Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Schiavo fiasco



I have a confession to make: I'm starting to feel sorry for Michael Schiavo.

He's been villified in this sorry, sad, sordid epic, branded as a wife-murderer who wants to collect the insurance money and get on with life with his common-law wife.

But he waited eight years before he started advocating removal of Terri's feeding tube. That's a long time to watch a loved one vegetate. Maybe he found a new life quicker than many would approve, but only God knows his heart.

Terri's parents are sincere, but deluded, I've come to believe, in thinking their daughter reacts to their presence. Her brain has been liquefying these past 15 years. Those couple of seconds worth of video of her blinking at her parents were culled from many, many hours of videotape, none of them recent.

I can't fault them for wanting to hang onto their daughter, though. Losing a child is the hardest pain there is to endure.

I even feel sorry for the doctors, who are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They can't even hasten the end for Terri, to make it quicker for the family, even if she doesn't know what's going on. They would be sued.

If I starved my old, sick dog to death, instead of having him euthanized, I would be arrested for cruelty to animals. Why can't a more humane way to ease the transition from this life to the next be used for human beings? I would certainly want it for myself.

I don't fear death. I don't want a long-drawn out one, so I have a living will and a medical surrogate. Who knows if my wishes will be honored, though.

Anyway, so who are the villains in the Schiavo case?

Those who would use this poor woman as a political football. For example, the Bushes. George W., who has brought about the death of thousands in an illegal and unjust war, talks about a climate of life. Pah. Jeb, our illustrious Florida governor, trying to make some political hay. Trying to stretch their authority into places where they have no business going. Pah.

Jesse Jackson comes down to gain some publicity out it all, snuggling up the Bushes in the process. Pah.

Our local TV news channels, with anchors in place over in Pinellas Park, to give us the blow-by-blow sound bites. Hanging on like a bunch of ghouls. Pah.

All the nut cases who want to kill Michael Schiavo, using the same logic as "right-to-lifers" use to kill doctors (don't they see a basic contradiction here?), descending upon Pinellas Park, too. Trying to sneak into her hospital room. The carnival atmosphere must appeal to them. Pah.

1 comment:

TheGreenKnight said...

That about covers it. What I can't stand is how all these perfect strangers on TV and in Congress are suddenly the parents' bestest buddies; when you know that in another week they'll have forgotten all about them.