I’m still not sure how a bunny, with eggs, came into the Easter holiday of the resurrection of Jesus. Nonetheless, Happy Easter to all, a day that reminds that Christ our Lord conquered sin and death some 2,000 years ago. A beautiful day here in Omaha. After showers and some flurries last week, I’m hoping Spring is here to stay.
The topic I was hesitant to hit on, I’ll touch on again. That being Terri Sciavo. Amazingly, she is still living almost nine days now without food or water. Considering her physical and mental state, I find that mindboggling. As this saga has played out since her feeding tube was removed, I’ve found myself more compassionate to the Schindler family’s plight. I’d been moved by their desperate attempts to keep her alive, seeing the love that only a parent can have for a child. It was moving. ABC News, on Friday night, told of the parent’s argument that Terri had told them “I want to live”. The audible sounds were “ahhhh” and “wahhh”, which could be construed to sound like a slurred rendition of “I want”. The jaded viewer might write it off as a political, judicial, or religious ploy to smokescreen the obvious. That there is no way Terri said that. I was tempted to think that, at first, but it dawned on me more and more, especially as ABC subtly derided the whole affair as pushing to the side “real news”, that the parents were doing anything and everything to defend and keep their daughter alive. I think a majority of parents would do the same, well, I’d like to think a majority of parents would do the same.
What finally started to turn the tide for compassion to the Schindler family was an article on The Weekly Standard’s website, written by Eric Cohen, which chronicles the early years of Terri Sciavo’s state in this condition. (The entire article is a wonderful read.) At a malpractice hearing, in 1992, Michael Sciavo testifies that he would care for Terri Sciavo “the rest of her life”. He wanted to become a nurse so he could be a better caregiver to Terri. However, after another setback in Terri’s health in the summer of 1993, he changed course and started to state that Terri would not want to live in the state she was in.
I think it is safe to say that in the first three years of caring for Terri, after she suffered the brain damage, Michael cared for and loved his wife. After that, though, I am hard pressed to believe, by his actions, that he loved his wife. For me, it throws everything into question when it comes to Michael’s testimony that Terri would prefer to not live than be in the state that she is. If that was the case, how come it is never mentioned by him until it is over three years after the beginning of her condition? Their is no factual documentation, just casual word of mouth conversations. For me, the case has not been made that she would have wanted to die. And, any rights I think the husband would have in marriage matters is completely negated by Michael Sciavo’s actions and words.
Another interesting article has been the Los Angeles Times telling the story of how Tom Delay, and his family, took his father off life support over a decade ago. His father was in a similar situation to Terri, but not entirely, according to the Times. The difference there is the whole family was in agreement as to what to do with their father, who had left no living will, document, or anything as to what he would have wanted. If Terri’s parents would have gone along with Michael Sciavo in 1993, no one would have ever known this story. What Tom Delay and his family did must have been difficult, but it is interesting he is one of the principals in leading the fight to keep her alive. What his reasons are in doing so are unknown, but I’d like to think they were honorable and in line with his thinking when he was in the same situation with his father.
Terri’s parents are resigned to the fate of their daughter. Friday the word was she had hours to live, but now it is Easter Sunday. What a story, for her to potentially enter into fullness of life the day we symbolize Christ’s defeat of death and the possibility of all of us to enter into fullness of life with him now and forevermore.
Family time awaits… God bless…