Good-bye, Terri

This Terri Schiavo thing is really quite ridiculous. I mean, really, this is something that I deal with on practically a daily basis. I've had plenty of patients die from withdrawal of life sustaining efforts. Happens all the time.

It really disturbs me that people are so up in arms about this. People die from shootings, from violence, from poverty, from neglect and abuse, and it's Terri Schiavo that people get up in arms about. Some might say that all life is precious, and to them I say why aren't they protesting in the inner city? Why aren't they protesting at Death Row? Why aren't they protesting at the soup kitchens and homeless shelters and orphanages?

I really do blame the parents. This is not the fault of her husband. He's doing what any reasonable human being would do. Her parents, I know them, or at least I've met people like them. They never saw the eating disorder. They never realized that she hated herself and was so torn about her own existence. They did not understand her. They might have even ignored her. Now, they tell themselves, "It's not too late to make amends. This will show her how much we care. This will show everyone."

The Catholic position is very much pro-feeding tube, and Ms. Schiavo was Catholic. And I know that as a Catholic, I should support these lunatics, but I can't. Me and the Pope are not tight on this one. We ought to be able to decide just how much medicine we choose for ourselves. We ought to be able to say that enough's enough. Medicine has found a way to make the body live long after the mind and soul are gone. That's our crime, and we'll pay for it.

I hope that people can realize just what's happening here. They're asking to keep feeding something that has long since stopped being Terri Schiavo. They're trying to fill an empty shell. And for what? Mr. and Mrs. Schindler: she can't forgive you now. You're 15 years too late.

I stand corrected. I am in fact consistent with the Catholic church and in this case, the removal of the feeding tube is not contrary to Catholic doctrine. Makes me feel a little better. -IF 4/3/05

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