A few months ago, Michael Schiavo was called a heartless, cruel man, a despicable human being who watched his wife, Terri, die on a national stage.
Terri Schiavo’s death was one of the most polarizing events in recent history. At the heart of this firestorm was her husband Michael, who held his wife’s life in his hands. After he decided to “pull the plug,” an army of angry protesters descended on him.
Schiavo has now been signed to release a book – he wants to tell his side of the story and let facts speak for themselves. In his attempt to finally settle this episode, he is now the center of even more angry protest.
However, politicians stated their views, news pundits spoke and talk show hosts verbalized their thoughts. Yet Schiavo’s side has never been told. This is not fair American policy.
It is easy to hate Michael Schiavo; or rather, it is easy to hate the Michael Schiavo portrayed on television and by the Christian right. It is easy to get caught up in the emotions, the politics and the media coverage.
But what often gets lost in the coverage is the fact that this was a private tragedy – one that usually takes place behind closed doors – but became subject to “spin” and opinions of “experts.” Everybody fails to let the facts speak, and instead, prefer the easy route of fevered emotion.
For 15 years Michael Schiavo did what any husband is expected to do: remain loyal to his wife. In this case, he was to remain loyal to his wife’s wishes to not lie in a comatose state. There should be no more private aspect in anyone’s life than his or her death.
Along the way, several doctors recommended Terri Schiavo be allowed to die, and several court rulings sided with Schiavo’s decision to give his wife a peaceful death. They were all fact-based conclusions with evidence gathered to arrive at their decisions.
But then people like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, U.S. Rep. Tom Delay (who had his own ethical scandals to distract the world from) and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush let emotion cloud the facts and helped fuel a fiery campaign against Michael Schiavo.
People began to viciously attack his character, yet Schiavo remained quiet.
And now, months after everything has settled, after a medical examiner stated, “She appeared to be well-cared for and there were no signs of any medical problems or distress” and that, “no amount of therapy would have helped her improve,” Schiavo has decided to write a book.
Everybody fails to bring up the fact that Schiavo dropped everything in his life to be his wife’s caregiver, because he was dedicated to finding a cure for her.
Everybody fails to remember that even as several doctors told Schiavo to just let her die, he dressed and applied makeup to his wife every day for 15 years. So why is he receiving the attention worthy of the next anti-Christ?
I simply ask those who speak of Schiavo as a sinner: do you speak more from emotion than from sense? We need to start checking our facts and cutting through all of the unreliable third person accounts in order to get to the heart of every news story.
There is no better way to do this than to go straight to the source. That is all Michael Schiavo is trying to do, get his fair chance.
Sean Blanda can be reached at email@example.com.