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Saving Terri Schiavo

Audrey Ignatoff and Vickie Travis

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"Homocide is not an acceptable treatment modality."

At exactly 3:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on October 21, 2003, wild screams were heard in a quiet suburban town in central New Jersey and, simultaneously, in a quiet desert community in southern California. Two women were yelling, "We did it; we actually did it! We helped to save Terri Schiavo!" The two women were ourselves, Vickie Travis and Audrey Ignatoff, and we were exhilarated at having been part of the worldwide Internet effort to save the life of the disabled Florida woman whom a judge had sentenced to death by starvation and dehydration...

October had been an emotional roller-coaster for Terri's supporters. On October 10, Judge Richard Lazzara of the Federal District Court in Florida was due to rule on Judge George Greer's September decision to remove Terry's feeding tube. Many of these supporters were so sure the case would be settled in Terri's favor that they relaxed a bit the week before October 10, and even took the time to produce a video of Terri, using still pictures from her website and some video footage sent from Florida. Thus, when Judge Lazzara stated that the case was not in his jurisdiction, the blow landed all the harder.

The Internet ride had started gaining momentum even before then when "Dawn," a psychotherapist and mandated abuse reporter who prefers not to be identified, called in to the Highway 2 Health Internet radio program to ask, "Where are the mandated abuse reporters in Terri's network?"..."

Dawn pointed out that whereas coverage of Terri's case has focused on right-to-die issues, in fact the real issues at the heart of Terri's case are about right to treatment and enforcement of this right. She added: "Terri's moral and legal right to treatment supersedes the guardian's right to deny same."

Dawn was intense. "Homicide is not an acceptable treatment modality. . . . It's not okay to deny treatment to people and then proceed to terminate them because they didn't get any better, which is essentially what is being contemplated in Terri's case. What kind of a 'treatment option' is this?"

Read this article on the Human Life Review website.

Posted: 5/20/04



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