The tragic saga of the late Terri Schiavo just never ceases to be a cause of moral depression. The latest development is the revelation that Michael Schiavo, Terri’s husband, has placed a marker over Terri’s grave that, to put it mildly, invents a new postmodern version of truth.
The marker, made to Mr. Schiavo’s instructions, claims that Terri Schiavo “Departed this Earth” on February 25, 1990 — the date of her catastrophic brain injury. On another line the marker claims that Terri was “at peace” on March 31, 2005. In other words, Michael Schiavo now claims that Terri “died” in 1990, but was not allowed to be “at peace” until fifteen years later.
This is both medical and moral nonsense. Terri Schiavo’s death certificate lists March 31, 2005 as her date of death. Until then, she was not brain dead, nor was she legally or medically dead.
Furthermore, this claim is inconsistent, to say the least, with what Michael Schiavo claimed during the course of his medical malpractice lawsuit related to Terri’s injury. In 1992, Mr. Schiavo stated, “I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her.” As Charlotte Allen points out, this is strange language (note the present tense) from someone who supposedly believed that his wife had already been dead for some time. But, then again, that was then and this is now. This grave marker reveals the mentality that has been driving Michael Schiavo throughout his determined and successful battle to bring Terri’s life to an end.
NOTE THIS SOURCE: Mitch Stacey, Terri Schiavo’s Remains Buried in Clearwater, Associated Press, June 21, 2005.