Saturday, April 01, 2006

Remembering Terri Schiavo

Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband who used the courts to order her death by dehydration, recently gave an interview on MSNBC promoting his new book, "Terri the Truth."

Just a few thoughts on the interview:
  • By his own admission the book focuses on settling old scores rather than honoring Terri's memory.
  • Michael claims to a dedicated husband who stood by her to the end. But three years after Terri's condition began he moved on to another woman.
  • Michael refused to allow Terri's brother into her room to say goodbye. His justification, "Bobby and I, you know, we hate each other."
  • Michael finishes the interview by saying, "She's up there praising me right now… and saying thank you." I'm gonna say that's a wee bit presumptuous.

I'm looking forward to hearing Terri's brother Bobby Schindler speak at a fundraiser for Alliance for Life Ontario's Reaching Minds Through Media Campaign on April 21, 2006.

It's easy to take sides, but I think it's more important to realize that this happens every day. The so-called right to die is rarely exercised by the person doing the dying. As this example shows us, the person making the decision will always have their own self interest and biases and will never really know the ill person's will. Families will fight bitterly over these decisions.

I understand that caregivers will no doubt be see the attraction in ending suffering and in moving on with their lives. However, we cannot be fooled into thinking that ending life prematurely is the right decision. Providing food and water and not administering drugs that will bring about death prematurely is essential if we are to truly value human life.

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