There’s only one name on Robert Schindler’s list: Terri Schindler Schiavo, his beloved daughter. Terri is at the center of the “right to die” movement’s latest efforts to advance its agenda in America. There’s only one problem. Terri, their latest poster-child, left no indication that she wanted the job.
Indeed, her husband Michael Schiavo, collected nearly $1.6 million in malpractice insurance awards several years after the heart attack that left Terri brain-damaged. He did this by pleading with the jury to make it possible for him to care for and rehabilitate his wife. All but $54,000 of that $1.6 million is now gone. Terri has received no rehabilitation.
Efforts by Terri’s parents and family to provide rehabilitative therapy at their own cost have been blocked by Mr. Schiavo, his attorney George Felos and the Florida court system. At Mr. Felos’ legal urgings, the courts continue to view Mr. Schiavo as Terri’s guardian, despite the fact that he lives with another woman who is now pregnant by him.
Responding to overwhelming public support for Terri’s right to live, the Florida legislature yesterday give Gov. Jeb Bush narrow authority to intervene and end Terri’s dehydration and starvation death as ordered by the Florida courts. She has been moved to a hospital to begin intravenous rehydration. No one knows at this point if she will live, or what her fate will be should she do so.
Terri’s life and rehabilitative hope is a creature of the Internet – and of you. The mainline media would never have covered this story beyond printing Terri’s obituary, because they are overwhelmingly pro-death. Their single exception is for destructive and violent career felons, who they assure us in the gravest of moral tones, the state has no right to kill. Infants and the disabled can’t fight back against the media, so they are fair game to have their skulls crushed upon delivery or their helpless and infirm bodies starved to death. All in the name of compassion, of course.
You, however, had another view of America. News sites like WorldNetDaily have played a part in Terri’s chance at life, to be sure. But on our own, we could have done little more than chronicle her life ebbing away – another victim of Florida’s legal system. You have no such limitations. You took matters into your own hands, whether they were locked together in prayer or fingers tapping on keyboards – learning, arguing, explaining and, finally, acting.
In “The world’s most dangerous place” (March 23, 2000) I used this quote from Gen. Omar Bradley, addressing an Armistice Day crowd at the end of World War II: “We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. … The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”
You have recognized this truth as it applies to Terri Schindler Schiavo. For that I thank you, because I have been deeply troubled by this case. It is overwhelmingly important that you know you are not alone. Many of the disabled are terrified. Here’s a quote by one of them:
Disabled People are not going to be allowed to survive, unless they become the strongest and most militant force on Earth. Governments and courtrooms are demonstrating that, and today’s repeat execution order by the same judge in Tampa Bay, Florida clarifies that point [link appears below].
That is why I am not “wrapping up” this column in the traditional way, because I think that Terri’s case, and others like her, are far from “wrapped up.” Instead, I’m leaving you with some of the less obvious Internet links that went into my research and thinking about this case. Their inclusion here doesn’t mean that I agree or disagree with their positions, only that I reviewed their information as part of my research.
And if you’re interested in a wonderful tool that will generate these links (and you’re lucky enough to use a Macintosh) you might give DevonAgent, a new personal search program, a try (I have no financial interest in the program and do not know the developer).
Research links for Terri Schindler Schiavo: