Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri's dead

Shortly after their plea to be at her bedside was rebuffed by Michael, Terri's parents announced her death. They were permitted to spend some time with her body afterward.

I can only pray that the truth can come to the surface. And for her family. And that the pending Mrs. Schiavo doesn't end up sharing her predecessor's sad fate.

Terri Schiavo Dead at 41

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

News on Michae's great concession

CORRECTION ON THE CORRECTION: It turns out that Michael couldn't have requested the autopsy, because the ME had already decided to do one:

Jon Thogmartin, medical examiner for Pinellas and Pasco counties, tells the St. Petersburg Times newspaper he made the decision to conduct an autopsy if necessary and said it had nothing to do with Michael's change of heart.

"We have determined to be involved because of the statutes and because the people of the state of Florida say we are involved," Pellan said. "Not because Michael Schiavo wants us involved."

Felos' media appearance came on Tuesday, after Pellan's decision and the medical examiner told the St. Petersburg newspaper, "There was not a call from Mr. Felos."

CORRECTION: Florida Statute puts the autopsy decision in the hands of the Medical Examiner in cases of pending cremation. So Michael Schiavo can't block an autopsy, he can request one.

Dear Mr. Murdock,

Your piece, "Not Just the God Squad," is eloquent and very well-researched. But perhaps you will forgive me for one bit of nit-picking: Michael Schiavo didn't so much "allow" an autopsy as he let himself get painted into a corner and trapped into it.

For years he's been insisting that Terri would want to be cremated, ostensibly because she is "afraid of bugs." But it turns out that in Florida, an autopsy is mandatory prior to cremation. So Michael was left with the choice of staying the course -- in which case he has no choice about the autopsy -- or backtracking and saying that Terri wasn't so afraid of bugs that it would bother her to be buried with them. But he couldn't backtrack on the cremation, which he was so sure she wanted, without also being challenged about the removal of the feeding tube, which was done purely because he said that was what she wanted.

So, the only reason he's "allowing" the autopsy is that he has only one way to avoid it: admitting that he isn't a reliable judge of what Terri did or didn't want, which would make his whole argument in favor of killing her collapse like a house of cards.

Okay, nixing the cremation is out, because if he changes his tune on that, he loses his credibility on the feeding tube issue. That leaves him stuck with the pending autopsy and no way to avoid it. So he sends his lawyer out to make a statement indicating that the autopsy was his idea in the first place, to clear his name.

Isn't it amazing how the layers of lies just multiply like bacteria in a toilet bowl?


Okay, it's not that the autopsy was mandatory, it's that it was going to happen regardless of what Michael wanted because the ME's office decided that they wanted to know what the heck was going on.

Mr. Felos, be sure your sins will find out out.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Another small victory

Michael Schiavo's attorney has announced that his client will permit an autopsy after he achieves her death.

I'm not sure how much good that will do, since only a functional MRI, which can only be done if Terri is alive, can tell us what's happening in her brain. Not to mention the dehydration process will have caused additional brain damage. But this is the second bone he's thrown Terri's parents in as many days.

The most we can hope for at this point is that he might allow her parents to give her a decent burial, since she's been so compromised by dehydration that there's no way she can survive even if he restores food and water and allows IV rehydration. But that would be the one comfort they could get out of this, now that he's gotten what he wants.

Given the preponderance of evidence....

... what do you think of Michael Schiavo? Choose as many as apply.

A. He's a cold-blooded murderer.
B. He's the world's biggest prick.
c. He's the son-in-law from Hell.
D. He does lack some nuances of sensitivity.
E. You can tell when he's lying by seeing if his lips are moving.
F. He's possessed by Satan.
G. He's in thrall to Satan.
H. He's just an ordinary Joe who managed to make a whole boxcarload of really bad choices, and now can't find a graceful way out.
I. He's the most devoted husband ever to have lived.
J. He's just an ordinary sinner, no better or worse than anybody else.
K. He's President of the O.J. Simpson Fan Club , Treasurer of the Robert Blake Defense Fund, and Founding Cheif Executive Officer of the Committee to Free Scott Peterson.
L. Other.

