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Thursday, March 31, 2005

ante mortem - post mortem

Terri Schindler (for her maiden name is her true name - moreso for her than for any other lady) has departed her mortal coil - and her dire situation has indeed brought to light many things of importance; the, apparently, all-important need for a living will. The willingness of a Bush administration to step in and then, their usual cold feet routine with things that really matter (it should be life over any abstract war on terror concepts, I always say...). The hypocrisy, yes, but of the medical Establishment and judicial system - pretending to be doing the "right thing" while being substantially less than humane and being, instead, downright barbaric. Some would say the same of "right-to-life" organizations who decried her impending death but have no mercy for those killed in war or for prisoners executed by the state. I see not those as hypocrites at all; some innocents are to be found on death row, surely... but those who are willing to serve their country know the risks it entails. They had a choice; Terri had none since her devastating and debilitating brain damage occurred...

Whatever made Terri the Terri of old - that girl so full of life that she used to be - had been made prisoner of her body for more than a decade. Her soul is freed now - freed to be, once again, what she really is. I hope her family will see things in that perspective - for it is the appropriate one. They are people of faith, so I think that they will. As far as blaming others for the physical death of what some have called "her empty shell of a body" goes... I am ALL FOR IT. Those who "helped" her pass on in this manner could have just as well put a pillow on her face... or gone the lethal injection route... shot her in the head... it would have been swifter. It is - in all scenarios - still the same damn thing - MURDER.
As long as doubt subsists, that Terri wanted to LIVE, and not the other way around... all who partook in this contributed to this murder. Earthly justice is flawed - I will never repeat it often enough - but the Italian judicial system would be perfect for this case; and Michael Schiavo would simply NEVER prove his "innocence" here, just as he can not prove that it was Terri's will to go if she was ever like this. SHE HAD NO LIVING WILL. Mikey here, that judge and all who agreed with them can go straight to hell as far as I am concerned - if only figuratively...





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Comments:
Fitting, also, that she died on the 13th day... I hope it brings all the nightmares and bad luck in the world to the cruel widower...

If he didn't want her anymore, he could always give her back to her TRUE FAMILY - to the Schindlers. THEY truly loved her...


After long struggle, Terri Schiavo dies at 41 - CTV.ca News Staff

Terri Schiavo, the woman who sparked a major legal battle that reached all the way to the White House, was pronounced dead Thursday morning, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

"It is with great sadness that it's been reported to us that Terri Schiavo passed away," family spokesperson and Roman Catholic monk Paul O'Donnell reported on the scene as supporters wept and broke out in prayer and song.

Schiavo's parents are expected to make a statement Thursday.

U.S. President George Bush says he joins the millions of Americans saddened by Schiavo's death and called on those who want to honour her memory to continue to work "to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed, valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others."

"The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favour of life," Bush said.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush responded to the news by saying that Schiavo "is at rest."

"I remain convinced, however, that Terri's death is a window through which we can see the many issues left unresolved in our families and in our society. For that, we can be thankful for all that the life of Terri Schiavo has taught us."

Schiavo, 41, died at the Woodside hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, where she spent the last five years of her life and where scores of activists gathered for vigils, prayer and protests.

The bitter battle played out until the last few minutes of Schiavo's life, as her family members fought to be at her bedside as she died, while her husband and legal guardian Michael Schiavo denied their request.

The Schindlers' attorney, David Gibbs III, said family members were with her until 10 minutes before she died and were allowed back in after she was pronounced dead.

"This is indeed a sad day for the nation, for the family. Their faith in God remains strong," Gibbs said. "God loves Terri more than they do. She is at peace."

Appearing on CNN, Father Frank Pavone, who was present at Schiavo's bedside before she died, described her final minutes as "moments of intense prayer."

The news came the morning after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the latest in a string of appeals by Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, to have their daughter's tube reinserted.

Terri Schiavo's ordeal began on Feb. 25, 1990, when a potassium imbalance caused her heart to stop temporarily.

Terri suffered severe brain damage as her body went without oxygen for at least five minutes. It is believed the condition was brought on by a hormonal imbalance resulting from an eating disorder.

At first, Terri's husband Michael and her parents tried together to find therapy that might aid her recovery, but she remained in her coma-like state.

Nearly a decade later, the legal battles began when Michael filed a petition to have his wife taken off life support. As her legal guardian, Schiavo said he was trying to exercise his wife's express wish -- that she not be kept alive artificially.

But Bob and Mary Schindler argued that their daughter's Roman Catholic faith would never have allowed euthanasia. Convinced that Terri had the capacity to improve with therapy, they chose to use every legal means to oppose their son-in-law.

To the courts and to Congress

Her feeding tube was removed in April 2001. Following an appeal by the Schindlers, it was reinserted two days later on a judge's orders.

After that episode, Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers tried once again to reach a mediated agreement. Once again, they failed.

The next year, the two sides went back to court to argue again whether therapy might help Schiavo. In a ruling that was instantly appealed, the judge ruled that the feeding tube be removed.

The course of appeals eventually ran out, compelling the Schindlers to press their case to both Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the federal court.

But in October 2003, after a federal court judge said he had no jurisdiction in the case, Schiavo's feeding tube was removed a second time. It was out for six days, until Governor Bush signed "Terri's Law" requiring it be reinserted.

A year later, the Florida Supreme Court struck that law down.

In the process, Schiavo's case turned into a lightning rod for a highly-charged debate about the rights of the disabled and the right to die with dignity.

The Schindlers waged round after round of unsuccessful legal challenges. Each time, the court ruled in favour of Michael Schiavo's right to speak on his wife's behalf.

Through it all, Terri became something of a cause celebre for Christian conservatives, lending weight to the Schindlers' push to have the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to intervene.

Attempted legislation failed to pass at both the state and federal levels, and perhaps more significantly, appeared to backfire with the American public.

Polls conducted in the final weeks of Schiavo's life showed the vast majority of Americans, including those who identified themselves as evangelical Christians, opposed the attempts at legislative intervention.

Schiavo's feeding tube was disconnected a third and final time on March 18.

An autopsy is planned, with both sides hoping it will shed more light on the extent of Terri's brain injuries.

Afterwards, Terri's body will be cremated as per Michael Schiavo's wishes.
 
Comment e-mailed to the author of this blog:

"Terri Schiavo is a saint - a modern martyr of modern medecine"

Call her by her maiden name - Terri Schindler - and I will agree with all that... buddy! :)
 
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