I’ve tried to resist posting on the Terry Shiavo (pronounced “Shyvo” like Lypo not Sheeavo.. for those news anchors still unable to figure it out).
I will not enter the debate on whether it is right for her to be basically starved to death or not.
I *will* say that I find the US Governments intrusion into the case rather bewildering. It is an entirely personal, and legal, matter. The State has absolutely no right to rule on it… and the fact that it has speaks volumes to how politicians will use anything to further their own political ideology and agenda. It’s disgusting and speaks to how low George Bush and members of Congress who voted have fallen on the morality scale. They don’t care about Terry Shiavo… they only care about their own political gains and the people paying them to vote.
The main lesson we should all take from the bizarre and terrible events surrounding Mrs. Shiavos plight are these:
Don’t just talk to your husband or wife about what you’d do in a similar position… *write it down!* On an envelope, a notepad, or in a real living will or any other Will & Testament.
Had Terry and Michael Shiavo written living wills, 14 years of suffering could have been avoided. If they had done that and Michael Shiavo had decided to end Terris’ life, be it 14 years ago, or yesterday… he could have done so and pointed to that document as proof that his wife gave him permission and wished him to do so.
It is a terrible possibility, but a possibility none the less that you or I could be faced with the same circumstances. Even though in nearly Universal law, someones parents are far down on the decision making totem pole (below Spouse, offspring, and siblings.. this is why the courts have voted unanimously in Michaels’ favour) the emotional stress of those decisions can lead to situations like those between the Shindlers and Michael Shiavo.
So please, do yourself and your family a favour… all it takes to start is a frank discussion and a notepad. Then a trip to a lawyer and/or doctor…. that’s it.