Friday, June 17, 2005
Schindler Family Responds to Coroner's Report  

The Schindler family has responded to the autopsy report on Terri:
First, the IME's report confirms Terri's physical condition and disability. We all knew Terri was seriously brain-injured before the IME report. This is nothing new. The IME's report also confirms that TERRI WAS NOT TERMINAL. THAT TERRI HAD NO LIVING WILL, THAT TERRI HAD A STRONG HEART, and THAT TERRI WAS BRUTALLY DEHYDRATED TO DEATH.

Second, our family would encourage the media to remember that this case was allegedly about "Terri's choice." There is absolutely no evidence that Terri wanted to die of dehydration, or that she believed that the level of one's disability gives anyone the moral and legal right to end another's life.

Third, the IME said clearly that dehydration, not her brain injury, was the cause of her death. Terri was dehydrated to death before our eyes The moral shame of what happened is not erased because of Terri's level of disability. No one would say that "blind people" or "brain-injured" people should be put to death. That would be an irresponsible and heartless position to take. Tragically, that is what happened to Terri. As a society, it seems that we have lost our compassion for the disabled.

-- Terri had a strong heart according to the IME. In addition to her strong heart, Terri also demonstrated a very strong will to live.
Click here for the complete article.

The response by the family also includes many other concerns which the coroner's report raised regarding how Terri Schiavo ended up with a brain injury. However, the simple truth that continues to be demonstrated even by this autopsy is that Ms. Schiavo was put to death. A mentally-disabled woman with a family who was very ready to care for her was cruelly dehydrated to death simply because her estranged husband wanted her to die.

One of the most disturbing items about what happened to her is that no one was able to prevent her very public death. This crime was committed in the open, and no one was able to stop the perpetrators. Although she was innocent of any crime, the legal system, which should have protected her, gave numerous affirmations to her death sentence. The legislature and the governor had the courage to act once to save her life, but they lacked the preseverance and the genuine concern for Terri Schiavo to act a second time to save her life. Congress, too, acted boldly by passing legislation in record time, but they failed to have the strength to follow-up when the legislation was ignored along with their subpoenas. Even the President might have been able to act, but the political stakes were too high for him to take such a risk.

Keep in mind, this did not occur in some dark alley. No, this was a very public murder. By being public, it gave a tremendous amount of support for the euthanasia supporters. After all, if a mentally-disabled woman can be publicly dehydrated to death, why can't we all quietly take the lives of family members who have become too much of a burden for us. All you have to do is convince maybe a few people that it would be your relative's wish to suffer for several days without water and then die.

This leads me another disturbing item about Ms. Schiavo's death which is the universal agreement that mentally-disabled people like Terri Schiavo would not suffer because they do not feel anything. If you have ever been around people in a hospital, you know that people are able to sense things even when it seems that could not possibly be aware of their surroundings. In addition, there have been people who have recovered from diagnosed PVS who have made it clear that they felt what was being done (or not being done) to them.

The Schindler family makes the point that it should have been unnecessary to administer morphine to Terri Schiavo as she died if she felt no pain as was claimed by those who were seeking to put her to death. Yet morphine was given to her as the coroner's report indicates. The fact is that even for people who might actually be clinically diagnosed as PVS, which Terri Schiavo was not, we just cannot know for certain that a person does not feel anything.

Finally, a third disturbing item about Ms. Schiavo's death is the fact that she is actually dead. The finality of her death seems to be completely lost on all supporters of euthanasia. They act as if death is not permanent. The reality is that Ms. Schiavo's family (father, mother, brother, and sister) will never see Terri again on earth. She obviously wanted to see them over these many years because she kept fighting despite the tremendous opposition to her obvious will to live.

I feel very sorry for the family of Terri Schiavo who loved her deeply. They have gone through an absolutely hellish ordeal. Unfortunately, their trials are not over. In fact they may never be over because they will always remember that Terri was killed as they stood by helplessly, and no one else was able to prevent her death.

Posted by David at 3:00 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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