UPDATE, 6:55p: The Schindler family has issued a press release.
11:51a: Last night's episode of Family Guy opened with a truly shocking scene: a preschool school play entitled, "Terri Schiavo, The Musical." Watch the 1st 5 minutes, and see for yourself. WARNING: Vulgar...
The rest of the episode sounds just as shocking, although I didn't watch past the guy cutting off his arm....
This is the same television series that had an abortion episode canceled in August 2009. Creator Seth MacFarlane's goal is get buzz by being offensive.
Bobby Schindler, who called to tell me about this Family Guy episode, said, "This just validates what our family has been saying from the beginning: There is a deep rooted prejudice against people with these types of brain injuries. And it's why killing these people is being accepted more and more every day... by our culture and our nation."
This offensiveness isn't confined to television shows. Bobby told me about the following YouTube video wherein a father teaches his children to mock Terri, apparently during Thanksgiving dinner, as his video is entitled, "Terri Schiavo at Thanksgiving." In many ways this video is more shocking than the Family Guy episode, because it's reality...
Ugh, ugh, ugh. I cannot even comprehend the parental mind...
As the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation reminds us, five years ago today was "Day 5 of Judge George Greer's court ordered slow death by starvation and dehydration of Terri." Terri died on March 31. Don't forget Terri's Day. Also don't forget The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Concert on April 11 in Indianapolis. I'll be there.
"Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished." (Proverbs 17:5, KJV)
Why would YOUTUBE allow this????????Posted by: lin at March 22, 2010 12:15 PM
I can't watch.Posted by: Lauren at March 22, 2010 12:21 PM
Part and parcel of the evil spirit of the "culture of death". We must stand against it, pray against it, fast against it. "Continue to run the good race", so said St. Paul.
God have mercy on our country, on our world. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. amen.
Both those videos were unspeakably disgusting and inhumane, but the YouTube video is horrifying. That "father" is abusing those little girls. What a despicable man.
The Family Guy show is just disgraceful beyond words, and Seth MacFarlane is grotesque.Posted by: Jennifer at March 22, 2010 12:40 PM
We will be issuing a press release tomorrow. This type of profound prejudice needs to be denounced, particularly by those that claim to value the dignity and sacredness of life. This not only deeply offends Terri and my family, but all of those with cognitive disabilities and the families that are caring for them.Posted by: Bobby Schindler at March 22, 2010 12:46 PM
I won't watch either of those. It's been 5 years and yet and my heart will never heal.Posted by: Jacqueline at March 22, 2010 1:02 PM
This is unbelievably appalling!! American culture has sunk to a new low. God have mercy on this pathetic nation; if this is what passess for entertainment now, we really DO deserve the likes of Obama and his anti-life ilk.Posted by: John Borra at March 22, 2010 1:07 PM
Remember, it's only HATE when it goes against what the entertainment culture believes.Posted by: Cranky Catholic at March 22, 2010 1:46 PM
Terri did not have "the plug" pulled, as there was nothing artificial keeping her alive. She could breathe on her own. She only needed help with eating, and so had a feeding tube, as do millions of people with disabilities. She was murdered by starvation and dehydration. How can anyone find humor in that?Posted by: Allie at March 22, 2010 2:44 PM
This is sickening!Posted by: Cecilia at March 22, 2010 2:48 PM
My heart goes out to you and your family. This indeed, has become the Culture of Death. I know that you and your family graciously offer up your suffering for the greater good, but you do not need these awful,ugly, constant reminders of
your beautiful sister. We reap what we sow. I would not want to be in Seth's shoes. He will ,someday be accountable. God Bless You and Give You Peace, Paula
Bobby, I am glad you posted here. I was heartbroken about your sister and prayed for her. And I just want you to know that I am a person of color, so this was not just a "white issue," as the media tried to claim.Posted by: Phillymiss at March 22, 2010 3:57 PM
Famil Guy is NOT a family show, it is one sick show. The Parent Television Council & OneMillionMoms is trying to fight against its perversion:
Take Action Family Guy Wont Stop:
The PTC rating for Family Guy:
which has link to sponsors of family guy.
God bless you & your family, Bobby.
Blessed are you when they persecute you for His sake. For a fifth year, I'll be publishing my annual tribute to your sis; it'll be available at my pro-life/Catholic blog, Veritatis: The Cartoon.Posted by: John Borra at March 22, 2010 4:30 PM
I won't watch.
