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In Defense of Michael

Posted by Rick · April 1st, 2005 · 2 Comments

I’m expecting this to be my last post on the Schiavo matter. I’ve heard so much crap aimed at demonizing Michael Schiavo, though, that it seemed to me necessary to take one last shot at bringing a little sanity and truth to this sad affair.

Frankly, I think those taking shots at Michael Schiavo — and particularly the Schindlers — should be deeply ashamed of themselves.

It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to understand why, either. You need merely to approach some of the volumes of official documentation on this case and compare it with the crap the Schindlers and their supporters have fed the press. The mainstream press, of course, in complete fulfillment of their duty as newspeople abject abandonment of their duty to do any investigative reporting, have fed that crap to the rest of the world, ensuring that some people would threaten Michael Schiavo’s life, “christians” would advocate taking it, large numbers of people would vilify him and still larger numbers would at least wonder what the hell was “wrong” with him and why he would want to “murder” his wife.

Frankly, the Schindlers are unconcerned for the truth and they didn’t give a rat’s ass about their daughter. They even testified to that!

Testimony provided by members of the Schindler family included very personal statements about their desire and intention to ensure that Theresa remain alive. Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state. — Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD, Guardian Ad Litem for Theresa Marie Schiavo, “A Report to Governor Jeb Bush and the 6th Judicial Circuit in the Matter of Theresa Marie Schiavo” (December 1, 2003).

This was a report prepared for Governor Jeb Bush, under the requirements of Florida Law Chapter 2003-418, also known as “Terri’s Law.”

Read it yourself. Then come back and tell me who the Monsters are.

Categories: Social Issues


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gweny // Apr 1, 2005 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for sharing that report. I have been keeping my opinion of this case to myself, but I think I will write a living will for myself and just hope that I, nor my family or friends ever have to go through anything like this. I hope Terri finds peace and rest now that she has left this earth, and I feel sadness for her and her family and friends for what they all have been through.

  • 2 Mike // Apr 1, 2005 at 10:21 am

    I have been reading a lot of opinion on this issue, and there are a lot of people who think that her parents wishes are the most important and that based on these wishes she should have been kept alive. I have always disagreed with this view, but part of me couldn’t figure out why. (I actually read one opinion where someone expressed that only the person that created the individual should be able to make that kind of decision!!). I finally was able to get to the root of the component of why this general line of thought bothers me so much.

    It is one thing to sympathize with her parents – that is understandable. What a horrible situation for any parent to have to endure. The question however is not an issue of whether or not her parents love their daughter nor is it an issue of whether or not their opinion of what should happen to their daughter is valid (to them). The real question is this: “Can her parents represent what she would want for herself?”. All selfish desires aside, can they do that?

    My opinion, based on my exposure to the issue and my personal experience with my parents and my wife’s parents is quite simply, “No, they cannot”.

    Parents very well know what they want for for their children, and usually it is what they have determined to be “the best for their child”…

    From their perspective…

    It is a whole other issue as to whether or not a parent can represent the views, morals, and beliefs on behalf of their child. I firmy believe that a better representation will generally come from people that the individual has __chosen__ to be a part of their life. Most people seem to have two families – the family of their birth, and the family of their choice. The family of their choice consists of their spouse and their close friends. These are the people that generally either share this person’s views, or respect the individual enough to be able to represent their wishes and/or views. I do not mean that a person’s friends should be given the sole right to decide on issues like this, but I do believe that their opinion should be considered in court and should be given weight accordingly.

    I hate to generalize and paint a picture that “all” parents are incapable of deciding that their child would want for themselves, but it is pretty easy to do. While I’m sure that there are parents in the world that would take the time to determine what their child would want for themself in a situation such as this, I don’t believe that there are very many parents like this. The law is the way that it is for a reason. The spouse has more authority because they have spent more time with the individual.

    The bottom line of this issue varies from person to person. Christians should be able to respect the Bible’s doctrine on marriage as two people “leaving” their birth families and “cleaving” to their spouse. I am highly disturbed by the Christians that have threatened Michael with death. Apparently “Thou shalt not kill” is a commandment rendered on a case by case basis.

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