I'd have to say that the preponderance of evidence would support A, B, C, E, G, and K. But I'm obliged as a Christian to override my common sense and put him in category J. As much as that galls.

(Just venting -- I'm just so outraged that he's planning to have Terri's body in the oven before it's cold, and ship the ashes to his family plot in Pennsylvania, to be interred next to his affectionate Uncle Screwtape. It's bad enough he makes them watch her die a lingering death; it's just twisting the blade to deny her a Catholic funeral and a burial with her own kin.)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A dismal Easter weekend

It's hard to find the joy when a woman is being starved to death, over the pained and agonized protests of those who love her most.

Jesus died to save a fallen world. Only by looking at Terri and others like her do I see any possible motivation for Him to have done so. And that's my sin. Jesus died for Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer and George Felos as well. He weeps for them as much as for Terri and her family. But I can't.

It's difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt, to believe that they're misguided or that they mean well. It's because of the nature of their particular sin: Pride. Lucifer, you will remember, wanted to be "like God." Likewise, these three men believe that they, not the Diety, should have control over when and where and how Terri Schiavo dies.

There was a time I spit in God's eye myself. The second verse of "Amazing Grace" rings particularly true:

"'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fear relieved."

I awaked to the reality, that running away from God is running to the abyss. So could Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and Judge Greer.

Easter weekend has become a death watch, rather than a joyous watch for the Resurrection. I don't know what's in the mind of God, that He is allowing this to all play out during Holy Week. I only know that two scriptures echo in my mind:

"Jesus wept."

"'I thirst.'"

Friday, March 25, 2005

Is anybody else thoroughly demoralized?

The whole situation with Terri Schiavo has my morale in the toilet. I can cope with evil people doing evil things. But my favorite online Christian forum is peopled by an assortment of folks who see absolutely nothing wrong with what's being done to Terri. They see it as "respecting her rights," and claim that the "real" Terri died when she had her episode.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. It just rips me apart to see it.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Mom forcibly removed from abortion mill

A woman whose daughter caved into a boyfriend's pressure to abort tried valiantly to save her grandchild:

When children abort children

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"I wouldn't want to live!"

When I was working for a rural newspaper, I did some research on farm safety for a special supplement. I found this true story:

A farmer, let's call him Terry, was harrowing a field. He had two of his children -- a 7-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy -- in the cab of the tractor with him. Somehow the 3-year-old managed to unlock and unlatch the door. He fell out.

Terry stopped as fast as he could and got out to check on his son. He found the child in pieces, run over by the harrow. The stunned man sent the girl back to the house to tell her mother what had happened, while he tried to pick up the pieces of his dead son.

Terry's friend, let's call him Jeb, was visiting at the time. When the girl came with the news, Terri's wife ran out to the field. Jeb realized that Terry wouldn't want to live, having killed his child. Jeb went to the gun cabinet, got all the guns, took them out and locked them in the trunk of his car.

Terry came staggering back to the house, looking for a gun to shoot himself.

Was Jeb a hero for saving Terry's live? Or was Jeb an interfering busybody who had not right to interfere with Terry's right to choose not to live with such unbearable suffering?

When you want to die, does a true friend help you kill yourself? Or does a true friend help you find a reason to go on?

Would a friend give you food and water, or starve you to death in your hospice?

Not Dead at All

From Slate, surely an unlikely source for such an eloquent defense of Terri's right to food and drink:

Why Congress was right to stick up for Terri Schiavo

Immeasurably sad...

Wife of sailor battles U.S. over abortion

Military wives insist that they have a right to demand that the taxpayers pay for their abortions, since their babies were handicapped.

When did our definition of motherhood come to include killing an ailing child? When did depriving the helpless of life become a mercy?

"Even as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me."

"I thirst."

As we starve Terri Schiavo to death during Holy Week, let's remember Jesus' words from the 25th chapter of the book of Matthew:

"Depart from me, you cursed... for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink....."

"Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty... and did not minister to thee?"

"Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Terminally ugly?

The Brits aren't prosecuting the docs who performed a third trimester abortion, killing a fetus whose horrendous disability was a cleft lip and palate, on the grounds that the docs who killed the baby acted "in good faith."

