Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Terri Schiavo Part III

The tube is removed and she is fading.

The family's petition to the Federal Court (paved by Congress) was denied, and they have now appealed to the 11th Court of Appeals. I think it will also be denied, and this will end soon. I could be wrong, and frankly I am torn as to which I would hope for. A part of me wants it to be over, because while the manner of her death is repugnant to me, and her life is so tragic, the yo-yo actions of pulling her back and forth from the brink must be the cruelest irony of all. I know the *issue* of her life and death will continue on beyond her actual death, but that still should allow her the peace of her passing.

(The appeals court has just denied their request as I wrote this)

One new development, though not really new. Carla Iyer, a former nurse has been making the rounds of the radio and tv circuit, claiming (backed up by a 2003 court affidavit) some fairly horrible things about Michael Schiavo's actions and motives, and some disturbing allegations about Terri's actual medical condition in the early years of her disability. If she is telling the truth, then Terri was not as bad as she is now, could eat and had a good shot at recovery or at least partial rehabilitation. If her account is honest, the Micahel was a cold hearted bastard. Period.

So is she? She is backed up by several other caregivers so it bears scrutiny, but it still is open to interpretation. Were I to try to make a definitive judgment it would be difficult to do.

In the end it moves me, it increases my suspicions, and it increases my compassion for Terri. And oddly, it makes me hope God takes Terri sooner then later. If this account is true, she deserves peace more then ever.

As for the players in the legal drama, I will have to be content to let God judge them. Let all involved examine their own souls.

One other side effect of my interest in this case. I am really having a hard time reconciling the "Culture of Life" rhetoric being sold by the conservatives. Sure its ok to fight for aborted babies. Sure its good to fight to stop euthanasia (and in my opinion, Terri's case is a quasi-case of euthanasia or assisted suicide...Euthanasia because her husband ordered her death for all intents as a mercy killing, and assisted suicide because the rational is that she wanted this). But I can no completely reconcile some of the rabid conservative stances supporting the death penalty. I am not necessarily against it mind you, but I am reexamining my beliefs on all of these issues.

Not that the right has all the criticism here, the liberal right to die campaign is sickening too. The worst line was from Michael Schiavo stating that "reinserting her feeding tube would be a violation of her civil liberties". I can't totally accept it.

As I am discovering more and more, as in politics, religion and many other facets of my life, the clear cut and well defined perceptions I have comfortably lived within most of my life are being rapidly punctured and deflated be the murky uncertainty of reality. Reality has intruded, and I will never be the same because of that.

I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth - and truth rewarded me.
~Simone de Beauvoir

May it be so.

God have mercy on all of us....and God have mercy on Terri.