Terri Schiavo

The Federal Judge involved in the case is refusing to make an immediate ruling.

Why? Credible witnesses have said that Terri would not want to die like this, that she is not in a PVS. Why this hesitating attitude when Terri hasn’t been fed for days? What is there to consider? We like to talk about living wills, and heart problems, and brains, and the right to die. While all this talking is going on, however, someone is dying. Someone who should live.

Why, Judge Whittemore? Millions of people who have been taught that this nation stands for the importance of individual life want to know why this decision is so hard to make.

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The Mini Schiavo Round-Up

According to our tracker, we have a number of new visitors who have come to the Common Room to read more about Terri Schiavo. For their benefit I’ve compiled a list of all the Schiavo related posts here, in a sort of miniature, Common Room specific round up.
If you’re nice people, you’re welcome to stay and look around. Please remember you are in a school crossing zone.=)

Pay Attention, by the Equuschick, our best writer, and the first one to turn the Common Room from our usual nonsense to something more serious

The Conversation, conversation with a prochoice friend. I point out that the quality of life argument very quickly reduces the continued existence of our multiply disabled child to a choice up to us rather than a self-evident right of her own.

Quality of Life, Quality of Mercy– Some people who have just met us will often tell us over and over again how sorry
they feel for the Cherub. It tends to be the most unobservant, or perhaps self-absorbed, people who feel so sorry for her. We can tell, because sooner or later, they will draw attention to their self-absorption by saying something like “I wouldn’t want to live like that.” I find this sadly amusing, as the Cherub is generally a pretty happy soul, and is perfectly content with things as they are (although there could always be another cookie, another song, another hug, another joy ride on a golf cart). I’m pretty sure that I would not want to live my life as a self-absorbed fool, either, but I don’t tell them it would be better if they’d been killed at birth just because I would find it unsatisfying to live life as they do.

Terri Schiavo and Brain Death– case of woman diagnosed as PVS and what she has to say about it

Proverb for Today– first we have the disclaimer (It was never our intention to make this a blog about hard, serious, and heartrending, heartbreaking, and really emotionally difficult topics. We meant to be funny, lighthearted, trivial, and occasionally erudite- but never serious. The Common Room isn’t meant to be a soapbox.). Then we have the soapbox, and a lot of information on Terri’s case.

Speaking Out, by the Head Girl again. She makes some historical connections, which is only natural, since her major is history.

Staying Current, for the purposes of this mini-round-up, I’m not listing general updates. Updates quickly become postdates in this case. But this post has more on Kate Adamson, declared PVS, starved, and survived to tell about it. It wasn’t painless.

Something to Say, a mustread, IMO, about our disabled daughter. She can’t speak, but she has mobility, so can communicate. If her physical disabilities were greater, she would be unable to communicate, as she doesn’t understand enough to blink her eyes or squeeze our hands consistently on command. But she’d be no less of a human being.

Petulance and Pride , about some of the professionals involved in the attempt to kill Terri.

Is Life Important, by the Head Girl. Hint: the answer is yes. Furthermore, we can care about two things (or even more) at the same time.

Whose Wishes are They Anyway, Part the First
Part the Second
Compelling evidence that it’s not Terri’s wishes being fulfilled here.

Death with Dignity? The last time Terri’s tube was removed and then reinstated, Michael’s lawyer (because Terri doesn’t have a lawyer or a guardian ad litum of her own) complained about the state performing surgery ‘against her wishes.’ I’d agree that it was against Michael’s wishes. I’m not so sure about Terri. But when I think about it, why do they not just cap off her tube? Why put her through the unnecessary physical trauma of having her tube surgically removed. Isn’t that oddly sadistic? Especially when it’s not done properly?

Thanks for reading. Please pray for Terri and all those involved, and consider phoning the appropriate people to complain to.

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Various & Sundry Quote Notes

The HeadGirl’s Spring Break ends tomorrow. Her one consolation is that there are only 7 weeks until Summer Break begins. Today, as she flew about gathering together notebooks and pencils and other necessary but small items, she said: “Spring Break causes me to lead such a degenerate lifestyle, and then I can’t find any of my belongings.” Pipsqueak, being in the same room, asked (with sweet curtiousity), “How is this different from your other lifestyle?”

Alright, I’m done talking in the third person. I am not talented enough to maintain it for lengthy periods of time (if I can do it at all, which is a subject of great doubt).

