Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Work it Terri Schiavo!

With this week's death of Robert Schindler, the father of Terri Schiavo, all the martyrdom scenarios have been pulled out without stop. I've seen accounts of his early death because of Terri's "murder," there's a little brouhaha regarding the autopsy report in one of Schindler's obituaries, and now this from the ever-melodramatic and shameless Steven Ertelt at LifeNews:

"...Terri's death was an opportunity God put in our laps."

Later he calls her "little lady." Like a small dog looking for a treat or like a lady of the night? Or is this "in our laps" just another poorly used cliche? This premise that God makes us suffer, made Schiavo suffer, so that others may live is very important to the martyrdom scenario used by the Schindlers, LifeNews, and other "pro-life" organizations.

Perhaps her death was just her death, like the deaths we will all face someday? Not in the business of raising funds. Do your job now, Terri. You've got some shill to earn so that others may save us from our own choices and autonomy.

I'll print the letter in its entirity because I find it so blatant and manipulative. (Comments) are mine:

Dear LifeNews.com Readers,

It is with tremendous sadness that we reported this weekend on the passing of Robert Schindler, the father of Terri Schiavo. From those who have experienced it, it is always a horrendous ordeal to outlive your children, but even worse when your daughter's life is taken away from you and your family by someone whose motivations are entirely different. (I'm not certain what "different" means here. In the Schiavo martyrdom scenario, Michael, Terri's husband, has become the Judas character, the betraying husband.)

At the same time as we mourned the sadness of losing Terri to a tremendously painful starvation and euthanasia death, we pro-life people recognized -- perhaps none moreso than Bob Schindler and the rest of his family -- that Terri's death was an opportunity God put in our laps. (There is no proof that starvation and dehydration are painful. Doctors have concluded that the severe damange to Schiavo's brain most likely prevented her from experiencing any sensations whatsoever. But suffering too is necessary to the martyrdom scenario. Suffering is redemptive.)

With the starting of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, Bob and his family sounded the alarm about how Terri's abhorrent treatment was but the tip of the iceberg. So many disabled, elderly and other people who need medical care and treatment are having it deprived them from doctors, hospitals, the government and even the ones they love. (Note that the family included Schiavo's maiden name in the Foundation name. "...Are having it deprived of them," is pure fear-factor stuff. Euthanasia is illegal in the US. The only orgs denying treatment routinely are insurance companies. But beware of those you love! They're gonna get you.)

Sadly, the situation is getting worse before it gets better. The plight of Terri Schiavo has been followed by more states and more nations legalizing assisted suicide. The health care bills in Congress push a quality of life ethic that tells patients the amount and type of medical care they should receive is based upon some arbitrary government standard and that some lives are not as worth living as others. (Untrue. This is an echo of the rationing scenario conservatives have been erroneously touting. I am very curious about the "quality of life ethic" phrase. Pro-aid in dying patients often talk about the importance of quality of life, about their unwillingness to suffer.)

In HR 3200, doctors are given financial incentives to potentially push a reduced level of medical care or to suggest that grandma and grandpa may be better off to withdraw food and water or sign a DNR order prematurely. (Untrue. Patients would be covered should they wish to consult with their doctors about end of life care. "Reduced level of medical care" implies neglect, erroneously.)

Worse, in states like Oregon and Washington, our own government, in this government-run health care plan, would pay for physicians to suggest that patients consider the option of assisted suicide. (Untrue. Doctors may not mention assisted suicide in the three states where it is legal unless the patient has asked about it. And even after a number of strict criteria are met, the patient must self-administer the medication. The doctor nor anyone else is permitted to administer the drugs.)

Our veterans, who have given so much for the freedom and liberties we enjoy every day, are seeing their own government send them materials telling them they may need to consider whether they are a burden on others. Here the heroes of America, who bore the burdens so many of us have never had to bear, are told they should consider sacrificing their own lives after they already sacrificed so much. (Untrue. VA patients are covered by their insurance should they decided to talk to their doctor about end of life planning. Let me be clear: end of life planning is NOT assisted suicide nor euthanasia, which are illegal in the US. Beware when social conservatives claim to protect freedom and liberty!)

In such a short time since Bob Schindler and Mary and Bobby and Suzanne faced the nightmare of losing their daughter and sister to an estranged husband with his own agenda, the euthanasia movement is more forcefully pushing its agenda on us. (Again, Michael is the "estranged" when in actuality, he was the care-taker of Schiavo until her death. They interpret his "own agenda" as a desire to continue his life after Schiavo's death. Can't blame him, can you? It's a narrative that fits in well with the victimization of Schiavo. And again, as with abortion, no one is forcing an agenda on those who don't believe in choice. All citizens are given the right to follow their faith, but not to impose it via legislation on others.)

Will we push back? Will we fight against these notions that our bravest and most cherished people should get out of the way so we don't have to bear their burdens? The Bible calls on people to bear each others burdens. The Schindler family did just for so many people that after Terri died. Now, it is our turn. When it comes to the Schindlers, will you take time to pray for them as they mourn and grieve the loss of a loving father and husband? When it comes to the disabled, the elderly, the sick and those who need a little extra help, will you support them? Please consider reading the LifeNews.com story about Robert and send a check to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation to encourage their work to protect other Terris. (Work it, Terri. For the heros.)

And if you have a little extra, please consider supporting LifeNews.com. We will always cover pro-life issues on abortion, but we will never tire of joining our friends in the Schindler family by lighting a candle with them to shine a light on the plight of medically vulnerable people. (I'm not certain of what "medically vulnerable" means but it sounds scary.)

LifeNews.com will continue joining the Schindlers in taking the lead to highlight the growing culture of death that pushes euthanasia and assisted suicide. We will continue to keep you informed about what you can do to protect your family, yourself and others. We will battle back when that slippery slope gets slicker and the sanctity of human life is devalued further. On behalf of LifeNews.com, we thank the Schindler family. (Culture of Death, protect your family, sanctity of human life, slippery slope - these are the bread-and-butter phrases of "pro-life groups; hyperbolic, fear-inducing narratives that have nothing to do with the actual world.)

We know Bob and Terri are enjoying a warm embrace in Heaven. And we know they are looking down on us and asking every pro-life person to do just a little more to let the world know that life should be cherished, from the little baby before birth to the little lady near death. (More infantilization of Schiavo, more of that after-death warmth that ascribes desires and motivations to the deceased - particularly those shared by the writer.)

I hope you'll join us in keeping up that fight. Enjoy the story about Bob Schindler and please consider a donation to help them and help us. Steven Ertelt, EditorLifeNews.com

PS You can support LifeNews.com with a donation using the form below or send a PayPal donation to us at news@lifenews.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------------We would like to support the work of LifeNews.com with a $___ donation.Please mail your check to LifeNews.com, PO Box 270841Fort Collins, CO 80527. Name __________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ City ____________________ State ____ Zip __________________ Email Address ____________________________________________ Friend's Email Address(es) __________________________________ LifeNews.com will never sell/rent/give your name and address toanyone and we do not place you on a telemarketing list when you donate.

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