Bobby I am so sorry.Posted by: carla at March 22, 2010 4:36 PM
Re: Terri Schiavo at Thanksgiving video
Teaching children at an impressionable age to make fun of disabled individuals for your own or other's entertainment, is not ok or funny and shows a real lack of maturity or sense of decency. And I have a sense of humor, but that is just crude and tasteless.
To be fair, Terri Schiavo wasn't merely "disabled." The autopsy showed that her brain was mostly water, had atrophied to the point of insignificance, and she was blind (therefore, the videos of her supposedly following a balloon with her eyes were irrelevant). These videos are disrespectful and I always thought Michael Schiavo came across as really sketchy, but I didn't understand the parents' insistence on keeping this woman with no brain (for the most part) laying in a bed for decades. Why? At some point, isn't it time to let go of someone whose body is alive but whose mind is completely gone?
WaPo on the autopsy results:Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 22, 2010 5:06 PM
Ashley, in the medical profession, individuals who are severely brain damaged (whether because of shaken baby syndrome or other traumatic accident), or in a vegetative state are regarded and treated with no less dignity and respect than any other patient, regardless of the severity of brain damage, lest you forget this woman was as human as you or I. However, there are no easy answers in the Terri Schaivo case or any other case like it and it's not yours or my place to judge another family's decision of whether or not to keep the individual alive, whether or not you agree with it.Posted by: Rachael C. at March 22, 2010 5:21 PM
what kind of monsters would do such a thing.Posted by: Jasper at March 22, 2010 5:53 PM
@ Ashley "To be fair?"
You mean we're comparing the level of Terri's "disablement" here and it's misrepresented? Compared to the massive DISinformation campaign wrought according to the designs of the Euthanasia movement with complicit media? You mean THAT mountain of LIES was "unfair" and the characterization of Terri as merely "disabled" is COMPARABLY unfair?
Show some respect, please. Terri's brother just commented on this thread for goodness sakes! You want to argue about Terri's brain???
Once again, I am so sorry Bobby that you have heard and read so much crap about your sister.Posted by: carla at March 22, 2010 9:02 PM
What struck me was how they portrayed Terri being on all those machines. In real life she only needed a feeding tube.Posted by: Brian at March 22, 2010 9:09 PM
It has been 5 years and people still feel the need to be so hateful??
Terri's family loved her dearly. Loved her and wanted to take care of her for the rest of her natural life. Sadly we failed them and Terri.Posted by: carla at March 22, 2010 9:10 PM
Randall Terry salivated at the chance to interfere in the Schiavo case. So did so many other "prolife" busybodies. It's too bad Teri Schiavo hadn't executed a living will and directive so Terry and his other glory seekers would have had to shut up.Posted by: Ned at March 22, 2010 10:11 PM
Ashley, I agree. I can't imagine anyone wanting to "live" like that. There would be more dignity in death.Posted by: xalisae at March 22, 2010 10:35 PM
Oh, and, I used to watch Family Guy, but then it started getting so political during the end of the Bush administration, I was willing to laugh at my own side quite a bit at first, but eventually it was just like being beaten over the head with his politics over and over and over again. There's no humor in that. Seth MacFarlane needs to grow up.Posted by: xalisae at March 22, 2010 10:40 PM
My sincerest condolences, Mr. Schindler. I know this is an extremely difficult time for you, especially given the large numbers of people who still grossly misunderstand your sister's case.
Ned: "It's too bad Teri Schiavo hadn't executed a living will and directive so Terry and his other glory seekers would have had to shut up."
Ned, you assume that her living will would direct people to end her life. Many people would rather live in her situation than die. Those who'd rather die should have their wishes respected, but they should also get it through their heads that they can't make that decision for anyone else.Posted by: bmmg39 at March 22, 2010 10:41 PM
A few weeks after your sister passed away, my daughter was born, and I promised her that I would fight to protect her in any circumstance as bravely and fiercely as you and your family fought for Terri. Thank you for holding up the standard for us all. Life is a sacred gift that must be protected.
Her mom (and likely Bobby and the rest of the family) knew Terri was still in there somewhere. They begged that man who called himself her husband while he husbanded another woman and had children with her, to release Terri into their care --they'd have done whatever they could for her. But "Schiavo" means "slave man" in some Italian dialects, and Mr. Schiavo was indeed a slave man --enslaved to his groin and his wallet. Too harsh? See where he wanted her buried.
