As I write this, a woman is starving to death.

If you don’t know the story of Terri Schiavo, I’ll briefly recap it here. In 1990, due to unknown causes, she collapsed and became severely cognitively disabled. Her husband, Michael, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in which he was awarded $1.3 million, most of which was earmarked for taking care of his wife, which he promised to do. Yet, once the money was in the bank, he “suddenly” remembered she would not want to be kept alive. What has followed has been a huge legal fight between him and Terri’s parents to try and remove her feeding and hydration tubes.

Medically, all I will say is that there is enough medical evidence out there to say that Terri Schiavo is not in a permanent vegetative state.

For this reason, Terri’s parents submitted the affidavits of 33 neurological experts who said that at the very least her condition should be re-examined. The only evidence that she is in this state is from a CT scan. I don’t watch too much ER, but this evidently is the most basic, some would say “cheap,” way of diagnosing a vegetative state. A CT scan shows one-tenth the information an MRI or PET – positron emission tomography – would show, but Michael doesn’t want to spend the money.

All of this is beside my larger point, which is, where is the outrage? Why aren’t all the feminists out there defending her? Why are the National Organization for Women and NARAL silent? They’ll march on Washington to defend a woman’s right to get rid of an unwanted baby, and yet they are silent when you have a husband who wants to get rid of an unwanted wife?

This is a reasonable statement, as Terri’s case is littered with poor care, such as not receiving any of the rehabilitation Michael promised at trial since 1992. A strong reason for this could be the fact that he started dating during the malpractice trial, has a new fianc and will get any money left over from the settlement once his wife dies.

Another sickening part of this is the logic of those who want to kill her. Many are involved in the “right to die” movement and are using this case to push the issue. Yet they cover themselves by saying that they’re not “killing” Terri Schiavo by removing her feeding tube, they’re simply “allowing her to die.”

What? She’s not terminally ill, she needs a feeding tube.

By that sick logic, I could simply take someone’s newborn, put it on a hill and “allow” it to die, since a newborn can’t feed itself. Yet, this is the insane logic the “right to die” people embrace – they just don’t wish to say anything about killing.

One commentator tried to challenge their logic by stating, “If somebody put a pistol to [Terri] Schiavo’s head and pulled the trigger – you know, to give the “dying process” a little nudge – would the shooter be guilty of murder under Florida law?”

It’s a question that should be asked, since that is what is being proposed – to kill someone. In fact, it would be much more humane to simply shoot her, since removing her feeding tube means that she’ll suffer an excruciatingly painful death of starvation over the next week.

The only reason all these defenders of Michael Schiavo don’t say anything like that is they secretly know what they are doing. This claptrap about “allowing” her to die is simply a cover for their deluded consciences. There’s enough evidence there that her desire to die is debatable, medically and legally – why not simply choose life? Why are so many in a rush to kill this woman?

But not in too much of a rush. They’d much prefer she starve to death than upset their consciences. The fact that so many will let a woman suffer a horrible death for the sake of feeling good is reprehensible.

Clemm can be reached at rclemm@campustimes.org.



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