Neal Boortz on Terri Schiavo
Part 3 of a Libertarian Discussion

What follows are Libertarian Radio Personality Neal Boortz' comments on the Terri Schiavo case, going back to October of 2003. His comments are on the left, mine are on the right. Part 1 is here, part 2 is here. I call myself a "pro-life anarchist."

THURSDAY 10/16/03


To whom do you owe your primary allegiance...your spouse or your parents?
Can't choose

This issue came up yesterday when we were discussing the tragedy of Terri Schiavo in Florida. Terri's feeding tubes have now been removed and she will die within two weeks.  This after 13 years in a comatose state following brain damage caused by a heart attack.

If you've been following the Schiavo story you will know that this has been a battle royal between Terri Schiavo's husband and her parents.   Her husband, Michael, went to court asserting that his wife had expressed to him a desire never to be kept alive in this manner.  Her parents disagree.

OK .. this isn't really about the Schiavo matter, that's just how this particular topic began.  Here's your question.  To whom do you owe your primary allegiance, your spouse or your parents?  My contention is that once you are married you owe your primary duty, allegiance, devotion and love to your spouse, not to your parents.  Your spouse's feelings and desires come first, your child is second, your parents are third.  Belinda can't go along with this.

What if you had to choose between your spouse & your child?
Don't know

Listen today ... this will probably come up again

Boortz states that Terri has been "comatose" for 13 years. This is not accurate. And according to some doctors, she was not in a "persistent vegetative state."

Florida neurologist: Terri's no vegetable
Doctor for state's adult protective services finds Schiavo has been wrongly diagnosed

Boortz says this medical condition was caused by a heart attack. But there is evidence that Terri was physically abused, and her initial medication examination shows evidence of trauma consistent with an attempted strangulation.

Nurse: Michael tried to kill Terri
Former caregiver asserts husband 'doesn't want the truth to be known'

Judge to hear abuse claims in Schiavo case
State agency wants to probe allegations against estranged husband

I think the court erred in allowing Michael Schiavo to be Terri's guardian instead of Terri's parents. Michael has a conflict of interest: he's "married" to someone else and has fathered kids by her, and Michael has stood to gain financially from Terri's death. Why should he be allowed to speak for Terri?

Terri's death wish or Michael's?
Schiavo contradicts himself in Larry King interview

[I don't think any of the polls from Boortz' website still work, but you might be able to see the results.]

MONDAY 10/20/03

Now this is pretty sleazy.  Terri Schiavo has been denied a final Communion from a priest.  Police officers guarding her door said that the communion wafer would violate the doctor's orders that nothing be placed in Terri's mouth.  This was apparently on the orders of Michael Shiavo.

Yes, this is sleazy. Why would a "guardian" -- someone who supposedly has Terri's best interests at heart -- be so sleazy?

WEDNESDAY 10/22/03

Florida's governor has now overruled the Florida Courts and has ordered the feeding of Terri Schiavo to resume.

Put your mouse over the link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided by Boortz: the file name is "22comatose.html" and the title of the article is: | News | Gov. Bush orders restoration of comatose woman's feeding tube |

But Terri was not "comatose."

You can't get "neutral" facts from the mainstream media. The "right to die" ethic pervades the media. (Admittedly, the articles I cite, chiefly from WorldNetDaily, are not "neutral" either; they are pro-life. But WND admits its biases, the mainstream media do not.)

Wednesday -- February 23, 2005
Terry Schiavo should be...
kept on the feeding tube
allowed to die
I don't know
Why "allowed to die" rather than "prevented from living?" This is subtle bias, not "neutrality." The question might be phrased, "Should Terri Schiavo's parents be prohibited by force from feeding their daughter?"

Friday -- March 18, 2005\nuze\200503\03182005.html


I think that I am about the only radio talk show host in the nation that thinks that nature should be allowed to take its course and Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die. Expect an absolute media frenzy today as the time approaches for Schiavo's feeding tube to be removed.  The demonstrators are already gathering outside of the nursing facility.  Republicans in the congress are getting in on the act.  Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee,  says that he is going to issue a subpoena today to Terri Schiavo ... a subpoena to testify before the committee.  This illustrates the absurdity of this situation as nothing else can.  Congress will subpoena a woman in a persistent vegetative state to testify.  All we need now is for some sort of special arrangement to allow West Virginia's Robert Byrd to question her.  

At the center of the Terri Schiavo tragedy is America's anti-abortion movement.  Notice, please, the presence of Randall Terry.  The fact is that the anti-abortion movement has seized Terri Schiavo ... figuratively kidnapped her .. and they intend to use this woman to further their anti-abortion agenda.  They will entomb the soul of Terri Schiavo  in her now-useless body as long as it suits their agenda.  

