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Your thoughts on Terri's passing

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Nearly two weeks after a court ordered her feeding tube removed, and after multiple attempts by her parents to get the order lifted, Terri Schiavo passed away on at the age of 41. Schiavo's case has polarized the nation, with no lack in emotion from all sides. Below are some of your thoughts and prayers on the case for her husband, her parents, and the woman behind the story, Terri Schiavo. (We are no longer taking submissions on this topic. Thank you for your interest and the thousands of responses.)

Truly stumped
I'm truly stumped. I don't know which part of this story is more evil or un-American:  All this media frenzy on this one dying woman solely for the ratings. Or, the shameless behavior by both families. Or the "Christian" pro-lifers who threaten to kill the husband and his siblings. Or a condemnation of the husband on the House floor by a corrupt conservative politician (that would be you Mr. DeLay). Or a president and Congress who violate the Constitution by passing a bill for a single person. Or a President who cuts short his vacation for this one woman, when the second worst school shooting in our history occurs, and says nothing about it for a week. Or a Supreme Court that won't even acknowledge the case to provide guidance. Maybe I'm stumped because it's not un-American. It's too American. Are we proud of ourselves now?
Anonymous

Deepest regrets
My deepest regrets to the family of Terri Schiavo. Michael, I salute you for being the man that has the last say. My thoughts and prayers go out to Terri, Michael and the Schindler family. God bless her soul.
Linda Eng, Daly City, Calif.

Carrying out Terri’s wishes
I feel for both sides of this family. Each of them were only trying to carry out what they believed were Terri's wishes.  Unfortunately, Terri's life ended this morning.  This country really needs to sit down and look at what has torn this Schindler and Schiavo families apart.  All of us need to express to our loved ones what our wishes for death are.  Our prayers go out to the families during this very difficult time.
Mrs. Becker, Largo, Fla.

Flip-flopped on case
I'm flip-flopped on the situation.  I agree that there should be wills mandatory.  But people change their mind.  I would not want to live like that, but people are different.  I agree with Michael Schiavo for carrying out Terri's wishes, but if her parents wanted to pay money to take care of her in the hospice, then let them.  But, I probably would not have given up either.  She has been like this for 15 years, she should have been dead, 14-and-a-half years ago.  It's a waste of money, and time, keeping her like that.  Five years is pushing it on life support.  But 15?  My prayers are with the Schiavo, and Schindler family.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  Terri is in a better place now. 
James Maiello, Lithia, Fla.



No business getting involved
The government and the media had no business getting involved in something that is private family business. Maybe the protesters in front of the hospice don’t realize that there are people who die every day under similar circumstances with family members grieving just as much.  I find it very strange that the phoney politicians trying to "keep Terri alive" are the biggest proponents of capital punishment. I feel sorry for Mr. Schiavo and everyone involved. Maybe now they can grieve in peace.
Gail Gruenburg, Chesterfield Mich.

Shameful publicity
I feel it is a shame that what happened had to be so widely publicized. The fact is, Michael Schiavo had every right to make the decision he did, regardless of his new family. To challenge that authority and try to change laws of the United States based on one family's tragedy and politicians' bids to be 'heroes' is disgraceful. Rest in peace Terri, I certainly will tonight knowing that our country's legal system is still intact.
John Schnitzler, Newark Valley, N.Y.

Actions over words
If Michael has Terri's best interest at heart and only wants to carry out her wishes, why is he planning to have her body cremated when it is against her religion? His actions don't line up with his words.
Anonymous, Jacksonville, N.C.

Judged in the spotlight
What a shame. I feel bad that Terri was put in the spotlight to be judged by everyone. This should have stayed a private matter not a public one.
Sandy, Mich.

Disgraceful ending
Regardless of which side you take, if Michael Schiavo had compassion for his wife in trying to allow her to carry our her so-called wish to not live in her condition, he certainly did not have compassion for her or her family when the final hour of Terri's life arrived when he failed to allow her parents at her bedside at the time of her death. Based on what her friends have said about her, Terri's wishes would have been to have all her family at her bedside at the time of her death. I think it is terrible that he did not let her family be there at that time.
Willis Blacknall, Waycross, Ga.

Perspective lost
The person known as Terri died 15 years ago. Somehow her parents lost all perspective of what was in Terri's best interest. I think this became an "us against the husband" issue, not whether Terri would want to live this way. Living is one thing, having a life is another. Terri is now in a better place. God bless her family.
Chris Butler, Algonquin, Ill.

A dark day
This is truly a dark day in our nation. An innocent life has been unjustly eliminated by the hands of evil people. May God have mercy on all of us. My heart & prayers go out to the Schindler family.
Janice DeToro, Streamwood, Ill.

