Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Terri Schiavo & Human Nature

Terri Shiavo

Most of you probably have heard about Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman who’s been on life support for over a decade full of legal battles between her husband and her family. Her husband claims that she asked not to be kept alive in such a condition, while her parents obviously oppose such a claim. Last week, the husband won a high court ruling permitting the husband to ask for the removal of her feeding tube. Her parents took the case to even higher courts and no luck so far. Shiavo is said to be in her final days dying from starvation and dehydration.

Human Nature .. or is it?
What stirred thoughts in my mind was the level of strength of natural family ties with respect to human nature. By natural ties I mean that every individual is supposed to have a natural guardian. When we’re kids, our parents were our guardians; when we’re married, our spouses are our guardians; when we become old, maybe our children become our guardians. I must emphasize that I’m not talking here about “legal guardians,” but actually natural guardians that are determined by human nature, not by laws.

I find it strikingly odd that the system is preventing two parents from keeping their child alive. Even though her husband is legally her guardian, I just find it against human nature. Can you imagine yourself in her parents’ position?
Remember Elian Gonzales?

Her case actually reminds me of Elian Gonzales, the little Cuban boy who fled Cuba with his mother on a boat that capsized before reaching the US coast. The mother died and Elian was rescued. He went through vicious legal battles between his mother’s family in the US and his father in Cuba a few years ago. Even though he was eventually reunited with his father, just the thought that the courts actually considered it is kind of counter-intuitive, or against human nature is a better expression. One must note that what the court was debating was his quality of life. Was he better off living with his mother’s family in the US or his father in Cuba? We’re not talking here about an abusive father. The issue with his father was .. well he’s a Cuban living in Cuba.

I understand there was a lot of politics involved in both cases, but I’m just thinking out loud about the human nature in family ties. Forget about all the political and legal garbage. Any thoughts?


Bloo said...

hmm.. that's a bit of an off shoot post with respect to sa7at esafat, isnt it?

ur thinking human, i suppose lots will agree with u... i don't know about me, if such a thing happened to me.. i guess i would not be able to speak it out, and people will have to figure it out.. life is such a terrible thing we cling to..we have those days that we wish we wrre the underground.. but then when confronted by death, suddenly life is the angel.
u can say even her husband is of humane concern, seeing her living pointlessly... its a constant reminder of her pointless existance, it is killing every beautiful thing they shared.. he would even make jokes about her, she wouldnt listen.. do you imagine how that must make him feel? pure evil... so there goes a lesser act of evil to kill a greater one.
her parents need no further justification than what they naturally own and submit to.

beautiful thoughtful post jandeef, thanx.

مبتدئ said...

Thanks Jandeef..

It is controversial issue .. no doubt

Ther problem I have is that Terri's husband has been seeing some other lady after Terri's incident. He also has has 2 kids from this lady. Now, is it fair for him to make such a call?

I say if the parents are willing to take care of her, then the husband shouldnt worry.

Another thing, I dont know why legislators in the US congress talk about such an issue. I beleive that science should decide Terri's future, not a bunch of legislators.

As to vintage comment on this post being off shoot shwai.. I agree
bas we are trying to hit a new segment.. Kuwaiti-Only English bloggers..btw, Vintage- i have to say u are one of Sa7at iSufat's fav visitors.. Keep coming

Zaydoun said...

My thoughts are as follows.. Florida is one fucked-up state!

Jandeef said...


Interesting perspective. It is a complex issue. But this is how I think of it. To me it's not a matter of saving life all the time. I believe in your "so there goes a lesser act of evil to kill a greater one" analogy.

Since there is no proof of Terri's alleged will that she doesn't want to be kept alive, I think that act has to be agreed upon by all parties involved - all natural guardians. As mubtade' said, if her parents are willing and capable of taking care of her, then let her go.

Having a long term relationship with children outside the husband's marriage doesn't really strengthen his position as far as i'm concerned. Divorce Terri and let her parents have her. You're going to be happy to move on with your life with the other woman, knowing that Terri is in good hands, and I'm sure the parents will be happy to have her back. So everyone's happy.

But making two parents watch their child die and aggressively fighting for it in court, and all that based on an unproven claim that she had a will of not being kept alive .. C'mon man.


Lool .. very true!

You got Elian, Terri, 2000 elections, and 4 hurricanes in one month last year.

Not to mention cham wa7ed min elrabi3 hnak ba3ad .. Oooh It is a f**ked up state!

Zaydoun said...

Jandeef.. I'm also a fan of Carl Hiaasen's novels which detail the exploits of deranged Florida citizens

Bloo said...

mobtad2, im flattered. thanx, i was getting the impression pple want only positive comments. in reality, i don't agree with distinct sa7at esafat ideas. but then again, u need to know who's on the other side. be it me or u :)

jandeef, i'll come open with u and tell u a personal story.

a cozin of mine, her name lolwa god rest her soul in peace, she was a beautiful soul, very unlucky physically, she collapsed one day, and in the sickest hospital in kuwait -3addan- she has been claimed clinically ill. i do not recall her being that critical. so they let off the machines, and let her die. of course, it was her day. but then so much of what we want is unexplained.. is unnatural seemingly. .
her parents agreed, i didnt... am i to run the show?
her mom rested in the hospital last week, non of her kids were that anxcious to visit.. so who's the good person who died now..

sorry, just getting off abit

NYchick said...

what can we say now?
Though she is gone, it's not finished.
I hope "it" comes back and bite her husband soon, he has children after all.

Jandeef said...

She's gone, hopefully to a better place. May she rest in peace.

I'm not gonna wish anything for him. If there were any bad malice, i'm sure what goes around, comes around.

Allah e9abir her parents.

Thanks for stopping by NY =)

P.S.: If some malgoof is gonna comment "ma tjooz el da3wa le ghair el muslim" i beg you don't do it! I'm sick and tired keeping quiet and being polite.

Jandeef said...


Allah yer7am Lolwa, o yashfee her mother.

As to Terri, i'm gonna repeat what NYchick said somewhere. I really hope that what they did was the right thing. The woman was helpless and speechless. I hope there was no other way out and no pain to suffer.

Sarah Katherine said...

The real problem is much deeper than Terri's death. The real problem isn't just that the American television newscasters didn't report the whole story or interview the Schindlers.
The real problem isn't just that despite the overwhelming evidence proving that Michael Schiavo had not just planned Terri's death but got more out of her condition ($2.4 million because supposedly he wanted to take her home to take care of her).
It's not just that American legislatures ignored bone scans proving Michael Schiavo had abused Terri, subsequently causing her condition. It's not just that they also ignored psychological reports noting that Michael Schiavo had the same characteristics as Scott Peterson and O.J. Simpson.
It's not just that they ignored doctors reports and bone scans proving Terri was not in a persistent vegitative state. The problem isn't just that for over a decade they chose to believe Michael Schiavo (even after his lies cost American tax payers $2.4 mil!) over dozens of professional doctors.
The real problem is why. I plan to blog about it when I have done more research.

Sarah Katherine said...

Hopefully this article will be very informative for those of you who are not sure of the true nature of Michael Schiavo


Jandeef said...


Thanks for stopping by. You seem to be on top of the issue. Will read your blog soon.

May her soul rest in peace now.

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