Wednesday, February 15, 2006

FEBRUARY 16, 2005

My name is Bobby Schindler. My sister was Terri Schiavo.

On March 31st of 2005, Terri died of starvation and thirst after having her feeding tube removed by court order on the hearsay testimony of her husband, Michael.

My sister lived in a neurologically compromised state for reasons that are still unknown and my family wanted nothing from anyone but to be granted the permission to care for Terri for the span of her natural life. We were denied.

Terri tenaciously fought for her life for more than 13 days after being deprived of the most basic, natural and constant need that we all share – the need for nourishment – food and water. Terri was not on a respirator, not terminally ill, not dying and not succumbing to any killer disease. She was disabled. She was dependent on others. But, she was still very much a life, a woman and a person.

Throughout the entire history of mankind, never was it held that food and water constituted “medical care”. Our nation now claims food and water to be “medical treatment” instead of ordinary care, to facilitate their removal from persons deemed by the medical industry or the courts as “unworthy of life” primarily for economic reasons. Persons like Terri, with injuries and disabilities, are seen as not being worthy of life, not worth the investment.

It is beyond comprehension that we are seeing a culture of death impose its will upon society’s weakest and most vulnerable members. Every human being is endowed by his or her Creator with inestimable worth. Therefore no human being or agency has the authority to pronounce an innocent person such as my sister as “unworthy of life.”

We, as a society, are standing on a cliff with two clear and utterly polarized choices that we can make: Either we value each other – in spite of disability, or we despise each other based on those limitations.

I urge those in leadership to afford the protections to all weak and vulnerable people which were denied to my sister Terri.

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