The brother of Terri Schiavo certainly understands what happens when courts and doctors say someone should die. Bobby Schindler and his family fought a losing uphill battle against the court system that decided Terri was better off dead than living as a disabled patient.
The parallels of what happened in the Terri Schiavo case and what is happening with little Alfie Evans are scary indeed. In both instances a court system has decided that a patient is better off dead and that family ought to have no legal right whatsoever to have a say in their life or death — even if those family members are willing to provide care and treatment for their loved one.
In an exclusive statement to LifeNews, here’s what Terri Schiavo’s brother Bobby Schindler had to say:
In today’s dramatic court proceedings, British physicians from the UK’s Medical Ethics Alliance condemned the “medical tyranny” that is itself condemning Alfie Evans to die. Alfie Evans has never received a diagnosis from the medical experts who have gone so far as to say that someone in his condition does not “deserve” to live. And in that perhaps offhanded comment from a medical expert about what Alfie “deserves,” all the strangeness of Alfie’s case washes away, and his court-ordered, physician-mandated death becomes clearly a case of philosophy, rather than medicine, dictating patient care.
Indeed, there is no medical reason to have removed Alfie’s ventilator. Fortunately, Alfie’s incredible ability to breathe on his own has defied the expert expectation that he was totally reliant on artificial life support. Now that Alfie has demonstrated an ability to breath without life support, and his physicians and the UK courts have nonetheless decided he must die, what precisely will Alfie die from? He will certainly not die from any terminal condition. This is not a case of “letting someone go”. No, Alfie appears set to die from lack of food and water. And perversely, UK courts and physicians continue to insist that this will be in Aflie’s best interest, due to his cognitive state. God bless and keep Alfie Evans and his heroic parents.
After Terri’s death, Bobby and his family started the Terri Schaivo Life and Hope Network to help other disables patients like her. The organization’s executive director Tom Shakely also weighed in on the case in comments to LifeNews:
No society that starves to death its citizens can claim to be humane. And any society that intentionally causes a citizen’s death while, astoundingly, asserting that death by starvation is for their own good? That society has lost its moral authority. Hippocrates left us with one medical principle which we ignore frequently today: “First, do no harm.” But it was Horace, centuries later, who left us with a social principle particularly relevant in Alfie’s case: “Laws without morals are dead.” The UK courts and physicians have power, but they have lost their authority to wield that power in a way that deserves respect. In this sense, what’s happening is as harmful and tragic for Alfie, as it is for all of us who deserve equal justice under the law.