Terri Schiavo’s Brother Concerned by Rationing in Congressional Health Care Bills

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Brother Concerned by Rationing in Congressional Health Care Bills

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 3
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo, knows a thing or two about health care rationing. Forced to sit idly by as his sister’s estranged husband deprived her of food and water for a period of 13 days before she died, Schindler is concerned the government-run health bills in Congress will foster rationing.

In a new editorial, appearing on the conservative web site Townhall, Schindler talks about the problems associated with the health care restructuring bills.

Schindler responds to a comment from Republican party chairman Michael Steele who said the rationing components are so bad that they will "make the Terri Schiavo case look like a walk in the park.”

He wrote that he found "Steele’s remarks and his concern regarding a government-controlled health care system" to be "ironic."

"What happened to Terri is a perfect example of what he and Republicans are now trying to prevent from happening and what so many health care experts are warning us will happen if President Obama gets his way and establishes a system of health care rationing that would inevitably lead to countless premature deaths," Schindler warns.

Schindler said most of the criticism levied against the bills concerns how they adversely affect the elderly and, perhaps, the chronically ill.

"Unfortunately, I have not seen any reports of what will happen to those like Terri—the cognitively disabled. However, from what I am reading and what is being proposed for health care reform, I think it is safe to say that those like Terri don’t stand a chance," Schindler writes.

He said that is especially the case if "the proposed Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) is formed that will put bioethicists in charge of who can and cannot receive treatment."

That would perpetuate what happened to Terri — allowing someone else to make her health care decisions and ones that invalidate her rights.

"We are in grave danger any time health care decisions are taken out of the hands of individual patients and their families and placed into the hands of government bureaucrats whose decisions are based on cutting costs rather than valuing the dignity and equal worth of every human," Schindler warns.

After Terri’s euthanasia death, Schindler and his family reconfigured the foundation they formed for her medical care to become a nonprofit foundation helping other disabled patients.

Since then, Schindler has seen other Terri Schiavos who have had their lives and fates determined by someone else.

"In fact, many people are entirely unaware of what we have learned through Terri’s Foundation," Schindler writes at TownHall.

"We are regularly contacted by families who are in situations pleading with those in authority for treatment for their family members. And much too often they are forced to sit by and watch helplessly as their loved ones dies," he explains.

Ultimately, Schindler is more concerned about the effects of the health care reform bills now more than ever before.

"My fear is that it will make the killing of the cognitively disabled as ordinary and commonplace as purchasing a loaf of bread," he said. "Surely that is not what ‘hope and change’ should be all about.

Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – https://www.terrisfight.org

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