February 22, 2005

Should Terri Schiavo Be Put to Death?

That's essentially what will be happening if her "legal guardian" has his way. This opinion piece from the The Washington Times gives a good background on the the whole situation and I wholeheartedly agree with the conclusion, "Save Terri Schiavo". She should not be put to death. She has committed no crime. Her impairment is cognitive. She is not declining in health nor nearing death in any way. There are even questions in regards to her so-called "persistent vegetative state".

Her husband Michael, his brother and a sister-in-law have testified that when Terri visited her Grandmother hooked up to a ventilator in a nursing home she stated that she would not want to be a burden to anybody or live like that. She has signed no advance directive and the judges in her appeals cases have taken it upon themselves to make life and death decisions on her behalf. Lawyers have issued opinions on the bio-ethics of the case. Here is a quip from Terrie's parents website in regards to her diagnosis of "persistent vegetative state":

MYTH: Terri is PVS (Persistent vegetative state)
FACT: The definition of PVS in Florida Statue 765.101:
Persistent vegetative state means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:

(a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of ANY kind.
(b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.

Terri's behavior does not meet the medical or statutory definition of persistent vegetative state. Terri responds to stimuli, tries to communicate verbally, follows limited commands, laughs or cries in interaction with loved ones, physically distances herself from irritating or painful stimulation and watches loved ones as they move around her. None of these behaviors are simple reflexes and are, instead, voluntary and cognitive. Though Terri has limitations, she does interact purposefully with her environment.

You can see that there certainly are discrepancies and semantics (or so it seems) regarding that description of her condition. A lawyer that visited her had this to say about their visit with her in the hospice. You can see the state of her condition for yourself at the website that has been set up to help fight for her life - www.terrisfight.org. Watch any of the videos linked on the page and I will guarantee you will be able to form an opinion on whether or not she should put to death. The reason I use the term "put to death" I think will be apparent after viewing the video footage of her interaction with her mother and Doctor.

There are also indications that there may have been foul play in regards to the way in which she entered this state of disability. Her husband Michael may face a grand jury investigation. Findings from a medical examination in 1991 at a rehabilitation facility suggest there were other trauma sustained that may have resulted from a beating.

Terri's parents have been fighting tirelessly for her life since 1998. Take a moment to visit their website and watch the video footage. It will scare you to think that anyone would believe that this woman should die!

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Always glad to have some form of reaction/response to my posts. Caustic or otherwise.