I’ve changed my view of the Terri Schiavo case. I had the vague impression from TV that it had to do with folks in the government hassling the husband of this poor woman and keeping her alive against her will. It seemed to be about a woman’s tragically irreversible fate, with the usual arguments on both sides.
I’m afraid that this is the blurry glimpse too many people have. But visit the terrisfight.org web site, published by Terri’s family, and you’ll get a different idea. Terri Schiavo has certainly suffered brain damage as a result of an accident several years ago. But as the family takes pains to document at the site, “Terri smiles, laughs and cries. Terri recognizes voices and responds. At times, she vocalizes sounds, trying in her best way to speak. Terri is not a brain-dead vegetable as characterized by her husband and legal guardian. . . . Terri is not on a respirator or any artificial life support. She is a living human being and needs to be granted an opportunity to recover. Terri has not had any progressive rehabilitation or arousal therapy in more than ten years.”
The family claims that Terri’s husband never used $750,000 of award money for Terri to see properly to her medical needs. If she dies, he stands to gain the balance of that award. Terri’s parents and family would be happy to take over her care and relieve her husband of the burden. But he does not want this. And I think the family is right to ask why.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.