Oh the humanity!

Is there any doubt that there's something seriously wrong with a judicial process which leads to the prohibition of the care and feeding, by her own parents, of a brain damaged woman? Of course, the woman to whom I refer is Terri Schiavo.

We've all become aware of Terri's situation in recent years, and the attempts by her husband, Michael, to have her feeding tube removed, based upon his assertion that Terri once told him she would not want to live if ever she became as severely disabled as she has since become.

The Schiavo case has been batted about the legal world for 7 years so far, which is a truly scandalous fact in my opinion. Frankly, I'm astounded that it was ever allowed to be argued in a court of law beyond the initial 1998 hearing, but like Ted Kennedy's backside, this case just seems to go on and on.

There are some people within the legal community who have taken a position on the matter which is contrary to my own. But the logic by which they've reached their conclusions is fundamentally flawed, and their demeanors are indicative of what I can only describe as utter soullessness.

Terri Schiavo never penned a living will, which is a document created by sound—minded individuals to elucidate their wishes, should they become unable to express them due to the onset of a debilitating and seemingly irreversible medical condition.

In light of this fact, it should have been assumed from the start that Terri would want to live, no matter what her apparent condition, if any possibility exists of her being able to think and feel. The contention by Michael Schiavo and his lawyers that Terri is necessarily devoid of any mental and emotional substance whatsoever, is absurd on its face, and any judge who is incapable of recognizing that is not competent to sit on the bench.

My own mother spent her last days of life in a catatonic state worse than Terri's, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. I was told by several doctors at the time that it was impossible to determine if people in her condition had the capacity to understand spoken words, or experience emotions.

Yet, both my father and I behaved as if she could, whispering comforting thoughts to her and stroking her forehead as she lay motionless in her hospital bed. You see, although we didn't know for a fact that what we were saying was getting through to her, we had to assume she could understand our words. To do otherwise was unthinkable to us, as I suspect it would have been to most anyone in our position.

Perhaps we were merely deluding ourselves at that point, but we both understood that if we were to err, it was far better to err on the side of humanity and compassion. It was never a subject of debate between us, and I cannot imagine that any other family would have acted differently under similar circumstances.

But my personal experiences aside, it seems to me that Terri Schiavo is due the same rights that every other person in this country enjoys. To deny her those rights, based upon the unsubstantiated testimony of her husband, who has behaved like a complete louse from day one, is prejudicial at the very least.

Those who've declared categorically that Terri would want to succumb to starvation and dehydration, a truly horrifying prospect, and that her parents should have no say in the matter, almost deserve to be locked up and deprived of food and water themselves for a few days. Perhaps then they'd be able to appreciate the consequences of what they're suggesting.

Basic human decency dictates that we give Terri the benefit of the doubt that she desires to go on living, even though she is unable tell us so. I may not be the smartest man in the world, but I do know that her life deserves to be treated with more respect than certain law practitioners have exhibited. No human being can know what is in the mind and heart of this woman, and for anyone to say that they can is arrogant in the extreme.

I'll tell you something else as well. If Terri were my daughter, I'd be damned if I'd just sit around and watch as she was forced to endure a slow, torturous death, merely because some black—robed nincompoop said that's the way it has to be. You'd have to put a gun to my head to stop me from making sure she had all the food and water she needed. But that's just me.

Edward L. Daley is the Owner of the Daley Times—Post

Is there any doubt that there's something seriously wrong with a judicial process which leads to the prohibition of the care and feeding, by her own parents, of a brain damaged woman? Of course, the woman to whom I refer is Terri Schiavo.

We've all become aware of Terri's situation in recent years, and the attempts by her husband, Michael, to have her feeding tube removed, based upon his assertion that Terri once told him she would not want to live if ever she became as severely disabled as she has since become.

The Schiavo case has been batted about the legal world for 7 years so far, which is a truly scandalous fact in my opinion. Frankly, I'm astounded that it was ever allowed to be argued in a court of law beyond the initial 1998 hearing, but like Ted Kennedy's backside, this case just seems to go on and on.

There are some people within the legal community who have taken a position on the matter which is contrary to my own. But the logic by which they've reached their conclusions is fundamentally flawed, and their demeanors are indicative of what I can only describe as utter soullessness.

Terri Schiavo never penned a living will, which is a document created by sound—minded individuals to elucidate their wishes, should they become unable to express them due to the onset of a debilitating and seemingly irreversible medical condition.

In light of this fact, it should have been assumed from the start that Terri would want to live, no matter what her apparent condition, if any possibility exists of her being able to think and feel. The contention by Michael Schiavo and his lawyers that Terri is necessarily devoid of any mental and emotional substance whatsoever, is absurd on its face, and any judge who is incapable of recognizing that is not competent to sit on the bench.

My own mother spent her last days of life in a catatonic state worse than Terri's, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. I was told by several doctors at the time that it was impossible to determine if people in her condition had the capacity to understand spoken words, or experience emotions.

Yet, both my father and I behaved as if she could, whispering comforting thoughts to her and stroking her forehead as she lay motionless in her hospital bed. You see, although we didn't know for a fact that what we were saying was getting through to her, we had to assume she could understand our words. To do otherwise was unthinkable to us, as I suspect it would have been to most anyone in our position.

Perhaps we were merely deluding ourselves at that point, but we both understood that if we were to err, it was far better to err on the side of humanity and compassion. It was never a subject of debate between us, and I cannot imagine that any other family would have acted differently under similar circumstances.

But my personal experiences aside, it seems to me that Terri Schiavo is due the same rights that every other person in this country enjoys. To deny her those rights, based upon the unsubstantiated testimony of her husband, who has behaved like a complete louse from day one, is prejudicial at the very least.

Those who've declared categorically that Terri would want to succumb to starvation and dehydration, a truly horrifying prospect, and that her parents should have no say in the matter, almost deserve to be locked up and deprived of food and water themselves for a few days. Perhaps then they'd be able to appreciate the consequences of what they're suggesting.

Basic human decency dictates that we give Terri the benefit of the doubt that she desires to go on living, even though she is unable tell us so. I may not be the smartest man in the world, but I do know that her life deserves to be treated with more respect than certain law practitioners have exhibited. No human being can know what is in the mind and heart of this woman, and for anyone to say that they can is arrogant in the extreme.

I'll tell you something else as well. If Terri were my daughter, I'd be damned if I'd just sit around and watch as she was forced to endure a slow, torturous death, merely because some black—robed nincompoop said that's the way it has to be. You'd have to put a gun to my head to stop me from making sure she had all the food and water she needed. But that's just me.

Edward L. Daley is the Owner of the Daley Times—Post