The Least of These

A helpless woman lay starving on a bed in Florida, upon the court-supported request of her adulterous husband. There is some evidence that she remains sentient, yet the putative champions of helpless women maintained their silence. As President Bush this morning signed a bill giving Terri Schiavo’s parents the ability to resume feeding her, commentators normally unconcerned by questions of constitutional authority voiced fears of federal overreach.

Thus have people who fashion themselves protectors of the downtrodden subjugated all stated principles to the overriding one, which is that the right to terminate inconvenient life must be defended at all costs, even if it be the slow starvation of an innocent woman. Plenty of people have and will continue to dissect this case, which certainly isn’t over. I encourage you to inform yourself and take action, because in reading these words you can no longer remain in the safe camp of the unknowing.

I’ve encountered experts before who are willing to let someone die by means of starvation and dehydration. I wonder how many of them have ever really been hungry, or thirsty. I wonder how many of those who acted to delay the House vote have missed a meal recently. As they cracked open bottles of spring water and anxiously scanned the national news, did they tell themselves that Terri Schiavo wouldn’t feel anything as her throat dried out? Did they bother to find out for sure?

The husband, thwarted, pouted that “Congress has more important things to discuss.”

Thankfully, on this day at least, they did not.


  1. flesh99

    After all I have read on this one I cannot see anyone with any sort of conscience actually defending the decision to starve someone to death. I have been hungry, if only for a couple of days and never without water and would never ever wish that on someone. This is completely insane and I cannot imagine how the judges that have been involved so far can even sleep at night. I am actually proud of congress for what has been overnight and remain prayerful that the federal judge will rule correctly today. Her husband is breaking Florida law by living in open adultery, Terri doesn’t meet the “legal” standard for PVS, and there is just so much more wrong with it. I need to stop thinking about it because I can’t stop thinking that if someone were to disapear Michael then this would all be better for a long while. I don’t ever advocate hurting someone but this has made me very angry and I can’t seem to shake the thoughts about it. I am just glad I live in Texas and Florida; I would be more than tempted if I lived there.

  2. Gray

    How shameful that there are those in this land who are so trapped by their support for abortion, that they must support the ‘right’ a self estranged husband to kill his wife to make his life more convenient. The sad part is that these same people self name themselves the protector of the helpless. These people are totally morally bankrupt!

  3. Jeff Brokaw

    The thing that amazes me most about this case — and there are many, many amazing things about it — is the lack of awareness that Mr. Schiavo just might not be the best source for ascertaining his wife’s true wishes, what with having TWO kids by another woman, and all. Hello?! McFly?!

  4. Danielle

    Agreed!!! I feel that people forget that in the end we all FEEL pain, even if we can’t speak it, can’t understand it and can’t make it go away, we all feel it.

    Due to Terri’s case, for the first time in my life I contacted my senator (and for the first time in my life I actually know who my senator is) Maybe I am starting to stop “sharpening” and start “battling”?

  5. The Sanity Inspector

    Wish my moral vision were this acute on this issue, but “unfortunately” I can see the merits of both sides of the case. Would anyone’s opinion be inclined to support Mr. Schiavo if he had been living chastely alone for these 15 years? Or would it make a difference if everyone including the parents wanted to euthanize the poor woman? Or if she were able to communicate her wish to die, but no one else agreed? Or vice versa?

    I don’t recall a previous media blowup of similar size, but I wonder how often cases like this happen each year? Apparently one was notorious enough to be mentioned in the Catholic journal First Things in 1998.

    First we were to approve of killing the sick and unconscious, then of killing the conscious and consenting. Now we are to approve of killing the conscious and protesting, for in the United States, doctors starved and dehydrated stroke patient Marjorie Nighbert to death despite her pleading “I?m hungry,” “I?m thirsty,” “Please feed me,” and “I want food.” Such cases are only to be expected when food and water are now often classified as optional treatments rather than humane care; we have not long to go before joining the Netherlands, where involuntary euthanasia is common.

    *sigh*… What a mess.

