Terri Schiavo Is Still Unavailable for Comment


Terry Wallis showed only fleeting hints of consciousness for 19 years after he suffered a brain injury in a road accident. But then, in 2003, at age 39, he began to speak. It started with “Mom,” and then “Pepsi,” but soon he was slowly stringing sentences together and holding down his end of a conversation.

Far too often, patients like Wallis are given up for gone, left to languish in nursing homes where no one bothers with physical therapy or even to check for glimmers of regained consciousness, says Joseph Fins, a medical ethicist at Weill Cornell Medical College.

That’s at odds with a growing body of research showing that many patients with no outward signs of awareness retain some degree of consciousness. “We began to see patients who looked like they were vegetative, but they weren’t,” said Fins. “They were beginning to show responsiveness, they were sort of breaking the rules.”

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Motive.
    Was her husband motivated to move on with new lover?
    Was he, in his mind, doing what Terri would of wanted in this case?

    This tragic story was / is a heart breaker.
    Terri’s family touched my heart deeply.

  2. “Loving husband” “recalled” what Terri supposedly wanted Philip after the personal injury case he brought on behalf of Terri was settled. Up until that time he claimed that he was going to spend the rest of his life caring for her. He then went to court to put her to death. When it was brought to his attention that the court would not likely order the judicial murder of his wife for him unless there was some evidence of her wishes, Mirabile dictu!, he “recalled” that after watching a movie on Karen Ann Quinlan she allegedly remarked that she would not want to be kept alive in such a situation. His statement was backed up by his brother, and his brother’s wife. Terri’s family vigorously argued that this was nonsense and that Terri was a Catholic who believed in the sanctity of life. This was the sole basis for the Court putting Terri to death by dehydration. By the time of her death “loving husband” had of course been shacked up with another woman for years and had two children by her. He married his mistress in 2006.

  3. ‘Loving husband’ was a piece of work. Terri Schiavo was the default earner in that marriage due to her husband’s frequent changes of employer, which was in turn due to personality defects (among them a tendency to attempt to menace both co-workers and customers). Her co-workers were rather undone by the character of Michael Schiavo’s phone calls to his wife at work and also his practice of recording odometer readings to monitor her driving (conjoined to berating her for over use of the car she was fueling with her earnings). Mrs. Schiavo’s medical records also revealed a perplexing number of injuries.

  4. I’ve always wondered if he wasn’t paid a large sum of money on the side by the likes of the Hemlock Society membership/leadership/attornies he had working with him to put Terri to death. Remember reading an article that mentioned the direct involvement of several Hemlock Society members in the decision/enforcement to dehydrate her to death. It is against the law to dehydrate an animal to death–but not a human being. Shows the true depths of depravity to which American legal realm/cultural realm/health care realm has reached.

  5. Seems like I read about the Hemlock Society’s search for the perfect case to get a legal judgement that allowed such a person put to death.

  6. Thank you for answering my inquiry Donald.
    I recall some home video that was on You Tube showing her laughing with her father.
    It was not long before her executioner signed the doc’s. How the family held together during this atrocity is proof of Christ’s Grace at work. If only the ( loving husband ) was open to said Grace.

  7. Terri Schiavo came under the protective custody of the court as a ward of the court when Michael Schiavo sought to end her life, as did the child in Roe v. Wade. Michael Schiavo lost power of attorney and custody of Terri Schiavo when he acted against her best interest, in court and again in the nursing home, when Michael Schiavo refused Terri’s parents access to visitation with their daughter.

    The court has no power to deny a person the practice of the corporal works of mercy, feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty.

    The court has no power to deny Terri’s parents peaceable assembly with their child. Michael’s appearance in court to terminate Terri’s life is, in fact, a violation of peaceable assembly. The court’s convening to dispense death is a violation of peaceable assembly. Death is disassembly.

    Socrates became an accessory to his own murder when he imbibed the hemlock by his own hand, most probably to be away from his tormentors. Jesus let Himself be killed to be with us.

  8. Barbara Gordon: “It is against the law to dehydrate an animal to death–but not a human being.” Any one seeking death is mentally incompetent and comes under the protection of the court.

  9. Technically, the court relinquished custody of Terri Schiavo into the hands of Michael Schiavo without just cause, since Michael Schiavo was seeking to end her life. Michael Schiavo, his brother and his brother’s wife’s testimony became practically irrelevant because Michael Schiavo had a conflict of interest in Terri Schiavo’s settlement.

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