Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 23, 2005

10-year-old boy arrested for bringing Terri water

Filed under: — Different River @ 8:07 pm

Photo of 10-year-old in handcuffs

Among others, Pinellas Park police have arrested a 10-year-old boy, Gabriel Keys, and his 12- and 14-year-old sisters, Cameron and Josie, for bringing water to Terri Schiavo.

Normally, the names of juveniles who are arrested are not released to the public. Even the names of juveniles arrested for murder are often not released. But we all know the normal rules don’t apply in this case.

Article here. Larger photo and caption here.

Harvard Hunger Strike, and Agnostic Liberal Lesbians for Feeding Terri

Filed under: — Different River @ 7:52 pm

Lest you think it’s only the religious right that wants Terri Schiavo to live, consider this:

Eleanor Smith of Decatur, Georgia, sat on Tuesday in a motorized wheelchair in front of the hospice, baking in the sun, with a sign on her lap reading, “This agnostic liberal says ‘Feed Terri.”‘

Smith, 65, had polio as a child and described herself as a lesbian and a liberal who had demonstrated before in support of the disabled and causes supported by the conservative establishment’s archfoe, the American Civil Liberties Union.

“What drew me here is the horror of the idea of starving someone to death who’s vulnerable and who has not asked that to happen,” Smith said.

“At this point I would rather have a right-wing Christian decide my fate than an ACLU member,” Smith said.

Also, Harvard University students have begun a hunger strike for Terri, as noted by Freaki.

Jews Fasting for Terri

Filed under: — Different River @ 7:24 pm

The one good thing — perhaps the only good thing — about this is that it has brought people from all sorts of historically opposed groups, particularly religions. The Schindlers (Terri’s family) are Roman Catholics, and the Catholic Church has spoken out in Terri’s favor. Evangelical Protestants like Randall Terry have taken the lead in the legislative fight to save her. And the Orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel of America publicly called on Michael to spare Terri’s life. Rabbi Aryeh Spero has spoken out as well.

Just today, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein speaks out against the “Silence About Schiavo” which is no doubt hidden from those of us who are news junkies and read these blogs all day:

Why aren’t people taking to the streets in support of Terri Schiavo? This case will prove to be the Roe v. Wade of the disabled and terminally ill. Tens of thousands of lives in the future hang in the balance, not just that of one tragic woman whose parents are not willing to relinquish her life to the capriciousness of activist judges. This case will effectively not extend a “right to die,” but firm up the right for people other than the patient to decide when a life is worthwhile preserving or not.

And, then there is timing. Many Christians have drawn lessons or inspiration from the fact that all this is taking place during the Christian Holy Week. See this article by the Bishop of Orlando and this passion play with characters from the Schiavo case replacing the traditional ones.

For Jews too, this week has two special days — the Fast of Esther tomorrow (Thursday), and Purim on Friday. Both are based on the story told in the Book of Esther. On the Fast of Esther, we commemorate the three-day fast undertaken by Queen Esther immediately before she went to plea for our lives after the Jewish people were condemned to destruction by Persian King Ahasuerus (AKA Achashverosh, AKA Xerxes II) at the request of his prime minster Haman (see Esther 4:16). Purim is a celebration of our miraculous deliverance from that decree.

There are two potential connections between these events and the Schiavo case. First, a Jewish fast is a complete fast — no food or water of any kind is ingested for the entire day. (For this fast, it is from sunrise to sunset; for “major fasts” it is from sunset to sunset.) We Jews will be depriving ourselves tomorrow in the same way that Terri has been deprived by the court — only our deprivation is voluntary, and we are commanded to suspend it if there is any danger to our health, and most imporantly, it’s only for about 12 hours.

The second connection is that the miracle of Purim is a particularly odd kind of miracle compared to others in the Bible — it is accomplished without any overt Acts of God or suspensions, apparent or otherwise, of the laws of nature. There is no splitting of the Red Sea, no voices from heaven, no walls falling down. Indeed, the Book of Esther is the only book of the (Jewish) Bible which does not mention God’s name at all. The miracle was accomplished only through the apparently normal workings of Persian government processes.

Many of us have been hoping and praying for a miracle to save Terri Schiavo — but I, and I imagine most others, have been seeking deliverance for her through the wisdom and actions of public officials — judges, legislators, and other authorities — in much the same way that the Jews were delivered from Haman’s decree.

I would not have thought of this, except that Chana Meira drew the connection explicitly in her blog, as linked here:

The significance of this is not lost to me as it relates to the Schiavo case, the result of which will affect the disabled community, and all people. We see an important message for us in these days in Esther chapter 4 verse 14:

13. Then Mordecai bade them to return answer unto Esther: ‘Think not with yourself that you will escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14. For if you remain silent at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s household will perish; and and who knows whether you have not come to royal estate for such a time as this?”

Like Esther, each of us has been placed in a unique position so that we can help bring good out of even the most evil of situations. God only asks that we do our part. Ultimately, He takes care of the rest.

