Friday, April 01, 2005

The Terri Schiavo Case: Tragedy and Disgrace

Terri Schiavo is dead. Perhaps now the hypocritical Republican politicians and the religious zealots who intervened into such a sorrowful family situation can pack up. The hypocracy of the Bush Administration and its Congressional allies was displayed in an extraordinary fashion. These are the jokers who plan to cut Medicaid funds, rushing to "defend the life" of a severely brain-damaged woman apparently kept alive for more than a decade by Medicaid.
These are the guys who preach the sanctity of states rights, interfering with Florida's judicial system to rule on the Schiavo case. But, I almost forgot, they did the same thing nearly five years ago and deposited George W. in the White House.
And then there's that brilliant heart surgeon, Dr. William Frist, who doubles as the Senate majority leader, making a long-distance neurological diagnosis of a patient via a dated video shown on a TV news program. This is a potential Presidential candidate in 2008?
Finally, we have the religious fanatics galloping to the patient's bedside with their medieval agendas. These are the folks who want to ban the stem-cell research that might lead some day to important medical advances. Then they want to set back educational standards to the Middle Ages by outlawing the teaching of evolution.
Latching on to the phony "pro-life' and "pro-family" labels (have you ever known anyone who is anti-life and anti-family?), the zealots exploit Mrs. Schiavo's tragic plight to argue the need to deny a woman's freedom to have an abortion--as if women are clamoring to abort just to exercise their rights. And how does one contend with the cruel habit of many of these "pro-lifers" to kill and threaten anyone who disagrees with them?
All this said, however, I was disappointed by Michael Schiavo, the husband. He could have dealt more kindly with the obsession of his wife's parents and siblings to continue keeping Terri on a feeding tube. He was apprently offered the opportunity of divorcing his brain-dead wife and transferring guardianship to her family. In all candor, I am dubious about his claim that his wife, when only in her mid-20s two decades ago, declared her wish not to end up in a vegetative state. The Florida courts, of course, considered his claim credible. There is obviously such a deep-rooted hatred between the husband and his in-laws that any rational resolution was impossible.
Rest in peace, Terri.


Anonymous Scott Mack said...

Mr. Reichek,
I appreciate and agree with your sentiments re: Terry Schiavo. Thank you for expressing them in a public forum. Consistent with your points, in the absence of a written document, why shouldn't thye courts allow a member of the immediate family to take responsibility for the disabled person, when there is a family controversy like this? Of course, that would require a change in the law, which today favored the husband above the wishes of the parents. I think the key here is the presence, or lack thereof of a valid, signed document. The social conservatives would probably support this, though I'm sure their real agenda is to affect the "right to die" and euthenasia practices that have become accepted. Thanks again and good luck with your blog!

Monday, April 04, 2005 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Schiavo case was a family dispute. Unfortunately, both sides of the aisle turned it into a value of life debate.

The reality is, as you said, her ex-husband (is a "current" husband shacking up with a woman and having two kids? Of course not..let's call it like it really is) should have turned this decision over to her immediate family after he gave up. Issues like this should be unanimous before such a dramatic decision is made. The way that they killed her was absolutely immoral and inhumane. So don't feed me the "let her die in peace" line.

That said, this was a judicial decision, not one that needed any intervention by the legislature.

Monday, April 04, 2005 7:45:00 PM  

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