  6. Tom

    It’s not just a matter of Mr. Schiavo being chaste all these years. Some things to consider in addition:

    * The unusual circumstances surrounding her lapse into a coma – the parents have long suspected foul play.
    * The large monetary settlement, ostensibly to care for Terry, yet only about $200,000.00 has been spent for her care
    * Mr. Schiavo’s attorney is on the board of the hospice she staying at
    * Terry has not had an MRI
    * Terry has not had a CAT Scan
    * Mr. Shiavo has not permitted any physical or mental therapy in years.
    * The husband approved Neurologist is pro euthanasia
    * It was reported Terry had some speech ability developing through therapy in 1993 but at that point Mr. Schiavo ordered it halted.
    * Mr. Schiavo did not tell anyone for many years that Terry wished not to be kept alive in this way UNTIL he discovered that Florida courts would accept hearsay evidence of such wishes. Then suddenly he remembers.
    * Terry is not sick; she is not dying of any disease; she has brain damage.
    *She is not being kept alive by artificial means. Requiring food and water is not artificial – how long would you last?
    * It is against the law to withold food and water from an animal yet a judge has the right to do this to a human being?

    This is government sanctioned murder. Another slide down the slippery slope that started with abortion on demand.
    REMEMBER. YOU could be NEXT.

  7. gardenwife

    I heard someone else say on TV today that there are hundreds of these life dramas played out every day, but we do not hear about them. It’s when a case like Terri’s comes up that there’s an outcry, due largely to the media coverage and the seeking to set a precedent. And rightly so.

    What would it hurt her husband to file for a dissolutionment of marriage? Her parents want nothing more than to care for and love their daughter in relative obscurity, I’m sure. The constant media attention has to be so stressful.

  8. Lucy

    Gardewife said “What would it hurt her husband to file for a dissolutionment of marriage?”

    Well, lets say that she did recieve therapy and regained the ability to talk clearly. What would she say about the attack that left her in this condition? What if she can say “It was him”, which is NOT a far stretch of the imagination? What if her parents (as her new guardians) requested an investigation about where the money went, and found that he had been using it to support his mistress and her children? It is not in his best interest for Teri to recieve any therapy that might improve her to the point that she could express her opinion in court.

  9. gardenwife

    Lucy, I never thought of that. I can’t believe it never crossed my mind! I guess I should be glad I have a shred of innocence left and didn’t just think that right off…But now that you say that, it makes perfect sense. Why would he want her able to talk? Even if he didn’t attempt to kill her, the spectre of her parents opening an investigation is very real. Somebody sure should.

  10. S'mee

    I worked fro a little girl who was premature at birth, survived a stage 2 cerebrial bleed and never expected to live beyond her 1st birthday. She was never expected to recover, to sit, to feed herself, nor grow old. Granted she was quite deaf when she came into my life and had some difficulties with memory. By age 8, this little gal could read with emotion well beyond her years, had compassion and love for her fellow students and believe it or not learned to not only sit, but to walk, run, speak well enough for a hearing person to understand and play a mean game of baseball.

    Her parents were advised at her birth to “let her go” to “show mercy on her and let her pass on” and, when they refused, the “experts” pleaded with them to institutionalize her because the institution would be better able to care for her and it would just be too hard for the parents to watch her vegitate.

    Her name is Johanna. She is a brilliant young woman, now ready to enter adulthood. Self sufficient because she had parents who thought, “What the heck? We have nothing better to do than love this little thing until she dies.” But she didn’t. She proved them all wrong. And she thrives.

  11. The Sanity Inspector

    From CNN today:

    Both sides in the case — the Schindlers, and Schiavo’s husband, Michael — filed documents Tuesday with the appellate court.

    “While time is of the essence here, there remains adequate time for this court to conduct an expedited and deliberate review,” Michael Schiavo’s filing said.

    His lawyers also asked that if the appeals court ordered reinsertion, it also grant an automatic stay of eight hours so that Michael Schiavo could seek a review with the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The maneuvering swine…

  12. Susan

    I have very strong feelings about this case. Not only do I see the injustice, but I am appalled at the academic and legal rhetoric of the lawmakers and journalists alike as they endlessly discuss whether Terri should live or die. Maybe it is no accident that this is happening at the time we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ. He can do what no lawyer or judge can do: bring Terri back. I think it is time for all believers everywhere to earnestly pray for a miracle! If Terri really could speak again I’m sure she would praise the One who is the Resurrection and the Life. And somehow I believe Mr. Schiavo and Mr. Felos (and the rest) would suddenly be strangely silent.

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