Terri Schiavo died today a couple of weeks after her feeding tube was removed. Perhaps now her parents and siblings can allow themselves to get on with grieving about their loss instead of deluding themselves, or being deluded by others, into believing that there was ever any chance that their daughter would resume anything resembling life. They should have allowed themselves to do this 15 years ago when they really lost their daughter. Heaven knows why they’ve allowed themselves to believe there was any hope for all those years.
President Bush (surprise, surprise!) had this to say…
The essence of civilisation is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favour of life
… which is incredibly rich coming from a man who is such a fervent supporter of the death penalty1. And what’s this about
serious doubts and questions? The huge majority of the medical profession who have had anything to do with Terri Schiavo have agreed that she had no hope. The thinking, reasoning part of her brain was dead. Indeed, it hadn’t even existed for many years. Where is the hope there? Unless your hope comes from the sort of crazy faith which accepts the literal truth of the Bible and is prepared to fly in the face of all evidence to support it.
My sympathies do, of course, go out to Terri’s husband Michael, her parents, her siblings and the rest of her family. There are others who are in Terri’s position. Let’s hope that the death of her body can open up some serious debate about what we call “human life”.
Posted 31 March 2005, 22:03 BST