I have a lot of questions concerning the Terry Schiavo case. Questions like:
Which arguments should be front and center in the Terry Schiavo case - Constitutional law and the possible over-reach of Congress or out-of-control judges? The contradictions between her family and her husband regarding her purported wishes? Who should be ultimately responsible for making the decision whether she lives or dies? What are the motives of the husband for persisting so greatly for her death?
Also, is this a legal matter or a health issue? Who are the experts in cases like this - lawyers and judges or doctors? Why is more weight not given to the testimonies of the doctors who have examined her? And should judges involved in this case make a visit to see her condition for themselves?
One doctor who has seen Terri on three separate occasions, according to the Christian Wire Service of Clearwater, Florida, is Dr. William Hammesfahr, nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1999, and recognized for his new approaches to helping brain injured individuals, and was identified by Judge Susan Kirkland, in a ruling for the State of Florida Department of Health, as "the first physician to restore deficits caused by stroke." See: http://www.earnedmedia.org/cws.htm.
Speaking to Terri Schiavo's condition, which is hypoxic encephalopathy, a type of stroke, Dr. Hammesfahr made the following statement today: "There are many approaches that would help Terri Schiavo. I know, because I had the opportunity to personally examine her, her medical records, and her X-rays. It is time to help Terri, instead of just warehousing her. She would have benefited from treatment years ago, but it is not to late to start now. We and others I know have treated many patients worse than Terri, and have seen them regain independence and dignity."
Hammesfahr also claims Terri previously has swallowed pudding, and that she can speak. "At least when I saw her, she would speak very slowly. She would sort of form words, and she would move her arms and legs at command."
There is no other evidence for Terri's 'wishes to never be on life-support' apart from her husband, Michael Schiavo's. word and supposedly that of a few friends. Is this legal enough? There is nothing in writing by Terri to indicate her wishes
So, why not let her parents take care of her, and use this as an example for the need to fine tune the laws regarding such cases? How will we ever know if Terri could have been rehabilitated with the help of doctors such as Dr. Hammesfahr, if she dies?
The bio-ethical issues are far more reaching than the legal issues in this case. This is no longer a personal case unto itself, as the Schiavo family argues. It has become pivotal to the future direction of our society.
The major question is, will we as a nation take the 'culture of life' road, or head down the 'culture of death' road of Huxley's Brave New World that has nothing brave or new about it?
These questions need to be thoughtfully considered. In the meantime, the feeding tube needs to be re-inserted in Terri, now.
I recommend you listen to my interviews with Wesley J. Smith, expert in bioethical issues, and William Federer on similarities of the former Nazi Germany and Terri Schiavo's case, in our Broadcast Archives. See: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/
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