The language of those who would continue the imprisonment of Terri Schiavo is odd, if not amusing.  She's referred to as disabled, in a coma or just brain damaged.  She is not "disabled" in the normal context of the word.  Her body is, for all practical purposes, dead ... being kept alive solely through extraordinary artificial means.   She's not in a coma.  People recover from comas.  Her condition is diagnosed as a "persistent vegetative state."   There is no medical record of someone  recovering from a persistent vegetative state.  This is not a state of brain damage.  It is, for all practical purposes, brain death.  

The absurdities of this case would be funny if they weren't so pathetic.  Terri's family said last year that they wanted to take her to the mall, and for other field trips.  Of course, those trips never happened; just as Terri will never testify before a congressional committee.  We also have the blatant attempts to turn the attention away from Terri's condition and to her husband.  His crime?  He says, and the courts have agreed, that he is merely carrying out wishes expressed to him by his wife.  Listen to the Schiavo family and you will hear that her husband her condition was caused by a beating at the hands of her husband.  It wasn't.  You'll hear that her husband stands to rack up huge piles of money as soon as Terri dies.  He won't.  

Now put yourself in this position. You're watching TV with your spouse one night and see a show about someone on life support. You tell your husband or wife that you don't want to ever be in that state, and would they please pull the plug should you ever become incapacitated. However, you don't write it down, and apparently don't tell your parents. Tragedy strikes, and only your spouse knows your true wishes. Should your spouse be ignored in favor of your parents who want to keep you alive at all costs?

Michael Schiavo has turned down $10 million to terminate his rights in this case. He says he just wants to do what Terry wanted. Who's right? Doesn't the spouse come before the parents in any marriage? Time for everybody to write down what their wishes are, so this doesn't happen to you. 

I'm sure that there is no shortage of people who think that I'm possessed by some evil spirit.  No.  I'm just sad that Terri's spirit or soul .. whatever you want to call it ... is trapped in this useless body.  Her parents' love has clouded their judgment.  This can be understood and excused.  What can't be excused is the cruelty of the so-called "right to life" movement that will allow this woman to continue to suffer s long as their own needs are met.

Now, a question.  How many of you can honestly say that you would like to be kept alive, for 20, 40, 50 years or more like this? If you wouldn't want this for yourself, why do so many of you work so hard to force this reality on Terri Schiavo?  Oh .. I forgot.  You're pro-life.  Well isn't that special. 



There's one more element to the Schiavo case.  This is a Florida matter, not a federal matter.  The courts of the State of Florida have made their rulings.  The U.S. Congress has no role to play here.  This is a blatant attempt on the part of the Congress to usurp bona fide state's rights in order to please a particular political constituency. 



What is so great about "nature," and why should it/she be allowed to "take it's course?" Why should someone appointed as "legal guardian" over another be permitted to deny that person food and water? Why should Terri's parents be prohibited by force from giving the food and water that "nature" apparently intended human beings to have?

The Congressional subpoena, of course, was not intended to gather information from the witness (Terri), but to prevent her from being killed by starvation and dehydration.




I am anti-abortion. See also: Libertarians for Life

The pro-death movement kidnapped Terri years ago, and has held her hostage with every bit of metaphorical deprivation of life and liberty as Randall Terry has.


There is nothing "extraordinary" about being kept alive by food and water. She's not on machines. She could be spoon fed like a baby, but the hospital says that takes too many man-hours, so a tube feeds her automatically. The PVS diagnosis has been challenged by a number of doctors whose expertise is just as respectable as those who have said "PVS."

Boortz is very dogmatic on a subject reasonable medical minds can differ over. Why the passion?

MSNBC - SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY - Jay Sekulow Examines Conflicting Medical Testimony in Schiavo Case

To say "the courts have agreed" is to say that a group of pro-death advocates have said. These pro-death advocates have been much better organized and funded than Terri's parents. They have a cultural and legal agenda, which they have pulled off, using the machinery of "the government." Boortz puts way to much confidence and attaches way too much legitimacy to what "the courts have agreed." Most "courts" have simply said they don't want to look at the facts in the case. They lack "jurisdiction," or they don't want to offend "the Rule of Law."


The case of someone whose body is being moved by machines (resuscitator, dialysis, etc.) is different from that of someone who lives under their own power, but is incapable of feeding themselves. There is testimony that Terri might not have wanted to have her body operated by machines, but might have approved being fed if she became disabled. The pro-death court did not review this evidence fairly. Before the force of government is used to prevent parents from giving food and water to their daughter, we should be extraordinarily clear about the daughter's wishes.

More factual innacuracy by Boortz. The offer was only one million.

