Roger L. Simon

Terri Schiavo - A Guest Blog

The following is a post by frequent commenter on this blog Catherine Johnson. The thoughts expressed are entirely Catherine’s:

I’ve been heartsick over Terri Schiavo and her family since Friday, so I’m grateful to Roger for offering me a guest spot to talk about it.

Terri Schiavo is being killed because she has brain damage.

She is not dying-or wasn’t until yesterday, when a Florida judge ordered her doctors to withhold food and water-and she is not on life support. Nor did she write a living will.

I can barely stand to think of Terri Schiavo’s family, what they are going through. Like me, they are the parents of a child with special needs. Also like me, at times in my own life, they are seen by the experts as delusional. It is obvious to our elites-to the usual suspects-that the Schiavo’s don’t understand their child’s condition.

They are not realistic.

We spend a lot of time on this blog protesting foreign policy realism.

But I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that my own aversion to foreign policy realism grew naturally out of my experience with the Terri Schiavo kind of realism. My husband and I have been battling that particular brand of realism for a long time now, and my proudest moment as a parent was & remains the day I told a school administrator, who had just said he ‘had to be realistic,’ that in our household we don’t believe in realism.

That shut his water off.

As it turns out, every time I’ve been optimistic while others were being realistic, I’ve been right and they’ve been wrong. So I stay away from the realists. I work with the doctors and teachers who will take a chance on a child.

Terri Schiavo’s parents have hope that their daughter’s functioning can be improved or perhaps one day cured with treatment, therapy, and emerging knowledge.

They may be right, they may be wrong. Or they may be ahead of their time, because one day brain damage will be repairable. That’s my bet.

In the meantime they choose to love and care for their daughter.

Her legal husband chooses to starve her to death.

If he starved his dog, he’d be arrested.

I wasn’t going to complain about the media or the Democrats, because there can’t be too many people in favor of deliberately starving a brain-damaged woman to death.

But then I read this New York Times article – Experts Say Ending Feeding Can Lead to a Gentle Death

Why is it I feel that if Terri Schiavo were a brain-damaged Iraqi prisoner whose food and water had been ordered withheld, the TIMES would not be hastening to tell us that death by dehydration is gentle and dignified, not a horrific thing at all?

Catherine Johnson