Sunday, May 1, 2005

Terri Schiavo

For 15 years, Terri Schiavo spent her life in a persistent vegetative state (cortical death). During those 15 years leading up to her death, her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, fought against her parents (Schindler) for the right to remove her life support: a feeding tube. But Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers weren't the only ones to get involved. Florida Legislature and Governor Jeb Bush entered the scuffle, as well. The Florida Legislature passed "Terri's Law" which allowed Jeb Bush to intervene in the Schiavo-Schindler case, and in March 2005, he ordered Terri's feeding tube to be put back in, but it was overturned on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.

That brings up the obvious question: Tube in, or tube out?

Well, this writer thinks tube out. Why? For 15 years, she did nothing but lie in a bed and suck up tax money and time that could be better spent serving somebody else. The majority of people who wanted Terri Schiavo to remain alive for the rest of her life on a feeding tube were those annoying Christian zealots who claimed that letting Terri die of dehydration and starvation went against the Bible. Yeah, big deal. They're putting a book in front of the welfare of a person. Why should Terri suffer through being a vegetable just because an unproven imaginary being supposedly wrote it in a book some few-odd thousand years ago (I will get to religion some other time, not now).

Michael Schiavo

These Christians are quick to the gun to keep Terri Schiavo alive, both literally and figuratively, but if Terri had been of another faith, I doubt the entire world would know who Terri Schiavo was and is. Her parents claimed that Terri was "a devout Roman Catholic who did not wish to violate the Church's teachings on euthanasia by intentionally starving or dehydrating herself to death," and that "she had never expressed such a desire to anyone in her birth family or circle of friends". But where's the proof? She never signed a living will, nor did they have any tangible proof that Terri had said that, again leaving Terri's fate in the hands of her husband, who made a "do-not-resuscitate" order. All those claims of Terri's wishes are hearsay, and probably false.

That should be that, right? Wrong. Even after Terri's death, her parents are still fighting with her husband over the issue, though it's gone to more of a monetary mood now. Michael and his brothers get death threats on an almost-daily basis, and it intensifies whenever the case is brought up on the news. It's over, people, get over it. Shooting Michael Schiavo isn't going to bring Terri back to life to lie in a hospital bed for the rest of her life. She's gone, dead, and that's how it should be, and how it should have been a while ago. No one should have to suffer the way Terri did just because some book, the Bible, says that euthanasia is wrong. The Bible was written long ago before the people today had the luxuries of CAT scans, Penicillin, and quadruple bypass surgery. We people do not have the tolerance of pain nor the pride to live the rest of our lives with as much meaning as a lump of dirt. That's why Terri should have died a long time ago. She contributed nothing to society, her parents and family got rich off the publicity, and she sucked up tax money that could've gone to some ailing public schools or another hospital patient who could've actually utilized the financial help.

Jeb Bush

And why, why, why did the government have to get involved? That's why this country is going into a downward spiral: our government is getting mixed up in the wrong things. Military involvement in the Middle East, involvement in the sports and steroids issue, and involvement in the Schiavo-Schindler case. They definitely have better things to focus on rather than the welfare of one person, Terri Schiavo. Go work on some tax reforms or something, Dubya. Don't worry about your sacred text the Bible and whether or not people are being sacriligious. The Bible was outdated a long time ago, and people who are still following it are only kidding themselves. And while I'm on the note, R.I.P., Pope John Paul II, Religion Is Paradoxical. Notice that R-e-l-i part of religion - rely? You're relying on an imaginary person in the sky who apparently has enough time to be vengeful enough to punish you if you decide to starve and/or dehydrate yourself.

Yeah, Terri was a good person and probably did not deserve her untimely, yet time consuming death. But in no way do I feel sorry for her. She made her family rich and famous infamous, and she has etched her name in U.S. history. In a way, Terri was an example for future cases like this, and hopefully everyone involved has learned, mainly the U.S. government. Don't get involved. That means, you, too, Florida Legislature and Jeb Bush. Leave it to the judges and don't try to intervene on the grounds of religion.