Michael Schiavo rejects $1 million
Businessman had offered cash to give up guardianship of wife

Our life in this world and in these bodies is just a blink of the eye compared to eternity. Why does Boortz want Terri's exit to be hasted so? What's a few more days, weeks, or even years compared to eternity? Why deny her parents wishes if Terri is completely brain-dead? Why subject them to the torture of watching their daughter be starved to death? Terri was awarded a court judgment based on her living to be seventy-some years and needing rehabilitation and therapy during that time (which has been denied). How will an additional 20 years compare to eternity? If I were disabled and even marginally cognizant of my parents love for me, I wouldn't object to sharing that relationship for a few years before being exited off to eternity. What's the rush? Even though I'm a Christian and don't worry about the next life, I'm in no particular hurry to leave this one. Terri is not in pain. Those who want her dead say she doesn't know anything at all about what's going on? So the only real students in this real-life quiz are the rest of us, and the lesson we're being taught is human life has no value.

Congress did the right thing by trying to keep Terri from being murdered by dehydration and starvation. To hell with "the Rule of Law."

Monday -- March 21, 2005\nuze\200503\03212005.html


Virtually every single day across this country decisions are made to discontinue extraordinary medical intervention and people are allowed to proceed with the process of dying.  In some cases feeding tubes are removed.  More often ventilators are turned off.  In one case a person starves to death, in another they are suffocated.  It happens every day ... but you don't hear politicians screaming about murder. And why?  Because those cases don't generate the media heat that this one has.

What makes the Terri Schiavo case different?  One thing .. the Schindlers, her parents.  I have every bit of sympathy in the world for Terri's parents, but they're living in a dream world.  There is nothing left of their daughter .. nothing but a wasted body that transported her on this earth during her life.  She is not there.  In spite of their hysterical claims, Terri doesn't know who they are when they walk into her room, and she has no emotional response whatsoever when they leave.  She is in a persistent vegetative state, not a coma.  She will not suddenly sit up one day and ask what's been going on.  Her body can sustain only the most basic functions.  It will react to pain, but she has no conscious awareness of the pain.  The body will react to other stimulus, such as loud noises or lights being turned on and off .. but, again, she has no conscious awareness of any kind as to what is happening around her.  Plants react to light.  You can hook up a household plant to a machine that can register changes in electrical charges within the plant and determine that the plant has reactions to changes in light and, in some cases, to people coming in and out of the room.  Notice that we're describing a plant here .. a plant that has basically the same reactions to stimulus that Terri Schiavo has.  The term "persistent vegetative state" wasn't just created out of thin air.  Face it.  Terri Schiavo has just about the same awareness of the world around her as a philodendron. 

We've all read stories about near death experiences.  Many times these stories deal with someone who "dies" during surgery.  The descriptions seem to always be somewhat the same.  The patient suddenly feels themselves leaving their body.  They're floating somewhere in the room looking down on the doctors trying to revive them.  When the resuscitation works they describe the feeling of falling back into their bodies.   The resuscitation of Terri Schiavo didn't work.  She didn't die .. neither did she come back to life.  Based on the stories we've heard from others, is it possible that the spirit ... the soul of Terri Schiavo is floating around that hospice room, trapped, somehow, between life and death?  Could the soul of Terri Schiavo be pleading with her parents to just step back and let her go?  Death is really the only certainty of life.  It is the one destination we all share.  I don't know about you, but I believe that there's something waiting after this life.  I look at death as a transition, not an end.  When God is through with me on this earth I don't want a bunch of well-meaning people trying to hold me back.  If my body and my mind can be saved, fine.  But I don't want to be caught in some type of medically induced nowhere waiting for my body to follow me through that transition.

The congress of the United States worked into the early hours of this morning for one reason; to serve the interests of the so-called pro-life movement.  This isn't about Terri Schiavo.  It's about abortion.  The anti-abortion movement saw an opportunity to take Terri's tragedy and turn it into a spectacular pageant in support of life.  Quality of life means nothing to these people ... only the fact that some sort of life is present.  Please ... keep them away from me if I should ever suffer a tragedy like that which befell Terri Schiavo.  The Republicans in Washington have essentially taken Terri Schiavo hostage -- a hostage designed to please their anti-abortion constituency.  We've heard much about torture in recent months ... the alleged torture of Muslim prisoners in Iraq.   Can it be said that the Republicans are torturing the soul of Terri Schiavo, and doing it for votes?

The matter of Terri Schiavo has already been decided in the courts of the State of Florida. Due process has run its course.  But along come the Republicans to once again expand the role of the federal government.  From this day on your right to die, your right to instruct your loved ones to not take extraordinary measures to keep you alive if disaster strikes, is a federal matter, not a state one.

There's something rather curious happening in the media.  For years .. for over 15 years ... she has been known as Terri Schiavo.  Check the legal proceedings:  Terri Schiavo.  In the Pinellas County (Florida) Circuit Court decision that started the latest round of controversy she is referred to as Theresa Marie Schiavo.  Now, however, you will see more and more newspapers and websites, especially those who are sympathetic with the anti-abortion movement, use the name Terri Schindler Schiavo.  She has never been known as Terri Schindler Schiavo .. never.  But now that's the name some news outlets are using.  Why?  To give added legitimacy to her parents in this controversy.





