Monthly Archives: June 2005

Autopsy Results change nothing

The media paint this as a victory for Michael the Scumbag, but Sean Hannity (who has been unusually lucid on this one) nicely refuted their points:
1. No one disputes “Massive brain damage”; the question is this very *concept* of a “persistent vegetative state,” and how many medical professionals disagree that there is such a thing.
2. The blindness “discovery”: the autopsy doesn’t say how *long* she was blind. The blindness could have been a later development.
3. While there is no proof of physical abuse, there is also no proof against it, and the autopsy does not even discuss the broken bones.
4. Since Michael’s contention is that she had bulimia & a heart attack, his side is refuted in that there’s no proof of either bulimia *or* a heart attack.
5. It still gets to the point that a human life is a human life, regardless of what faculties it is missing. Life begins at conception and ends at natural death. Pro-death politicians like Bill Frist can cover their butts, but this is still an atrocity.

But I’d like to say a word for a minute about the Schindler family. I may have made this point before. . . .
Now, the Left says, “SEE? She had no hope of recovery! BWA-HA-HA-HA!”
The Schindlers say, “We know she had no hope of recovery, but that doesn’t mean we love her less.”

But that bothers me. There is never “no hope.” Dum spiro spero. There is always hope in Christ. A few weeks before Terri’s death, the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was brought to the Hospice. Now, there is an apostolate of “pilgrim statues” that travel different regions of the world. We had one in our house for a week a couple years ago. But this is *the* Pilgrim Statue of OLF, the original, that has been touring the world since 1947.
Fulton Sheen wrote about the miracles associated with this statue–how its presence in North Africa led to the conversions of many Muslims (and it is just as hard to convert a Muslim to Christianity as it is to convert a Christian to Judaism). I once read the memoirs of one of the guardians. The guardians of this statue suffer direct, physical manifestations of demonic attack. They must live lives of the utmost purity. The statue itself is surrounded by mysteries and miracles.
Doves flying out of its crate; roses; etc. When they’d take it into the Soviet Bloc, guards would search the bus, walk right past the statue, and apparently not even see it.
Well, the story goes that, amazingly, there was no police presence at the Hospice the night the Pilgrim Statue was there. The protesters were able to bring the statue *into* the hospice and past Terri’s door.
Eye-witnesses testify to this, and claim that, when the statue passed, Terri arose from her bed and danced, then returned to her bed.
The story spread like wildfire in the Catholic media–UNTIL the Schindlers (who admittedly were not present) said, “That’s impossible. We don’t want to spread false hope.”

That is when they lost their fight. The fact that they’ve carried on this crusade for so long attests to the strength of their Catholic convictions, but those convictions seem to rise no farther than morality. Christ said taht faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Miracles happen every day; they’re just ignored and covered up by the Prince of this World.

To deny the possibility of such a striking miracle is to deny God’s power at all.

Response to an interesting column by Carol Kennedy

I just read an interesting column (linked above) linked off of Catholicity.com. Please read it first, if you haven’t already. It’s got some good points about human dignity and disability, but she still speaks from the “outside,” as it were. My response follows.

That was a very good column–and, referring to the people you said you’d agree with 99% of the time, make that 99.5% in my case.
You raise some very good points. However, as someone *with* a genetic disorder (and with at least one child who has inherited with it), I must disagree with your words regarding labelling. I do not believe it demeans me, or I demean myself, by identifying me as a “person with Marfan syndrome.” You mentioned deaf people in your article. Deaf people have a “deaf culture,” and often prefer to associate with other deaf people, precisely because they understand each other.
I often have trouble with the idea that all illness and “defects” in nature result form original sin–both a scientific problem and a moral one. It is a short-cut to the problem of evil that seems to undercut God’s power and Providence. I believe that God gave me Marfan syndrome, and I thank Him for it. I see the good in my condition, and I accept it for what it is.
You are right–children can hear and understand the things adults say around them. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, I demanded that my parents give me the straight talk and straight facts on my condition. “It’s my life,” I said. “It should be my decision.” I was old enough to realize that I wasn’t as strong, or fast, or capable as other kids. I was old enough to realize that not every kid went to the hospital every six months or so.
When people hear about disabilities, they think of saying things like, “That person has Down’s syndrome,” and then label the mental capacity. And, you’re right, the falsely “nice” mentality will either a) condescendingly talk about acceptance or b) have a false optimism that the person *can* overcome the physical impediment. It’s like the thing in “Steel Magnolias” about “the doctors said Shelby can’t have a baby.” My greatest fear for my own daughter is putting up with people who will tell her she should just “try” to play basketball, or run a race, or whatever. . . .
Each of us must learn to accept our indiviudal limitations, whatever they may be. As parents, we have to accept our children’s limitations–while still encouraging them to try, anyway.
Do not dismiss the sentiment of those who admire the simple faith and pure spirituality of those who are mentally challenged (for whatever reason). It *is* the childlike faith that Jesus calls for, and I believe that God allows those disabilities to set an example for the rest of us.
And I proudly identify myself as a Marfan. It does define who I am, in terms of this earth. I cannot choose to be otherwise. Calling it by any other name-or no name at all–will not alter the reality of what I have to face, day in and day out. Nothing I choose to say, or do, or ignore, or label, will change that. I live every day knowing it may be my last. Not everyone has that privilege. I do. And I appreciate it as a gift of God.