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Terri Schiavo Has Died

I've received several emails, and many questions from friends, about my feelings surrounding Terri Schiavo. I think people perceive that someone with a life threatening disability, who still has a positive attitude, should spew pearls of wisdom.

Honestly, I am very mixed up about this case. I guess if it was an easy decision, there wouldn't be much talk about it in the news.

Here's just a couple thoughts running through my head, which I'm certain have run through most of your brains as well. Nothing earth shatteringly exciting or insightful, just thoughts.

First, I feel bad for the husband and her parents. Their views are polar opposites, however my impression is that they are all good people who truly loved Terri. In the political debate, both groups of people had been portrayed as monsters, but there are no monsters here.

If Michael Schiavo was a monster, he'd have jumped ship immediately after her brain damage. Perhaps he would have waited until he became involved with his current girlfriend to divorce Terri. He's been offered money, substantial money, to walk away. A monster would have cashed the check.

Terri Schaivo's parents, the Schindlers, aren't monsters either. They love their daughter regardless of her condition. Many parents have stopped loving their children for less, while other parents have continued to love their children through worse situations. They are fighting and hoping, and ultimately fighting to maintain hope. Their biggest shortcomings simply lies in hoping too much for a daughter's return.

Starving to death is a slow and painful demise. My stomach turns to think about it too hard. Try taking a large drink of cool water, then not eating or drinking anything for 24 hours. You would feel miserable in less than a day. I can't even imagine the pain of 14 days. Had she been respirator dependent, death would have been quick coming, and occurred about five years ago, when her first feeding tube was removed.

I read an opinion poll. I wish I could remember the source, but it said 56% of people, when asked, said Terri Schiavo's feeding tube should be re-inserted. However, the same group was asked, if they were in her position, would they want to continue living. 82% said they'd rather not continue living. Lycos has noted huge increases in searches for "living wills", clearly indicating that people have interest in making certain their wishes will be carried out without debate.

Finally, the bottom line...

If it were me, I'd want Kristen to make the hard decisions on my behalf. I trust my wife far more than I trust the Florida Supreme Court, the Georgia Circuit Court, congressional committees, or Jeb, George W., or Laura Bush who all have voiced opinions and had influence.

Ultimately, in retrospect, I support Michael Schiavo, not because I support euthanasia or the right to die, but I support him because he's her husband. I support that he was the person she chose to make tough decisions. He made the toughest decision, and survived the flames of dissenting opinion.

This is usually the spot in my articles where I invite opinions. I encourage people to disagree. I enjoy spirited debate. Not this time. Please keep your opinions to yourself. It's painful to think about, and way too personal. If you must, simply send me an email saying "well written" and nothing more.

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