Skip to comments.JUSTICE IN AMERICA
Posted on 08/20/2003 5:36:11 PM PDT by yhwhsman
DEHUMANIZING THE DISABLED
Editorial - Bob Schindler
Did you know in our country, the law can be manipulated to allow a husband or a wife to legally murder their spouse? It can easily be accomplished --IF- their spouse is disabled and --If- they are recognized by the court as the spouse's legal guardian.
It's not that difficult. Oversimplified, (using the husband as an example) sometime during the day he can go to court, get the court's stamp of approval, then go home, have dinner with his girlfriend and plan how to use the money he will inherit when his wife dies. The only chance the wife has to survive, is for someone outside this intimate death circle to object. But, that is not a guaranteed formula for success.
In some primitive cultures, it's acceptable for husbands to abuse or kill their wives. In our culture, we consider that conduct barbaric. However, throughout the United States, it is permissible for a husband of a disabled wife to decide to end her life by deliberately depriving her of food and water, causing his wife to die of starvation.
Closer to home, it is happening to a member of our family,. In Florida where Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo and 'partner' of another women (who is the mother of his child), has -- with the help of his paid selected medical "experts" -- persuaded a court that his wife would be better off dead. And, unbelievably, this is all very legal. A Florida Judge sentenced Terri to die of starvation.
How Could This Happen?
Over the years, a slow, relentless movement has been covertly programming society to dehumanize people with disabilities. History teaches us that entire groups of people have been victimized, most frequently based on ethnicity or race. And it also teaches us that, before they become victims, members of the targeted class are portrayed as subhuman. That is what is taking place now. People with severe disabilities are just the newest class of people deemed to be subhuman. We pay great lip service in this country to disability rights, but as the degree of a person?s disability increases, the level of legal protection that person receives --decreases-.
"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist - so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat - so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew - so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me." Martin Niemoeller survived 7 years in Nazi concentration camps.
Isn't There Justice In The Legal System?
When Terri's husband petitioned to end Terri's life, the court set the stage for the "battle of the medical experts." These are experts whose opinions about Terri's abilities would influence the court to determine whether she lives or dies.
But who are these experts that play such a vital role in determining an individual's fate? Generally, these experts are --paid- professionals, who will slant their opinions according to their employer's wishes. Theoretically, they could testify on an issue one day and their testimony on the same issue could be 180 degrees apart the next day, depending on their clients instructions. Incredibly, the courts justify their determinations predicated on the testimony of these -for hire- professionals.
In Terri's trial, a high profile neurologist was one of those so-called experts selected by Michael Schiavo to testify on his behalf to have Terri die. This neurologist travels the country and is routinely the imported star expert witness in virtually all high profile cases surrounding the removal of food and fluids. He has a track record of consistency when it comes to dehumanizing severely disabled people and advocating that they be denied food and fluids, no matter how provided.
Under oath, his statements over the years are a study in bigotry. For example:
In both the Martin and Wendland cases, the courts wisely found that the vulnerable spouses should not be starved and dehydrated to death.
But, even though 10 physicians are on record with the court saying that Terri was aware and her condition could improve with therapy, the Florida court wasn't interested. They embraced the claims that Terri has no mental awareness. Yet the trial Judge (and appeal Judges) saw videos showing Terri closely watching her family's movement, verbalizing in response to questions, responding to simple commands, and laughing when listening to her favorite music.
In reality, Terri condition is far from the legal guidelines permitting starvation deaths. The truth is Terri was sentenced to death for the "crime" of being disabled and dependent. You see, Terri fits into the category of people mentioned for whom protections are extremely limited. Our society is now conditioned to evaluate people based on their "quality of life." This philosophy says people who are different, as are many in the disabled community, are unacceptable and unworthy of living.
Please Consider This
Where Is The Conscience of Our Judges?
Starving a human being to death is cruel and insane. If any person - whether that person is a healthy or a severely disabled individual - is denied food and any fluids, that person will die an intensely painful death within 5 to 21 days.
I am confident you will understand why I feel very strongly about this issue. The severely disabled woman, who is currently facing a court imposed starvation death sentence, is my daughter -Terri-
Terri Schiavo's website: go, watch the videos, and make up your own mind on whether or not she should be allowed to live.
Jeb Bush's Office: 850-488-4441
Jeb Bush's fax: 850-922-4292
They may not read the emails, so I am going to put "Intervene on Terri Schiavo's behalf" in the subject line. Or maybe, "We are watching your actions on Terri" might work. Any ideas?
I just learned today that you have it within your power as governor to intervene on Terri Schiavo's impending starvation death. Please order a stay on her case so that she may be examined more thoroughly, and allowed to have some therapy so that she can be properly evaluated on the question of whether or not she is in a persitent vegitative state.
Being a disabled person myself, this case sends chills up my spine. If Terri Schiavo, disabled for the past ten years and denied basic human kindnesses by her husband, is forced to starve to death because of her inablilty to defend herself, how soon before I am declared unfit for life?
You have an awesome responsibility in your hands sir. You also have an awesome responsibility not only to protect the citizens of your state, but also a moral duty to make sure innocent lives are protected.
I believe that you are a good and honest man. Please do not delay intervening. What hell will this poor defenseless woman go through if you don't act?
David B Johnson
I hope he reads it.
Those who fear for the ongoing survival of our country, with God's blessing, are rightfully concerned in my opinion.
How many really give, er, a damn?
God Bless you all as is fitting.
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