When I fast, it will be on behalf of Terri and others in her situation. Building museums, erecting monuments, or otherwise noting atrocities is not enough. The best memorial to the tragedies of history is to act for justice today.

May we quickly see the defeat and destruction of Haman. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be merciful to Terri, and swiftly bring her His salvation and deliverance and into the fullness of life.

This year, my fast will be for Terri as well.

Added 3/24 9:41am:

As we are required to fast on the day before Purim, we are required to be happy on Purim — happy and thankful for our redemption. It would be very difficult to be happy on Purim this year (Thursday night and Friday) if nothing changes in this situation. However, if we get word before (or on) Thursday evening that relief for Terri is forthcoming, it will be easy to fulfill that requirement — and to understand that the same One Who brought us redemption 2500 years ago still redeems the innocent and oppressed today.

Michael admits he didn’t know Terri’s wishes

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:02 pm

Apparently, Michael Schiavo admitted on Larry King’s show that he never in fact hear Terri say she would have not wanted to be kept alive.

The full transcript is here; the relevant excerpts are quoted and discussed here, here, and (most briefly) here:

KING: Have you had any contact with the family today? This is a sad day all the way around, Michael. We know of your dispute.

M. SCHIAVO: I’ve had no contact with them.

KING: No contact at all?

KING: Do you understand how they feel?

M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it’s about Terri. And I’ve also said that in court. We didn’t know what Terri wanted, but this is what WE want…

Full appeals court denies rehearing, Florida Senate says No

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:51 pm

The full 20-judge 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request for a rehearing of the 2-1 decision of the 3-judge panel denying an emergency injunction to feed Terri Schiavo.

If you can’t say that three times, here’s a summary: “No.”

Here’s the order. One judge filed a 5-page dissenting opinion. That’s it — there’s no opinion supporting the order. My lawyer-wife says this is probably normal in this sort of case.

Meanwhile, around 3:15pm ET, I heard on the radio a press conference by Governor Jeb Bush. He seemed to be implying that he had the executive authority, via the Department of Children and Families, to take her into protective custody.

But he didn’t say it outright, and he seemed to be waiting for the Florida Senate to act. Just now (4:48pm ET) I heard that the Florida Senate rejected the relevant bill by a vote of 18-21. Apparently, one Senator who was going to vote with Terri switched her vote at the last minute.

Randall Terry is now headed to the Governor’s office to plead for him to do something.

Appeals court denies…

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:12 am

The appeals court said no:

Schiavo Appeal to Reconnected Tube Denied

Mar 23, 2:42 AM (ET)


ATLANTA (AP) – A federal appeals court refused early Wednesday to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, denying an emergency request by the severely brain-damaged woman’s parents.

The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 to deny the request, a day after a federal judge in Florida also refused a similar appeal.

Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, vowed yet another appeal Wednesday.

She has now been denied water for more than 100 hours, and is ssaid to be fading fast. She has stopped responding to people in the room. Then again, those who want to kill her say that’s always been the case.
See also this.

And another…

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:54 am

Another recovery from a persistent vegetative state, to buying books at Wal-Mart.

Then again, as everyone knows, if he’s shopping at Wal-Mart, what kind of “quality of life” is that? Surely they should have let him “die with dignity” rather than live with the indignity of shopping at Wal-Mart.

(Hat Tip: Clayton Cramer.)

Yet Another Recovery from Persistent Vegetative State

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:05 am

Yet another person who was once in Terri Schiavo’s condition, but recovered, has surfaced. You can guess what they think of the starvation order.

I have a sister who was in the same situation as Terri Schiavo. 12 years ago my sister had a sudden cardiac arrest episode that caused major damage to her brain. Four days into her coma we were told by doctors that Kim was in a persistent vegetative state and that we should unplug her ventilator. …

We have video footage of Kim from 1993 when she was in the midst of her very intensive, daily therapies. If you could see the footage, which has been broadcasted on the news by WGAL-8 and Fox-43, you would be eerily amazed at how similar Kim was to Terri Schiavo.

Yes, we were told by neurologists at Lancaster Community Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that Kim was in a PVS (persistent vegetative state). When they told my family to turn off the ventilator because she was never going to recover, we told them that they had forgotten one very important factor, God! … Shortly after that meeting we transferred Kim to the Rehabilitation unit at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey Pennsylvania. Kim was only able to breath on her own for short periods of time; she was completely dependent on a feeding tube for nourishment and hydration. She was actually worse than Terri in that she was not able to track objects with her eyes and seemed to stare off into space.

She certainly remembers the long and extremely difficult road to her recovery. She is grateful to have had the chance for such a recovery. She knows that had it not been for the daily occupational, physical and speech therapies in which she was provided that she would not be the woman that she is today. While she physically challenged and in a wheelchair to this day, she has a happy life. She enjoys many activities like scrap booking, going to the theatre and spending time with friends and family.

Kim and her family will appear on TV tomorrow on Comcast MidAtlantic. See here for details.

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