The Schiavo debate

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I'm not afraid to write about controversial topics, so it should be no surprise that I am writing about Terri Schiavo, the right-to-life patient in Florida who is still so much in the news. Although Schiavo has passed away, it's still being heavily debated so, of course, I decided to throw my two cents in: They should have let her live.

This is coming from someone who was sort of in the same position, many years ago.

This is what my grandmother has told me: One night when I was an infant, a nurse told my family that I wasn't going to make it. I was a really sick child, with many problems. The nurse said that there was nothing more they could do. My family didn't give up -- they insisted that my doctor be called in, they insisted that all measures be taken to keep me alive -- and look what happened: I'm here.

The big issue that has come out of this media frenzy is all the talk about living wills and advanced directives. I have minor surgery on a very regular basis, and one of the first things they ask me once I get in the holding area is if I have an advanced directive. For as long as I can remember, I've always told them no. I'm too young to need one, right? Terri Schiavo was in her mid-20s. I'm 18. It really isn't a far stretch.

To me, ending Terri Schiavo's life was an enormous mistake that has left the whole world with one question: What would she have accomplished had she been allowed to live?

Emily Hendricks is a senior at Cape Central High School.

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