Ten years after the death of Terri Schiavo, Politico revives her with a full-on assault on Jeb Bush. In the Cindy Sheehan role we have husband Michael Schiavo, the prime advocate-of-convenience for the removal of her feeding tube and thus her starvation. The Schiavo case led to many difficult discussions in everybody’s household, and it was very unfortunate that such a private matter became so public.
But it struck me in reading the comments on the Politico website and other social media that this has been framed as a pro-choice / pro-life argument. To Politico, the story is of an over-reaching government intruding into the decisions properly made by the family. It shows an aggressive Republican governor, who happens to top many 2016 GOP presidential polls (wink-wink), pushing his personal beliefs onto the common citizen who disagrees with him. Michael Schiavo claims that Jeb Bush put him through hell. Terri’s parents went through hell also, but Politico will never give them an honest time of day.
Like a woman proclaiming her freedom of choice, this husband believes that Terri’s life was his to take. His supporters have “medical experts” on their side saying that Terri’s brain was like jello and that she was only surviving on a brain stem. Some parents of disabled children have similar stories from “medical experts” describing their child who then grew up to be contributing members of society. His supporters also have, unfortunately in my view, the judicial system on their side. This husband was awarded guardianship and this was never challenged successfully. Many people distrusted Michael Schiavo and I certainly wish that custody were granted to the parents who were clearly going to give her the best life she could hope to have.
Although I wanted Terri Schiavo to live, I have never opposed the death-with-dignity argument that some have painted on everybody with my view. I do believe that people should have as much control as they can over the matters of their life, their health, and even their death. It was a good thing that people began discussing their own end-of-life wishes with loved ones so that this confusion can be prevented in the future. I respect those family members who do not want to live in such a circumstance and will comply if the time should come.
Terri Schiavo did not have a living will and we relied only on the word of her husband. In this instance, I wish people would have erred on the side of life. I wish pregnant women would err on the side of life. I wish our culture was such that we all would choose life.
It comes as no surprise that Politico and the left will take this story and politicize it for their own benefit. I wish they would respect life as well.