It feels like the movie, 'Groundhog Day' (search) — only the stakes are much higher, and a woman's life hangs in the balance.
As I write this, lawyers for Terri Schiavo's parents have asked for an emergency rehearing of their case before the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (search) in Atlanta. And the court has just refused. Florida's governor has just held a news conference, saying Terri may have been misdiagnosed — saying that she may not be in a "persistent vegetative state" after all, but in a "state of minimal consciousness."
Who knows where this goes next, but I cannot stop thinking about Terri, and what she may be feeling as we enter her sixth day without food and water. Your e-mails — and there are many great ones today — are a little later in the blog.
Amid our live Schiavo coverage Thursday on "DaySide," I'm happy to say we have a GOOD news story as well. (Seems like there's not much of that lately.) Remember Army Captain Scott Southworth (search)? Several weeks ago, he was on DaySide from his home in Wisconsin. I had invited him on the show because he had a special friend by his side: a little Iraqi boy he had brought home after his tour of duty in Baghdad. This little boy was an unwanted orphan, diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Capt. Southworth felt strongly when he visited that Baghdad orphanage that God was calling him to love this little boy, named Ala'a. So he undertook a major effort to legally bring Ala'a to the U.S.
And Maj. Southworth is a busy guy — he's the district attorney in his hometown, but as busy as he is, he could not ignore this calling. Well.... once I saw the Major and Ala'a together via satellite from Wisconsin, I got the feeling that these are, indeed, two very special people. (There were many people in tears in my audience.) I just HAD to invite them to New York to be in the “DaySide” studio, and Thursday, they'll be here. I invite you to enjoy two truly uplifting people.
I'll also have actress Carre Otis (search) on the show tomorrow; she starved herself for nearly 17 years and now is trying to educate the rest of us about eating disorders. An estimated 35 million people have them in this country, so this is serious business. Personally, I know at least 3 friends who have battled anorexia or bulimia. Carre also wants to talk about the new Kirstie Alley (search) show, "Fat Actress." If you've seen it, you know Kirstie pokes fun at her own obesity. Carre thinks it's not so funny, though — she thinks it's dangerous to make fun of eating disorders. Feel free to chime in if you like, at email@example.com
Now back to your e-mails regarding Terri Schiavo:
My husband is a retired neurosurgeon. He has never witnessed in all his years any patient where the tube has been pulled, where they had been refused nursing care, i.e., ice chips, mouth swabbed, lips being kept moistened, pain medication if needed, etc.... This is the first time he has ever heard of putting any patient through such uncaring neglect.
How ironic is this? We have our military hunting down barbarians who have no respect for human life. We, in OUR wisdom, are teaching them about democracy and the value of human life. Yet, look at us... the highest judges in our land telling the world they condone the barbaric killing of a defenseless, sick woman...
—Joey Mills, Mexico, Missouri
I am a criminal justice graduate...Through the videos, Mrs. Schiavo is CLEARLY not in a PVS as defined in Florida statute 765.101: Persistent vegetative state; means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is: (a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind. (b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.
No parent should want their child to go through the life that Terri is having, true love is giving your child the best you can, and this is not it...How many appeals does it take before everyone stops the madness and allows Terri to move to this better place?…
—Randy Schwoerer, Montgomery, Alabama
My mother is in the same condition [as Terri] and I would never remove her feeding tube, just as I would never not feed a baby. As long as she is living without any artificial means then let God decided when her life should end.
—Lisa Dempsey, Fayetteville, Georgia
With all these appeals going from court to court, from Congress to courts...why are we not appealing to just one person who could make this all conclude, Michael Schiavo. With one action he could give guardianship of Terri back to her parents...
Jody, Terri’s parents have tried this before — the courts won't grant them guardianship. But let's all watch what happens with this last-ditch effort by Gov. Bush, for the state to take over protective custody of her.
We'll have all the latest breaking news Thursday.
Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.