I began reading Brideshead Revisited on Saturday. I’m almost 1/3 of the way through it, which is encouraging, given the fact that I’ve given myself a deadline for finishing it. I don’t know anything about the story, but so far I’m liking this book very much indeed. I bought my own paperback copy at a recent library booksale and have already marked it up quite a bit so that I can easily find the passages I wish to remember. I’ve decided to share two here.

“Is it good art?”
“Well, I don’t quite know what you mean,” I said warily. “I think it’s a remarkable example of its period. Probably in eighty years it will be greatly admired.”
“But surely it can’t be good twenty years ago and good in eighty years, and not good now?”
“Well, it may be
good now. All I mean is that I don’t happen to like it much.”
“But is there a difference between liking a thing and thinking it good?”

It is here, at this crucial question, that Waugh adds to the friendly tension by having someone else interrupt the conversation. The idea behind this seems quite forceful (at least, to a first time reader): The answer to this question is important, but you’ll have to keep reading if you want it because you’re not going to get it now.

Another interesting passage:
“Does your family always talk about religion all the time?”
“Not all the time. It’s a subject that just comes up naturally, doesn’t it?”
“Does it? It never has with me before.”
“Then perhaps you
are an agnostic. I’ll pray for you.”

Although the HeadGirl does not share Cordelia’s Catholicism (Cordelia being the praying one in this conversation), she does believe that religion should be a subject that “just comes up naturally.” If it is really ingrained in our existence, then it shouldn’t just be something special set aside for Sunday dinner conversation, or ignored entirely, but should be an integral part of our day to day existence.

On a minor celebratory note, I have finished reading Hidden Art of Homemaking. One previously unread Ambleside Online book read, many more to go.

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A Round Up of Terri Schiavo Blogs

LaShawn Barber, a worthy blogger, is compiling a round-up of blogs addressing the Terri Schiavo case. Go check it out. If you find anything you think we should read or possibly include here, let us know in the comments section.

Incidentally, LaShawn is well worth reading on many topics, so go, already. We’ll be here when you come back.

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Whose Wishes, Part II

UPDATE: forgot to give the link to Whose Wishes, Part the First.

Recently, on a Larry King show, Michael Schiavo was asked if he had spoken to or seen Terri’s parents. He said no. He was asked if he could understand what they, as parents, were going through. He replied,

“M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it’s about Terri. And I’ve also said that in court. We didn’t know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want…”

Terri’s parents have charged all along that Terri had never expressed a wish to die to Michael, and that this was only what he wanted. I realize that there is a good possiblity that this is not what Michael meant to say, but perhaps it’s one of those misstatements that has more truth to it than the speaker wishes. And, of course, it’s not the first time Michael has admitted it’s not Terri’s wishes that motivate him:

In a September 27, 1999 Deposition, Michael Schiavo said his reason for keeping guardianship of Terri was essentially to get back at her parents.

Q. Have you considered turning the guardianship over to Mr. and Mrs. Schindler?

SCHIAVO: No, I have not.

Q. And why?

SCHIAVO: I think that’s pretty self explanatory.

Q. I’d like to hear your answer.

SCHIAVO: Basically I don’t want to do it.

Q. And why don’t you want to do it?

SCHIAVO: Because they put me through pretty much h*** the last few years.

Q. And can you describe what you mean by h***?

SCHIAVO: The litigations they put me through.

Q. Any other specifics besides the litigation?

SCHIAVO: Just their attitude towards me because of the litigations. There is no other reason. I’m Terri’s husband and I will remain guardian.

After his attorney “talked” with him, Michael added, “Yeah. Another reason would be that her parents wouldn’t carry out her wishes.”

Others (namely her parents and brother) have contradicted Michael’s assertion that his wife would want her feeding tube removed. In addition, Cindy Shook, who had an affair with Michael shortly after Terri’s incident, gave a startling deposition. Regarding what Terri would have wanted she claims Michael said,

“How the h*** should I know we never spoke about this, my God I was only 25 years old. How the h*** should I know? We were young. We never spoke of this.”
More here: Does Michael Know What Terri Wanted? Does he care?

See Blogs for Terri for more.

Terri is a Catholic. Michael has had a standing order for her *immediate* cremation upon death. Why?

See here for more about Michael- look particularly at file 12.

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