Terri Schiavo1964-2005

Now the deed is done, and I’ll get back to writing about writing – as soon as I finish up this flu or whatever that’s been dogging me.

But first a few final points.

The fact that the Terri Schiavo story became a fight over the right to die overshadowed what the real story was. And that story is how Michael Schiavo wanted his wife dead and used the state of Florida to pull the trigger.

Never mind what her condition was, never mind the litany of rhetoric flowing from both sides on the emotional floss of this issue. At the core of this story is a man whose only level of care for his wife was to make sure she had makeup on her face, who time and again denied treatments that would have improved her quality of life, if not been rehabilitative (scroll 3/4 of the way down the page and look for the bullet points), and who took up with another woman and fathered two children by her – even though there would have been little complaint if he had divorced his damaged wife and left her to the care of her parents, who would have gladly taken over her care. A man who, in his wife’s final hours, denied those same parents the right to go in and visit their daughter one last time.

Every time I hear more about Michael Schiavo, it brings to mind Tommy Lee Jones’ line to Joe Pantoliano in The Fugitive: “Cosmo, this guy is dirty.”

Okay. I’m wiping the foam from my lips now and getting on with it. I won’t mention the delicious irony of the fact that, the day before Terry Schiavo died, Pope John Paul II was placed on a feeding tube. I won’t mention the fact that he is a certain terminal case (as are we all), nor will I ask why this extraordinary measure is being taken to artificially extend his life. And I certainly won’t propose the creation of a new website called unplugthepope.com.

If I do anything for the pontiff, I’ll pray for him. I’ll pray for him to stay out of the state of Florida.

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