I’ve asked one of my latest commenters, Karen of Scottsdale, to do an interview with me. Her story, to me, allows her to have a great perspective on Terri Schiavo and her case. Thank you so much Karen for allowing me to do this interview. Enjoy…
Agent Tim: What is your story? Could you briefly share with me? (Testimony, why you are disabled, etc?)
Karen: I was born with a genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 which is a motor neuron disorder. Most of my voluntary muscles are affected and I have never been able to walk thus I have used a wheelchair for mobility all of my life. I use a power wheelchair because I have no strength in my arms. I can use my hands a little bit to write or use a computer but I’m not able to lift things and cannot lift my arms above my head. I have become progressively weaker over the years and since the last two years I have not been able to feed myself without assistance. I totally rely on others for all of my personal care needs. I’m now 40 years old. In my 20s and early 30s I drove a specially modified van. I attended public school and went to college where I earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in business management. Unfortunately I have not been gainfully employed. However, I lead as active a life as I’m able. And try to find work that I can do at home.
I accepted Christ when I was a young child. God has blessed me in many ways and especially with a loving family who have cared for me. I have been married for six years. My husband and I are active members of our church body. Surely God is my strength.
AT: What do you foresee for the future of those who are disabled? Do you see those who are “unwanted” and “not contributing to society” being killed like Terri?
KS: People who are unable to speak for themselves are at the greatest risk because they are often the ones who are “unwanted.” I’m thinking of unwanted children and people who cause inconvenience to those around them like the disabled and elderly. I’m not sure that those who are considered as “not contributing to society” are at risk of being killed because quite frankly most of our culture creates people who contribute little if nothing to our society. Mediocrity is praised and exceptionalism or excellence is put down. In that kind of society who really contributes?
AT: Why do you believe that Terri should live?
KS: Terri has the same rights as anyone. She should live because she is. Her life is no less important than anyone else. From what I understand of the court case the judge ruled that she would not want to live this way according to her “husband.” Since she made no clear directive such as a living will, I cannot understand how the judge can accept the testimony of her “husband” who has done nothing to help her. I agree with President Bush when he said that we need to err on the side of life. Without a clear directive I think is wrong for someone else to have the right to choose death for her.
AT: From a disabled persons point of view, do you understand Terri?s situation better? Could you share why and how you would be if you were in her situation or in her parents situation? What would you want to happen to you if you were Terri?
KS: I don’t know if I understand her situation any better because I am disabled. I do know that life should be protected and I want my life protected.
Terri’s condition is not a terminal condition. The only reason why she is dying now is because she is being starved and dehydrated. I can understand if someone has a terminal condition and they do not want to undergo treatment that will have no effect except to make their life more miserable but not prolong it in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, Terri’s situation is being portrayed as a terminal one. This is wrong.
AT: What do you believe the Bible says about Terri?s situation?
KS: I think the Bible is very clear on this situation. Over and over again God told the Israelites to protect those who were most vulnerable in their society. Jesus said to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Also, God told the Israelites to choose life.
Terri, Schindler family, attorneys, and Gov. Bush, we’re praying for you and working for you too. God Bless.