For days, I have pondered whether to post something about the raging issue of what to do about Terri Schiavo, and if so, what to say. I think it’s pretty much all been said elsewhere. Politics aside, this comment on Alas (a blog) states my feelings more elegantly than I could:
Hello, I’m a nurse anesthetists and work in Birmingham, Alabama. I live in the Bible belt, born and raised a Christian and I consider myself VERY conservative on politcal issues.
What Cerbrocrat has said, and what Jeremy has just said above me in a more technical sense, is right on point. This woman’s brain is SEVERLY damaged; the cerebral cortex is almost completely gone.
There is not a medication, therapy or experimental science that will ever change her condition. Like an arm or leg that has been amputated, the body can live without parts of the brain, but it will never regenerate. The only problem with my analogy is that although a person can actually function without an arm or leg, that’s not the case without a brain. There’s no such thing as a cortex prosthesis. She will be this way for the rest of her life.
I make my political and religious stance for a reason, that this is not a political issue; even if it has been made into one. This whole argument is about one single point, whether she would have wanted to live like this. Her husband (and some others) has said that she would not; her family says that she would. If all of you honestly were true to yourself, I would be willing to wager that at least 90% of you would say you wouldn’t want to live this way. Every person I have talked to, even the ones who have objected to letting Mrs. Schiavo die, have said they personally wouldn’t want to live like that. I know of dozens of family, friends, and co-workers who have just recently or are about to put this very thing into writing. Attorneys may end up the big winner when this is all said and done, but I digress.
The point here is that so many people would never want this for themselves, but somehow they want it for Terri and assume Terri would want to live like this. To me this is crueler than letting her die. I believe it is for the family’s own selfish reasons not to let her go, not the husband. If the husband wanted to be selfish, he would have been better suited to take the money and run 14 years ago, divorced her, walked away and just let here parents think he was an a$$. The money is all gone now, only about 50 grand remains, so what is his motivation at this point? To be the most hated person in America? It just doesn’t make sense unless he truly believes there is no hope for her and he knows she wouldn’t want to live this way.
I was asked today by a gentleman, “If it were your daughter, would you let her go.” I said yes and he responded with, “well, then you don’t love her.” I said, “Sir, it is because I do love her that I would want her to go home and be with the Lord, not suffer here on earth.”
As a parent it is only human nature to want your children to outlive you; I know I want mine to outlive me. But people have to put aside their own selfish wants to realize what is best for their child, and what that child would truly want in a situation like this.
So put aside all the conspiracy theories, the selfish motivations, the moral and emotional arguments and ask yourself, would you want to live like this?…and then ask yourself, do you honestly think Terri would?