I've seen all the videos of Terri before her family was ordered not to allow them to be shown publicly-- she was actively and knowingly following the balloon with her eyes upon request; she actively and knowingly acknowledged her mom leaning over her; she actively and knowingly shouted with joy when her favorite piano piece was played. Many doctors agreed. Her alleged PVS was quite arguable, as others have since proved, but even that is beside the point. We love a person AS IS, not because they're perfect --there really isn't one perfect nor even perfectly healthy person around any of us. I have always hoped I'd have broken the law to try to bring Terri some water, or to break her out of there. I don't know. I don't know what the hell stops us. We certainly got our little female soldier broken out of her hospital bed, you know?
It's too late for Terri, but there are thousands of Terri's out there facing the same end. In every nursing home, here in the land of the free.
As for ludicrous entertainment, indeed, only the God-less would poke fun at man's suffering. For these, one must both fast and pray, for they are possessed. Also, shut them off at the wallet --it works wonders.Posted by: Carol at March 22, 2010 11:04 PM
I think that, whether or not you support legalized assisted suicide/families removing life support, this was in poor taste. I normally think that Family Guy is fair in its commentary and even very clever (it's one of those shows where everyone gets made fun of), but this went too far. Obviously her family is upset- I would be, too.Posted by: Vannah at March 23, 2010 12:33 AM
Prolife to me means from conception to Natural Death. When we don't know someone's wishes I would think we as compassionate human beings could and should err on the side of life.
As a former special education teacher having worked with severely, profoundly mentally and physically challenged individuals this thread sickens me. That we would deem others unworthy of their God given right to life.
Carla - are you anti-death penalty and subscribe to Just War principles?Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at March 23, 2010 7:18 AM
SO not going there with you, EGV. Thanks anyway.Posted by: carla at March 23, 2010 8:23 AM
It's quite bigotted of you to suggest that having a disability takes away human dignity. People with disabilities are just as dignified as those without disabilities, and as we can see from the above videos, often have MORE dignity.Posted by: Jacqueline at March 23, 2010 8:52 AM
"She was actively and knowingly following the balloon with her eyes upon request; she actively and knowingly acknowledged her mom leaning over her."
No, the autopsy showed quite clearly that she was blind. And if you read some interviews with Terri's hospice staff, they said almost all families choose to remove feeding tubes/life support when the person's body is alive but their brain is basically gone.
I disagreed with the judge's decision in that case, however, because he forced it upon the family against their will--her REAL family. Her "husband" was in a common-law marriage with another woman. He had absolutely no right to be calling the shots and lording over Terri long after he'd technically left her for another woman. He should have been considered an EX-husband.
Plus, I always found it fishy that Michael Schiavo was the only person there when she collapsed and no cause was ever determined. Supposedly, he waited up to 40 minutes to call 911. And why didn't he just divorce her and move on with his life, instead of insisting on removing the tube against the family's wishes? What judge would trust that guy?Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 9:15 AM
I agree with your last two paragraphs, Ashley.
I wouldn't care what the hospice staff thought. If my husband recognized my voice, and was receiving the best care I could give him and wasn't dying(Terri wasn't dying!)I wouldn't give two figs what anyone else was doing. Till death do us part.
Maybe you should ask her brother, Bobby what the results of the autopsy mean. Since he is her brother and all and got the privilege of watching her starved and dehydrated to death. Ah, the dignity of the starving.....Posted by: carla at March 23, 2010 10:10 AM
Yes Carla, I agree that these decisions should be made by the family, not some "husband" who is legally a bigamist and an adulterer. You want to act as the guardian for your incapacitated wife? Don't marry someone else. This was a case of judicial tyranny.
However, I don't think anyone should be kept alive in this state if they have made it clear, in writing, that they don't want to be. It's a personal decision. After the Schiavo case, I gave my parents a written statement saying I want to be taken off life support/feeding tubes if I have no hope of ever gaining consciousness.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 10:23 AM
I agree with that as well, Ashley.
I do not have it in writing yet. If machines were keeping me alive and I had no brain function then I would like as many organs donated that can be used, and let me go. My husband knows this and also knows that if I were severely brain damaged and only had a feeding tube he is to seek rehab and let me live until God calls me home. I remember crying after Terri died and saying, "Please don't you EVER starve me to death!!" He was shocked that I would even think that he would.Posted by: carla at March 23, 2010 10:35 AM
Adultery should be grounds for not being able to control your wife. He committed adultery by living with another woman and having children with her. And what kind of husband waits nearly an hour to call 911? A loving husband would be on the phone ASAP! I know that Terri's family suspected he may have had a hand in her "collapse".
By the way, being disabled doesn't make you any less human. We should know that when we spend time with those who have disabilities (such as friends or loved ones that have Downs).
