Letter to the Editor

Facing cruel death

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Dear Editor,

Terri Schindler-Schiavo is an innocent handicapped woman who faces a cruel death by starvation. Following are the facts and what you can do to save her...

Terri is not brain dead. She is not in a coma. Terri is not in a persistent vegetative state. She is not on any life support systems.

Terri wakes and she sleeps. Sometimes she will say "mom" or "dad" or "yeah" when asked a question. She shows a wide variety of emotions with her facial expressions, her attempts at speech, and the various tones in her voice. She is very much with us.

Terri is severely disabled and is being fed through a tube to her abdomen. She has been denied therapy for 12 years by her estranged husband. He lives with another woman, and has two children by her.

Ironically, he won a court settlement for $1.7 million to have Terri rehabilitated: he has used that money to pay for attorneys seeking to starve Terri to death. Her parents are begging to take her home and care for her.

In October 2003 Judge George Greer ordered food and water to be withheld from Terri. This death sentence resulted in an outcry from across the nation and protests at the facility where she was being starved. The legislature and the governor responded and passed "Terri's Law."

Food was restored to Terri: her life was spared. Then Florida's Supreme Court struck down "Terri's Law" and the US Supreme Court recently refused to hear any appeal. The court can once again order Terri to be starved. We must not let this happen.

The Christian community has a duty to protect the weak and defenseless. We cannot sit by and do nothing while an innocent woman is starved to death. As Christ said, "We must love our neighbors as ourselves."

Terri's parents beg you to do two things to help save her life: 1) Today -- call the Florida governor and the leaders of the legislature and politely insist that they intervene, and write a new law to save Terri's life; 2) As soon as you hear that that the court has ordered Terri to be starved -- take part in peaceful vigils and protests. Visit www.trueandjust.com for action items, updates, press releases, hotels... View www.terrisfight.org for a full history of Terri's struggle for life.

Thank you

Roger Dame


-- Editor's note: A ruling by Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer will allow the husband, Michael Schiavo, to order the tube removed at 1 p.m. on March 18.

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