Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bobby Schindler Remembers His Sister Terri

Bobby Schindler

Ten years after.

I've been asked to do a couple of posts on a few different causes but there are some things more important to post about right now.  Matters of life - and death.

While looking for a photo to illustrate this post, I came across some monstrous images mocking the death of Terri Schiavo.  Today is the tenth anniversary of her death and her brother Bobby wrote an article for Life News on how horrible it was to watch his sister have ordinary care withdrawn from her, which resulted in a slow, agonizing death.  She was not receiving extraordinary life support, simply food and water.  She was starved, dehydrated to death.  Some of the images I saw online which mocked Terri Schiavo's suffering were gross, indecent, and heinously cruel.  They made a joke of her death.

Bobby Schindler speculates that numerous deaths just like Terri's take place all of the time, and I've heard of less sensational cases elsewhere in the world.  It's a horrible, painful death that the majority of people would not even tolerate in the case of a beloved pet.  St. Maximilian Kolbe was martyred in this way; he survived so long a period, the Nazis finished him off with lethal injection.  Compassion was not the motivating factor, the Nazis simply wanted to get rid of him.

What have we become?

Bobby remembers his sister:
On March 18, 2005, my sister, Terri Schiavo, began her thirteen day agonizing death after the feeding tube – supplying her food and water – was removed. Terri was cognitively disabled and had difficulty swallowing and therefore needed a feeding tube. Terri was not on any “life support”, nor was she sick or dying. Nonetheless, she received her death sentence ordered by Circuit Court Judge, George W. Greer of Pinellas County Florida. 
Greer’s order to remove Terri’s feeding tube was in response to her estranged husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, requesting permission from the court to kill his disabled wife. This was after Schiavo began cohabitating with his fiancée and stood to inherit Terri’s medical trust fund, which at the time was close to $800,000. 
However, more disturbing was that the judge ruled to kill Terri, despite her mother and father pleading with Schiavo, and the court, to allow them to take her home. In fact, a guardian ad litem urged Judge Greer to refuse the dehydration request. Instead, this legally-required protector of Terri was dismissed from the original case by Greer and no replacement was ever appointed. 
March 31st marks a very sad day; and this year, it will be the ten year anniversary of Terri’s death. - Please finish reading here.

Bobby Schindler says he will never forget.  I trust he will not.  It reminds me of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants, proclaiming, "never forget".  Yet how many forgot Terri Schiavo?   How many forget those who are continuing to perish in this manner?

It's heartbreaking.


  1. Terry,

    I have worked as a Hospice Nurse since July 0f 1998 and I have seen all kinds of stuff. Most of our patients die peacefully in the company of their family and friends. Our goal is to manage the symptoms that cause the discomfort as a result of the disease process and allow nature to take its course.

    I will tell you I have encountered a few families who think we are there to over-medicate and speed up the dying process. Some agree to this way of thinking while others are against it. Thus, our work requires educating the family with regards to the Hospice philosophy about end of life care. If it was about euthanizing our patients, I, in good conscience, would have to quit.

    Now, just the other day I was on a case where the daughter of the patient was medicating her father every two hours with Morphine whether he needed it or not. I caught her giving him more than was ordered and giving it more frequently than was ordered. I was able to stop her and had to re-educated and review the original doctor's order with her. She smiled at me and then said, "a friend told me there is a shot you can give him to make him go to sleep. Do you have this shot? Can you give it to him?"
    She was smiling the whole time while being serious too. I had to take a minute and then remind her that Hospice is not about speeding up the process and we do not "have shots to make people go to sleep."

    There are times when a patient can no longer swallow anything not even tiny amounts of water. There are times when yes, they might have a feeding tube but cannot tolerate the water or formula anymore. The digestive system has shut down, they are retaining the fluids in their belly and the respiratory distress/congestion starts in. So the next course of action is to stop all fluids and food due to the inability to swallow and aspiration risks.

    I have not seen but only a very cases where I questioned food or water being withheld from the patient and even in those cases, the family would talk to the MD about it and eventually try the fluids and or food.

    I always pray because one never knows in these cases and each one is individual. To withhold nutrition/hydration intentionally knowing that they can still tolerate the fluids or food is one hard case to be on and I only remember a few of those cases as they are rare in my line of work.

    1. Thanks very much Yaya! Thanks for adding to this. God bless you in your good work.

    2. Thank you dear Terry. <3

      It is sad to know Terry was denied nutrition when she was alive. Too bad too, her ex did not allow her parents to take her home and care for her until the end.

      I shudder to think what awaits those who imposed these laws on her and her family.

      May God have mercy on them and on us.


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