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Publication: Conservative Review
Terri Schiavo My Sisters Regret

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                   April 1, 2008

Terri Schiavo: My Sister's Regret
By Bobby Schindler

Recently, and for the second time in less than a year, 
presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama stated that 
his greatest regret as a Senator was not objecting to a 
vote that was intended to help save my sister from being 
dehydrated to death.

Senator Obama went so far as to say that this type of 
“inaction” (failure to speak out against the Senate’s 
unanimous consent to allow Terri the same due process 
allowed the most vicious of criminals) can sometimes 
prove to be just as costly as taking action. One has 
to wonder what could possibly have been “more costly” 
than the loss of innocent human life.

At a Democratic rally in Florida in February 2006, 
Senator Hillary Clinton scolded the Republicans in an 
effort to single them out for intervening in Terri’s 
situation, even though the effort to save her passed 
the Senate with bi-partisan support.

In an August 2006 interview with Esquire Magazine, 
Senator John McCain said the following: “I understand 
the frustrations a lot of Republicans feel. We’re not 
representing their hopes and dreams and aspirations. 
We worry about Ms. Schiavo before we worry about 
balancing the budget.”


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One of these candidates will be our next President, and 
the fact that they can make such statements with little 
to no fanfare from our secular media, or any noticeable 
outrage from the general public, is a chilling reminder 
of how far we have drifted as a nation.

It would be interesting to see if there would have been 
a similar reaction—or lack of one—if, at the time of 
Senator McCain’s service to his country, a ranking U.S. 
senator made this comment: “I understand the frustrations 
a lot of Americans feel. We’re not representing their 
hopes and dreams and aspirations. We worry about saving 
POWs like John McCain before we worry about balancing 
the budget.”

How is that statement any different than what John McCain 
said about Terri? Terri was an American citizen and was 
supposed to be protected. But she wasn’t. In fact, we 
treat animals better than we treated her. Her country 
failed her, and despite Senator Obama’s remark, that in-
action can be “costly” for Terri paid the ultimate cost—
her life. Now others like her face the same type of treat-
ment unless our leaders do more to protect them. 

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There is a lethal bigotry against the disabled in our 
country and it’s getting worse, in particular against 
the cognitively disabled—human beings who are being 
killed every day in our nation. If left unchecked it 
will likely threaten the lives of everyone who is not 
able-bodied. This is especially problematic when you 
have potential leaders who have made it abundantly 
clear that they are going to do nothing to protect the 
value and dignity of people like my sister.

I often wonder if our presidential candidates would 
make such insensitive and callous comments if this 
were their child or if they had ever known someone 
like Terri.

Perhaps they could take time to visit my parents and 
see the agony and torment that remains with them every 
single day as a result of having to needlessly watch 
their disabled child slowly killed by dehydration and 

Maybe as president they could explain why my parents 
were told by the armed police guarding Terri that if 
either of them tried to give her ice for her bleeding 
lips they would be arrested immediately. 

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Maybe my parents could remind all three candidates, who 
are parents themselves, that a mother and father value 
nothing in life more than their children and want only 
to love them unconditionally and protect them in every 
way possible—a right you can no longer take for granted.

March 31st will mark the third anniversary of my sister’s 
brutal death. Sadly, it is a day that reminds me of what 
our nation has become, bringing back horrible images of a 
hideously inhumane death and how the judge who sentenced 
Terri to die also, in essence, sentenced my parents to 
death with her.

Senator Obama said that his biggest regret was allowing 
Congress to try to help my sister. I wish I could ask 
Terri about her biggest regret, because as things turned 
out I’m certain that hers would have been that she was 
born in an America where life is no longer viewed as 
precious and worthy of protection.

As I think about the future of our nation I can’t help 
but remember the words of one of our founding fathers, 
Thomas Jefferson: “The care of human life and happiness 
and not their destruction is the first and only legit-
imate object of good government.” 

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