To the Editor:
Although I always love a ridiculous, unfounded Nazi analogy, I believe that Deborah Bedolla was not entirely fair in her assessment of the Schiavo case. A couple of overlooked points:
1) Mr. Schiavo was encouraged by his wife’s family to resume dating.
2) Mr. Schiavo was, for over three years, a devoted and loving caretaker of his wife, giving up hope only when all (legitimate) doctors had concluded that her prospects were hopeless.
3) Michael Schiavo, Ms. Schiavo’s “husband,” offered to give up any inheritance from Terri’s death in order to remove any hint of bias in his decision to have her feeding tube removed.
All of this comes from the report ordered by Jeb Bush and filed before Florida’s Sixth Court of Appeals, available at http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/WolfsonReport.pdf. It is a poignant, thorough and unbiased piece. One of the most surprising passages for me, given the coverage of the case read: “Michael’s decision not to treat was based upon discussions and consultation with Theresa’s doctor, and was predicated on his reasoned belief that there was no longer any hope for Theresa’s recovery. It had taken Michael more than three years to accommodate this reality and he was beginning to accept the idea of allowing Theresa to die naturally rather than remain in the non-cognitive, vegetative state. It took Michael a long time to consider the prospect of getting on with his life — something he was actively encouraged to do by the Schindlers, long before enmity tore them apart. He was even encouraged by the Schindlers to date, and introduced his in-law family to women he was dating” (p. 10-11 of the report).
Michael does not deserve the character attacks launched at him by the press. He does not deserve the ironic death threats he continues to receive. Twelve well-thought-out court rulings should prove that Michael’s decision is not simply the devilish money-grabbing of a heartless murderer. And I’m not a Nazi. See, they gassed millions of Jews, whereas I am willing to consider the moral nuance of a family tragedy. You know, I bet that Hitler used twisted polemic in his editorials, too.
Eli Luberoff ’08
March 28, 2005