Dehydration death called 'cruel, agonizing'
Expert debunks 'myth' of no food, water being painless way to die



We simply don't know what Terri is thinking or experiencing right now. But we do know that Terri's parents love her and are in agony seeing their daughter deprived of water and food and forced to die a protracted and surely-not-pleasant death.

Boortz is very dogmatic about what Terri thinks about, but others disagree with him.

Florida neurologist: Terri's no vegetable
Doctor for state's adult protective services finds Schiavo has been wrongly diagnosed

I simply don't understand the passion and dogmatism of those who want Terri to die. Shouldn't there be more openness, more caution, less rush?


If Terri is just a plant, but Terri's very living and very cognizant parents love that plant, why kill the plant? If Terry isn't feeling any pain, why put her parents though pain? Why the rush to kill Terri?

Boortz is evidently not familiar with research on Near-Death Experiences (NDE's) which are horrifying and hell-like. Nobody wants to read these stories, but they're out there.


Boortz objects to the pro-life forces "imposing" their views on others, but Boortz thinks it's OK to impose his religious flights-of-fancy on Terri's parents.

If Terri is an uncomprehending plant, her last few years of life will bring some joy to her parents, no pain to Terri, and will seem like just a second or two compared to eternity.

Maybe Terri is headed for pain and fire in hell, but with therapy she might be able to re-think her commitments and make a child-like decision for Christ that would send her to heaven. Does Boortz know infallibly that this is not the case? Then why the rush to kill Terri?

If I'm not in pain but my parents would be in pain if I were slowly starved to death, I would rather sacrifice my instant gratification for paradise and give my parents a few more weeks of fond memories. And isn't the sacrificing of our own desires in the interests of others something of the basis for going to heaven rather than hell?

This case isn't just about abortion, it's about life at all ends of the spectrum. Americans don't love life any more. The "governments" of the world have directly killed an average of 10,000 people every single day of the year for the last 100 years. Death and socialism are twin sisters. Medical technology exists because people have valued life. Boortz seems to want to scrap it.



Given the allegations about Michael Schiavo's relationship with Terri, and given the conflicting medical opinions, it's shocking that there is such energy to move Terri's death as rapidly as possible. If it turns out that Terri wanted to get food and water and to stay alive and be rehabilitated, then the "due process" she received was a sick joke. If euthanasia is ever legalized, you can be sure that many innocent people who want to live will be put to death. "Due process" will not save them.



Boortz and the sources he cites slant the facts to support Michael. Pro-life forces slant the facts to support Terri's parents. Only those who believe in the myth of neutrality are surprised by this.

Tuesday -- March 22, 2005\nuze\200503\03222005.html


Nineteen judges in Florida, three turn-downs from the Supreme Court, and now a Federal District Court judge in Tampa have refused to order the feeding tubes for Terri Schiavo to be reinserted.  Now it's off to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. 

Yes .. I know that Hannity had some doctor on the air last night who had been nominated for a Nobel Prize.  Yes, I know that this particular doctor says that Terri Schiavo could possibly walk again.  His name is Hammensfahr, and he was discussing at length in the Florida Circuit Court's order to remove her feeding tubes.

First .. remember that Hammensfahr was selected by Terri's parents.   You must know that they would search far and wide until they found a doctor who would say the things that they wanted him to say.  In court Hammensfahr testified that he felt that he was able to get Terri Schiavo to repeatedly respond to his command.  When the judge was present Hammensfahr gave 105 commands to Schiavo.  Then Bob Schindler, Terri's father, gave an additional 6 commands.  Hammensfahr then asked Terri 61 questions.  Then Mr. Schindler asked another 11 questions.  The judge observed the entire procedure and said that he "... saw few actions that could be considered responsive to either those commands or those questions."  Over 180 questions and commands, and "few actions" in response.  At one point Dr. Hammensfahr testified that Terri squeezed his fingers on command.  The problem was that there was a video being taken of her hand at that moment.  The video showed nothing .. and there was no reaction from Dr. Hammensfahr to indicate that she had responded.

Another doctor, Dr. Maxfield, testified that even a patient in a persistent vegetative state will track a moving object with their eyes on occasion.  He also testified that smiling can be nothing more than a automatic reflex to some sort of stimulus.  Maxfield was a doctor chosen by the Shindlers. 

A Gallup poll was released this morning.  Fifty six percent of Americans feel that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube should be removed.  When that question is couched in terms of the person being artificially fed being your spouse, the figure went up to 61%. 

Judge Whittemore has essentially ruled that all of the sides with an interest in this case have been heard, the experts have been heard, and the state courts made a decision .. and he sees no reason that a federal court should review those rulings.