Yeah, I guess "Yikes! What an ugly baby!" has become an "in good faith" justification for snuffing Junior. Let's reserve plastic surgery for the truly needy, like Cher or Michael Jackson. Wouldn't want to waste it on some butt-ugly newborn, right? Welcome to the Brave New World.

He's also killing the English language

Michael Schiavo on "Nightline:"

"Terry will not be starved to death. Her nutrition and hydration will be taken away."

Um, Mr. Schiavo. That's how you starve somebody to death.

I can just see how this defense would go over in other cases:

"I did not strangle Kimberly Leach. I merely disrupted her oxygenation."

"Mrs. Yates did not drown her five children. She merely placed them under water for an extended period of time."

"Ms. Borden didn't kill her father and stepmother. She merely interupted their synaptical processes. With an ax."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Back-Alley Butchers vs Main-Street Maimers

In this article, I looked at what difference there really is between the "back-alley butcher" and the "safe-n-legal" abortionist. What do you think?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Thank Your Local Abortionist

I'd completely forgotten until I read it in Jewish World Review: March 10 is "National Day of APpreciation for Abortion Providers."

Let's suggest appropriate greeting cards for this festive day!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The wrong person is on trial here.

A British man is on trial for the murder of his 10-year-old terminally ill son, Jacob:

Accused father relives son's abortion horror

It's a little hard to follow the timeline in the story. Here is is:

1. For ten years, they struggle to care for Jacob, whose health was deteriorating.
2. One day in July, they get the news: Jacob has Hunter Syndrome, an untreatable degenerative disease.
3. The wife is 7 1/2 months pregnant. They've named that baby Henry. The doctors tell them to test Henry, too.
4. Within hours, still on that same day, they're told that Henry, too, has Hunter Syndrome. The doctor tells them that they must not bring another "Hunter" into the world. They're given two hours to think about it.
5. Evidently that same day, the couple are brought to a procedure room where the doctor uses a huge needle to repeatedly stab Henry in the heart to kill him, and the dead baby is delivered.
6. The parents hadn't been told what they abortion would be like. The father was horrified.
7. Within the month, the father smothers the 10-year-old, Jacob, with a pillow, calling it a "mercy killing."

These people were so unfairly distressed and abused by the medical professionals, pressured into an abortion on the grounds that children with this disorder should never be born. While still in shock, the father then kills the older child, too.

The wrong person is on trial here. That doctor should be in the dock for the deaths of both children.

Terri Schiavo Can Still be Rehabilitated, Nobel Prize-Nominated Doctor Says

Life News published this report:

[A] doctor nominated for the Nobel Prize says he believes medical therapies are still available that could help Terri party recover from her disabled state.

Dr. William Hammesfahr is an internationally recognized expert on cases of brain-injured patients. He has been identified in helping patients with chronic brain injuries from many causes actually leave long term disability, and return to work.

Dr. Hammesfahr has personally examined Terri. He believes believes Terri could learn to:
- eat and drink on her own
- talk
- regain use of one arm and hand
- transfer herself from wheelchair to bed

Of course, should Terri learn to do these things, it'd be hard for all the people who want her dead to claim they're speaking for her.

Despite biased poll question, abortion support still down

LifeNews published this report:

A new national poll about the opinion of Americans on the issue of abortion continues a trend of telling respondents incorrect information about the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. Still, the poll showed support for the Roe v. Wade decision at its lowest point in 20 years.

This is good news, but here's what I don't get: How can people see ads right in the Yellow pages for abortions up to 24 weeks, and fit that in their brains next to the idea that abortion is only legal up to 12 weeks?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Good news or bad news?

This Fox News poll shows that the vast majority of Amreicans say that were they in Terri Schiavo's shoes, they'd want to be starved to death.

My first thought was that this is massively depressing, that people have such a powerful prejudice against the disabled that they'd rather be starved to death than face life with a disability.

But, on the positive side, it could be mere ignorance. It's possible that if people knew how painful it was to die by having your feeding tube removed, they'd not want that for themselves or others. And if they could be taught that folks with disabilities could still have meaningful lives, they'd come around.

