Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Right to Life and Death

I suppose, because she has managed to chase even the war in Iraq off the front pages, Therese Marie Schiavo gets to have one more blog dedicated to her plight.

One thing that we liberals pride ourselves on is a great belief in the rule of law. The application of the laws, in our system of jurisprudence, have come through brilliantly in this latest test in the case of Terri Schiavo.

There are a great number of people who are not happy with the court's ruling. Not the least of which are most of the Republican bloc in Congress who, to the tune of 5 million dollars, raced back to Washington, over the week-end, in order to pass unconstitutional legislation, to try and prevent the demise of one person. I may be in a minority here but I cannot help but see this as the latest cog in their great wheel of hypocrisy, and an attempt to pander to those self styled moralists who surround them and seem to be calling all too many shots these days.

I have been following the Schiavo case off and on since it first came into the headlines. There has been much back and forth with this for several years now. Actually it has been litigated for about seven years.

So, just what of Therese Marie Schindler Schiavo? It is not for nothing that we find her in this position to begin with. Apparently Terri was either Bulemic or Anorexic, and if any of you recall, it was exactly the same sort of "accident" which took the life of Karen Carpenter many years ago. The diffrence; Terri Schiavo was resuscitated. But, resuscitated to what? Irreversible brain damage. Her brain had been denied oxygen for about 14 minutes. For the brain to be denied oxygen, for even 5 minutes, leaves one in an iffy recovery position. It is a guarantee that there will be some sort of brain malfunction following an incident such as that.

Immediately following this tragedy, her husband, devastated at his wife's situation, did everything possible to seek an alternative diagnosis regarding her condition. He brought suit against the medical professionals who had failed to recognize her eating disorder physical problems. He moved in with her parents in order to save money for her medical care and to be closer to the facility she was placed in. He won his malpractice suit, used the money in order to take her to California to a clinic that had, he had heard, some success with recovery in cases such as Terri's. He was greeted with the same diagnosis there; irreversible brain damage. She would remain, he was told, in a permanent vegatative state.

Fast forward to today. Fifteen years later. Not one year, not 15 months, but 15 years! Her husband has moved on with his life, as well he should have, but in the process has come to loggerheads with parents who refuse to accept what countless Dr.'s and other health professionals have told them. Terri will never recover.

Being a parent, I cannot imagine their pain. Having a child die before you is not the normal order of things. However, I cannot imagine, what after all this time, keeps them from accepting that the daughter they nurtured, loved and raised to adulthood, left them 15 years ago. As difficult as it would undoubtedly be, I have to hope that I love my children enough to unselfishly let them go and be at peace.

I pray every day that someone will let Therese Marie Schindler Schiavo know that it is okay to just go.