In awe of Michael
I stand in awe of Michael Schiavo's courage and determination to carry out Terri's wishes. He has my profound respect and admiration. My prayers today, are that those I trust to carry out my final wishes will find the same strength, should they ever be confronted with the assault Mr. Schiavo has endured. Terri is finally at peace, Michael will need time to heal, and our Constitution's system of checks and balances remains intact. It's time for everyone else to put down their microphones and go home!
—G. H. Mathews, Richmond, Va.

An everyday occurrence
As a physician, I am frankly shocked at the media coverage of an event that occurs everyday in American hospitals. Medical ethicists have outlined appropriate conditions for the withdrawal of life sustaining care. The withdrawal of a measure is, from a medical ethics standpoint, no different than having never started that therapy initially.
Eric P., Hershey, Pa.

Nobody knows but Terri
No one really knows what Terri Schiavo wanted or can really say what exactly happened to a vibrant young woman. My heart goes all to all family and friends who loved and knew this young woman. I feel badly for her husband, what he is going to have to go through for his decision. People can be very cruel. We don't have the right to judge or should decide when a life is over. God is the only that should make that decision. I pray her soul is at peace and I pray for her family and friends to heal.
—Mari Estenes, Freehold, N.J.

Pity for Michael
Mr. Schiavo kept Terri alive for 15 years -- he did try to help her. I think he did the right thing, also the courts did the right thing. I am sorry Terri has passed away, my prayer's go out to Terri and her parents. I can't but feel sorry for Mr. Schiavo -- some people will have a lot of hate for him.
—Marcus Hernandez, Caruthers, Calif.

Suffering for all
Finally justice has been done. It's unfortunate that this nation would not allow a faster method of death, but in this case I suspect the only suffering it prolonged was of those who live still who were not ready to let go. I hope her parents find peace, and are able to someday see how they were deluding themselves. Thank you, Michael, for hanging on and making sure the right thing was eventually done. I can only hope that, should I ever find myself in the position Terri was in, someone like you will be on my side.
—Layla, Minnesota

Shameful situation
Far too much media coverage, political exploitation, religious manipulation and public drama.
—Maurice Elfeke, McDonough, Ga.

Impact will be felt
My heart aches for this family and my prayers are with them now in their time of need. This is so unjust, that their daughter has been taken from them by such unnecessary means. It is a shame that it came to this. Shame on the courts, judges and Michael Schiavo for this unrelenting attack on the Schindler's and their attempt to save Terri's life. You are the people that have caused euthanasia to become acceptable in our society. Everyone dies but not everyone gets to live and that was taken away from Terri. I pray that she is in Heaven now, and that her family's pain and grief is somehow minimized by that fact. Peace be with them and Terri.
Carrie Billingsly, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Terri in a better place
I know the Schindlers have to be devastated, but I do believe that Terri is in a better place and it was right to let her go. My family had to make the hardest decision of our lives two years ago to remove my father's life support. There is no decision harder than choosing to let someone you love pass out of this world. I miss my father everyday. Not a day goes by that I do not miss him and grieve for him. But, if I had to do it all again, I would make the same decision. He is in a much better place now.
—Angela Noonan, Mayfield, Ky.

Extending life can be cruel
I believe it was cruel to keep a person hospitalized, unconscious and inserted tubes for food and water. I hope that someday our citizens and news media can avoid making a tragic situation worse by their frantic efforts. We must learn to accept the information provided by the professionals in different fields instead of beating our wings like a captured bird at fate. I hope all parties can now relax and include Terri and her family in their prayers.
—Howard D. Hull, Jr., Lake Quivira, Kan.

Finding comfort
It is my opinion that when Michael Schiavo entered a new relationship and had children by that relationship, he in effect abandoned his marriage and by his actions, should have had no say in this matter. I send my condolences to the true family of Terri and hope that in her rest they will find comfort.
—James LaRoche, Gardner, Mass.

Living wills should be mandatory
No one will know for sure what Terry Schiavo wanted. However, that said, I doubt that she would have wanted to live like this as the puppet of her husband and family. I think that the living will should be made mandatory for all citizens, residents and even visitors to the U.S. in order to prevent another gory circus as this case had become. My condolences to Terri's husband, family and friends. As for Terri, I hope that she finally may rest in peace. May God rest her soul.
—Vesna Zafirovski, Chicago

Come together for Terri
How sad it is that when a family should have been coming together in their love for their wife, sister, and daughter that they have been so bitterly divided. All members believed that they knew what Terri wished. Now that she is gone, they should come together to honor and celebrate the life of Terri, not the life she has led for the last 15 years, but the life she lived before. I hope that her husband and her immediate family eventually come to a point where they can do that together.
—Carrie S., Northford, Conn.

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