Terri Shiavo's Legacy

Several of you Tuesday set me straight: Michael Schiavo (search) may have "agreed" to an autopsy on Terri when she dies, but it's not as if he had many options. In cases where a body is to be cremated, Florida law requires an autopsy. Thanks to all of you who e-mailed about that. Now, some other comments that came across the transom after the show.

E-mail No. 1:

...Shame on Jesse Jackson and Joseph Lieberman for waiting this long to suddenly take a stand [about Terri Schiavo]...
—Greg Mason, Layton, Utah

It does seem rather late to be showing up at the hospice, doesn't it? But then again, Terri's mom says she's glad to have Jackson there to support her — and who are we to deny her that if it eases her pain even a little?

E-mail No. 2:

...Why won't they let a news crew in Terri's room to see what is really going on?...
—Patsy, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Good question Patsy. Terri's parents have been wanting to take a camera crew into her room for ages now — precisely because they want us all to see her. They wanted it even before the feeding tube was pulled. But Michael Schiavo is adamant in refusing to allow this. To be fair and balanced, his reason is that Terri is a very private person and would not want to have her picture splattered all over the cable news channels.

E-mail No. 3:

...I've thought about Christopher Reeve and wondered how he would have reacted to the Terri Schiavo case if he were still alive. Wasn't it only until shortly before his death that Reeve was able to breathe on his own? He truly had been 'on life support' for many years...
—Jan Weaver, Cleveland, Ohio

I've wondered the same thing, Jan. Reeve fought for life, and for not giving up on the disabled. But only he knows, somewhere beyond this earth, what stand he would have taken.

Perhaps, when we are in a position to look back on this whole controversy, we will conclude that Terri's mission in this life was to make us all more aware of the value of life, no matter how impaired. Funny how such a private, unassuming, gentle soul has become such a massive force in the media and elsewhere. She never intended to leave a big wake in her life, but that's the way things are playing out.

See you Wednesday.


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