Thank You Terri/The Lord's Mysterious Ways/Let Me Go/Wishes for Terri
I think Terri Schiavo’s parents have pretty much exhausted their legal remedies. I hate to speculate on such things, but I predict that the Supreme Court will not grant a Writ of Certiorari – I predict they will decline to hear the case. As I understand it, the Supreme Court has thrice declined to hear her appeals.
I wonder if this is the Lord working in mysterious ways. Through Terri, we have all learned a great deal about living wills, PVS (persistent vegetative state) and MCS (minimally conscious state). Fewer people who care about these issues will neglect to make their desires known.
As for me, I plan to complete a proper living will (I have one, but it needs updating). If I am not able to do it, I would like everyone to know:
I am not afraid to die (but I hope to be healthy and to live a very long time).
I ask for no heroic measures (I understand that is an ambiguous term: try to save me, but if it can’t be done, I’m fine with that).
I do not want to be a financial burden to my family or to my community.
If I am in a persistent vegetative state or a minimally conscious state, I would prefer to move on to the life that awaits me beyond this one (such as it is).
If I need help to breathe, to take in fluids or to take in nutrition, if I cannot recognize friends and family members, if I cannot communicate or ambulate, if my condition seems permanent or irreversible, if I do not respond in some way (foot tapping, blinking, increased heart rate ) to the following items: The Radiohead song “Myxomatosis,” the Wilco song “Poor Places,” the Coen Brothers film “The Big Lebowski” or video or audio of a KU basketball game, if all of these or a significant number of these (by significant number I mean qualitatively or quantitatively) items listed above are present, then I ask that all supporting devices and treatments be discontinued, that I be given comfort and transfer to a hospice facility, and that I be embraced in my passage to whatever comes next.
If I can make those decisions for myself, I will. If I cannot, I ask that the following persons, in order of priority, make them on my behalf:
If we are still married (and we will be), my wife Karen, solely. If she cannot do it, then
My brother Martin, solely. If he cannot do it, then
My mother Lequetta, solely. If she cannot do it, then (provided she is above the age of 18)
My daughter Elinor, solely. If she cannot do it, then I submit to the discretion of my personal physician (whomever she is at the time).
As regards the decision on what to do, of those listed above, I ask only two things: first, that they consider my wishes (expressed above) when they make the determination, and second, that they err on the side of letting me go - I won't mind.
For Terri Schiavo, two things (a wish and a hope): First, I want her wishes, whatever they are or were, to be honored and, second, I hope her continuation here, or her journey elsewhere, is blessed.