One of the tragedies here is that people who have no real interest in Terri Schiavo as a person are perfectly willing to seize her and brutalize her in order to further their own political and/or religious agenda. 


Judge Whittemore got it wrong.

As President Bush pointed out in a statement on Terri Schiavo, "there are serious questions and substantial doubts" in her case.

WorldNetDaily: The whole Terri Schiavo story








All the other doctors were selected by Michael. So?

Schiavo doctor a right-to-death activist
Neurologist chosen by husband addressed Hemlock Society

The real question here is, if an aggressive pro-life guardian had been appointed for Terri, and the money awarded to her by a court had been used for rehabilitation and therapy instead of for pro-death attorneys and media-managers trying to advance a pro-death agenda, would Terri be more mentally alert than she is today? Should we try to increase the quality of her life, or kill her?

Hammensfahr isn't the only doctor to question the PVS diagnosis.


Newborn babies suffer from this same "condition." Kill them?


Too many Americans are morons. This is about the same percentage of Americans who believe that Saddam was behind 9/11. What would the surveys reveal if they knew that Terri was not on any life support at all, except the need for someone to feed her? Kill all quadriplegics?

Terri never had an attorney at all. She had to pay for Michael's Hemlock Society attorney. The pro-death forces have had better organization and representation in this case. Why not re-open it and hear both sides? Why the rush to kill Terri?

Boortz' religious agenda is a kind of Platonic soul-migration. Why does that religious agenda deserve more hearing than the agenda of Terri's parents? Why should a libertarian blindly follow the rulings of a state trial court?

Wednesday -- March 23, 2005\nuze\200503\03232005.html


Let's add things up.  Nineteen Florida State Judges, the Florida Legislature, the Congress of the United States, one Federal District Court judge, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, three trips to the U.S. Supreme Court ... all leading to the same result.  Terri Schiavo's wishes should be honored and her body should not be kept functioning through extraordinary means long after the soul who was Terri Schiavo died.  This should be the end of it.  Terri should be allowed to pass on.  Her life was over 15 years ago, all that has remained is core body functions. 

This same scenario is taking place in many places other than Pinellas County, Florida today.  Feeding tubes are being withdrawn, hydration is being withheld and ventilators are being turned off.  The big difference is that in most cases the families of the dying understand the nature of their loved ones condition and are not operating under some delusion that their family member might one day hop out of their hospital bed and ask to be taken to the mall.  You're known by the company you keep.  Randall Terry is the principal spokesman for Terri's parents.  They, and their daughter, have been figuratively abducted by the anti-abortion so-called "right to life" crowd.  They just can't see that they're being used to further an agenda completely apart from the fate of Terri Schiavo.  Fortunately, the courts can.


"Let her go" sounds so gentle and compassionate. Wouldn't lethal injection be more compassionate? Why slow death by dehydration?


Terri's wishes are not clear.

Spoon-feeding is not "extraordinary means."

We don't know what Terri is thinking, but we know what her parents are thinking. Her parents want to feed her and give her water? Why put a gun to their heads and stop them?





Everyone has an agenda. I like pro-life agendas better than pro-death agendas. This isn't a case of the pro-life agenda people vs. the no-agenda people.

Thursday -- March 24, 2005\nuze\200503\03242005.html


I was absolutely astounded yesterday when Florida Governor Jeb Bush held that press conference and talked about the State of Florida taking custody of Terri Schiavo.  He presented to the media the opinion of a doctor that Terri Schiavo was not in a persistent vegetative state .. but rather just in some sort of a period of reduced consciousness.  This doctor has never seen Terri Schiavo, except on videotape, and he's issuing findings that are completely at odds with doctors who have been personally examining Terri for many months. 

Think about this for a moment.  Attending physicians conduct their examinations and make their reports.  The matter moves into the courts and is adjudicated ... adjudicated extensively. Nineteen state judges, one Federal District Court judge, one Court of Appeals, and three now four trips to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Still, politicians aren't happy with the results ... so now the State contemplates using its police power to seize the body of Terri Schiavo so that she can be forced to endure this horrible existence for years to come.

Across America there are thousands of families who have faced similar situations and made their difficult decisions without political interference.  There are tens of millions more who have expressed their wishes, both in writing and in words, that they never be kept alive in this manner.  Now these people are watching this hideous spectacle of politicians plotting the literal kidnapping of Terri Schiavo.  And why?  To please a powerful political constituency .. the ant-abortion lobby. 

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that there are many people out there who, when faced with medical disaster, want to be turned over to politicians to be used as political pawns.  I'm wondering if these people will be anxious to keep Republicans in power.

Don't let this happen to you. Here are a few resources: - advance directives for each state (save this link, the site is down right now) - electronically stores advance directives - advice and legal tools - will scan and store your living will













What is so "horrible" about the existence of a disabled person?





