(Humanize) – The March 31, 2005, court-ordered death of Terri Schiavo was an ominous cultural tipping point. As many readers will recall, the legal case began when Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo applied to remove the feeding tube from his profoundly cognitively disabled wife so that she would die by dehydration. When Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler, joined by her siblings Bobby and Suzanne, fought the plan in court, profoundly important cultural and legal battle lines were drawn that were destined to change the country.
The legal battle raged for several years during which the country agonized and argued about the right and moral course. When her case began, few were aware that cognitively disabled patients could legally be made to die via the removal of feeding tubes. A few years later, after Terri’s family (in alliance with the disability rights and pro-life organizations) failed to save her life, this form of quasi-euthanasia was endorsed by polling majorities. CONTINUE