Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Celebrating the Martyrdom of Terri Schiavo.

The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, founded by the Schindler family after Schiavo's death in 2005, is now announcing it's first annual Life & Hope concert to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Schiavo's death, with country music legend Randy Travis as the headliner.

The event will take place in Indianapolis in April.

Priests for Life and Iamwhole.com are listed as the primary sponsors and the organization is still seeking donations. Even the hosting of the website is donated.

The whole thing makes me queasy, to tell the truth, from the logo cartoon of a young Schiavo, taken years before her death and her collapse, to the underlying message that the sponsors and participants are sending:

You as a patient, as an autonomous human being, have no right to determine, with the advisement of your medical proxy, what your health care decisions are or will be. Those decisions reside with the church and the state.

It's a horrifying message to those of us who diligently fill out DNRs and living wills, who choose, based on the right to our own conscience, our medical futures.

However you view the legacy of martyrdom "pro-life" groups have cobbled together for Terri Schiavo, the role that legacy plays in the new, more organized opposition to patient's rights, the turn of "pro-life" groups to scare tactics and fear-mongering of the disabled, the elderly, and the faithful, the facts are that multiple courts of law determined that the evidence that Schiavo would not have wanted to be kept alive was ample and significant, her medical proxy made decisions that were in his legal power, and 78 to 81% of Americans said the legislature and executive branches of government had no rights to get involved in the case.

I just wonder how much could have been done for women who suffer every day with eating disorders - thought to be the cause of Schiavo's collapse - if these imposing organizations were to focus on the cause of Schiavo's illness rather than ways to control the medical decisions of others.

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