you lie on your deathbed.
The reason? It would mean having to place something in your
mouth, and that would constitute feeding, which is not allowed
when the goal is court-ordered starvation.
I write this, Terri Schiavo is experiencing just such a
fate, mandated by a Florida judge who says that her life
worth living. A handful of doctors say she is in no pain.
But these are the same “experts” who assure us that babies
feel no pain when they are being scraped, pulled, poisoned
and dismembered in the womb.
dozen other doctors contend that Terri is not in a vegetative
state, that with therapy, she could have at least a partial
recovery. Her parents are willing to care for her for the
rest of their lives.
it doesn’t matter, because her husband, Michael, his lawyer,
George Felos, and the Florida court system want her dead.
was a lovely 26-year-old in 1990 when she suddenly and mysteriously
collapsed and fell into a persistent state of physical and
mental semi-disability. She cannot speak nor feed herself,
a condition her parents blame on years of neglect by a husband
who spent his time and resources petitioning the courts
to have her declared “vegetative” rather than getting her
the therapy she so desperately needed.
what is the agenda behind the murder of Terri Schiavo? Do
we really have to ask? Michael Schiavo has been living with
another woman for several years. They have a child together
and another on the way. Lawyer George Felos is a well known
“right to die” advocate. The two of them somehow have managed
to manipulate the system, suppress vital evidence and convince
a sympathetic judge to allow them to kill Terri.
questions surround this case. Why was Michael Schiavo allowed
to keep his wife’s medical records sealed for ten years?
Why is his testimony concerning her wishes being accepted
as credible? Was there abuse, as her parents claim? Unless
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush intervenes, as the Florida Constitution
clearly gives him authority to do, we may never know.
Americans went about their business these last few days,
Terri Schiavo lay struggling for her life. Will her death
become a watershed event in the history of America, or just
a footnote in the culture of death that has come to engulf
Patton is a freelance columnist who has served
as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor at
the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns
can be read in newspapers across the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for
Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).
Readers can e-mail him at email@example.com.