March 26, 2005

Tammy L. Carter of The

Tammy L. Carter of The Orlando Sentinel writes:
I understand what Michael is trying to do. As Terri's guardian, he wants to fulfill his wife's wishes. When he sees Terri, he does not see the active, young woman he married, or the woman who told him that she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means.

He sees a woman who has spent the past 15 years unable to eat or speak or move. Her limbs are rigid and curled. She has a catheter. She wears diapers. He says she would not want to live this way.

Though he has fathered two children with his fiancée in recent years, I believe Michael is acting out of love for his wife, and not out of greed or selfishness as others, including Terri's parents, have suggested.

Doctors say Terri is unaware what is going on around her, because most of her cerebral cortex, the thinking part of her brain, is gone. But how can they know for sure? What if she hears? What if she sees? What if she is trying to communicate but her body won't let her? What if she has changed her mind and really doesn't want to die? Miracles do happen.

That possibility, no matter how minute, is what motivates her parents. Bob and Mary Schindler cling to hope that Terri will recover one day. They insist she is minimally conscious because her eyes are open during the day. She moans, groans, laughs and cries.

The baby girl they brought into the world 41 years ago is still living and breathing. How could they, or any parent, stand by for two weeks and watch their baby starve to death?

I couldn't. If my 18-year-old daughter was in Terri's state and there was no living will, I would do everything I could to keep her alive. That's what mothers do. We protect our children, no matter what the costs or inconveniences. We would give our own lives to save theirs.

With all those thoughts in mind, the one thing I know for sure is that this is not a matter for the Bushes, the courts, Congress, the Legislature or activists to decide. And, though I sympathize with Michael, even he should step aside. He has fought a good fight.

Let the Schindlers care for their daughter until God takes her home. It's time to end this turmoil.

The shame is that this entire contraversy could have been avoided if Michael had been willing to let Terri live and grant the Schindler's guardianship. Please take time to remember this family as they helplessly watch their daughter slowly starve to death.

Posted by Jody at March 26, 2005 07:15 AM | TrackBack
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