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A Life


Obviously, big news this week has been the court fight between Michael Schiavo and Terri Schiavo's family. Death by dehydration/starvation is diabolical. We're not allowed to do that to animals. But we can authorize it for a human?

I don't think that a person in a coma/vegetative state should be kept alive at the depletion of all money of the family. For example, if I were in such a state, I wouldn't expect my family to engage in extraordinary measures to maintain my existence. My kids' needs come first, and they don't need to be broke for life at my expense.


If money were no object, or if they chose to keep me alive, then alive I should be. In Terri's case, both are true. There are enough donations to pay for all her needs for life, and her family wants to keep her alive.

I don't think Michael Schiavo's argument holds any water. He says that he's allowing her to die killing her because it's what Terri wanted.

Michael Schiavo was at his wife's bedside after the tube was removed and said he felt that "peace was happening" for her. "And I felt like she was finally going to get what she wants, and be at peace and be with the Lord," he said.
"Peace was happening" for her? If she's truly in vegetative state, she was at peace long ago because she is aware of nothing now.

So either she is aware and peace can "happen" for her now, and therefore she should be kept alive...

...or she is unaware of anything at all, and there's no harm in keeping her alive. Changing her condition won't bring peace or anything to her - she's incapable of it.

In either case, there's plenty of money and her family wishes to care for her.

Conclusion: Michael Schiavo is a dirtbag who has painted himself into a corner.

ETC: The Republicans (certainly not the Democrats) have passed legislation to clear the road. Michael Schiavo's reaction:

"This is a sad day for Terri. But I'll tell you what: It's also is a sad day for everyone in this country because the United States government is going to come in and trample all over your personal, family matters," he told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday.
Sorry buddy, but when she is no longer your family, this is not your personal family matter.

Michael Schiavo has another woman now, and children by that woman - he can't be considered Terri's advocate, or even her family. He's committed adultery... and then some. He's not a loving husband. He wants this to be over so that he can marry his new woman.

When the family has hope for their daughter, and when money is no object, why kill her?


Tags: schiavo | politics
by Brett Rogers, 3/20/2005 10:12:23 AM


Damn. I was afraid you'd bring this up. And I'm sad that it's another thing we don't agree on.

Money? The money to keep her alive? Just because someone can afford to do something doesn't mean they should. And "dirtbag"? Sheesh. Is that exactly fair? Your choice of words would indicate an assumption that this is an easy choice for her husband. THe arguement of, "if she isn't aware why not keep her alive" is just as easily countered with "why keep her alive". I feel for her parents, truly I do, but they obviously are putting their own (completely understandable) inability to let go above what is best for their child. Her lack of awareness is not a reason to allow her to simply exist without any of things that we know make life worth living---learning, growth, interacting with others. If anything, her lack of awareness is a better arguement for letting her die. This case is the best arguement for living wills and DNR's that there is, and I hope it will make people think about it.

I have just enough nebulous faith to believe that there are worse things than dying, and this, to me, is proof. I hope they will allow the poor woman to finally rest.



Posted by Bella, 3/20/2005 5:45:11 PM

Bella is right about there being worse things than dying, but unfortunately for THIS case, there are no definite answers. There is so much misinformation out there on this that I actually heard someone on the news yesterday say that Terri could not breathe on her own and she was brain dead-both of which are obviously not true. There is too much here that does not add up. She was home for awhile after this happened because the therapy she was receiving was successful to the point that she could walk. Her husband decided to cease that therapy, despite the fact that she was awarded a large settlement specifically for her care. Her body is contorted so horribly because she does not receive even basic physical therapy to stretch and work the large muscle groups. I am quite sure at the age of 20 when she allegedly made the statement that she would not want to be kept alive by artificial measures, she was talking/thinking worst case scenario, which is what I think of when I think ~artificial measures~. Her husband has made some strange decisions in regards to his wife, Terri and they don't seem logical or with her best interest in mind-even before pulling the tube. No extensive testing for years and years? With the significant advances that have been made since 1992? Not even an MRI? You have to ask, "Why not?". Why would her husband refuse these tests? A neurologist that comes in three times a year for ten minutes to assess her persistent vegetative state, that many other doctors disagree with? At the very LEAST, this case needs to be reviewed and the tests should be performed on Terri to see just how ~bad~ her situation is.



Posted by The Artful Blogger, 3/21/2005 7:29:45 AM

Matt has some good posts on this as well, I'd stop by throughts from the oasis...



Posted by Stefanie, 3/21/2005 8:01:32 AM

Stefanie, what's the URL?



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 3/21/2005 8:44:28 AM

Laura, those are great points and facts that I wish I had made... the more I learn about this case, the less I believe that there is no hope for Terri.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 3/21/2005 9:28:22 AM

Bella, I think this is an easy choice for Michael. He doesn't act as a husband, or I might treat him with more respect. But if he moves on with a new woman and makes babies with her, then I can't believe that he is Terri's advocate - he now has an agenda that is suspect... her life should no longer be his choice, despite his legal standing as next of kin.

You're a very compassionate person, and I know that you speak out of compassion. You see Terri as completely without hope here? If there were a chance of hope, should she be given that chance?



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 3/21/2005 9:30:13 AM

I do see her as without hope. Fifteen years is a very long time. Doctors have determined that removing a feeding tube will allow her to starve to death without knowing it. That level of brain function doesn't seem too hopeful to me. We don't have any definitive answers about what she may or may not have wanted, I concede that, but I have a hard time believing that many people would want to spend this length of time, or be looking forward to one more minute, in her condition. Think about this...not thinking, eating, speaking, feeling, moving independently and you haven't been able to for fifteen years. You really aren't even there, yet your family has to hang onto you, watch your body dwindle, watch them feed you through a tube, and is completely unable to move on because you are still "alive".

To hear you guys tell it, you'd think it was some giant conspiracy to kill her just so he can go be with another woman. He could just divorce her and leave town. It's been done for far less. Instead he's stayed to fight for her right to die. He doesn't have much to gain from that, except maybe some sense of self-absolution, but if he's as big a scumbag as y'all are making him out to be, I doubt that would matter much. Her parents deserve an end to it and the chance to move on as well...I can sympathize for how difficult it would be to let go and my heart breaks for them, but in the end, I honestly believe it would be better for them all. I have a hard time believing that Terri Schiavo would want to put her family (or even her ex-family) through watching her death take decades rather than days. If there were hope, yes, she would deserve a chance, but at this point there isn't.



Posted by Bella, 3/21/2005 11:01:02 AM

"Death by dehydration/starvation is diabolical. We're not allowed to do that to animals. But we can authorize it for a human?"

Brett...I never thought of it this way. For a long time I've been like "Geez, can't they just let this woman die in peace." But this certainly gives me some good tobaccy to chew on. You got me thinking! Thre really isn't a clear "right" or "wrong" here....just a big suck fest either way.

All in all this is a good reason to have a living will. Of cource some of us can't afford lawyers for living wills. That's why in my family we have hunting accidents.



Posted by Buffalo Bill, 3/21/2005 1:21:34 PM

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