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Terri’s Day

By: Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC

February 23, 2005 will be a day that all people of good will in America remember for however remaining years are left for this Republic. It should be remembered as “Terri’s Day”; the day when truth and goodness triumphed or the day when perfidy, intentional lies and evil disguised as a “right”, led to the execution of Terri Schiavo by starvation and dehydration.

I awakened to the headline in my morning newspaper: “Two Rulings Leave Fate of “VEGETATIVE WOMAN” Undecided”. Since it was an Associated Press Release, I am sure millions all over America - and beyond - were greeted with the same horrible headline! This marks the triumph of “verbicide” in this advance of death disguised as a “right.” That phrase was coined by the late, great C.S. Lewis to refer to the “murder of a word.” We should insist on calling such polemical monstrosities “Oxy-Morons”, with the emphasis on moron, for the one who wrote this horrid headline.

A person cannot be a “Vegetable”.

It was bad enough when members of the medical profession, the media and then general public began to use the horrible phrase “persistent vegetative state”, with no medical justification whatsoever, to speak to people in comas. Like much of the nomenclature of this growing culture of death which uses persons as property, this was quickly shortened in order to make it more acceptable - less troubling to what is left of the National conscience. Now, you hear the term “P.V.S.” Let’s be brutally honest, a human person cannot ever, ever, ever have the qualities of a “vegetable.” Philosophers and Theologians speak of “ontology” as the field of knowledge that relates to the “essence” of something. A Dog is not a cabbage, for example. A person who does not communicate in a manner that someone else, more powerful, insists is “meaningful”, does not cease to be a human person.

Here is the undeniable, absolutely verified truth, Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage. Her communications skills were altered as a result of the injury. She is thus a disabled American. She is also a daughter to two wonderful parents who have lovingly cared for her and communicate with her, non-verbally. She is not dying. In order to facilitate easier feeding of Terri, a so called “feeding tube” is being used. This does not constitute the use of “extraordinary medical means”by any stretch of that term.

Today, at 5 p.m., E.S.T. a judge’s order staying Terri’s execution expires. That’s right, she is under a stay of execution, enabling her dear parents to get some judicial assistance to stop the planned killing. Oh, I know, many of my readers will not like this blunt description, but it is nonetheless true. Terri is a human person, not a vegetable. As far as her potential to improve her communications skills goes, we simply do not know what can happen. We all welcomed the wonderful story, several weeks back now, concerning Sarah Scantlin of Hutchinson, Kansas, who was similarly limited in her communicative ability after an accident twenty years ago, who began to speak. I am sure that her mother is watching the events in Dunedin, Florida today! The whole world is.

This is Terri’s Day. Either way, she will serve as a sign to America of the future of our Nation. Freedom does not consist in the “right” to exercise raw power over those who are in need. That is the counterfeit of freedom. However, it is the basis of is being claimed as a “right” to stop giving food and water to Terri Schiavo. There is absolutely no evidence that she desired to be killed by starvation and dehydration! That is, thank God, still illegal in America. This is a contrived claim, advanced by an estranged husband, backed by a lawyer who should be disbarred, and funded by culture of death activists. Worse yet, if left without judicial intervention, the sentence will be carried out by a Medical Doctor who, in contravention of his oath, will starve a woman to death in the name of “doing no harm!”

This is not the first time that we have witnessed the advance of this kind of evil, perpetrated by lawyers and Doctors. I have practiced law for twenty five years. I esteem the legal profession as an opportunity to serve the person, the family and the common good. I also know the extraordinary power now entrusted to lawyers, who, with a compliant judiciary, unmoored from either the restraints of the separation of powers doctrine, or more importantly, reference to the natural moral law that should bind all men and women, have become the new social and legal engineers. In another time, pre-Nazi Germany, lawyer/Doctor team, Hoche and Binding, wrote a book whose German title can be loosely translated “Life Unworthy of Living.” In it they called for the elimination of people like Terri and so many others. They called them “useless eaters”. This argument laid the groundwork for the rise ...

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