Hard as it may be to believe, there are those out there who think that Terri Schiavo's supporters were using her for political gain, that all her life meant to us was the chance to score some points. I suppose I'm as much to blame as anyone, because lately I haven't been doing a lot of linking to the Blogs for Terri site. Does it mean that I'm ignoring the cause? No, but I haven't been keeping it in the public eye as muchas I should have.
To rectify this, I call your attention to England, and the case of Charlotte Wyatt. Charlotte is almost two years old. She was born prematurely, and her parents had to wait three months to hold her. At nine months her health improved, and she was moved out of intensive care:
Almost immediately, she got a blood infection, and started needing more and more oxygen. Then the day came when her parents were rung up and told that Charlotte's lungs had collapsed, and she had been put on a ventilator.
The hospital decided she had no chance of recovering, and sought a court order to allow them to deny essential care if she needed to be put back on a ventilator. The judge agreed despite the protests of her parents, who pointed to a slow but steady improvement in Charlotte's health. This battle has been going on for over a year, and at this point the judge still refuses to rescind the Do Not Resucitate (DNR) order.
This is most assuredly not a carbon copy Terri Schiavo case. We're in England, not the United States. There is no relative seeking to kill Charlotte, no pitched battle between a fractured family. Only loving parents who wish to do whatever is necessary to keep their daughter alive, and a medical establishment that feels her life isn't worth saving.
And yet there's no doubt we're seeing the ramifications of Terri's trial. For while the cases may be different on the surface, the root remains the same: the worth of human life, and the desire of some to assign life a utilitarian value that demeans the very dignity with which God has invested it.
The Wyatt family continues to fight for their daughter's life. To this point Charlotte continues to make progress. Even the judge admits this, but continues to side with the hospital (ironically named St. Mary's; one can only wonder what the great Mother of God would make of all this). Fortunately, there has been no medical crisis yet, and the judge continues to allow the Wyatts to petition to rescind the DNR order (they were, alas, turned down again last Thursday).
But Terri's legacy lives on, both in the culture of death which spawned her murder, and in the fight of dedicated souls such as those who run Blogs for Terri, from which I heard about this story. Sadly, there are many more stories like Charlotte's, which are detailed on this site.
Which reminds us of two things. First, we must continue to pray - prayfor the Wyatts, and all those who face similar fights for life. Second, we must never, never, let down our guard. We must keep this in the public eye; we must keep fighting for life. Because, contrary to what some think, this is not about politics. It's about more than that.