Terri Schiavo's medical condition is in dispute, she left no living will, we don't know her present wishes, and yet the courts are ordering that her husband has the right to kill her? This outrage simply couldn't happen in a culture that considered human life sacred.
"Objection," you say. "The courts are exhibiting their ultimate respect for life by carrying out the wishes of a person to terminate her own life and die with dignity."
Even the "pull the tube" advocates, then, are agreeing that we can't remove the feeding tube unless the patient has previously indicated her intent, either in writing or verbally, that that be done?
But what other conditions must be necessary for the doctors to remove nourishment to a physically healthy patient? Well, presumably, the patient must be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).
The courts have apparently determined that both conditions have been satisfied: Terri is in a PVS, and she expressed her intention not to be kept alive artificially if she ever arrived in that condition.
But based on informed opinions we've learned about in the last few days alone, isn't it obvious that there is significant doubt as to both conditions?
Nurses who personally treated Terri are coming out of the woodwork to state that Terri was responsive, communicative, capable of swallowing and far from a PVS. Distinguished physicians are opining that Terri is not only not in a PVS, but could likely be rehabilitated. Her parents, who surely would not do anything intentionally to cause or perpetuate Terri's suffering, believe she has been responsive and wants to continue living. Is this not enough to raise extraordinary doubts as to Terri's alleged PVS?
What about Terri's alleged expression of intent that she not be artificially sustained? Shouldn't it deeply disturb us that the courts are relying primarily on the testimony of an estranged, discredited husband riddled with personal conflicts of interest to divine Terri's intent, especially when Michael reportedly didn't share that communication for some seven years after Terri's "incident"?
Shouldn't it haunt us that a number of Terri's nurses have stated that Michael forbad rehabilitative and other treatment to Terri at a time when she seemed susceptible to improvement and that he made shocking statements about Terri? What possible motive, other than masochism, would they have to lie?
With his egregious conflicts of interest does anyone really believe Michael is motivated to honor Terri's, rather than his own wishes?
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