"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Headlines were made recently when a brain-damaged woman in Kansas who'd been in a coma for most of her life regained the ability to speak, telling her parents, "I love you."
A Boston Globeeditorial today on the Kansas woman, Sarah Scantlin, remarkably makes no allusion to the case of Terri Schiavo.
Terri Schiavo is the brain-damaged woman in Florida who, barring judicial reprieve, is to have her feeding tube and water shut off, leaving her to die, after about two weeks, of starvation and dehydration.
This is to be done at her estranged husband's behest. Her parents want to care for her, but the courts have said no.
Watch the videos of Terri Schiavo posted at the website TerrisFight.org. Watch the heartbreaking one of her smiling at her mother.
There's someone in there.
Terri Schiavo can breathe. Her heart beats on its own. She isn't being kept alive artificially by a respirator.
What her husband wants to do is to starve her to death, in the name of her 'right to die'. He claims she wants it that way.
[L]ook what's ahead for that famous half-a person, Florida's Terri Schiavo. Her estranged husband seeks permission to disconnect the tube through which she receives food and water. Terri is conscious, and has been heard to say "Pain!" and "Help me!" Long before she starves, she will dehydrate. Her tongue will turn black. Her eyeballs will crack. Many say she's too brain-damaged to feel it, but we all know even a goldfish would feel it.
Wesley J. Smith writes in the Weekly Standard on the notion of a painless death for Terri Schiavo:
Michael Schiavo insists that dehydration is "the most natural way to die." It's more like torture.
Many who support Terri Schiavo's threatened dehydration assert that removing a feeding tube from a profoundly cognitively disabled person results in a painless and gentle ending. But is this really true? After all, it would be agonizing if you or I were locked in a room for two weeks and deprived of all food and water. So, why should we believe that cognitively disabled patients experience the deprivation differently simply because they receive nourishment through a feeding tube instead of by mouth?
The whole thing is monstrous. Yet by and large, the point seems to have been missed, or dismissed, by the papers.
I have covered highly visible, dramatic "right to die" cases—including those of Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan—for more than 25 years. Each time, most of the media, mirroring one another, have been shoddy and inaccurate.
The reporting on the fierce battle for the life of 39-year-old Terri Schiavo has been the worst case of this kind of journalistic malpractice I've seen.