Tuesday 20 September 2011

The Schindlers' book on Terri Schiavo is a must-read for all pro-lifers

Bobby Schindler (2nd r-h) & SPUC activists
Alison Davis, the national co-ordinator of No Less Human, a group within SPUC defending disabled people, has kindly sent me her review and recommendation of a book by Bobby Schindler and family about their late loved one, Terri Schiavo. Bobby gave the keynote address to this past weekend's SPUC 2011 annual national conference. Alison writes:
"This book tells the whole, horrific story of the Schindler family's long drawn out battle to save Terri's life against increasingly vindictive and aggressive attempts by her husband, Michael Schiavo, to ensure that she would die. Those who had the privilege of hearing Bobby speak at the recent SPUC conference will know how incredibly tough it was for his whole family, but perhaps particularly for his parents, who were forced to watch their beloved child die a most horrible death of dehydration and starvation in the richest country in the world. One can only surmise how tough it was for Terri, who suffered and died without being able to protect herself, or protest against this barbaric treatment, and who thus relied on her family and her friends (of whom she now has millions worldwide) to save her.

I would urge anyone who wants to know more, as well as those who have not yet heard Bobby speak, to buy a copy of the book, and to read it straight away. It is searingly honest, and shows all too clearly the battle that lies ahead for us in the UK, now that the Mental Capacity Act can be invoked to allow the killing by dehydration and starvation of some vulnerable people.

On a personal note, I have some very small inkling into the horror that Terri faced. I am now using a type of external ventilator for at least 8-9 hours every night. It keeps me alive, so to complain about it too loudly would be churlish. However, despite having the "humidifier" set on "maximum" my mouth gets extremely dry, and I need to have a drink (by straw, a technique I have yet to fully master) at least every half hour. Even by that time my mouth is so dry my teeth are sticking to my gums, a sensation I find unpleasant. However, I am in the fortunate position of being able to have a drink whenever I want one, and thus alleviate the discomfort.

Terri Schiavo lived 13 days without food or water. I cannot even imagine the effect on her of this slow torture, or the extent of her suffering.

Every pro-lifer needs to read this book, in order to understand what the pro-death lobby really wants (not "choice" but death for those who cannot speak for themselves), what battles lie ahead for pro-life families of people with severe learning disabilities, and the necessity of doing all we can as long as we can, to protect vulnerable people from such torture.

Here are details of the book:

"A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo - A Lesson for Us All" by Terri's Family... Mary and Robert Schindler with Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo and Bobby Schindler. Copyright 2006 Warner Books (Time Warner Book Group) New York. The Book is available from Amazon UK at a variety of reasonable prices depending on whether you want a hardback or paperback version, and also on audio CD."
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
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