So Terri should be killed to take a stab at the "anti-abortion lobby?"

I want my life to make a statement that life is valuable and should be preserved, enhanced, and extended, not snuffed out.


I was listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday when he asked his listeners a question.  Here .. read it for yourself.  A column I wrote for today's

Because she's earned it
Neal Boortz (archive)

March 24, 2005

I signed off my talk show yesterday, stuffed unused newspaper articles in my briefcase, and headed home.  As I pulled out of the studio parking garage I did what I usually do ... I tuned in to see what Rush was talking about.  On this particular day I had no doubt as to what the subject would be, but I wanted to hear his latest thoughts.

My studio getaway was so efficient, so swift that I was on the road in time to hear Rush come out of his hourly newsbreak.  Now ... before I go any further, let it be clear;  I'm a Rush Limbaugh fan.  Nobody does talk radio better, not even me.  I love what he's done for our radio format, what he's done for America, and what he's done to the left.  Liberals hate him.  I love him for that too.  Rush has made me money by elevating the talk radio format to the top of the heap, and saved me even more through the tax cuts that came from his promotion of the Republican agenda.

As Rush opens the hour he has a question; a question for "you liberals."  He wants to know "Why do you want Terri Schiavo to die?" 

I'm on the opposite side of this issue from Rush, Hannity, Liddy and most of my not-liberal talk radio colleagues.  So the question intrigued me.  Why, indeed, do I want Terri Schiavo to die?

Rush's question deserved an answer.  Not some glib response, but an honest, heartfelt answer.  So, ... here's mine.

I want Terri Schiavo to die because I believe she's earned it.

I don't view death as the end of the journey of a human soul.  I view it as a transition.  The God I believe in would not waste the total life experiences of a man or woman made in his image on a total and complete death; a dead end, if you will, with nothing to follow.  I cannot believe that it is God's plan that the life experiences of a man; wisdom gained, lessons learned and love experienced, should, upon death, disappear as if they never were.   I believe that there's something to follow the life we know on this earth; and I believe that most of the people fighting to keep the body of Terri Schiavo alive feel the same way. 

These feelings give rise to some questions of my own; questions for the devoutly religious people who are fighting to keep Terri Schiavo alive.  Do you believe in God's promise of everlasting life?  Do you believe that the reward for a life well spent on this earth is a life with God in heaven after you die?  If you do, then a few more questions if you will.

Do you believe that the human soul can make the transition to everlasting life while the human body that carried that soul through life clings to life on this earth? 






If you do, then you must surely believe that Terri Schiavo has earned and is already enjoying her reward in heaven. That being the case, why is it so important to you that the now-unneeded body of Terri Schiavo is kept alive?

But perhaps you believe, as I do, that the human soul is so connected to and integrated with its earthly body that any transition will not be made until that body ceases functioning -- until death occurs..  That being the case, why do you so ardently desire that the soul of Terri Schiavo spend five, ten, perhaps 30 years or more trapped in a useless and non-functioning body, unable to move on to whatever reward awaits her?  Isn't 15 years enough?

Where do your concerns truly lie, with the eternal soul of Terri Schiavo, or with her earthly body?

Most of us are aware of the stories related by people who have near-death experiences.  The usual scenario is a surgical procedure or some other medical emergency.  These people describe a sensation of leaving their body at the very time the heart stops beating and the brain ceases functioning.  They tell of floating above their body while watching doctors below working hard to resuscitate, to bring them back to life.  As the heart once again starts beating and as the brain resumes its functions, they tell of a sensation of falling back into their own bodies to resume life.

We don't hear from the patients upon whom resuscitation efforts are not successful.  We don't hear from them because they've left us.  They're gone to experience whatever lies beyond.  They died.

Is it possible that the soul of Terri Schiavo has been floating held in some prolonged and excruciating limbo waiting for doctors to stop interfering with the process of her death?  I believe that this is so, and that is why I have supported her husband's desires to have her feeding tube removed.   Terri Schiavo isn't being murdered.  She's being allowed to die.  Death will not be an end for Terri Schiavo, it will be a beginning.  She will finally be allowed to claim the reward that ultimately we all seek, a reward she's earned and deserves.

Neal Boortz is a lawyer and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.

2005 Neal Boortz

























But she didn't earn physical therapy and rehabilitation? She hasn't earned additional years of life? Her parents haven't earned her companionship?













Yes. The Apostle Paul relates this account:

I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. {3} And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) {4} How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat..
(2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

I believe God can maintain contact with Terri regardless of the condition of Terri's body.


If the body is unneeded, why kill it? Why deprive her parents of the opportunity to feed her body?

I don't subscribe to a religious belief that says Terri's soul is "trapped" in a useless body. I believe life has meaning, and our job is to discover and embrace that meaning. The Creator says, "Thou shalt not kill."




