Florida Court Orders Conscious Woman to be Starved, Dehydrated by Removal of Feeding Tube and Not Allowing Oral Nourishment
by Jane Crawford © 2003

I find the Terri Schiavo case extremely disturbing for many reasons.

The knowledge that a conscious woman - a woman who is capable of  communicating by blinking 'yes' and 'no', is beloved and wanted by her parents and siblings, and is capable of swallowing - has been ordered by a court to die by the withholding of a feeding tube, and orders not to receive water or nourishment by mouth either, is something I find very difficult to accept.

I have seen photographs of Terri Schiavo and I know she should not be deliberately starved to death.  A friend who viewed a recently-made videotape of Terri on Fox TV says it shows her "clearly responding to her mother".

It is discomforting to know that Terri's guardian is her husband - a man who clearly wants her to die - a man who is living with a new partner, his fiancee,  who is about to give him a second child - a man who has withheld all rehabilitative therapy for her for years.

It is sickening to know that a Florida court has ordered this woman's death.   It is frightening to know that police guards have been posted outside her room to make sure no one is able to insert the feeding tube or put any nourishment or water into her mouth - not even a tiny, moistened, piece of wafer for last rites, which her monsignor wanted to give her.

It is heartbreaking to know that her family, who desperately want to look after her (at no cost to the state, by the way) are forced to watch their beloved daughter and sister starve and dehydrate to death.

It is unbelievable that the Governor of Florida, though he claims to wish he could help, says he is unable to do anything.  Some legal experts have said that, just as he has the right to veto legislation, he has the right, and the duty, to intervene in the judicial order to starve Terri to death.

It is difficult to understand why only a handful of right-wing news sources and only one liberal source, as far as I know, have told the truth about Terri's situation - she is conscious - certainly not comatose and vegetative, as the majority of mainstream news sources persist in reporting.   Why should the court-ordered death of a conscious woman be a partisan issue at all?

This situation is making me frantic.  I feel like I'm in one of those dreams where you want to move, but can't.  This woman needs to be rescued.  She is starving to death as I type this, and no one - not even the Governor - has the ability to stop this madness?  Are we talking about the United States of America?  Can this be real?

Terri's Site is: .

Other Sites with information about Terri's case:

Jane Crawford is an elementary French teacher and mother of four in Ontario, Canada.