Jun 162005

In the past couple of days, blogs and various media have been speaking out on the latest chapter in the sad saga of Terri Schiavo. In case you somehow didn’t hear, an autopsy performed on Ms. Schiavo showed that roughly half of her brain was gone and what was left was badly damaged. Oh-and those videos showing Ms. Schiavo supposedly “tracking” things? Uh … kind of hard to do when you’re blind, as she was. Her parents, predictably, are denying reality and insisting that somehow she could have gotten better. I was sent a link to a particularly well-worded LiveJournal rant about the subject, which can be found here. One paragraph in particular jumped out at me (I wonder why …?):

They are barred from considering such basic qualities of interaction with one’s environment as sensation, movement, cognition – as having anything to do with quality of life, because quality of life is irrelevant. Because quality of life is irrelevant, only the state of life is relevant, millions and millions of aborted babies should have been born, but whether they are able to be fed, or clothed, or educated is a trifling matter, beneath consideration.

The “right to life” people seem to get the words living and existing mixed up. Terri Schiavo wasn’t living. She was existing, a non-sentient being who died fifteen years ago but whose body didn’t realize it. We humans are great at deluding ourselves, particularly when it comes to someone we love. I can understand how the Schindlers grasped at the straws Ms. Schiavo’s misfiring neurons offered. But at the same time, how can anyone look at her or others like her and say “Oh, yeah, they’re enjoying life”? The video and pictures paraded on the newschannels were carefully snipped from several hours of footage-since the rest consisted of Ms. Schiavo … well, just lying there.

Anti-choicers wail over the “murdered babies,” wave their bloody pictures. I’ve had several e-mails from women who had abortions, asked to look at what was removed-and were shocked that their eight-week fetuses looked nothing like the antis’ pictures. Since the antis thrive on omission of information-not to mention just flat-out lying-this doesn’t surprise me. After all, a six-month-old miscarried fetus has much more visual impact than your average eight-week-old aborted fetus. No one would gasp and say “oh my God!” about something that looks like a tadpole. Someone once referred to this as “the Taz syndrome.” In reality, a Tasmanian devil is an ugly hairy vicious creature. In Looney Tunes cartoons, Taz is cute and cuddly and merely mischievious. If you tell your average uninformed person that a Tasmanian devil got killed, they will think not of the actual less-than-photogenic animal and instead picture cute ‘n’ cuddly Taz-and be outraged.

But of course, why let bothersome facts get in the way, right?

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17 Responses to “Looks that kill”

  1. Lisa says:

    I was so glad to hear that despite the media circus her husband, parents and the American public had to go through, Terry Schaivo was apparently blessedly oblivious to everything. And at the very least, her life and death probably inspired lots of people to write living wills, which some might not have bothered to do otherwise.

    I`ve gotten into some very bizarre arguments when I tell people I flushed my own miscarried 7-week old fetus down the toilet — I think they`re picturing something very different than the tiny blob of tissue it was — I only recognized it from the placenta, which was the size of a small bean. When people say, “Oh, you lost a baby!” I always correct them, and say, no, I lost a pregnancy — it never came close to being a baby. I had my own visceral, vivid realization of this.

  2. jwoulf says:

    “Terri Schaivo died 15 years ago. This year we finally stopped desecrating her corpse.”

  3. Morgan says:

    The Schindlers are the ones, aided and abetted by their anti-choice buddies in the Catholic church and Christ-facist political movement, who brought the media circus down on their daughter. They are the ones who helped smear Michael Schiavo. They are the ones that brought in Randall Terry to throw his verbal bombs on Faux News. They are the ones who made things harder for the loved ones of other people in the hospice where their daughter was staying, egging on the Pro-LIE freak show.

    I feel no sympathy for the Schindlers, who will likely now take their sob show onto the Christo-Facist speaking circuit and profit from the misery they caused. They’re creepy, controlling, lying, manipulative scumbags.

  4. CommanderD says:

    I detect a very strong sense of “we can only get money if we keep this in the papers” from the Schindlers, whereas it is noticeable that the man they accused of just wanting money has not tried to claim the limelight.

  5. Aequa says:

    I find it all the more hilarious that after their daughter’s death, the Schindler accepted to sell the list of the people who donated to their cause so they can be spammed to death by each and every Christian Conservative organisation alive-what a wonderful, wonderful way to thank people who shelled out big bucks for them!

    Yeah, saints, they are *is disgusted*

  6. Miklos Fejer says:

    Very thoughtful comments.

    Well said.

  7. Skate17 says:

    Webmaster, saw that you deleted the ged comment that he/she/it posted over and over again. I guess it’s reached the point that it is now internet abuse. Can you report this loser to the proper authorities? Darn it; he/she/it was really fun there for a while.