This is a false, pagan, Platonic dichotomy.


We've had this discussion above. Maybe the Christian Bush brothers are missing their chance to make sure Terri avoids hell. That sentence doesn't necessarily reflect my own religious views, but what right does Boortz have to impose his religious views on Terri's parents, when Boortz himself believes that Terri doesn't know what's going on?







I believe a religious theory of "excruciating limbo" is nutty. America's legal system is based on a Christian respect for life and the commandment "Thou shalt not kill." Boortz may not agree with that religion, but America's Founding Fathers did, and I would prefer (as would Terri's parents) that their judgment hold sway in this case. The forcible prohibition of Terri's parents to feed their daughter is murder. Being "allowed to die" is a euphemism for "forcibly preventing parents from feeding their daughter." It is un-American and morally reprehensible. It sets legal precedents that will be used to murder millions of people by anti-libertarian forces.

I need to write a "Part 4" to this series, on the importance of a "pro-life" agenda to a libertarian society. The pro-death forces in America are extraordinarily dangerous.

Friday -- March 25, 2005\nuze\200503\03252005.html


So, there he was ... Randall Terry, the anti-abortion zealot, screaming outside of the nursing home housing Terri Schiavo.  He was screaming something about "hell to pay" if Terri Schiavo dies.   He then went on to rant a bit about all of the work that the anti-abortion movement did to elect these Republicans, and that now is the time for them to deliver and perform.

You know what?  This time Randall Terry may just be right.  There just may be a political price to pay.  But Terry is right for the wrong reasons.  Republicans may pay a political price not because they didn't do enough to prolong the torture of Terri Schiavo, but because they did too much.

Have you seen today's approval ratings for President Bush?  They're down.  Way down.  He's down to 45%.  He was at 52% one week ago.  This is the lowest point in his presidency.  These polls are not because he hasn't done enough in the Schiavo matter.  The downtrend is because he did too much.  The largest loss of support was among conservative male church-goers.  A majority of the American people were not impressed with the Republican Party's late night grandstanding this past Sunday, and Bush's rush back to Washington to sign a bill in the early hours of the morning.

Maybe conservative Republican politicians can learn a lesson from this.  They were elected to reduce the size and intrusiveness of the Imperial Federal Government of the United States.  They were elected to reduce our tax burden and lower government spending.  They were elected to defend us against threats from abroad, specifically the threat of Islamic terrorism ... and to do so with preemptive action if necessary.  In spite of the delusions of grandeur of the abortocentrist crowd and religious extremists, George Bush was not elected to facilitate a government takeover of the ovaries of every fertile American woman, nor was he elected to establish a theocracy. 

Perhaps Republicans will take note.  I truly believe that their control of the House of Representatives may be in jeopardy in next year's elections.  Perhaps they'll learn from this.  Maybe they'll start dancing with [sic] who brung them for a change, and pay attention to spending and tax cuts, school choice, national defense and individual liberty.

Some lessons are just learned the hard way.







I agree with Randall Terry, though reluctantly. If a Florida court ruled that blacks could be enslaved or Jews stuffed in ovens, Governor Bush should do something, even if it means he personally "kidnaps" a slave from his master and puts him on the "underground railroad." Terri Schiavo is imprisoned in a government-run concentration camp. The Bush brothers say there's nothing they could have done. Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have disagreed.




Republicans have done nothing to save those sentenced to death. Their pro-life talk is empty rhetoric. They do not have high ratings among those who are serious about saving the innocent.


Protection of innocent life is said to be the core function of America's constitutional government. If a state court sentences the innocent to death, those who criticize the federal government for its "intrusiveness" or "imperialism" in defying state authorities are hypocritical. They didn't say a word about "federalism" or "the rule of law" when federal courts or the Justice Department overturned state laws and state court holdings which created segregation. I only vote for candidates that will work to establish a "theocracy." I call it "Laissez-Faire Theocracy."



Boortz is critical of federal intervention against state courts that prohibit parents from preventing the death by dehydration of their daughter, but he does not criticize the federal government for unconstitutional intervention in Iraq.

Monday -- March 28, 2005


I can't tell you how much I wish this story would just go away ... and that it had never come along in the first place.  Believe me, this is territory I would just as soon leave alone on my talk show.  Why?  Because it involves religion, that's why.

Many people who profess strong Christian beliefs seem to feel that any negative statement about any action undertaken by anyone in the name of Christianity constitutes "Christian bashing."  It doesn't matter what the Christian activist does or what they say, you simply are not permitted to criticize their actions in any way.  To do so is to provide conclusive proof that you are anti-Christian at best, and a Godless atheist at worse. 

Let's just take a look at the actions of some of the people protesting outside of Terri Schiavo's hospice. 

