Kevin Fobbs
Terri Schiavo's death and new findings may rally life defenders
By Kevin Fobbs
February 19, 2010

To say that the purposeful murder of an innocent human being is tragic would be truthful, right? To murder an innocent woman who was taken from the bosom of her family was wrong. To have it done with the self-serving suspect-expedient reasoning used by Michael Schiavo's medical authorities in state of Florida and political anti-life activists in Washington and across the nation was shame before God.

In cities like Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Boston, St. Louis and many others, faith leaders as well as followers of the pro-life movement can be buoyed by the news of a recent published medical study supporting the rightful contention that Terri's life was unjustly and inhumanely taken from her.

Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schindler Schiavo revealed this week that according to a recently published New England Journal of Medicine study, it is very possible the rush to take Terri's life was not just a miscarriage of justice it was an open license to kill future patients as well. By using Terri's legally supported diagnosis of persistent vegetative state (PVS) future victims could be exposed to legal depravation of nourishment and water using Terri's case as a benchmark.

However, the Schiavo diagnosis had already been challenged by countless medical affidavits supplied by Terri's family which countered the diagnosis that was offered by Terri's husband Michael, who had moved in with another woman and fathered children with her while Terri withered away. Michael appeared to want nothing more than to end Terri's life and move on with his life and his new family.

Yet according to the new findings of the study, not only was Bobby and Terri's family and their army of affidavits correct in the prognosis, it also shored up the stand for life that tens of thousands of supporters who showed up in Florida to support Terri's right to life; wrote innumerable letters, blogs, and pleas for her life; or watched helplessly from a distance as the events surrounding Terri's death played out. It also speaks to the millions of those of faith who offered prayers that God's gift of life not be extinguished in Terri.

This is what the study found which should alarm any of us who are now facing or may face the choice in the future.

The Journal's report, released on February 3, 2010, revealed that some patients who were believed to be in a PVS were actually able to understand and communicate. This was accomplished by the use of functional magnetic resonance scanning (fMRI). "These results show that a small proportion of patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state have brain activation reflecting some awareness and cognition. Careful clinical examination will result in reclassification of the state of consciousness in some of these patients. This technique may be useful in establishing basic communication with patients who appear to be unresponsive."

Shouldn't Terri have been given the benefit of the doubt? Was it just or right to take the life of an innocent human when if this same judgment were used against a pet dog or other animal it would have been deemed "cruel and unusual punishment?" Are animal rights more important than human rights?

There was typically a lot more public indignation from PETA and animal rights supporter protestations of killing animals but you did not hear them saying the same thing about killing an innocent human being.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself this question: "Should we give the state the right to determine the end of life of an innocent?" Would you want this done to one you love? The question may sound highly unlikely to you. Think about what Terri's devoted brother Bobby wrote in a CNS news article, "When Terri's husband first petitioned the circuit courts to remove her sustenance, my family was naive about PVS and what the diagnosis actually meant, and could not believe a court would ever order her food and water withdrawn."

Judge George Greer ordered her life to end by depriving her of food and water. So if you believe that it can't happen, you are sadly mistaken. The bedside diagnosis was wrong and the evidence of Terri's interaction with her mother that millions of viewers watched on an on-line video did not matter to a judge or a state that was insistent on this rush to judgment.

You have a choice now, America. You can answer Bobby's call to action and use it leading up to the March 31, fifth anniversary of Terri's death to enlist in a Terri's Day Call to Action! If you believe unselfishly or even selfishly that your loved one deserves to live and should not become the victim of a medical establishment or a government bureaucrat's need to save dollars, then join in.

Four years ago when I helped launch Terri's Day, I worked with legislative leaders and grassroots activists from across the nation to support a Terri's Day in their state. Now it is even more important, with new revealing information released that you begin to take a precious moment to stand up for the ones you love.

With the Lent season upon us, let us ask our communities of faith to stand up for life. And if we are to give up on something for Lent, then let it be our doubt, let it be or hesitation, let it be our reservation of belief in supporting God's most precious gift to us: the gift of life.

Take a stand for life and support The Terri Schiavo Foundation:

Let me know what you think! If you agree or disagree or have a different thought or idea send a comment to:

© Kevin Fobbs


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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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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