Friday, March 18, 2005

A Time for Prayer

For whatever reason, I have not paid too close attention to the life and death decisions being made in Florida concerning Terri Schiavo... until today.

Watching the videos of Mrs. Schiavo with her Mom for the first time today was absolutely devastating. Admittedly, I am not a doctor, nor am I a prestigious bio-ethicist (whatever that may be), but as a human being, I could not help but be profoundly moved by the pleas of Terri's family, especially after seeing Terri's obvious reaction to her Mom's touch.

The faint smile that crossed Terri's face is clear to all except those who choose not to see. On a personal note, I have seen that wan smile before. I saw it on my Mom's face in the final stages of her illness and with that smile, I knew she was with us despite the terrible toll her illness had taken on her. I know Terri's family sees this same smile and that's why they are fighting so desperately to prevent the state from committing murder at the behest of husband.

And murder it is. Mr. Schiavo and the judge who ordered that Terri be starved to death may claim an enlightened purpose to alleviate Terri's suffering but that is nothing more than an effort to mask the monstrosity of their goals. They are starving her to death! Can anyone imagine anything more cruel?!?

If I did that to my dog, I would be hauled up on charges of animal abuse... and rightly so! At least, in the name of humanity, we put our pets out of their misery as quickly as possible to minimize their suffering. Even a monster such as Scott Peterson is entitled to a lethal injection to spare him an agonizing death.

According to a judge who fancies himself God, Terri Shiavo is not entitled to such niceties. Instead, Mr. Shiavo and his judge have condemned Terri to a slow, lingering death that I would not wish on the worst of my enemies. That this can be rationalized in a supposedly civil society should shock the conscience of even the most hardened among us.

At this point, Terri's feeding tube has been removed and the legal obstacles she and her family face are enormous. Now is a time for prayer.

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