At the end of the street is Triple O Auto.  It's an auto repair shop operated by a single father trying to raise two sons.  The triple O stands for "On Our Own."  Protestors have been parking in the Triple O driveway.    When Scotty Jackson,  the owner,  asked one of the protestors  to move his car the man waved his Bible at Scotty, shouted some obscenities and walked off.  Criticize this protestor and you're Christian bashing.

Protestors have been demanding that Florida Governor Jeb Bush ignore the rulings of the various courts in this matter and seize Terri Schiavo from the hospice.  If you point out that we are a government of law and that it is wrong for someone to ask a government official to ignore the law, you're Christian bashing.

Over the weekend Governor Bush did dispatch a team of State agents in vans to travel to Pinellas Park and take Terri Schiavo into custody.  The Pinellas Park police told them that they had better bring a Judge with them or they were going to go away empty handed.  If you criticize Governor Bush for his actions, you're Christian Bashing. 

If you question the wisdom of a father sending his 10-year-old son to be arrested trying to take water into Terri, you're Christian bashing and you hate God.

There are 70 other patients in that hospice.  They're all dying.  Because of the protestors they can't come outside the hospice to sit in their gardens and enjoy their last Spring.  If you say that the protestors are hurting the other dying patients at the hospice,  you're Christian bashing.

If you mention that Randall Terry, the Schindler's chief spokesman, has repeatedly called for Christians to conquer America for God and to turn it into a Christian theocracy, you're Christian bashing. 

If you tell a woman standing outside of the hospice with a sign that says "rehabilitate Terri," that Terri can't be rehabilitated, you're Christian bashing.  


















I'm happy to bash the allegedly Christian Bush brothers. But in this case, I'd rather bash "the Rule of Law."



Pretty sick police who point their guns at people who want to give a dying woman a few drops of water and some nourishment.


Watch for that 10-year old to be a mature adult long before other kids his age in government schools.

They're dying; Terri is being killed.



I believe America's Founding Fathers intended America to be a Christian Theocracy. Not an ecclesiocracy, but a  "Laissez-Faire Theocracy." .

There are quite a few doctors who have said that Terri could have been rehabilitated, and some have suggested that Michael was the cause of the diminished quality of her life. Those are claims worthy of consideration.

If you suggest that the Republican Party is being held hostage by religious extremists ... you guessed it.  You're Christian bashing. No "religious extremist" I know thinks the Republican Party is listening to them, much less "held hostage" by them.

Bob Enyart Live | | | The Welch Report | Peroutka

News Wire
'Terri is a legally protected federal witness'
Christian activists took Terri Schiavo's fight to Washington on Monday, appealing to politicians on Capitol Hill to enforce a congressional subpoena, which makes Terri a legally protected federal witness. Were the subpoenas a political stunt or do they plan to enforce them? asked Patrick Mahoney at a rally outside the White House.

This story will not die after Terri Schiavo passes away.  Republicans will be feeling the repercussions for some time to come.  Randall Terry will be sad to discover that the majority of Americans don't want a Christian Theocracy.  They want to live in a society where people are free to practice their religion as they see fit, but where they are not free to use the police power of government to impose their religious beliefs on other people. Most Americans now realize that Terri Schiavo has already been kidnapped.  Jeb Bush would have been too late.  She's been kidnapped by religious extremists and the anti-abortion movement.  To point this out is, of course, to engage in Christian bashing.  Most Americans don't want complete strangers to be able to use the police power of government to interfere with their wishes as to how their final days should play out.  They are overwhelmingly disgusted with the eagerness of the Republican Party to pass one specific law relating to one specific issue with one specific individual ... all to pander to the anti-abortion movement.  This is not something they will soon forget.   

The majority of Americans don't know what a truly Christian Theocracy is.

Michael Schiavo and Neal Boortz are using the power of government to impose their religious beliefs on Terri Schiavo and her parents.


Who is more a "stranger" to Terri Schiavo

Have you stopped for a moment to consider the long-term consequences of the Republican Party's fawning over these religious extremists?  Watch President Bush's judicial nominees.  Watch the Democrats use the Schiavo matter to illustrate what might happen to other Americans if Bush's nominees are confirmed.  And watch the congressional elections next year.  If it's close, and if the Republicans lose their majority, look back to the crowd gathered since last week in Pinellas Park for an explanation.  That, too, is Christian bashing. I'm confident that Boortz would consider every single Signer of the U.S. Constitution to be a "religious extremist," and that if they could travel through time to our day, would embrace "Laissez-Faire Theocracy."

I don't particularly care if Republicans lose their majority in Congress, so long as Democrats don't regain theirs.

A medical doctor with experience in end of life situations weighs in on the Terri Schiavo case.  Much to the disappointment of the abortocentrist crowd, every case is different.  Dr. Steve Collins has more. The Terri Schiavo Tragedy by Mitchell S. Felder, M.D.