Wednesday, June 15

TERRI SCHIAVO -- HOW CAN "MANNER OF DEATH" BE UNDETERMINED?

Dr. Jon Thogmartin, the Florida medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Terri Schiavo, has pronounced that her manner of death is undetermined. In forensic science, the term "manner of death" describes four categories or scenarios: 1) natural death; 2) accidental death; 3) homicidal death; and, 4) suicidal death.

How convenient a conclusion! How neat and tidy. Categories #1, #2, and #4 are definately as inapplicable, as they are indisputable.

As a practical matter, her husband, Michael Schiavo, with complicity from the courts, and Florida Circuit Court Judge George Greer in particular, secured a court order allowing that his directive be followed by medical doctors and hospice staff where she was being confined: namely, that her feeding tube be removed and she be denied hydration and nutrition, resulting in her death.

Under the rule of law, this court mandated death that went unreversed in the higher courts cannot be adjudged "homicidal death." But that doesn't make it any less an immoral death. Terri Schiavo, according to the autopsy report released today, died from dehydration. She would not have died from dehydration had it not been for the fact that her husband wanted her dead and his attorney, George Felos, was able to secure the complicity of the courts in that death.

The courts made their decisions and so Terri is gone from us. In time, however, Michael Schiavo will be judged by a higher, transcendant law that upholds the sanctity of life -- and by God Himself.