Tuesday, February 15, 2005

On Andy And Terri

Getting serious again for a minute. There has been lots in the news, and even more in the Blogosphere, about Terri Schindler-Schiavo. This is a difficult topic for me.

First, I'll reiterate that this is not a simple or easy to sum-up situation. It's complicated.

Next, I'll say again I support her family's request to take responsibility for her care from her husband. He's looking forward to moving forward. Ignore all the allegations about him and assume the best. He should let her family take over if they want and can. Well, they want and can. The situation is complicated, but the solution is simple.

Finally, I'll say that a reason this is difficult is that I had a nephew in a life-support situation a couple of years ago. He didn't make it. Briefly, he wrecked his truck, was paralyzed, suffered brain damage, and died. It took about three weeks for all of this to happen. He was 17. If you are interested, details are here.

It was quite difficult for the family. I'm not saying any of this to ask for sympathy. Others have lost younger family members and more family members. We have been extremely fortunate in not experiencing such loss. In my lifetime, the next youngest close family member I remember losing was in his 60s. True, I lost a cousin who was just days old, but I honestly don't remember him. But, immediate or close family (siblings, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) losses have been few, and not at young ages. So I recognized that we didn't experience what so many other families have experienced. And it was difficult to put myself in their situation. But, two years ago, I experienced a bit of that kind of suffering and loss.

My newphew, Andy, was in a coma his last few days. And there are different views about what someone in that situation is -- or can be -- aware. Having held his hand, having spoken to him, having read him letters from friends, I know what I believe: there's an awareness.

Terri Schindler-Schiavo may never recover from her situation. Perhaps its too late. Perhaps it never could happen. Perhaps she'll recover. Perhaps she'll remain like for many more years. I don't know.

But she shouldn't be starved to death.

Read more about Terri at MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, which is where I first learned of the blogging effort.


  1. Blogging For Terri Schiavo

    When I first read about the woman who talked after being in a coma for 20 years, I thought of Terri Schiavo. Although their conditions may be very different, one can't help but wonder if the same could happen to Terri.

    We may never know, it seems, ...

  2. The awareness issue, IMHO, cuts both ways.
    I can't conceive of a worse fate than being aware, yet immobile and unable to communicate, for years in a hospital bed.

    On the other hand, I agree too about the starvation issue. We are far kinder to convicted murderers when it comes to ending life. Why do this by starvation? If it is to be done at all, surely it should be done with as much care and consideration as shown murderers, whom we execute in most states via letal injection precisely because it's perceived as being humane?

    As for this case in particular, I simply don't have an opinion because I don't know enough about the case, or her wishes. All I can say is that if it was me, I'd prefer death, and my own living will makes that quite clear.

  3. The URL links an idea that I believe has not been tried yet: offer to ransom Terri from the "husband".

    Let's set the example others are expecting.


  4. Following the money: the sad, strange case of Terri Schiavo

    On balance, the case of Terri Schiavo has been probably the most damning indictment of the American legal system in recent years. If you haven't been following the case at all, Terri Schiavo has been in a vegitative state for...


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