Chuck Baldwin (2021)
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    Terri Schiavo Case Portends An Ominous Future For America

    Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    It is extremely difficult to believe, but it appears that the State of Florida will order a young woman to be slowly starved to death. I'm referring to Terri Schiavo, of course.

    Most of my readers are probably somewhat, if not thoroughly, familiar with the Terri Schiavo story. Terri was left severely brain damaged back in 1990. Although the media seems to have no curiosity at all regarding the mysterious circumstances of Terri's condition, this is part of the story which should be further examined. I attempted to broach this topic on CNN's Anderson Cooper television program to no avail.

    The mysterious circumstances of Terri's condition aside, the fact is, there is a young woman in Florida who suffers from brain damage whom courts have determined is not fit to live and will soon be allowed to starve to death.

    Terri's potential starvation is being authorized in spite of the fact that she has loving parents and friends who are more than willing to love and care for her for the rest of her life. However, Terri's husband, a man who has yet to be required to answer hardly any trenchant questions regarding his actions on Terri's behalf, is pushing the courts to allow Terri to starve.

    As Terri's "legal guardian," husband Michael has already squandered over $1 million dollars which the courts awarded him for Terri's medical care and treatment. Furthermore, Michael has lived in an adulterous relationship from the "get go" of this whole sordid episode.

    Michael maintains that his efforts are motivated only by his desire to fulfill Terri's wish that she be allowed to die. Of course, he has no proof whatsoever that Terri ever stated such an intention. What no one seems willing to ask is, "If Michael's only motivation is to honor his wife's wishes, why did he decide to cheat on Terri and have an affair with another woman? Was he honoring Terri's wishes when he was fornicating behind her back?"

    Since Michael didn't seem to care about Terri's wishes when he decided to commit adultery, why should anyone believe him when he says he is only honoring her wish to let her starve to death? Get real!

    The fact is, Terri Shiavo is not in a coma; she is not brain dead; she is not on life support; she is not in a "persistent vegetative state." Terri is able to laugh, cry, and attempts to communicate. According to her parents, she is able to say "Mom" or "Dad" and even respond to yes or no questions. She still knows her parents and is able to display expressions of affection toward them.

    I would dare say that most of us are personally acquainted with people who are dependent on feeding tubes and yet have strong, loving relationships and meaningful lives. Is it now the state's prerogative to determine the worth and value of people's lives? And if so, is not the state then playing God?

    I suppose the sad reality of the situation is that the state has been playing God since January 22, 1973 when abortion on demand was legalized in this country. Since then, the state has given mothers and physicians the authority to determine the worth and value of unborn babies and the delegated power to terminate the lives of those they deem unfit or unwanted. It now appears that legal guardians and doctors will be given the same authority over people's lives in matters relating to euthanasia. But where will it end? The answer is, it won't end.

    Once a precedent is established into law, judges and elected politicians tend to defend and support that precedent, no matter how Draconian or egregious it might be. As such, the Terri Schiavo case portends an ominous future for America. If Michael Schiavo is allowed to kill his brain damaged wife, the doors of state sponsored euthanasia will swing wide open.

    Furthermore, can anyone think of a more inhumane way to die than starvation? If Michael Schiavo tried to starve his dog to death, he would be arrested and thrown in jail! However, the same court system that protects animals from cruelty, is about to grant Michael the power to cruelly starve his own wife to death! In addition, if Michael Schiavo had any feelings or compassion whatsoever, he would divorce himself from Terri and turn guardianship over to her parents. That he doesn't suggests he possesses deep, ulterior motives and the hardest of hearts!

    One more thing: where are the church leaders within the Religious Right on this issue? For the most part, they are silent. Why? Why are they not crying out for Terri? Is it because their hero, G.W. Bush, is also silent?

    Where is President Bush? Does not Terri fit into his "culture of life" message? Where is his "compassionate conservatism" for Terri? It seems clear to me that if anyone deserves a presidential pardon from a potential death sentence, Terri Schiavo is that person!

    I know many millions of people are praying for Terri. Many of them have also written emails and letters, sent faxes, made phone calls, and begged their elected representatives to intervene. Some of us have even been given the opportunity to plead Terri's case on national television and radio programs.

    However, as with the Roe decision in 1973, it appears that an activist judiciary will once again defy the will of the citizenry and give its blessing to the horrific killing of innocent Americans. They must assume that since the American people have come to accept the thought of helpless, unborn babies having their heads and limbs cut off while in the womb, we will also come to accept the thought of helpless, handicapped adults being allowed to starve to death while in a hospital. One can only wonder what is next.

    © Chuck Baldwin

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