    I’m not a member of this blog so that I can be entertained, of course – I’m a member because I’m pro-choice and want to learn more about what the pro-choice opinions are, since they vary. The best part is when I get to read posts from pharmacists, scientists, writers and other highly educated people who add a high degree of credibility and rational thought to this very cool site. Well I have to admit, I love to laugh at the losers like ged. Just wanted to make sure ya knew that:)

  8. INS Webmaster says:

    There is no membership on this blog. People come and read (and post) of their own free will; no one is banned. However, if one is not willing to post anything resembling intelligent discourse and instead resorts to repeated posts and personal insults, they are dealt with accordingly-namely by me clicking the little trashcan under the posts, particularly if they have been warned numerous times.

  9. Skate17 says:

    Webmaster, good point re: “member”. I chose that word because we have to sign-in with an identity name and a password before we can post or respond. We are participants, then. I realize that anyone can read the posts and that no one is banned; just wondering what constitutes internet abuse. I’m not affected by ged’s stuff other than it is fun.

    Back to the point of this topic; Terri indeed was just existing rather than living. The poor soul was forced to “exist” to satisfy her parents’ strange compulsion with keeping their daughters’ heart beating. All the money spent to keep Terri’s body existing could have been used to feed hungry babies or pay for a good education for a large number of orphans. Strange world.

  10. Moira says:

    All the money spent to keep Terri’s body existing could have been used to feed hungry babies or pay for a good education for a large number of orphans.

    Who cares about them? They’re not zefs or vegetables and worst of all, some of them are FOREIGN.

    …it is noticeable that the man they accused of just wanting money has not tried to claim the limelight.
    VERY good point.

  11. Lisa says:

    Was that the real Ged who just commented, or a joker? The “slag” mutation of the webmaster`s icon required some technical expertise. Plus, instead of a rant, the commenter posted a relevant news item, about the latest bizare waste of taxpayer`s money in the Schaivo case`s newest twist.

    And why would a troll who uses so much Brit slang be posting a link to the San Francisco Chronicle?

    Oh well — maybe the webmaster can solve the mystery by looking at the IP address.

    In any case…. I don`t think Jeb Bush will give it a rest until poor Micheal Schiavo is as dead as his late wife….

  12. Becca says:

    Is is possible to remove Ged’s postings from this comments forum? Rather than add to the quality of deabte, he is actively using it as licence for ‘slagging’( I use this word with reference to his insult of choice). Personal insults do not make the so-called ‘Pro-life’ camp look particularly good, do they? I fail to understand why he repeatedly visits this site to insult and denigrate the users and Patricia Beninato. Oh, and paste in articles he’s found on the web. Well done, maybe one day he will learn how to compose a sentence of his own without using pejoratives.

    I thought the posting on the Schiavo case was extremely informative, especially in light of the misleading press around this case. Thanks for this.

  13. INS Webmaster says:

    I can’t be here 24/7 obviously, but a hole is rapidly being dug and it’s not by me.

  14. Naaman says:

    Sadly, pro-lifers were led astray by the Terri Schiavo case. We started arguing about the Culture of Death and trying to link Terri to euthanasia. Both of those things are worth opposing. But Terri’s case wasn’t about euthanasia at all, and we were mistaken to claim that it was. Refusing medical treatment is not the same as killing someone. Granted, that can be a fine line (as it was in Terri’s case), but it’s the line that seperates a hospice from a concentration camp.

    Here’s a summary of the Schiavo case as I see it:
    1. Terri was incapacitated.
    2. As her husband, Michael was legally (and morally) empowered to make medical decisions on her behalf.
    3. After many years of unsuccessful therapy, Michael made the decision that Terri would not want to be kept alive in her condition.
    4. Michael acted on Terri’s behalf to refuse medical treatment, thereby causing her death.

    Michael may not have been the ideal husband (there are conflicting stories about that), but he was still her legal spouse. Therefore, he had both the right & responsibility to do what he did. I may (or may not) disagree with his decision, but it’s not my call. If, may God forbid, my wife or I is ever placed into a similar situation, I don’t want the government to interfere in our marriage.

  15. INS Webmaster says:

    Sadly, the Schindlers’ motivations seemed to be more about the money Michael Schiavo won in a lawsuit than true concern over their daughter, as apparently the battles didn’t begin until three years after Terri’s collapse. The whole situation is tragic and awful and no one came out of it looking good. If nothing else, it got more people to write living wills.

  16. Moira says:

    If nothing else, it got more people to write living wills.
    I read on BBC that there was a massive increase in people getting living wills around the time of Terri’s body’s death.

    This is why I want to get married – I want my partner to choose my care if I’m not able to. He knows my wishes and morals better than anyone.

  17. giecorvi says:

    I am not usually the sort to respond to blog posts, especially those posted three years ago, but I was quite offended by your comments — specifically, those relating to Tasmanian Devils. True, these little marsupials can be quite vicious, but they are also cuddly-looking, adorable and as photogenic as anything! You can see for yourself at the Wikipedia article… how can you not love those guys?

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