Terri's family wanted to care for their daughter/sister. That's all they wanted to do! They wanted to care for her until her NATURAL death. Not a starvation death! I heard they weren't allowed to MOISTEN HER LIPS after her tube was removed the final time. I even heard that her deceitful "husband" even wanted to deny her the Eucharist (as a Catholic, she had every right to receive it, even just a drop of the precious blood on her tongue).
And Since when is food and drink artificial?
Posted by: LizFromNebraska
at March 23, 2010 10:37 AM
Family Guy is PURE TRASH. It makes the Simpsons look like quality family programming!
Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 10:23 AM
Don't try and paint Michael Schiavo as a villain here. His legal wife had been "living" in a permanent coma from which she had a 0% chance of ever emerging from (the autopsy proved this; her brain had atrophied to an extreme state and she was blind) for the past 15 years, so that means he should be forced to live alone and be unable to start over with a new wife and family? The simple fact of the matter is that Terri's family was simply unwilling to face reality, be realistic and let go of the living corpse that had once been their sister. In the process of this, they were hurting everyone involved: themselves, Michael and his family, and, if you are religious, then you would also agree that they were withholding Terri from whatever afterlife she would have gone too also. But of course, it's much more sympathetic to keep someone artificially alive in a hospital bed for decades.Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 10:51 AM
"And Since when is food and drink artificial?"
Oh, I know. When it has to be administered artificially. Duh?Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 10:55 AM
""And Since when is food and drink artificial?" Oh, I know. When it has to be administered artificially. Duh? "
Are you basing this on the principle that if something is administered in an artificial way, then that something BECOMES artificial? Why should anyone hold to this principle?Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 10:57 AM
The youtube video was just SHOCKING and APPALLING! How could any parent be such a monster and train their children to think and speak about others in such a way? I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I really couldn't.
Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 10:57 AM
I'm basing it on the principle of common sense. If the only thing standing between you and death is a feeding tube then you are being kept alive artificially. Don't make it more complicated than it has to be.Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 11:01 AM
It wasn't decades, Anne. You're acting like she was there for 30 or 40 years. Being in a coma or minimally conscious state doesn't make someone less human. Is someone with artificial hips or knees less human?
If Terri had been MY relative, I would have joined her REAL family in taking care of her. I would have read to her, prayed beside her bed. I would have LOVED HER!
From what I read, after the lawsuit was won against the doctor regarding Terri supposedly not being diagnosed bullimic or anorexic, Michael Schiavo suddenly said "terri said she would not want to live this way". Interesting, right?
Terri was just as human as anyone else, she just was disabled and deserved to be treated with DIGNITY and that doesn't mean having food and water withheld just because of the way she ate and drank!
When animals are abused, people get in trouble (e.g. Michael Vick). If disabled people are refused water and food, people dismiss the disabled as non human and "not there".
"I'm basing it on the principle of common sense."
I don't find this to be a very compelling reason to hold to that principle. I'm not even talking about the Schiavo case now. I'm talking about how you determine when something is artificial. Food and water became artificial because of the way they were administered?Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 11:03 AM
Anne, I'll parse your comment.
"His legal wife had been "living" in a permanent coma from which she had a 0% chance of ever emerging from (the autopsy proved this; her brain had atrophied to an extreme state and she was blind) for the past 15 years, so that means he should be forced to live alone and be unable to start over with a new wife and family?"
First, I've already posted the exact same facts about the autopsy. And no, I do not have a problem with his choice to move on. But why did he get to have it both ways? Why was he allowed to enter into a second common-law marriage, but yet act as guardian for the first wife? Why was Michael Schiavo entitled to claim two wives? If he wanted to move on and take up with another woman, it was his legal and ethical responsibility to divorce Terri and allow her parents to act as guardians.
"The simple fact of the matter is that Terri's family was simply unwilling to face reality, be realistic and let go of the living corpse that had once been their sister."
I agree with this. (Except she wasn't a "corpse." Despite her vegetative state, she wasn't brain-dead, and her body was still functioning.) But that doesn't change the fact that Michael Schiavo thought he was entitled to be a husband to two wives, and the judge agreed. No one else has that right. The legal judgment in this case was wrong. And I still find it fishy that no cause was ever determined for her collapse, he was the only person there, and then he insisted on terminating her.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 11:04 AM
Posted by: LizFromNebraska at March 23, 2010 11:01 AM
It was 15 years, Liz. That's a decade and a half. If this clown show had been allowed to continue by the courts, today it would be 20 years. It could easily have continued on for even longer. There was nothing left to read or pray to. She was completely gone. Terri was not "just disabled". You make it sound as if she only needed a wheelchair ramp to enter a restaurant. Her brain was MUSH. Do you understand this? And don't try to compare this to animal abuse. There was nothing abusive about removing Terri's feeding tube. If anything, the real abuse was keeping her in such a grotesque, irretrievable state for so many years. That is the "abuse" you speak of.
Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 11:03 AM
You're just picking at semantics now. Obviously I did not mean the food itself was literally "artificial". I'm not even going to argue over this.
Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 11:04 AM
He acted as her guardian because he was still legally her husband. He wasn't legally entitled to claim two wives--he was still stuck with the LINO (Living In Name Only) wife.
What kind of monster would Michael Schiavo look like if he tried to bring divorce proceedings against a vegetable wife laying in a hospital bed? I'm not even sure how that would work or if it would even be possible. Would he then have to divide his assets, including house and other property, with Terri's family, acting on her behalf as executor? Would you really condemn a man to go through with that because his brain-dead wife's family doesn't know how to let go and move on? Michael Schiavo was in a truly awful, "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 11:18 AM
Terri was NOT a vegetable. She was a disabled female woman. A disability doesn't make someone any less human.Posted by: LizFromNebraska at March 23, 2010 11:19 AM
You said as a reply to a question from Liz that food and water artificial would be considered artificial because they are administered in an artificial way. I am just curious as to what reasons you can offer me to hold to the claim that you made in your March 23, 2010 10:55 AM. Why should I hold that food and water is artificial because it is given in an artificial way?Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 11:28 AM
"Why should I hold that food and water is artificial because it is given in an artificial way? "
Sorry, that should read "Why should I hold that WHEN food and water is administered artificially, then food and water is artificial?"
Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 11:28 AM
Food and water, when administered artificially, are an artificial means of keeping someone alive. That is what I was getting at. I will withdraw any implication you seem to think I made that under such (or any) circumstances the food and water itself is "artificial". Are we happy now?Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 11:35 AM
"Food and water, when administered artificially, are an artificial means of keeping someone alive."
Okay. So is the next line of argument "Because withdrawing any artificial means from someone is never morally wrong, it is not morally wrong to withhold food and water from someone when it is being administered artificially." ?Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 11:41 AM
I never made the claim "withdrawing any artificial means from someone is never morally wrong." In fact, I don't recall ever assessing the moral dimensions of withdrawing artificially administered food at all, so I have no idea where you're getting this from and no idea where you're trying to go with it.Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 11:49 AM
"I don't recall ever assessing the moral dimensions of withdrawing artificially administered food at all..."
No, I know you haven't... I was just trying to figure out where you were going with the comment to Liz.
"so I have ...no idea where you're trying to go with it."
Haha, that makes two of us. Okay, I'm done now...Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 23, 2010 12:00 PM
After working both inpatient and residential Eating Disorder centers, I can promise you that there are many, many people *without* brain damage being kept alive via feeding tube - feel free to extend that to anyone with paralysis and other reasons one isn't able to put food into mouch, chew and swallow.
How rediculous to say that a person *with* brain damage doesn't deserve the same treatment.
"He acted as her guardian because he was still legally her husband. He wasn't legally entitled to claim two wives"
Well, he shouldn't have been her husband. He chose to take up with another woman and have children with her (and, given the circumstances, I support his choice to do so). He had an ethical obligation to divorce the first wife. Just playing by Michael Schiavo's own rules--refusing to divorce a legal wife--he was an adulterer. He could have walked away and let Terri's family handle her, but he thought he had a right to lord over her long after he'd left her for another woman. Once he left, I think he owed it to the family to stop making decisions for Terri.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 12:37 PM
Autopsy results.. after being starved and dehydrated to death? Hmm.. what would ours look like after that? Terri wasn't just starved and dehydrated at the end. She was denied even sucking on a wet facecloth. She was denied physical therapy, though she showed progress. She was denied medicine for her pneumonia. Guess who requested those mercies, years and years before he dragged the court in to help him murder her. His lawyer, as the judge, too, were members of a right-to-die group. Read Terri's entire history.. maybe there's a Pamela Hennessy book out there? And read of alleged PVS cases since then, who've come back -- angry at their faceless judges.
