Benny's World

Saturday, March 19, 2005

"It's About Terri"

Florida Woman's Feeding Tube Removed (from the site):

By Robert Green | March 19, 2005

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (Reuters) - Doctors removed the feeding tube that has kept a brain-damaged Florida woman alive for 15 years Friday after U.S. lawmakers tried to prolong her life by subpoenaing her to appear before Congress.

The feeding tube was removed from Terri Schiavo, the woman at the heart of a long right-to-die battle, at 1:45 p.m. [yesterday] and she was expected to die in seven to 14 days.

Her husband's lawyer called the last-minute attempt by U.S. congressional Republicans to keep the tube in place "nothing short of thuggery" and called Democrats "spineless" for failing to thwart it.

Schiavo has been fed through a stomach tube since a heart attack starved her brain of oxygen in 1990, leaving her in what the courts declared was a permanent vegetative state.

Her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, said she would not have wanted to live in that condition and won permission to remove the feeding tube.

He was not in his wife's room at the Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, when the feeding tube was removed in what his lawyer, George Felos, described as a "very calm" and prayerful procedure. But her husband was at her bedside later, Felos said.

Republican congressional leaders made the last-minute bid to keep the tube in place by subpoenaing Terri Schiavo to appear before hearings and committees later in the month, a move that would have granted her protection as a witness in a congressional inquiry.


House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay called removing the feeding tube "an act of barbarism."

"Terri Schiavo is alive. ... She is as alive as you or I, and as such we have a moral obligation to protect and defend her from the fate premeditated by the Florida courts," DeLay said.

Felos said the congressional action was "odious, it was shocking, it was disgusting and I think all Americans should be very alarmed about that."

"They cannot walk over the dying body of Terri Schiavo for political gain," he added.

Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, are fighting to keep her alive, saying she responds to them and could improve with rehabilitation and have lobbied lawmakers to intervene.

"They're devastated," their lawyer, David Gibbs said after the tube was removed.

Congressional leaders issued the subpoenas after failing to enact legislation allowing federal courts to review the case. The Florida courts have consistently ruled in Michael Schiavo's favor and the U.S. Supreme Court has refused three times to intervene.

Michael Schiavo said Friday night he would not give up his campaign even though Terri was not believed to be in pain.

"I won't give it up. Terri is my life," he said on CNN's "Larry King Live." "I'm going to carry out her wishes to the very end. This is what she wanted. It's not about the Schindlers, it's not about me, it's not about Congress. It's about Terri."

There is more of the article if you wish to read clicking on the title of this thread.
For Senator Bill Frist, who is a surgeon, to say that the doctors were wrong about her diagnosis, even though he has never seen up close, is one matter. Senator Frist, you should know as a doctor that you cannot base a diagnosis based on some videotapes her parents sent you; that is ludicrous. It's not to say doctors don't make mistakes, but it's another when she has been lingering for 15 years with a feeding tube. What kind of life is that? Is it that the kind of life many of us want?

While I am sincerely sorry for her parents, it is time that they take their place with those who holding vigil outside of her home and praying. I have a hunch that the husband knows what Terri wanted all along. Terri's journey, at least on this planet, is drawing near the end, and Terri is ready for her maker.


  • To add further from today's NYT editorial:

    After considering the issue yesterday, the state appellate judge presiding over the case ordered the removal of Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube to proceed, finding Congress's intervention created no "emergency" requiring postponement. No doubt this is not the end of this painful drama.

    Meanwhile we can only lament the Republicans' theatrical effort to expand their so-called pro-life agenda to include intervening in a case already studied and litigated exhaustively under Florida law. Congress's rash assumption of judicial power and trampling on established state and federal constitutional precedents in "right to die" cases is nothing short of breathtaking."

    I couldn't agree more. and what does "moral obligation" mean to Rep DeLay anyway? He's calling the kettle black as far as I am concerned.

    By Blogger benny06, at 6:07 AM  

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