Monday, March 31, 2008

Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schindler Sciavo

At the Filipino Family Fund Champions for Family Award Celebration, I met Bobby Schindler, who impulsively hugged me when I shared how deeply his sister's murder affected me, the mother of a disabled child. When Terri died, I felt suddenly vulnerable, as I was painfully aware that my daughter Christina, who has Down syndrome, may someday be a target for denial of medical care.
It happened as recently as the 1980s. The life expectancy of individuals with Down syndrome has doubled since then, not due to any great strides in research (none was being done till quite recently) but because the life-saving heart surgery required by up to half of this population was no longer considered a waste of time. If Hillary Clinton takes control of the health care system, this surgery may once again be considered wasteful.
Bobby Schindler recently released this report on the Catholic clergy's active participation to hasten Terri's dehydration/starvation death.
Schindler stated that his sister "was not dying, not attached to any type of machinery and was only being sustained by food and water via a feeding tube." He noted that Catholic teaching does not allow a person "regardless of any advanced directive or even the sworn testimony of another person" to refuse food and water with the intent to cause their own death or that of another.
Still, Fr. Gerard Murphy of the Diocese of St. Petersburgh, Florida actually helped Judge Greer make the decision to dehydrate and starve Terri to death. Fr. Murphy did not consult with any members of Terri's family and did not even visit Terri. Murphy did however consult with Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, an assisted suicide/euthanasia activist, and testified on behalf of Michael Schiavo.
Bishop Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg refused to help the family stop the euthanasia death order and supported Father Murphy's seriously flawed position. The bishop eventually issued a confusing statement that was of no help to the situation and after that the Florida bishops supported Bishop Lynch's position.

What a shame that Bobby wasn't supported by his bishop.

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