Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith Say "Let Terri Live"

Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith
Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith
March 24, 2005
Print ArticleConsumer Advocate Ralph Nader and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith, author of the award winning book Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America call upon the Florida Courts and Governor Jeb Bush to take any legal action available to let Terri Schiavo live.

“A profound injustice is being inflicted on Terri Schiavo,” Nader and Smith asserted today. “Worse, this slow death by dehydration is being imposed upon her under the color of law, in proceedings in which every benefit of the doubt—and there are many doubts in this case—has been given to her death, rather than her continued life.”

Among the many injustices in this case, Nader and Smith point to the following:

• The courts not only are refusing her tube feeding, but have ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. “This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, it has ordered her to be made dead,” Nader and Smith assert.
• The medical and rehabilitation experts are split on whether Terri is in a persistent vegetative state or whether Terri can be improved with therapy. There is only one way to know for sure—permit the therapy. That is the only way to resolve all doubts.
• The court is imposing process over justice. After the first trial in this case, much evidence has been produced that should allow for a new trial—which was the point of the federal legislation. If this were a death penalty case, this evidence, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent disabled woman is receiving less justice.
• The federal and state governments are spending billions on what we are told will become miracle medical cures for people with all sorts of degenerative conditions, including brain damage. If this is so, why not permit Terri’s parents to care for her in the hope that such cures are derived.

Benefits of doubts should be given to life, not hastened death. This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live.