Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die in peace

By on March 30, 2005

This month’s main distraction from the Iraq War comes in the form of a pro-life battle of whether or not Terri Schiavo, a woman whose feeding tube was cut off by her husband, should live or die. Schiavo’s parents still believe there is a chance of recovery, but even someone who has the brain capacity of Schiavo herself right now knows that there is no hope for recovery.

This case has also perked the interest of Congress as another attempt to once again bring up the new pro-life card that the Republicans have been playing in an attempt to keep their Red State voters happy. But why does Congress care about this woman and most importantly, what is considered life and when can do people have the right to end it?

Let’s start with the first question, which is why does Congress care so much about this woman? There are thousands of Americans who are dying just like Schiavo and they are not getting the media coverage or the governmental attention that she is getting. During comments made on Capital Hill on March 21, Congressmen and women showed how much they care for this woman by mispronouncing her name numerous times when speaking about her. The fate of this poor woman has turned into a political issue which is just out and out wrong.

To keep their voters happy, Republican congressmen are saying that killing Schiavo is morally wrong. But in a CBS poll, 82% of the public feel that Congress should stay out of this case because it is a family dispute. Schiavo has been in this state of vegetation for about five years and it is not until now that these politicians feel that they need to intervene. Millions of dollars have been spent by pro-life groups to try to keep this woman alive and Congress feels the need to once again make pro-life arguments into a governmental issue when in fact it shouldn’t be. Congress should be wondering why thousands of kids are being killed in Iraq instead of focusing their efforts on one unfortunate woman who was on her last limbs anyway.

But it is now pro-life issues that are splitting this country into two very distinct halves. The question of what is considered life plays a huge part in not only this case but hundreds of cases currently in the courts.

Terri Schiavo was in a state of vegetation. Even though her eyes are open, she can not comprehend where she is, who is around her or even who she is. To me, that is not life. When asked about the case, President Bush said “when in doubt, err with the side of life.” That is pretty ironic coming from someone who put more people to death as governor of his state than anyone in history, but can the state that Terri Schiavo is in really be considered life?

Life is when, with the exception of your first two years on this planet, you can make decisions for yourself and when you consciously know what is going on around you. Schiavo can do neither of those and therefore is not really living, just like an unborn baby in a womb is not really living yet.

There is one good thing that can come out of the Schiavo case and that is the need for a living will. Schiavo’s husband, Michael, has said on many occasions that he and Terri had conversations when she specifically said that if she is ever in that position to not keep her alive. The courts have ruled that the husband has the final decision but her parents are fighting the decision, even going as far as to say that she made communication with them as late as two weeks ago. This problem could have easily been avoided if there was something in writing that said what to do in the event of a problem like this. Hopefully more people will now do this to save us the hours of unnecessary news coverage and court hearings.

Now some of you might think I am heartless for saying that Schiavo should die. But being bedridden and brain dead is an awfully bad combination and now with the feeding tube out of her body for a few days now should equate to pulling the plug. I feel for the family going through this tough time, but for the sake of Terri Schiavo who is obviously suffering and near-death, please kill her and let her die with dignity and not this circus that she has unfortunately become.


About Rob Ettman