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March 23, 2005

Terri Schiavo--Media Matters Update

It is fascinating to me to see what has come of the Terri Schiavo case. I find the entire situation terribly sad, and am having a difficult time coming to a decision on where I stand on this issue.

I find it hard to believe that Terri's husband only wants her to die to get rid of her or get on with his life, as many have stated. It has been implied that he stands to gain financially once Terri is gone, however, after 15 years of medical care and 7 years of legal costs, how much money can there be? He's already been offered money to just walk away and he turned it down. I don't buy the idea that money is his motivation for allowing his wife to die. If he simply wanted to be single again, divorce is always an option. There is no way he would have remained married all this time if all he wanted was freedom.

On the other hand, Terri's parents obviously love her and are willing to care for her indefinately. What's wrong with that? I cant imagine the pain of seeing their daughter starve to death.

I have to believe that Michael Schiavo really believes that he is fighting for what Terri wanted. Doing this last thing for her is fulfilling her wishes and maintaining her dignity, or what little there is left.

It is interesting to see what the media has been stating lately. Media Matters for America has noted many, many errors in reporting and a general lack of fact checking all over the place:

Dubious doctor touted as Nobel Prize nominee by Hannity, Scarborough

In fact, Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL), who purportedly recommended Dr. William Hammesfahr for the prize, is not qualified to make a valid nomination under the Nobel rules.

CNN, Fox featured ex-Schiavo nurse whose affidavit was dismissed as "incredible" by judge

Cables aired interviews with Carla Sauer Iyer -- a former Schiavo nurse who submitted an affidavit in 2003 with inflammatory allegations against Michael Schiavo -- without noting that the trial judge in the case had dismissed her allegations as "incredible," and without noting that not even Terri Schiavo's parents had sought her testimony in the case.

Ignoring constitutional scholars, CNN's John King claimed no one questions Congress' authority to intervene in Schiavo case

In an interview with Senate Judiciary chair Arlen Specter (R-PA), about Congress' intervention to let a federal court review the Terri Schiavo case, CNN senior White House correspondent John King assured Specter that "Congress has the authority [to intervene]. I don't think anyone questions that."

O'Reilly badgered attorney with false claim about Schiavo trial

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly repeatedly suggested that his guest, attorney Michael Gross, was incorrect when Gross claimed that witnesses other than Michael Schiavo had testified that Terri Schiavo would not want to be kept alive in a persistent vegetative state. In fact, Judge George W. Greer noted in a post-trial order from 2000 that in addition to Michael Schiavo, his brother and sister-in-law also testified that Terri Schiavo would not want to be kept alive.

Posted by Ensie at March 23, 2005 06:34 PM


Any money he's gotten has been eaten up by her care; any further money would go toward paying for her care. There's no financial gain to be had.

What people don't realize is that more often than not "pulling the plug" is not about a respirator but it's about removing a feeding tube. It happens every day all over the country and no one has ever cared until now. And this woman has been alive thanks to a feeding tube for 15 years and suddenly this is an emergency? That's what I don't get.

I understand her parents' anguish but at some point I hope the come to see that their daughter's quality of life is nil. The harder thing to do would be to give her some dignity and not to let politicians and pundits use her for their gain.

Posted by: eden at March 24, 2005 01:50 PM

actually-- the family is NOT caring for her at all!! she is --and has been for many years now--been cared for (AT PUBLIC EXPENSE- YOUR AND MY TAX MONEY) at a hospice-- which is supposed to be a place people go to to DIE WITH DIGNITY. Lots of irony here.
I might feel different about the parents wanting to keep her alive (?!) if THEY were willing to foot the bill, or do the dirty work. But they seem to just want to show up bedside and fantasize a lot. And hold lots of news conferences with their Catholic "advisor" at their right hand. They are delusional, and being used as puppets by a lot of callous political folks. cruel indeed. When the mother said in a news conference yesterday to "STOP THE CRUELTY! STOP THE INSANITY!" I almost laughed... if it weren't all so incredilby sad.

I would hope that if I were in this situation that 1.) my husband would treat me with as much love and respect for my wishes, and 2.) that HE would go on with his life and find someone new. Bravo Michael Schiavo, and God be with you.

Posted by: denise at March 24, 2005 02:59 PM

The arguments that you're both making are the direction I've been leaning in. As I stated in my post, the only explaination for Michael Schiavo's continued persistence is that he firmly believes that this is what his wife wanted.

Last night I cried over the whole thing--I can't escape it. It's on television, it's on the radio, it's on every blog. It' just such a sad situation for anyone to go through.

Eden, I made the same point the other day that feeding tubes are removed all over the country all the time. This case has just garnered so much attention that people are suddenly hyper aware of it.

I hope that I never have to deal with these issues in my own life. I'll be discussing this issue with my parents tomorrow night, as my husband and I both feel that neither of us would want to be connected to a feeding tube/respirator/etc. for a prolonged period of time. I'm unsure as to my parent's thoughts on this issue, although they are strong right-to-life advocates when it comes to abortion, so I want them to be perfectly clear when it comes to our wishes. We'll also be putting together paperwork to that effect shortly.

Posted by: ensie at March 24, 2005 06:15 PM

some further comments, after LOTS of discussion with my husband. My own mother is very 'strong' (i call it fanatical, but that's just me...) Catholic, and I can really see her pulling something like this with my husband. We are ALL filling out medical directives, and not only letting family know.. but putting a copy in our medical records, AND in my own case.... giving a copy to my own pastor,so if needed, he can act as an impartial witness. With the crew we currently have in Washington DC, it suddenly seems imperative to cover every conceivable base. sad day for this country.

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