A friend's son drank himself into a stupor a few years ago. He slept through his vomiting and aspirated. He choked nearly to death. By the time his sister found and couldn't wake him, his brain had been oxygen-starved for hours. He was in a coma. He went into cardiac arrest, developed pneumonia, his organs began shutting down, developed a raging fever and convulsions and diabetes, anoxia --his cortex nearly dead. Everyone -- everyone -- told his parents that if he made it, he'd only be 2% the young man they'd known. Well, he's sitting up in rehab, trying to play his guitar, calling friends and family on his phone. I've seen film of him trying to take steps. He says as long as he's got his "headpiece" he's happy. Medicine, and thousands who prayed for him, has been reminded that God is the Author of life. Death, thus, is God's call, not man's.Posted by: Carol at March 23, 2010 12:48 PM
Sorry, Jacqueline, I personally do not think being unable to dispose of my own waste and drooling on myself uncontrollably constitute "dignity", especially when I am completely oblivious to what I am doing. That's not to say that people in that condition cannot be treated with dignity, and certainly are. I personally do not think of that as a dignified existence, and if I were able, I would do everything in my power to end my life, and/or encourage my loved ones to help me do so. If others would prefer to be kept alive under those circumstances, then more power to them, that's great. It will never change how I personally feel about such circumstances. I suppose that's part of the reason I admire Stephen Hawking so much. I don't think I could find the strength to live under such conditions, and he has flourished.
But, you can't hold my personal view and wishes against me, Jacqueline. That's how I feel, and what I would want. I don't think it should be mandated for everyone. Oh well.Posted by: xalisae at March 23, 2010 1:02 PM
Posted by: LambsWirth at March 23, 2010 12:34 PM
You actually work with people with eating disorders who are in full possession of their mental faculties and all bodily functions except the ability to feed themselves, thus requiring a feeding tube, and you're going to compare them to someone whose brain had literally turned to mush and for whom it would have been literally impossible to ever recover? You do these people you work with a disservice by trying to equate simple, correctable eating disorders with extremely severe brain damage.
Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 12:37 PM
Once again, I ask you: how would Michael Schiavo initiate and complete divorce proceedings against a comatose person? And what would the implications be for his new wife and family? Would they potentially lose their house and other possessions to Terri's family or whoever is acting on her behalf legally? And what would stop Terri's family from removing her feeding tube themselves after the divorce has been finalized? How would Michael know they wouldn't do that anyway, after taking him to the cleaners in divorce court? Would you risk that for yourself and your family because of some perceived ethical duty to divorce your brain-dead spouse before shacking up with another person?Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 1:20 PM
Before he died, Christopher Reeve was fed by a feeding tube. Does that mean he wasn't human? Let me guess, you'll say, he had his brain intact. Having a brain doesn't make us human. Its HEART that makes us human. I remember watching all the news junk during that horrible ordeal when Terri was MURDERED. She did not have any rights. Her adulterous husband was her guardian. All her parents wanted was to care for her. They were willing to care for her 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
And now their foundation helps other families so their children or spouses don't become victims of this kind of euthanasia.
Posted by: LizFromNebraska
at March 23, 2010 1:32 PM
"Would you risk that for yourself and your family because of some perceived ethical duty to divorce your brain-dead spouse before shacking up with another person?"
If it were a case where the family desperately wanted to keep my vegetative husband alive, then yes, I would. It was wrong for him to rule over Terri while living with another woman just to protect his personal finances.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 1:55 PM
You are assuming that Michael Schiavo was a man of integrity, who honored his vows to his wife and looked out for her best interests.
OH and you can absolutely divorce your spouse in the event of something debilitating. A family friend was pregnant and had two children. Her husband was in a horrific car accident and was rehabilitated but was severely mentally challenged and didn't remember any of them. Sad. She divorced him.
Why do you talk about Terri and her husband in the present tense? What Michael has done, is done. He had her starved to death.
Posted by: Ashley Herzog at March 23, 2010 1:55 PM
But how would you, in that position, even know that your vegetative husband's interest really was their paramount concern? I don't think I'd give them the benefit of the doubt if I was in that situation, especially if they have something to gain and I have something to lose, during divorce proceedings.
Posted by: carla at March 23, 2010 2:03 PM
And why shouldn't I assume that, Carla? Is there any evidence that Michael ever had any relations with another woman prior to Terri going into her coma? Why are you, and so many other people, so quick to assume that Michael Schiavo had bad intentions toward his wife?Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 2:15 PM
There are other reports from nurses that witnessed Michael's interactions with his wife, Terri.Posted by: carla at March 23, 2010 2:21 PM
Posted by: carla at March 23, 2010 2:24 PM
BEFORE ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING ELSE, I IMPLORE YOU: NEVER MENTION YOUR WISHES TO ANYONE BUT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROXY!!!
