Two or Three (.net)

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The Murder of Terri Schiavo

by Tom Parsons [+/-] show/hide

Terri Schiavo was murdered today by her husband Michael, Judge George Greer, and the State of Florida. The feeding tube which had been providing her with essential nutrition was removed today. Now she will begin the slow, painful process of starving to death.

Michael Schiavo has maintained that Terri did not wish to be kept alive by such means as artificial life support. Mark Alexander makes an excellent point in his latest column:

If the intentional taking of an innocent human life is defined as murder, does this definition somehow change if the taker of life is the victim's spouse, guardian, or physician? If one person says to another, "Here's a knife; please stab me to death, as I want to die," does this then absolve the knife-wielder from culpability for murder? Is it really murder if and only if the victim says it's murder?

Because Terri had no advance medical directive (often referred to as a "living will") her true wishes are not known. We only have her husband's testimony about her wishes regarding medical care.

His testimony is not credible for several reasons. First, he is engaged to another woman. Second, he has fathered two children by this woman. Third, he has consistently denied rehabilitative treatment to his wife. Fourth, he has denied any type of diagnostic test that would determine her exact condition and whether any rehabilitative treatment would be available. Fifth, those same diagnositic tests that have been denied would also show whether allegations that have been made that Michael physically abused his wife therefore causing her "accident". Sixth, Michael has publicly stated that once his wife dies he intends to cremate her body again destroying any evidence of possible spousal abuse. Given all of these facts is it reasonable to assume that Michael is looking out for Terri's best interests?

The much larger issue at stake here, however, is the sanctity of life. One of the fundamental problems in this case is that Florida law makes it legal to have Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed. Although I am a strong proponent of states' rights, I am afraid that one of the only legislative solutions available that will prevent this type of situation from occurring again is a federal law outlawing the removal of life support in situations where no written advance medical directive has been given.

I was discussing this with an attorney friend of mine earlier this evening. He said that in all the time he has been practicing law he has never had someone come into his office asking him to draft an advance medical directive asking for someone to save their lives. The purpose of an advance medical directive is to instruct physicians not to take extraordinary measures to save a person's life.

There is still time to save Terri Schiavo's life. Continue to pray for a miracle.


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