Thursday, March 24


The series of unfavorable court rulings in the past several days, including now from the United States Supreme Court, have crashed over Bob and Mary Schindler's hopes of saving their daughter Terri's life like a terrible wave of boiling disappointment. The Supreme Court has refused to grant their application for a stay. They're no doubt crushed and feeling terribly forlorn. And they have yet to hear the decision expected from Circuit Court Judge Greer midday today and that, too, when it comes, will no doubt add further insult to injury. The Schindlers, like their daughter, have been brutalized.

In the final analysis, the black robes have contented themselves that Terri Schiavo did not want to live via a feeding tube (believing Michael Schiavo's questionable and belated claim that his wife had verbally expressed this to him) and that there was no likelihood of her recovery, even in part, thus putting credence in the medical evidence admitted by Judge Greer that she is indeed in a "persistent vegetative state" (and despite contrary medical opinion that abounds and that Greer refused to admit as evidence).

Judge Greer stacked the deck early on in Michael Schiavo's favor and then dug his heels in and held the governor of Florida, the Florida legislature, the U.S. Congress, the President of the United States, and the Schindler family at bay. Even the Vatican was unable to change minds and intercede with success on the basis of Terri's religion and religious convictions as a practicing Catholic prior to her brain injury in 1990.

Indeed, it mattered not that a reasonable doubt exists in the minds of many that Michael Schiavo has been truthful with respect to his wife's wishes. The MSN and the courts have put reliance on his statement and despite all of the relevant evidence that impugns his integrity and showcases his clear conflict of interests in this matter.

So, her death is now inevitable. I only pray that she'll pass quickly now and leave this world that failed to protect her.

As for the executive and legislative branches of the Florida and Federal governments, they didn't get the job done and hundreds of thousands of voters in this country will not abide a "we tried, but the courts overruled us" rationalization. They failed, they didn't even get their acts together until the eleventh hour, and many, many voters will have long memories that this haplass woman was put to death by the state by dehydration and starvation -- a most cruel, unusual, and inhumane form of punishment.

Ours is a nation of laws, to be sure. But Theresa Maria Schindler Schiavo was not protected by those laws or treated with the dignity and compassion all human beings deserve. Eagles, dogs, cats, cattle, and convicted, first-degree murderers are afforded more protection in Jeb Bush's state than was a hapless, handicapped, cognitively-disabled woman, whose parents wanted to care for and endeavor to rehabilitate.

If Micahel Schiavo only had the best interests of his wife at heart then he would have honored his marriage vows, he would have honored a commitment he made to a court that awarded him substantial sums of money to provide medical care and rehabilitative therapy for her, and he most certainly would have given her over to her parents, brother, and sister, who wanted to do for her what he would not. Instead, he had her warehoused like damaged goods, in a hospice for the terminally ill when she was not herself terminally ill, and denied her medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy, dental care, sunshine and fresh air, articles of her religious faith, and simple acts of kindness and of love.

If this is what the law permits, if this is why so many judges at so many levels ruled such savagery just, then we had better change laws in this country, and we had better find the legislators who can write them properly and the executives who will see that they are executed.

This travesty, this abomination, this horrific example of man's inhumanity to man, is not legitimized by the ruling of judges. They may have properly upheld current law, but they cannot sanctify what has occurred. This country is too good a country, and with too many fine people in it, to simply go on about its business, as if Terri's life, her plight, and what was done to her, had no meaning. Morality and God's laws must, in the final analysis, transcend the exigencies of government and the caprice and imperfections of man.