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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
New Pope Elected
Apr 19, 2005 11:12 a.m.
A little after 11 a.m. this morning a new Pope was elected. Liberals are hoping for the name Clintonus I.
----Fellow liberal hater
On the surface, the Terri Schiavo case appears to pretty cut and dry. Schiavo suffered irreparable brain damage in February of 1990 when she went into heart failure – most likely due to a potassium deficiency brought on by bulimia. Since then, Shiavo has been stranded between life and death in what physicians have dubbed a ‘persistent vegetative state.’
If that were truly the whole story, it would make sense to let Shiavo die naturally, and not artificially prolong the remnants of her life with feeding tubes and life-support. Her husband Michael says she would not have wanted this, but there is more to the story.
In 1992 Shiavo was awarded nearly a million dollars by a mal-practice jury in an out-of-court malpractice settlement. Of the money -- which was designated for future medical expenses -- only $50,000 remains. Terri’s family points to the fact that her husband, Michael Shiavo, was granted permission by Judge Greer to dip in to Terri’s medical fund to pay attorney fees. They claim nearly $400 thousand dollars have been spent in this manner. Instead of using the trust fund to care for Shiavo, her husband is literally using it instead to convince the courts to let her die – and he will keep the remnants. This leads one to ponder just how concerned Michael Shiavo is for his wife.
Since Terri was disabled, Shiavo has moved on with his life. Today he has a steady girlfriend with whom he has two children. It’s understandable that he would want to move on and start a family, but there is the nagging question of why he didn’t he just divorce Terri and turn over custody of her, and her trust fund money, to her parents – the people who seem genuinely concerned with her well-being? Is he hoping that she starves to death so that he can keep the remnants of the trust fund -- some $50,000 -- all to himself and his long-time girlfriend?
One factor to consider is the fact that the state of Florida defines a persistent vegetative state as a state in which “there is an absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind” and “an inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment” Terri, though severely disabled, does seem to demonstrate some marginal awareness of her surroundings and acts according to her own will. In home videos of her posted on the website saveterri.org, Shiavo is shown opening her eyes in response to a doctor’s order, as well as trailing a balloon across the room with her eyes. She is clearly not completely brain dead, only severely disabled. Compounding this problem are the conflicting diagnoses of different doctors – some proclaiming her brain dead, while others claiming her to possess awareness.
Contrary to popular belief, Terri is not completely dependent on life-support. Her heart beats without the aid of any external devices. She breathes on her own, smiles and responds to parents and loved ones present in her room. She is simply unable to feed herself. Quadriplegics can’t feed themselves either, but no one suggests that they be allowed to starve to death ‘naturally.’ They are provided with rehabilitative care and given devices which give them back some semblance of freedom. There is a possibility that Terri’s condition could have been improved by therapy too, but her husband denied her that care in 1992.
So if Shiavo is aware of her surroundings, her parents are willing to take care of her and there is a trust fund set up to cover her basic medical expenses, why is she being sentenced to starvation?
uhliberalhater @ budeweiser.com.
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