Dead or Alive?
Whose Death is it Anyway?

When is the right time to consider a person at the end of life? The controversy and demise of Terri Schiavo was a media circus. Right to Life groups, religious right groups and those that just wanted their fifteen minutes of fame created a fiasco for the television news media. Granted there is nothing wrong with praying for someone who is ill but the way this was done was in very poor taste. Had Ms. Schiavo been able to talk she would have told everyone to go home and leave her to die in peace. She was always in the hands of the Lord and continued to be to the end. This poor woman had no peace being bounced back and forth between her family and the courts.

Who are we to tell someone they don’t have the right to die with dignity? Certainly she was not given the chance to leave this world quietly. I was appalled at the actions of those who gathered outside the nursing home where she stayed. These people did not have her best interests at heart ever. Not when her story was aired all over the world.

Death is a private matter and when it happens no one has the power to stop it. I was with my mother in her hospital room on her last day on this earth and I am proud to say that as much as I wanted with all my heart to keep her here and not let her go it was not my choice. She was 82 years old and her body was shutting down. It took all my strength to say to her that “If you can’ t stay mom, it’s ok to go. Daddy is waiting for you on the other side and we will be ok. You did a good job raising us and now it is time to go.” She left her children at midnight that night and I felt all the better later on for letting her go. This was a private death and no one was outside chanting and praying to keep her alive. There is one book I would recommend everyone read, “Touched by the Light” by Bette J. Edie. I sat in my mother’s hospital room that day reading it and when I finished the book that afternoon I understood better about death. I knew my mother was happy and without pain.

Medical science can do more to keep people alive in situations such as Terri Schiavo’s but we cannot play God when it comes to human life. The decision is not ours but God’s. I wonder how many of those people who stood outside the nursing home of Terri Schiavo would want to kept alive in a vegetative state as Ms. Schiavo was. I bet most of those there would have said no not ever.

Who can say what is right or wrong when we stand at death’s door. Can we justify being yanked back from the brink again and again? For me I say let me go, for I leave to find a better place and it is God’s choice and none other.

Ecclesiastes 3 says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

Rest in peace Terri

For other views and opinions on this case, see the following stories in this issue:
Enough! | Dead or Alive?
The Schiavo Case, States Rights and Medical Costs


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