Many of you are aware of this, my Ph.D. and current dissertation is about end-of-life care, and I have been involved in countless battles in my research and activism, including for Terri Marie Schindler, for over 8 years now.
Anything you say can and will be used against you to deny you treatments when you are unable to speak for yourself. Such was the case with Terri. I mean ANYTHING you say might be used to take decision making on your care from your loved ones and give it to a judge.
Case in point: In 2004, Jason Childress had a car accident after a fishing trip that left him needing a ventilator. The family was split on whether he should keep the ventilator or die after it's removal. One of the pieces of evidence used to disconnect his ventilator was that he once mentioned that he wouldn't want to live if he couldn't go fishing. I am not kidding. It was disconnected, but he breathed on his own. Here is the last public update:
The uncertainty has changed the character of the family's still-bitter disagreements, confusing family members who believe Mr. Childress would not have chosen to live and making other family members more dogmatically convinced that he can get better.
Ms. Little, 28, a mother of four who lives in Big Island, Va., said she believed her brother ''wouldn't have gone this far if he was able to make the decision.''
Shortly before the accident, Ms. Little's 9-year-old daughter got a virus that temporarily paralyzed her. Ms. Little said Mr. Childress, who lived nearby in Appomattox, said then that he would not want to live if paralyzed like that.
''He said, 'If I can't fish, I want to die,''' Ms. Little said. ''Why would you want to keep someone like that in bed living like that?''
Mr. Childress had no living will, though. And at first, Ms. Little resisted removing his feeding tube, saying ''food was one of his most important things.''
Then, several months after the respirator was removed, she wanted to remove the feeding tube and allow her comatose brother to die.
Now, she has seen her brother ''open a bottle for me,'' she said.
''I have this little basketball hoop and he can put a ball in that,'' Ms. Little said. ''He can word yes or no to you now. You might not understand it, but he can put his lips together or shake his head yes or no.''
Keep in mind, this was right after the accident. He has likely made a full recovery since. At the least, he is not dead, and a living will would have killed him instantly, not buying him the time to learn how to breathe on his own while the family debated his fate.
So, Carla, your public declaration of what you want here could strip your husband of the ability to get you new treatments. Also note that in many cases, these decisions are not in open court, but behind closed doors where ethics committees full of hospital staff that do not want to spend money on you will decide whether you live or die. Such is the case in Texas, and once universal healthcare is fully implemented, will likely be the rationing device.
MOREOVER, I implore you to read the history of the Living Will. It was designed by a lawyer, Louis Kutner, a euthanasia advocate, head of the former Hemlock Society, to exploit misconceptions of life support in order to impose euthanasia. His article was called, get this: "Due process of euthanasia: The living will, a proposal." He suggested that playing on the fear of people of "living forever on a machine" ( a myth, by the way) he could get people, physicians and governments on the road to involuntary euthanasia. He intended to win governments over with the living will as a cost-cutting measure (like abortion), since it's easier and cheaper to kill poor people than to treat them. Think I'm lying. Google the "Derzon Memorandum."
In sum- NEVER SIGN ANYTHING, but communicate your wishes to your proxy and give power of attorney to that person. Also, NEVER SAY ANYTHING to anyone but that person. If you have signed a document giving your wishes in scenarios that you can't predict (also, you can't predict what treatments may arise and you could keep your proxy from trying those treatments if you've already indicated that you want to die)- DESTROY THOSE DOCUMENTS. Living wills are death warrants, "get out of jail free cards" for healthcare providers to kill you. That's their sole purpose. If you had these documents, in their place, complete a state-respective "Will to Live" from National Right to Life to ensure you will not be starved/dehydrated and that your proxy can actually make choices for you.
If you need paperwork, email me at email@example.com. I can also give you my research on living wills and life-sustaining care if you are so inclined.Posted by: Jacqueline at March 23, 2010 7:06 PM
Sorry for the multiple posts. Well, not really. This is VITAL.Posted by: Jacqueline at March 23, 2010 7:15 PM
Doctors are not always right. Though they often think they are, they are not, and never will be, GOD.
