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May 20, 2005|
Could Honest Polling Have Saved Terri Schiavo? |
During the tragic and horror-filled weeks leading up to Terri Schiavo's death due to government sanctioned starvation and dehydration, public opinion polls indicated support for removal of her feeding tube. The media repeatedly said that Terri was in a "persistent vegetative state," which clearly, she was not. A person in a persistent vegetative state doesn't cry and show other emotion, or try to communicate with those around her, which Terri did until she was too weak to do anything but plead for help with her eyes.
The media's opinion polling questions, which generally gave a skewed if not blatantly false impression of Terri's condition, insured that respondents, under the impression that it would be in Terri's interest, would respond favorably to withdrawal of nutrition and hydration.
After her death, the Zogby organization did a poll (April 5, 2005) revealing that 80% of Americans do not support denying food and water to a disabled person who is not terminally ill and has no written directive. The same poll also finds that by over a 3 to 1 margin, Americans want elected officials to order a feeding tube to remain in place if there is conflicting testimony surrounding the case. Finally, the Zogby poll shows that by a slight margin, respondents want the federal government to intervene when disabled people are denied food and water by a state court judge's order.
When the American people have the facts, they usually come up with the right decision. In Terri's case, media reports were distorted and biased in favor of killing her. Terri was not terminally ill. She was not dying. She had parents and other family members who loved her and wanted to care for her. Had the facts been presented honestly and fairly and the pollsters asked questions based on truth, would her "husband," and his lawyer been successful in conniving with Judge George Greer who ordered that she would die? Would Terri still be alive? Think about it.
Among the illnesses brought on by sexual behavior that are lethal for men, AIDS was by far the largest killer. There were 36,000 men infected with HIV in 1998 and 18,221 AIDS deaths. For women, 8,200 contracted HIV and 4,234 died of AIDS—making that disease second to cervical cancer, which took the lives of 4,921 women, as the biggest killer of women. [The major cause of cervical cancer is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease.]
Women's fertility was profoundly affected; the report estimated that 598,000 incidences of infertility each year were caused by prior sexual behavior. (CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT, April 2005)
"There will be no representative of the Archdiocese of Baltimore participating in any event honoring former Mayor Giuliani," Keeler wrote in a letter dated May 18, noting that he and Haddad had an "earlier exchange of correspondence" about the college's invitation to Giuliani. In what may be a subtle threat to Loyola College's official recognition by the Cardinal as a Catholic institution, Keeler wrote, "I am confident that, by now, you understand many of the consequences that spring from an invitation having been extended to former Mayor Giuliani to receive an honorary degree at Loyola. May the Lord make this a teaching moment for many." (The Cardinal Newman Society News Alert, 5/18/05)
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