By Michael Baggot
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, March 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation has announced the March 15 3pm EST debut of the American Lifeline hour radio program. The show’s mission is to “educate Americans about their health care rights as well as protecting themselves and loved ones who may be sick or disabled from the threat of euthanasia.”
The weekly program will begin next Saturday on Talk Radio 860 WGUL in Tampa, Florida and will be available online at https://860wgul.townhall.com/.
“Our intentions are not to rehash Terri’s case, but rather do what Terri’s Foundation has been doing since my sister’s death – provide a voice for persons with disabilities,” Bobby Schindler, co-host of Lifeline and brother of Terri Schindler Schiavo, told LifeSiteNews.com.
Speaking about the treatment of the disabled, Schindler told LifeSiteNews, “There remains a tremendous amount of confusions regarding this issue and our hope is that the radio program will provide us a way to raise awareness and educate those that don’t fully understand this issue and how grave of a problem it potentially is for not only the tens of thousands of persons in similar conditions as Terri, but every single one of us.”
Schindler told LifeSiteNews that the program will address “advanced directives & wills, the health care rights of Americans, threats to the disabled, national health care, local & national politics, home & hospice care, euthanasia, doctor assisted-suicide, medical futility & ethics committees, state & federal laws, and any current cases or situations where someone life might be in jeopardy of being killed.”
Schindler hopes that the new program finds the sort of interest and support his sister’s struggle found. “Something largely ignored by the mainstream media is that during Terri’s battle to save her life, there were close to 30 local and national disability rights groups publicly advocating for her life.”
“We should all be concerned about the direction of our nation and how it is treating our most vulnerable,” added Schindler.
“America’s Lifeline is something we’ve wanted to do for some time, and with Cary Hall’s health care expertise, and my family’s experience trying to save Terri and now running her foundation which works to save those like Terri, we’ll be able to educate Americans and raise awareness about the euthanasia movement like never before”, said Suzanne Vitadamo. Vitadamo, Terri Schindler-Schiavo’s sister, will co-host the program with Schindler and Carry Hall.
Hall is host of The Health Insurance Advocate program, which “takes phone calls and empower listeners with the knowledge they need to make wise and informed decisions about personal health care and related topics,” according to the program’s website.
Following Terri’s death, family members founded the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation as a means of spreading her story and protecting individuals deemed unworthy of life. The foundation seeks “to develop a national network of resources and support for the medically-dependent, persons with disabilities, and the incapacitated who are in or potentially facing life-threatening situations.”
Terri gained nation attention when her husband and legal guardian Michael Schiavo had her feeding tube removed despite her family’s willingness to care for Terri. Terri’s tube was removed on March 17, 2005, resulting in her March 31 death through starvation and dehydration.
The foundation insists that Schiavo was not terminally ill or at the end of her life when food and water were refused her. Schiavo did not lack respiration and other reflexes absent from those in comatose state, notes the foundation, nor was she was dependent upon artificial respiration. The foundation adds, “Terri’s behavior and ability to interact with her surroundings did not meet the medical or statutory definition of persistent vegetative state.”
As Terri’s legal guardian, Michael Schiavo stood to inherit the almost $800,000 fund earmarked for Terri’s rehabilitation and therapy if Terri should die before using the money for treatment.
Terri had no written advance directive to indicate her wishes regarding her treatment following major illness or injury. Almost eight years after her injury, her husband presented hearsay evidence that Terri would not want to live on life support. A twenty-year childhood friend testified that she never heard Terri request dehydration or starvation in the event of disability.
In 1998, Michael Schiavo asked that Terri’s feeding tube be removed, stating, “It was Terri’s wish that she wouldn’t want to live in this condition.” In 1993, when ending Terri’s antibiotic treatment, Michael stated, “It’s what I think Terri would want”, and “In my own feelings, if Terri were to wake up and see herself the way she is now, she wouldn’t even want to live like that.”
It was not until the spring of 1999 that Florida law declared feeding tubes artificial life support. Hence, the nutrients Terri was receiving, previously understood to be basic health care, became known as extraordinary medical treatment.
Speaking on euthanasia and the mentality that promotes it, the National Council of Catholic Bishops observed in 1992, “Nutrition and hydration (whether orally administered or medically assisted) are sometimes withdrawn not because a patient is dying, but precisely because a patient is not dying (or not dying quickly) and someone believes it would be better if he or she did, generally because the patient is perceived as having an unacceptably low ‘quality of life’ or as imposing burdens on others.”
Read LifeSiteNews.com’s extensive coverage of the Terri Schiavo case:
Contact the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation:
The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation
5562 Central Avenue, Suite 2
St. Petersburg, FL 33606
Tune into America’s Lifeline: