Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Salute to Michael Schiavo

The autopsy results for Terri Schiavo were finally released this week. Guess what? She wasn't in a "persistent vegetative state" at all! A person merely in a persistent vegetative state has at least some possibility of regaining consciousness. Terri Schiavo was brain dead, not in the ha-ha metaphorical sense (as in "President Bush is brain dead") but in the literal sense. Large sections of her brain tissue had died and been replaced with fluid. She was also completely, totally, utterly blind, incapable of responding to any visual stimulus, even if some part of her cortex had still been functional, because the connection from the optic nerve to the brain was dead and gone.

What does that mean? Well, to put it simply, Michael Schiavo was right all along. Certainly Terri did not want to be kept alive in that state — no person would. Terri's parents, the Schindlers, were acting not from a genuine concern for her best interests, but from a selfish inability to cope with the reality of the situation.

When politicians, Republican or Democrat, speak of "the sanctity of marriage" in one breath and then insist that the state of Florida, or worse yet the federal government, ought to intervene in a case like Terri Schiavo's, they expose their utter hypocrisy. The two positions are absolutely irreconcilable.

Michael Schiavo persevered through tremendous adversity for one purpose only: to see to it that his wife's wishes were respected. His courage and steadfastness stand as a beacon of hope amidst a sea of self-serving hypocrites. Robert Herring, Sr., a wealthy businessman, offered Michael Schiavo a million dollars to divorce Terri, clearing the way for her parents to prolong her hell-on-earth indefinitely, but he refused. To the end, he did what his wife wanted.