To the editor:
I've been following the Terri Schindler-Schiavo case for years now. Those who know me or have read my letters in this paper know I am a libertarian of sorts, with liberal political leanings and a firm belief in the separation of church and state. So, my support for maintaining Terri's life might be surprising. But, when I review the facts in her case, it is I who am surprised by the zealous public cry to "let her die with dignity" (as if slow death by starvation and dehydration -- while the world watches -- is "dignified").
Here are the facts I've considered:
1. Terri has no "living will" (usually required for terminating life).
2. She has a great alternative caretaker option (her parents), who love her and want to give her the best chance to recover.
3. She has shown some responsiveness to her family and several experts.
4. She can't be proven "brain-dead" beyond a reasonable doubt.
5. There is much the medical profession doesn't know about long-term recovery of damaged brains; "miracles" can and do happen, even after many years.
6. There are serious questions about the motives held and level of care provided by her husband, even whether or not he may have been involved in her original brain injury.
Surely these are enough reasons to give Terri the benefit of the doubt and let her live with her parents. It's tragic that the courts won't give her that, as they stubbornly condemn her to a slow, torturous death.