After surviving for 13 days without food or water, Terri Schiavo’s struggle finally ended Thursday morning.
Her life ended just 12 hours after the Supreme Court rejected the last appeal.
For 15 years, the Florida woman had been sustained by a single feeding tube that was being paid for by multiple sources. But Schiavo’s case was not about money, which cost $80,000 a year to sustain her, The Washington Post reported.
The case was not about her husband, Michael Schiavo, who has two children with another woman out of wedlock.
The case wasn’t even about her parents fighting for her custody.
Schiavo’s suit revolved around her Catholicism.
Ilesanmi Osasona, a Catholic priest from St. Eugene Catholic Chapel, expressed the church’s view of Schiavo’s case.
Osasona, who has been a priest there for 18 months, said that even though Schiavo was in a vegetative state, she was still a human being and to deny her food and drink was inhumane.
The Nigerian priest was perplexed with the way the United States handled her helpless state between Schiavo’s parents, her husband and the law taking her life.
“The law, it’s surprising to deny sustenance,” Osasona said. “If he (Michael Schiavo) is tired of taking care of her, and parents said they would do it, (then there shouldn’t be a problem).”
Osasona said that this would not have been an issue in his country.
Terri Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had one last chance to reinsert their daughter’s feeding tube Wednesday. However, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta sealed their daughter’s fate of dehydration and starving to death, regardless of who has custody or who was willing to care for her.
The wave of empathy reached not only the rest of the state, but the entire nation, affecting citizens far beyond her hometown in southern Florida.
Catholic students in Tallahassee at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More spoke out about Schiavo’s case.
“God is a God of love and interfering is against His will,” said Andrew Burns, 19, a freshman at Florida State University from Tampa, studying social work.
“Morally, it’s wrong for any kind of assisted death.”
Robert Wright, a Catholic student of St. Thomas More, agreed with Burns and explained how people with disabilities are often considered worthless.
“People aren’t to be burdensome for us just because they’re poor or disabled,”
Wright said. “John 9:3 says they are here so that the works of God may be made visible through them. They are objects of love here to teach us love. They are human beings just as much as you and I, so why kill them?”
While Terri Schiavo was in a vegetative condition, many citizens viewed society’s opinion of her right to live demeaned.
Wright said Terri Schiavo was just another victim under attack by the U.S. culture of death.
“The way our laws are set up almost allow Michael Schiavo, an unfit and unloving husband, to take the life of his wife,” Wright said.
Vice President of the FSU Catholic Student Union, Brandon Frank, also discussed the skewed view on Schiavo’s life worth.
Frank compared Schiavo’s condition to his sick grandmother, explaining how society would rather ignore humans that have something wrong with them.
“It doesn’t mean her life is worthless,” said Frank, 21, a senior from Atlanta and international affairs and history student.
“Our society is fixed on youth and the elderly and sick are swept under a rug. Life is so precious, even the sick and the suffering. This is His creation. Who are we to meddle?”
Although Terri Schiavo was suffering for 15 years, until recently, most students couldn’t answer who she was.
While her court case involved different variables besides religion, her unique situation infiltrated everyone’s thoughts, Catholic or not.
Contact Miranda Edwards at email@example.com