Opinion: Terri Schiavo

As I write this, Terri Schiavo lies dying.

This issue has divided the entire country, mainly along religious and political lines. On one side are the Courts and Terry’s “husband”, Michael Schiavo, on the other is the President and the Congress.

When I first heard this story I was with the former group – I thought that Terri should be allowed to die with dignity. Now I’m not so sure.

That is not to say that I think that she should live, but that we do not have enough information to make a clear-headed decision. he facts of the case as presented by the media are:

  • Terri is brain-dead – in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).
  • She does not want to live this way.
  • Her husband is fighting for her right to die.

If these were the facts of the case, I would say that she should die. However, none of these facts are beyond dispute. Mr. Schiavo and the courts have consistently blocked every effort to have CT and PET scans done that would definitively state whether or not she is brain-dead.I am not a proponent of Government intervention, but it is obvious to me that the Court system screwed up big-time on this one. Not in their decision, but in their disinterestedness in finding out the facts and considering the sources.

Perhaps the biggest area of contention – at least in my mind is Michael Schiavo, Terri’s “husband”. He has been engaged to Cyndi Centonze since 1997, and has fathered children with her.

Mr Schiavo also has a long documented history of refusing recommended treatment for Terri.

  • He has repeatedly withheld medical information from her parents and the media – not a crime, but certainly highly suspect.
  • His statement that Terri “wished to die” was not made until 1997 – coincidentally around the time he became “engaged to Cyndi.
  • Cyndi is on record as saying that this was a lie, but the Judge refused to hear it (how do they do that).

This man is therefore a bigamist and a documented liar – and Terri is being starved to death based solely on his hearsay.To put it bluntly, I contend that by definition he no longer has her best interest at heart. Indeed, his consistent refusal to give her treatment would be considered criminal if you or I did it to a sick dog.

Maybe Terri should be allowed to die… but shouldn’t we get the facts first?

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