Over the past few days, so much information about this case has been presented in several of my classes, and I can't keep my mouth shut on some of these issues anymore. Here's my thoughts:
THE HUSBANDMichael Schiavo's wife collapsed in their home in 1990 suffering from heart failure. 1990! It's been 15 years. Since then, Michael has found a new girlfriend and had two children with her, yet people are making a big deal out of this.
Look, his wife is in what has been determined to be a persistant vegatative state and is never expected to recover in any way. Why should he not be allowed to move on with his life?
What some people don't understand is why if he still has a girlfriend would he care about Terri. He can't divorce her if she isn't in a reasonable state of mind and is unable to sign divorce papers! Michael is essentially "stuck" with her until she eventually dies (which doctors agree will happen with her in this vegatative state).
Once Terri dies, he can then remarry his new girlfriend and try to start a new chapter in his life. Fighting this battle with Michael are...
Bob and Mary Schindler's request to have the feeding tube put back in their daughter has been rejected over and over and over again by numerous different courts. They believe that their daughter is capable of getting better, despite what numerous doctors say.
Their daughter is 41 years old now. How are they still able to even relate to her? How can they communicate with her. If even Terri were to come out of this persistent vegatative state, just how much do they expect her to recover? It's a shame that this is how they will remember their daughter. It's a shame that they won't have the memories of their daughter from the last 15 years other than her in a bed hooked up to a feeding tube.
No parent would want their child to die if there was a chance of recovery, but here there doesn't seem to be that chance. How much pain would parents want to put their children through? I don't know if it should be their decision or the husband's decision, but each has an opinion about how Schiavo's life will end.
She didn't have a living will, and many say "how could she be so stupid?" What people don't realize is that she was 25 years old when she went into this state. How many 25-year-olds have living wills?
I would be willing to say that before this case, an overwhelming majority of 25-year-olds did not have one. I do know that because of this case numerous people are making a living will to prevent something like this from happening to them.
Years from now when this case is over - and Terri Schiavo has died either from the removal of her feeding tube or from naturally dying after years in this state - this case will set the precedent. People will look back to Terri Schiavo as the yardstick for similar cases.
If this was my daughter, I would be heartbroken. If there was any chance of even the slightest recovery, I would fight to the death for that chance. I would most likely not accept a doctor telling me that there would be no chance of recovery - at least in the beginning.
I do believe, however, that I would eventually be able to move on with my life. That is not to say that I would forget the existance of my daughter, but after 15 years, I would like to think that I would be able to accept the reality that my daughter will never be the same again.
In the past 30, only one person has ever come out of a state similar to the one Schiavo is in, and that man was in that state for only seven months - that's one twenty-fifth of how long Schiavo has been in this state. I personally don't think she'll ever recover to live anything resembling a normal life.
I don't believe that removing the tube is murder. I understand that it is going to lead to her death, but I don't believe it can be considered murder. Her husband says she wouldn't want to live like this because she told him so, and frankly I believe him. He doesn't have anything to gain from her death other than the ability to marry a woman he already has two children with.
It is a complicated matter - one that the Supreme Court has rejected several times because it is such a sensitive issue.
Ultimately, I don't think that Terri's parents will get their way, and the backlash caused by her death will be great. There will be outcries that Michael Schiavo did a terrible thing by not giving Terri a chance to come out of this condition. To that I say bullshit! She's been like this since 1990. That's 15 years. If she were to come out of this state at this point, that is nothing short of a miracle of God!
Terri Schiavo's life is ruined. Her parents - Bob and Mary Schindler - will most likely never see their daughter recover. Her husband has an opportunity to start a new chapter of his life but not until Terri passes. It's unfortunate, but sadly that's how this will end.