Martini: shaken not stirred

 Murder on the Florida Express  

The news article described Terri Schiavo's husband Michael's desire to have her starved to death as a desire to see her "die with dignity." This explanation is so absurd it defies logic. Yet news media outlets are willing to publish such drivel without a second thought. What's going on here?

How does starving an innocent human being, regardless of how disabled they may be, allow them to "die with dignity"? If you starved a dog to death would people accept an explanation like that? What if the dog was injured? What if the dog was in a "vegetative state" mentally? Just try something like that and see how high and loud the hue and cry would come. We would never accept it, yet court after court, and apparently a significant percentage of the American people, think it's just fine to do such a thing to a human being.

This argument shows how rapidly our once thriving culture has plunged into a state of chaos and virtual lawlessness. That judges can justify the killing of an innocent person by starvation is not only a violation of the human rights they are sworn to uphold, it is simply inhuman. I challenge the judges who have made these rulings to sit beside her bed and watch her as her tongue slowly and inevitably dries out, her breathing increasingly labors to loud, painful dry rasps, and she eventually draws her last breath. This is "dignity"? This is human rights? I consider it nothing less than murder.

Some argue that this was her desire. Can it be anyone's desire to starve to death? That she would want to die has never been proven. It is only heresay that she "would want to die," mostly from the mouth of her so-called husband. Just because she supposedly made a passing comment one day that she wouldn't want to be kept alive by tubes after seeing an emotion-laden movie doesn't mean this is her actual desire. Many of us have said things like that in passing without thinking them through. We may have seen a victim of a fire and said, "I wouldn't want to live with burns to most of my body" yet given the choice we might be more than happy to fight the good fight once the situation faced us. It is beyond belief that people are buying such an argument so casually.

Even more disturbing are the unanswered questions about Michael Schiavo's motives in all this. What really happened when she supposedly lost consciousness and was unable to breath for no logical medical reason? There are x-rays that show Terri suffered major physical trauma. The judges have refused to allow them into evidence. There are more than 30 documented hospital records indicating unusual bruising after visits by her husband. Yet nobody is asking the big questions, like whether these are indications of domestic violence or mere coincidences. He stands to benefit from a significant financial settlement she gained as a result of her condition. He has been living with another woman for years, yet has never sought divorce. Can there be any doubt that a desire to inherit considerable funds plays a role in this? If not, why doesn't he prove it by publicly donating all the remaining funds to a hospice or other organization? Schiavo's parents volunteered to look after her for the rest of her life at no cost to anyone, yet this request was repeatedly denied.

What about the doctors? Why are all the judges involved accepting the word of two doctors hired by Terri's husband plus one hired by the courts, rather than seeking a balanced medical opinion on Terri's true diagnosis? Tests could better evaluate her condition. The judges have refused to allow them. Terri Schiavo has been denied treatment and therapy that might improve her physical condition. The judges have turned their heads.

Terri has become the battleground in a turf war between the duly elected representatives of "We the people of the United States" and non-elected judges who wanted to flex their muscles and prove who was in control of the country. The justice system decided that murder by starvation was an acceptable method of winning their battle of will.

Has our culture fallen so far that we are willing to let someone starve to death so callously that we don't even ask questions anymore?

Terri Schiavo died Thursday, March 31, 2005. She will be remembered as an innocent woman who was slowly murdered by her husband and by justices who wanted to make a political statement.

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