Wednesday, October 15, 2003

And So It's Begun...

Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, in accord with the order of Judge George Greer, was removed at 2:00 this afternoon. Unless nutrition and hydration are restored, Terri will die within 10 days to 2 weeks. And she will die not of any disease, but because a judge has ordered her to die. She will die in spite of ample evidence that her condition is treatable and improvable.

Note that the story I link above persists in describing Terri's condition as a "Persistent Vegetative State", in spite of the fact that dispute over that description, and the substantial evidence against it, are the very essence of the controversy over her case. The Press and Media have been scandalously, shockingly lazy and/or prejudiced in their coverage of this matter.

Terri's parents released a videotape of Terri yesterday that clearly indicates that Terri is in nothing like a PVS. I wonder if that tape will make the major networks' evening news shows?

I called the Diocese of St. Petersburg this afternoon, and I spoke to a woman in the Communications department. I told her that I wanted to express my dismay at the injustice being perpetrated on Terri, and urge Bishop Lynch to take definitive, bold action in assisting the Schindlers in their efforts to save Terri. I said that the bishop needed to be the one leading the protest against this outrage. She indicated that she would relay my remarks to the bishop. She also told me that the Bishop was "very concerned" about the situation as well. She then went on to say that Bishop Lynch had met with Governor Bush today to discuss Terri's plight, and that he would be making another public statement later today. I also spoke to the Bishop's secretary, and repeated my statement. I also asked her whether or not Bishop Lynch had met with the Schindlers and spoken to them personally. She told me that she "wasn't at liberty" to discuss such matters, which didn't surprise me as most "pastoral" conversations are considered confidential. I also told her that I was especially outraged that the husband was denying pastoral care to Terri. She took my name and information and said that she would ask the Chancellor of the diocese to contact me.

It's my hope that Bishop Lynch will take a strong stand in this matter, and take charge in protesting the inhuman treatment of Terri. We must pray for Terri; for the husband, that his heart's hardness will be softened; and for Bishop Lynch, that he would have the courage and fortitude to stand up for human dignity.

By the way, I've seen some of your offers (thanks Rod, Cathy, Jim, Mark, et al.) to help pay my way down there to try to intervene, especially in the area of pastoral care. I'm certainly open to doing so. I'll have more to say on that matter as things develop.