A man was in a coma for 23 years. Just a "vegetable". yet he could hear every word spoken. He was conscious but trapped in his body, though medical science said he was gone. Not there. Not important. Just a "vegetable"
FOOD and WATER are not extraordinary life-saving measures. What they did to Terri was CRUEL and HEARTLESS and makes me so so so angry! I wouldn't do that to a DOG let alone a human being! The thought that that could happen to ME someday (more of a reality now with obamacare) upsets me. And it should upset all of you who seem to relish mocking the disabled.Posted by: Sydney M. at March 24, 2010 2:42 PM
I think I will be signing a living will. I love my husband and family, but I'm not sure that I can trust them to let me go when the time comes. I don't want them clinging on to an empty husk out of some misguided sense of love or loyalty, and with the decision entirely out of their hands, they wouldn't have to deal with any guilt over what might've been if they had only _blank_.
Thank you for the information, Jacqueline.Posted by: xalisae at March 24, 2010 2:44 PM
I don't want them clinging on to an empty husk out of some misguided sense of love or loyalty, and with the decision entirely out of their hands, they wouldn't have to deal with any guilt over what might've been if they had only _blank_
Actually, what you are doing is tormenting them in that they wish they could have done _blank_, knowing _blank_ would have helped, but couldn't because you signed away their ability to and killed their wife/mother who might have had a chance to recover if they could have used _blank_. Imagine how it feels when a new treatment arises that brings people out of a coma (think of the encephalitis awakenings in the 60's with the synthetic dopamine) and yet your family can't do that because you insisted that you be killed? I implore you to think twice. You can't know what scenarios might befall you in order to save your family from decision-making. They always will.Posted by: Jacqueline at March 24, 2010 3:05 PM
I worked at the hospice that terri was at. terri was treated with dignity and respect, just as were all the other people at hospice. I myself could not change what happened with the court case and the legal rulings, but the staff and I gave her the best care possible.Posted by: david phillips at March 25, 2010 8:35 AM
Why is everyone blaming YouTube for this? This is a FOX show! Why not point the finger at the network that allows this garbage on the air!? Seriously - are you people that beholden to FOX?Posted by: Iowa at March 25, 2010 9:42 AM
Iowa, did you miss the youtube video? It's the second video in Jill's post.
Jacque, thanks for the warning.
In general, though, I would want to live, and I've made that clear to my husband, who is my proxy (and no Michael Schiavo).
The only case where I would choose to die rather than live is if the only care offered to me were the killing of one of my children. Frankly, there are always better options than killing the baby, and I'd hold out for those, regardless of cost, difficulty, or chance of success. I would be willing to try experimental treatments. And I've been over this in detail with my husband.
Not saying everyone should be required to make that choice, but I am not going to knowingly be party to killing any of my children if I can help it.Posted by: ycw at March 25, 2010 11:06 AM
Luke 17:2 " It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."
A warning to Fox, your vile programming is an abomination. God is watching. "Vengance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay."
A warning to the man who in the above video mentally abuses his precious children, whom he does not deserve. He has been entrusted with the care of these precious children, and he defiles them. God is not mocked.
America better repent. There is a reason for the unravelling of the nation. Payday is coming. Again I say, REPENT.
Hanna - I hear you loud and clear - I turned on the news arm of fox the other day - all anger, fear, and hate.
Payday is coming from the Lord and Fox is going to get it (except for their NFL TV coverage - those people seem good).Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at March 26, 2010 7:15 AM
This is to Anne who posted, "I'm basing it on the principle of common sense. If the only thing standing between you and death is a feeding tube then you are being kept alive artificially. Don't make it more complicated than it has to be.
Posted by: Anne at March 23, 2010 11:01 AM"
Anne--Complicated? Consider a newborn baby. The “only thing standing between the newborn and death” is her/his mother's breast or a bottle. Both have to be administered by a caring, nurturing person. It's pretty obvious that the baby isn't going to be able to sustain its own life. So we CARE for her/him. And if that baby never develops the ability to care for her/himself... then what? We give up? No. We do what is necessary for life. It’s what we do as human beings. It’s how you were “allowed” to live to this point in your life. Otherwise we may as well just agree that we're all going to become incapacitated at some point in our lives (and who makes the choice on when to stop caring?).. should we just get a jump on our mortality and “end it all” now? NONSENSE. Clearly there are those out there who need more education and understanding about the preciousness of ALL life and our interdependence with others and God as a human family. If education isn't possible then please pray about it! I'm praying for you as I write.
And, to Bobby Schindler-- thank you for keeping your sister’s and family’s memories alive! God bless you and keep you strong during this Holy Lent as we wait for our Easter promise!!
My God, My God how long shall this endure? This nation was once great but is sinking into a Saddom and Gamorrah (sp), I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would send an intercessor to help this nation rise above this base and most debauched state that believers are thrust into.
My sorrow and sincerest sympathies go to the family of Terry