Playing vegetative mind games - a response

| 1 Comment

Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo’s brother, submits for publication the following letter in response to the Sept. 15, opinion piece by Ellen Goodman, “Playing vegetative mind games.”

Ms. Goodman:

I read your recent column, "Playing vegetative mind games".

The lengths that you and many of your colleagues continue to go to in order to somehow justify the barbaric killing of my sister, Terri, are truly sad and in my opinion a tragic reflection of how you and those that think like you have truly misplaced your humanity.

What is so profoundly frightening about what you wrote is the effort to use this scientifically inaccurate persistent vegetative state (PVS) label to indiscriminately decide when it’s permissible to kill those that are disabled. As you pointed out in your column, there are tens of thousands of people that have experienced a brain injury. The idea that certain lives have somehow lost their meaning because they exist in this so-called PVS, which according to you, is some type of "horrifying" state of consciousnesses or lack thereof (not quite sure how you or anyone would have knowledge of this) is equally alarming. It is this form of lethal bigotry that my family battled in our efforts to get help for my sister.

Recently, a British research study concluded that the PVS diagnosis is in fact misdiagnosed more than 40% of the time. Recognizing this finding along with this most recent discovery, and others similar to it, one with any common sense would have to agree that using the completely subjective PVS “diagnosis” as the basis to kill the disabled is clearly outrageous.


Incidentally, I find it remarkable how the voice of disabled community has been all but ignored by most of the popular media. Why are the persons that are truly in harm’s way, the disabled, rarely mentioned? There were thirty (30) local and national disability organizations that publicly spoke out on behalf of Terri, yet their voices have been silenced.

It seems to me that in spite of your opinion (and many in the mainstream media for that matter) the general public is just not agreeing with what you and so many morally misguided individuals are promoting. Fortunately, good people know the fundamental difference between right and wrong, and have compassion for those that are most vulnerable. Regardless of these dehumanizing labels, they realize that preying on the brain injured is not a way of showing kindness, nor is it some form of altruism, but rather a selfish and cowardly act by those who justify in their minds that the killing of the weak and voiceless is somehow "okay".

It comes down to this Ms. Goodman, and it's really very simple - it's not up to you or anyone to decide.

Perhaps if you ever had the opportunity to care for someone like Terri you would understand why your article is so offensive not only to her memory and my family, but also to the tens of thousands of brain injured persons that you claim to speak for.

Bobby Schindler
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation
5562 Central Avenue, Suite 2
St. Petersburg, FL 33707
www.terrisfight.org

P.S. I thought it would be helpful to you to include the names of the medical professionals, many being distinguished neurologists, who either believed that Terri was not in a PVS or could have been helped if Michael Schiavo and/or the courts would have permitted it (all of their affidavits submitted to Judge George Greer can be accessed on terrisfight.org).

Perhaps your next article might make mention of them.

1. Dr. Jay Carpenter

2. Dr. Fred Webber

3. Dr. Jacob Green

4. Dr. Alexander T. Gimon

5. Dr. William Scott Russell

6. Dr. Joseph L. Brunner

7. Dr. David L. Coulter

8. Dr. David Hopper

9. Dr. Beatrice Engstrand

10. Dr. Alyse Eytan

11. Dr. Harry Sawyer Goldsmith

12. Dr. William M. Hammesfahr

13. Dr. Paul Harch

14. Dr. Carolyn Heron

15. Dr. Lawrence Huntoon

16. Pamela Hyink, SLP

17. Dr. Jill Joyce

18. Dr. James P. Kelly

19. Dr. Philip R. Kennedy

20. Dr. Kyle Lakas

21. Dr. Peter J. Luca

22. Dr. William Maxfield

23. Dr. Peter J. Morin

24. Myra Stinson, CCC-SLP

25. Dr. James Avery

26. Dr. Ricardo Senno

27. Dr. Stanely A. Terman

28. Dr. J. Michael Uszler

29. Dr. Richard Weidman

30. Dr. Jon David Young

31. Dr. Thomas Mark Zabiega

32. Dr. Ralph Ankenman

33. Carla Sauer Iyer, RN

34. C. Johnson, CNA

35. Heidi Law, CNA

36. Sara Green Mele, MS, CCC-SLP

37. Dr. Laurie Barclay

38. Dr. Rodney Dunaway

39. Dr. George Isajiw

40. Dr. Leonard P. Rybak

41. Dr. Richard Neubauer

1 Comment

Hooray for Bobby Schindler! Ellen Goodman is a leader in the fringe lunatic left. The irony of it all is that these same people who want to terminate the lives of the severely disabled because they lack "quality of life" are the same ones who believe science could find "miracle cures" for the severely disabled if only they weren't being held back by "religious fanatics". For people who seem to have such blind faith in ESCR, which has proven to be unsuccessful to date, they sure are in a hurry to kill off people who could supposedly be the beneficiaries of such "miracle cures". If the ethical or religious arguments aren't convincing enough to discourage us from following those who would experiment with human life, then simple logic speaks volumes.




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