Wednesday, March 23


One more thing about the Terri Schiavo case. I heard someone on CNN remark that the Schindlers (Terri's parents) had expressed the fact that a living will wouldn't have made any difference to them -- they would have fought to keep her alive even if they knew it was against her wishes.

Now I don't know about you, but that screams to me that it's all about them and what they want -- and not about Terri herself.

As Xpatriated Texan says in this beautiful post, the Schindlers could be spending these, the last days of their daughter's human existence, with her in peace, storing up memories of a quiet, loving time to comfort them in their sorrow. They could be sending a message of Christian hope to all the world and giving evidence to their faith. Instead they have chosen to wage a bitter crusade on a very "fleshly" (as we say in the church) basis.

The night before my dad died (he was unconscious for several days before he died, having refused heroic measures to prolong his life) my mom, my sisters and I, with other family members, crowded around Daddy's hospital bed to watch the MTV Awards on TV (my nephew's rock band was receiving the "Best Music Video" award; he and his wife skipped the after-ceremony festivities and flew to Daddy's bedside afterwards). Daddy wasn't aware, but we all kept telling him what was happening, and how the kids would be coming to see him right afterwards. We told stories about and to Daddy and laughed and stroked his forehead, held his hand, took turns cuddling with him. That night is as vivid in my memory today as it was nine years ago, and such a comfort. It very much helped form my children's attitudes towards death as not something to be feared but as natural as going into a peaceful sleep from which there is no waking in this life, but only in the next.

I have not judged the Schindlers any more than I have Michael Schiavo. But I do think they are missing out on what should be a precious time of family coming together. And I think the fact that they would disregard Terri's wishes is telling.

UPDATE: Telling, indeed. Barbara at Mahablog directs us to this comment at American Street:

"Mr. Schiavo used the settlement to go back to school and become a nurse and respiratory therapist to take care of his wife. It was his medical training that convinced him that there was no point in sustaining her life artificially.

Her “loving” family tried to take care of Mrs. Schiavo for three weeks in 1990 and gave up because of the amount of care she needed."

You don't hear THAT blasted across the airwaves when wingnuts are questioning the long interval between Terri's collapse and her husband's asking to remove her feeding tube. This poor man has been vilified enough.

UPDATE: This KOS diary has a lot of background information on Michael and the Schindlers that you won't hear on CNN or Fox News.


Blogger ChesapeakeBlue said...

It strikes me that the Schindlers don't have much faith, to want to keep their daughter here at such a high cost and for such little benefit to her. But you never really know until you get there, I suppose.

8:01 PM  

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