Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Terri Schiavo's Fate in the Balance

Terri Schiavo is scheduled to begin starving and thirsting to death on October 15. Less than a month to live.

When I think about this case, there are times I wish I lived in a television universe. The whole thing sounds so obviously wrong that you can almost hear the voiceover: "If you have a problem...if noone else can help...maybe you can hire...the A-Team." The theme song would ring out, Mr. T would be snuck onto a plane, a plan would come together, and pretty soon Terri would be getting therapy while all the corrupt folks involved went to eat prison food.

But it's not a fictional universe. Terri's supporters still have hope and a few things to try, but nothing that will wrap up in an hour. Even if she wins, she will always suffer from serious brain damage. But she will be able to keep smiling, keep saying a few words. If she is freed from her husband's power, she can be taken out to see the sky -- the sky she's been prevented from seeing for all these years. She can live and love and laugh, as is the right of every human being.

This is a horror show, my friends. For we will all be helpless at some point in our lives: sick in a hospital, old in a nursing home. We have all been children helpless in the power of adults, and yet that has not saved children from abortion. Will we say that it is all right to murder Terri, and thus to murder us someday, should someone see fit? If people can find the empathy to see that Terri's fight is a fight for us all, we may yet save her. If she loses, we all lose.

Write a letter. Send an email. Visit If you live in Florida, consider going to demonstrate. And pray. Pray early and often.

(October the 15th is the day Terri is supposed to die. But it is also the feastday of St. Teresa of Avila. The first of October is the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. Can we believe that these two great saints and Doctors of the Church are not praying for their namesake? If we join our prayers to theirs, might God not grant us a miracle? In the words of St. Teresa, "Hope, o my soul, hope"!)


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