But at the moment, I just find it massively demoralizing.

It's particularly demoralizing in light of the first question listed, which asks who should decide if a disabled person lives or dies. The idea that disabled people have an inherent right to not be killed isn't even an option.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Rage Within the Machine, redux

The Lean Left blog laments the burial given to the creamated remains of fetuses aborted by Warren Hern in Boulder, Colorado:

It smacks of old tales of nuns secretly baptizing Jewish babies in hospitals.

Um... I thought abortion didn't kill babies. Where's the parallel here?

Rage within the machine

Several abortion advocacy blogs and articles have addressed the burial given to the ashes of fetuses aborted at Warren Hern's facility in Boulder, Colorado.

Leftist magazine The Nation posted the ironically-titled Shameless in Colorado:

"That was my fetus! I had worked out a situation to take care of that fetus in a way that was appropriate for me and my family and our religious views." Roberts knew she had to respond to the indignity. But what is the appropriate reaction to such a bizarre and personal affront? "I can't imagine going to a Catholic grave and digging it up and saying I don't think this should be here, I'm going to put it in my Jewish graveyard," she says.

Earth to Ms. Roberts: If it mattered so much to you what happened to the charred ashes of your fetus, why didn't you attend to them when you had the abortion?

Yet another of Hern's patients, Povy Atchison, and her husband, Lloyd Athearn, devised their own elaborate rituals. Because of a malformation of their fetus's lungs that made it unable to live outside the womb, Atchison had an abortion about five and a half months into her pregnancy. ... when Hern offered her the ashes, she agreed to take them.

The two [sprinkled the ashes in places that were meaningful to them] "It was our desire to show what we hoped would have been our child many places that were special to us," says Atchison, who fumes when she thinks of how she would have felt had her ashes been included in the church's mass burial. "I would have felt that this baby's been taken away from me again," she says. "I would be so incredibly angry."

Why? This is bewildering.

[Another Hern patient] fell sick, spending days in bed, when she first heard that her fetus had been part of the church's ceremony. Perhaps, she offers generously, the church didn't realize the pain it would cause by conducting services for fetuses without the consent of the individual women who had carried them.

What's with this woman? Why would somebody else paying reverence to something she threw away put her in bed sick?

This whole brouhaha is just too bizarre.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

More Ambivabortion Rant!

I heartily recommend that everybody hasten over to The Ambivabortion Rant, Part II.

Just a few snippets of what's there. She opens with:

When I dreamt about my son, it startled me out of the unconscious assumption that this pregnancy had been my condition, my problem, my choice. There was someone else involved, someone who’d had a real, objective existence, inside my body but outside my conscious perception. Somehow I must have been aware of him, though. Or had he contacted me? And why only after the abortion? Where was the dream when that awareness might still have turned such a hideously irrevocable decision?

Moving on:

When we’re young, we ... just think about “having a baby,” and maybe raising a child, from the foreshortened perspective of our own desires and life plans. This is one of the drawbacks of living in a culture that does its damndest to stay “forever young.” Only someone older, who’s taken a step back from the life cycle, can point out to you the reality that “a baby” will, barring misfortune, become a young adult, a middle-aged person, an old woman or man. I now look at the young and see how time will change their faces; I look at the old and imagine how they looked as a child. And when I think about a new embryo, and our “choice” to uproot it or harbor it, I don’t only, or even mainly, see an “innocent child.” I see that what we hold in our hands is the power to greenlight or to cancel – to make nothing -- a potentially eighty-year human life.

Pondering more of what's lost in an abortion:

One way to measure the magnitude of what’s banished by an abortion is to try to imagine your life without just one of the significant people in it: one friend, one lover, one sibling, one child. I don’t mean if they died, God forbid; I mean what if you had never known them? What if that face and voice and humor and trouble and insight had never crossed your path or woven into the texture of your consciousness? It wouldn’t be your life as you know it. You wouldn’t even be the same you. That’s what an individual is: the most life-changing thing you will ever encounter.

Go read this, and the comments!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005