Undoubtedly, March 31, 2005 will be a sad day for the parents and other close relatives of Terri Schiavo. This was the day that she was allowed to die a cruel, merciless death and no one could intervene; not even the President of the United States. We do not lay blame for this tragedy at his doorstep, but rather the judicial system of this country that would allow a woman who was living and breathing to literally starve to death by ordering her feeding tube to be removed by court order. This order was never reversed although her attorney and her parents appealed to the highest court in the land, the United States Supreme Court.
I am reminded of the sanctity of human life and that life is from God, but in this case the judicial system has shown a blatant disregard for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Why did they remove this feeding tube after so many years? Why didn’t this court fight take place years ago when the tube was first inserted? These are questions that we may never have answers for, but we still ask them because this is a senseless tragedy that does not make sense.
Personally, I would hate to be any of the judges who refused to intervene on behalf of someone who could not speak for herself. How can they sleep at night knowing that they had the power to prevent her from dying such an inhumane, barbaric death? We are quick to condemn the Nazi regime and their treatment of the Jewish people of whom many were executed and tortured in death camps across Germany, but yet we here in our own land allowed someone to die and no judge would lift a finger to intervene.
We do not know how much Terri Schiavo could understand or if she could respond, but we must understand that God gives life and God takes it away. She survived for almost 14 days after her feeding tube was removed; most doctors believed that she would have been gone after 10 days. Ultimately, we cannot play God in this situation, but we must be committed to what God would uphold and that is the sanctity and value of a human life.
A lesson that we can learn from this is to make sure that our will and medical directives are updated and in a safe place so if anything does happen to us, that our wishes are clearly known and evidenced in writing. We have also found out that intervention at what we would assume to be the highest levels of government (the Legislative and Executive branches) was ineffective to the power that is held by the judicial branch in this country.