I found this last night when I was reading about Terri. She has a link to a site called Pray for Mandy.
Mandy was in an accident just before she was to start her second year of college, and her condition is very similar to Terri Shiavo's--with the exception being that she is getting the therapies she needs. If you go to the site and click on music, you can hear a recording of Mandy singing, obviously made before her accident. It just broken me up, and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. These people aren't any different inside. They still feel the same and love the same things, have memories, etc. And they can't sing any more or write journals... If they are lucky, maybe someone will help them build the strength and muscle control to bump a switch so they can answer yes or no. If they're not lucky, they get hidden away and have their feeding tubes pulled even though they don't have a living will because someone else can just say that they wouldn't want to live "hooked up to machines"--even though they aren't on respirators or heart machines. Terri Shiavo's husband never even allowed her to have therapy so she could find a way to say yes or no--and of course no one's going to ask what she wants because one out of seven doctors declares her in a persistent vegetative state. This just sets such a horrible precedent!</p>
i know how it feels to not have a voice. I don't know it the way Terri knows it, but I do know. "What does she want?" "Here, I'll help you across the street"--but I wanted to go across 9th Street, not 54th. "We're going to Red Lobster instead of CB because CB is all the way across town."--and I don't drive the car so it doesn't matter what I want. Or worse, "I know you prefer Wendy's over Burger King, but we went to Burger King so I just didn't get you anything." The person knows my preference, but my wishes under the circumstances weren't known. I know how it feels to not have a say in the matter, to have thoughts that no one hears. I can't imagine not being able to yell out, "I have something I'd like to say!" I don't want to imagine it. But I can't close my eyes to it. It could be me someday.
If I had a child and withheld nourishment, even one meal, it would be considered abuse. But Mike Shiavo has withheld food and medication on multiple occasions, and now for six days, and it's considered legal because a feeding tube is considered life support. I can hear the cab driver Mike going on a tirade... "It's just food and water. It doesn't matter whether it's in a spoon or a tube. It all goes to your stomach anyway. It's just food and water!" And I want to join my voice with people who want Terri Shiavo treated like a real live, valuable human being. I want to do it because right to life isn't just about unborn babies. Right to life is about life.