Terri Shiavo’s Death Sentence

I have delayed weighing in on the Terri Shiavo case. I wanted to see how things played out and I honestly figured that her life would be spared. It might still be, but activist judges are making it difficult for Terri to remain alive. The whole case brings up some interesting things to discuss.

Terri Shiavo is basically being sentenced to death. She did not do anything wrong yet she is getting a death sentence. Unfortunately, if things are not reversed, Terri will die long before Scott Peterson, who was actually convicted of murder. If Terri had murdered someone she would stay alive for a long time while the appeal process proceeded. For Terri, the appeals of her family were not enough.

The US Congress tried to intervene on Terri’s behalf. I do not think they belong interfering in a matter that should be decided by the state but I have to admire the way they tried to do it. By issuing a subpoena for Terri to appear the law says she can not be interfered with or harmed in any manner. The unfortunate part is that a judge in Florida ignored the subpoena. He evidently found it irrelevant. Can anyone explain to me how it is that the Congress can subpoena baseball players and they are not allowed to refuse the “invitation” but a judge can over rule a subpoena by the very same Congress?

Terri Shiavo’s case also spotlights the importance of having a living will or medical power of attorney. This case hinges on what her wishes were. The “husband” says that she would not want to live this way and that is what she told him. Terri’s parents say she would not want to die and that they still hold out hope for her to get better. As a health care professional, I can not overstate the importance of having written instructions detailing your wishes. If Terri had these documents the whole issue would not exist. I am not opposed to taking someone in a persistent vegetative state off life support. From all accounts, Terri is not in such a state. Her parents have stated that they will take care of her and assume all burdens associated with that care. Her husband says he wants her dead. He could divorce her and let the parents take care of her but then he would lose a lot of money. Since it appears he is interested in her death to achieve financial gain, one has to question if he truly represents her wishes. In addition, no written document exists detailing her wishes. His account amounts to hear say evidence. There is a thing called implied consent. It basically states that if a person were capable of making his own decisions, he would choose to be helped. This is the premise that allows medical people to treat unconscious people without them actually asking for the help. One has to assume that if Terri were able to express her wishes she would not ask to die. It is a moral decision to err on the side of life. If you promised your Lexus to your neighbor if you were ever killed and did not tell your wife, do you think the court would side with you or the wife in deciding who gets the car? To me, this is what the case boils down to.

The people who are saying that Terri should not be cared for are condemning her to death. Why is it that we will go out of our way to protect animals in Alaska by not drilling for oil but we can not protect a human life? Why do these whacko protesters go out and protest the killing in war but they are not out protesting the killing of a defenseless person. This is the kind of universal health care John Kerry wanted to give you and that Hillary will assuredly use in her platform when she runs. We will cover everyone, but when you get sick we will starve you to death.

I stated before that I have no problems taking people who are in a vegetative state or who have made their wishes known off life support (and yes, food and water are life support). I have a problem with taking food and water away from a person who has people that will care for her and ensure she has the best quality of life possible given her circumstances. I also feel that without written instructions we should err on the side of the patient’s life being spared. Yes, Scott Peterson will eventually be put to death. He will be strapped down and given an injection that peacefully puts him into an everlasting sleep. Terri Shiavo will slowly starve and dehydrate. She will experience hunger and thirst and not be able to communicate this. She will wonder, in whatever capacity she can, why people are not helping her. Slowly, very slowly, her organ systems will shut down like the banks of lights in a stadium. Her kidneys will fail, her liver will fail, her heart will beat erratically and her breathing will become more labored. Terri will begin to experience more and more pain as her body begins to consume itself to try and stay alive. As each system fails she will begin a death march that will end with a last gasp for life sustaining air that will fail to have the desired effect. Terri will let out one last breath and the heart monitor will show a long, flat, line. The doctors will pronounce her dead and her husband will take all the money and live with, and maybe even marry, his common law wife. Yes my friends, Terri will die a long, slow, agonizing death and she did not do anything wrong. Maybe that is the problem with this country. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment for those who have committed horrible crimes but more than appropriate for those whose only mistake in life was having the misfortune to get ill without writing down their desires.

Print This Post

If you enjoy what you read consider signing up to receive email notification of new posts. There are several options in the sidebar and I am sure you can find one that suits you. If you prefer, consider adding this site to your favorite feed reader. If you receive emails and wish to stop them follow the instructions included in the email.

16 Responses to “Terri Shiavo’s Death Sentence”

  1. Randy Gettys says:

    How is it that the Party of “sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman,” usurps a man’s spousal rights when they conflict with a Party’s political agenda? Where’s the “sanctity?”

    I believe in freedom; freedom for all Americans. If we have such a right, I realize that occasionally some folks may make choices with which I do not agree. That is the price I, we all, pay for granting such freedom.

    This ‘crusade’ goes against state’s rights, sanctity of marriage, and basic freedom, all measures which Republicans pretend to support.

    One of the ‘secrets’ not being reported presently is that there are several folks in the same position, that is having life-giving support removed. There are at least a couple of cases in Texas, where the medical community is exercising laws signed by then-Governor GW Bush.

    May God bless Terri.

  2. This case isn’t about PVS or “right to die” or “right to life”. It is about the sinister intentions of a man wanting to kill his wife. There are many facts that are not being reported in this case, including the fact that Michael Schiavo never mentioned Terri’s supposed wishes to die until 2000, AFTER some law declaring that hearsay testimony was allowable in court. Prior to this law, he never mentioned his supposed conversation with Terri.

    I suggest everyone go to The Empire Journal to learn more about the deceipt of Michael Schiavo and the corruption of Judge Greer.

  3. Adam says:

    “Why do these whacko protesters go out and protest the killing in war but they are not out protesting the killing of a defenseless person.”

