Every moment of life has a purpose

Dear Editor,
No matter what side you come out on the Terri Shiavo case, I
think we can all agree how tragic these issues and controversies
have finally come to a head in America, in such an unusual and
unfortunate circumstance.
Dear Editor,

No matter what side you come out on the Terri Shiavo case, I think we can all agree how tragic these issues and controversies have finally come to a head in America, in such an unusual and unfortunate circumstance.

I cannot believe that anyone can take pleasure in seeing a human being starved and dehydrated to death, even if it were his or her perceived personal choice to do so. Personally, I don’t understand these professionals on TV commenting that this method of dying is painless, dignified and humane. Starvation bunkers were present in Nazi death camps as a means of torturing prisoners to death.

It takes preparation and build-up of self-discipline to handle such drastic bodily changes. We’ve all heard the term “weaning off”. In Terry Shiavo’s case, how was she prepared? Someone came in one day, pulled her feeding tube and flipped a switch. Is this humane?

Recently, I lost my mother at the age of 84, after seeing her health deteriorate for several years from a post-operative stroke and resultant blindness. In her last years, most modernists would have considered her quality of life to be very poor and not worth living….possibly, even a burden to her family and society, which provided for her care and medical expenses.

However, it was during those years that I learned my greatest lessons in life and enjoyed the best adult relationship with my mother that I ever had.

The experience taught me compassion, patience, empathy, respect for the elderly and the handicapped and human life as a whole, even a better appreciation of my own life and health.

Each time I would fly across the country to visit her; I would ponder all our family memories in my mind, as if on film. Whenever, I saw my mother, it was as if she was a projector that brought the film to life…illuminated, dimensioned, real and lifelike. What a treasure!

Regardless of how apparently broken, desperate or worthless one might think their own life is, if you can still give meaning, purpose, hope and dimension to others, your life is still quite valuable and worth saving.

Judging from the worldwide controversy this case has ensued, there are a multitude of people who appreciate and can benefit from Terri’s life and example.

Somehow, I feel certain that if Terri could communicate after seeing all that has transpired, witnessing the suffering her family has endured on her behalf and seeing just how valuable her life still is to so many, she would choose to live. Wouldn’t you?

David Rivas, Gilroy

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