Kevin Fobbs
March 21, 2006
Terri Schiavo became victim of Michigan's Dr. Death
By Kevin Fobbs

He was an author of the macabre an artist who relished in morbid artwork. A failed movie producer who perfected a machine in 1989 called "the Thanatron" meaning "death machine" in Greek which he used the very next year to usher in an era a new era labeled for his moniker, "Dr. Death" inextricably tied to a new culture of death. Approximately 130 people became victims of his death machine including one 27 year-old Floridian woman. Her name: Terri Schindler Schiavo who ultimately became victim to the culture Dr. Death created.

Michigan plays a significant role in what is becoming a reawakening of the Culture of Life. For more than a decade and a half we Michiganians watched as the death culture began to wrap its tentacles around our beliefs, our mores, and our moral fabric. We saw a doctor begin to pedal his somewhat intoxicating message of death without any sense of guilt, death without any sense of responsibility as if the only message in Dr. Jack Kevorkian's mind was "life is tough...let's quit."

Kevorkian literally meant quit permanently. His suggestions were easy to embrace for many of his victims. And I do say victims because he was not doing them some magnanimous favor; he was setting the stage for the millions of Americans who believed what Adolph Hitler believed over sixty years ago. Life can be marginalized, the end of life can be minimalized, and giving the state the ability to punish an innocent by starving that person to death because he, or in this case Terri Schiavo, did not meet someone's unspecified quality-of-life standards.

But those of us in Michigan and many throughout the nation were not alarmed when Dr. Jack Kevorkian began his nearly ten-year trek throughout the Detroit area even though history would soon record him and his new societal message as "convenient," tolerant, and easy. Death and killing oneself became a "right" and not far behind this revelation was the State and its right to now kill you with ease as well.

No alarm bells went off in the life of Terri Schiavo because this young women just in her late twenties had no real reason to fear that as she was celebrating her new marriage and new husband that same husband and this same doctor's new death dance would be embracing a new partner and that new partner would in a few short years would be her.

Terri's new husband never spoke up about his supposed knowledge of Terri's end-of-life desires despite the fact that he knew she was a devout Catholic, and despite the fact that he had every opportunity in the world. He didn't tell the world until the check cleared the bank not even the courtroom judge that the trial to gain a million dollar insurance award, which was supposed to pay for her rehabilitation, should be stopped immediately. He never mentioned that Terri had spoken to him using some of the same words that Dr. Jack Kevorkian would have perhaps used as he lulled his victims into convenient death.

Of course Michael did not do that because the monetary award that he expected was going to be sizable, and his memory had not conveniently woken up yet. But the nation's embrace of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's theories had been awakened. His theories were spreading into the mainstream. State leaders in the legislatures and in serious periodicals were embracing the Culture of Death because, after all, if its good for Michigan, then by golly, it has to be good for the rest of the good ole' USA.

But this "death culture" was not good for Michigan or for the rest of the nation. This Culture of Death was making it easy for Americans to discount life. America was looking at the passage of laws, which would make it convenient for Americans to question whether or not a feeding tube was "heroic measures." Americans were beginning to question just how viable is "viable." In many ways we as a nation were beginning to think about life as if it were a designer suit of clothes or a car. The nation was taking Dr. Jack Kevorkian's death philosophy to its own twisted conclusion.

That conclusion was that a state has the right in America to starve a human being a woman and a sister, a daughter and a niece, a creation of God to death. So for Michael Schiavo to say recently in the New York Post that Terri might be "up there right now praising" him smiling down is truly a travesty of heroic measure. But perhaps he does have part of it right. Terri is up there smiling down although not on him but on all of us who understand the value of life and who have come to rally for the Culture of Life.

Terri is smiling down because there are millions of Americans who have a loved one in a hospital who have the will to live, or a young baby newly born being embraced by family for the first time because the baby's parents made a decision to embrace the Culture of Life. There are young children who are growing up with severe disabilities whose parents decided that Dr. Death and his prognosis would not be allowed into their life decision and that God not man decides what "quality of life" means because he not man created life and he not man decides when life begins and ends.

That is why Terri is smiling because "Terri's Day" and the national effort to create a national Day of Remembrance and a Celebration of the Culture of Life for March 31st (see or draws a symbolic indelible line in the sand. The Culture of Death is being put on the ropes and the nation is fighting back by pledging to embrace the Culture of Life on May 12th by joining the Schindler family in Michigan to deal the death culture a knockout punch.

America is prepared to embrace a deep-seated right and a fundamental gift which begins with the first baby's breath taken and ends with the last whisper taken before death. The gift we cannot ignore is Life and the culture that surrounds it. Pledge your family and yourself to the gift, which is freely given by God. Celebrate the Culture of Life and demand that your state join you as well by passing the Terri's Day Resolution to officially commemorate March 31st as a day of remembrance for Terri and those like her. That is something that Terri and the angels in Heaven just have to be smiling about.

© Kevin Fobbs


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Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs is founder and president of a policy organization called National Urban Policy Action Council (NuPac), that supports conservative colorblind solutions to universal issues and domestic policies that impact urban America... (more)


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