    Oh, you know why. It’s the same reason us whacko’s want to kill all the babies, free all the criminals, take all the guns, take God out of everything, and let the terrorists win. Because that’s what you say we do.

  4. Bob says:

    The money is long gone. If you think a measly $700,000.00 would last anywhere near ten years your sadly mistaken. She has no brain left. In fact MOST accounts are that she is in a persistant veg state. The judges (More than a dozen) Have followed Fla law to a “T” Go To “Abstract Appeal” By Matt C if you want a factual time line and non bias opinion

  5. Big Dog says:

    I’m not sure but people in persistant vegitative states do not usually respond to stimulus. They are unable to follow movement with their eyes. I have never been in a persistant vegitative state (the key word being persistant) but I am sure that Terri does not meet that. If her parents are willing to assume her care and the associated costs then who cares. I have seen more people in nursing homes that have less movement than Terri and they are kept alive each and every day.

    Be careful America. The time is not far away where they will be pulling the plugs on your aged loved ones. That is how the democrats will handle the Social Security problem. Make less old people by killing them off…. Who knows, could happen.

  6. Adam says:

    Wrong again. Old people vote Democrat. Why would they kill them? You know the Democrats are against the death penalty because they know criminals vote Democrat. They are holding out for a day when all murderers will vote again…

  7. Big Dog says:

    Then why are so many democrats in favor of killing Terri? Oh, I get it. She is unable to vote. So like I said, all the old people who are in a vegetative state will be taken off life support because they can not vote.

    Unless you want to count the voter fraud the dems don’t like to talk about. I’ll tell you how it works. If you are not able to vote someone can vote for you if you express your desire to them. The frauds come in and fill out voter cards in the nursing homes and then say “Who did you want to vote for sweetie?” Then they mark the democrat box and say I knew it was a vote for so and so.

    So beware old people. If you become incapacitated you might get put to sleep. And remember what I said, put your wishes in writing, then the donks can’t kill you.

  8. Adam says:

    Remind me again which Democrats are in favor of “starving Shiavo”…

  9. Surfside says:

    That would be the 53 Dems that voted against the bill in the house — and the 102 Dems that didn’t even show for the vote. I think Big Dog is talking about them. The Senate is much harder to pin down, as the had a voice vote. We do know, however, that Hillary did not show up for it.


    Actually, Big Dog and I don’t see eye-to-eye on this issue. But, he does have the figures on his side in this regard.

  10. Adam says:

    Well, then you’re correct Big Dog. They must be evil jerks! I’m not sure how I feel about the Terry case. Well, I take it back. I could care less about it. It’s none of my business. I just can’t believe they are playing around with feeding tubes and baseballs…

  11. tball says:

    You should make an attempt to understand the law and its application (which is admitedly complex) before you use such phrases as “activist judges” and before you criticize a judge whose rulings have been upheld numerous times by higher courts (and decided they would not be reviewed by the Supreme Court). If you dont like the Florida laws, learn them and criticize them, instead of their administrators. To knowledgeable people you lessen the worth of your remaining opinions to nearly zero.

  12. Big Dog says:

    At least you and I agree on that. Congress has more important things to deal with and sports and state’s issues are not two of them. I think I have stated all along that this should not be a concern of the Congress

  13. Big Dog says:

    tball, just because this has been through judicial review a thousand times does not mean the judges are not acting on behalf of the husband and his interests while ignoring the person who needs the most protection. The judicial system needs to protect those among us who are least able to protect themselves. Since there are no papers expressing her wishes then the court should err on the side of the victim. I do not know Florida law and I think that too much time and money has been wasted on this case when there are probably many more just like it.
    Perhaps someone can explain why the judges did not declare the husband an adulterer and strip him of guardianship of a person he obviously cares nothing about. My agruments are valid and are based upon my point of view. I would not want to be kept alive in that state but I am not the issue. If her parents are willing to care for her then what is the problem?

  14. Surfside says:

    If the judge “declare(d) the husband an adulterer and strip(ped) him of guardianship,” he would be acting in a manner that you decry — as an activist judge. Generally, a judge can only act on matters that are brought before him. He can’t introduce new issues. The parents should have gotten their lawyer to sue the husband for divorce on Terri’s behalf a long time ago. It was their best chance and easily provable. Once he was removed, they could have had the state appoint them as guardians.

    You’re ignoring the possibility that the husband may be right and may be acting in Terri’s best interest. He’s had ample chance to remove himself from the situation. He’s even passed up large cash donations to do such. He could have divorced her, received half the settlement proceeds and not incurred any legal fees. To say he has a pecuniary interest is not necessarily accurate.

  15. Big Dog says:

    Of course I assumed that it would have been at the request of the parents and their lawyer.
    He had to turn down the money or it would have proved that he was only making claims for money. That might not be the case but perception is reality to the public.

    I am not ignoring that he might be right. I am pointing out the obvious fact that there is no way to support his claim and as such she deserves the benefit of the doubt. To make such a claim indicates you are ignoring that her parents might be right. I am not necessarily inaccurate either. What other reason would he have for his wish to see her dead. He let her live a long time before the request. If he felt this way and it was her wish, then why did he wait so long?

  16. Queeny says:

    I’m sorry but I cannot see how someone would want to be kept alive if they couldn’t do anything for themselves. As far as having the living will I totally agree But I’m like these other people I’m a little confused about it. If it were me who was relying on the feeding tube to stay alive and not be able to feed myself,take care of my self clean myself or anything then I say let me go to Jesus so he can take care of me. I would not want to be in a state where I couldn’t talk or move so I would want my family to see fit to it that I was not kept alive artificially and let me go to a better place. I have nothing to say about anything anyone has said because it’s all opinion and facts.