Publisher: Bethany House Publishers, 2006
Genre: Non-Fiction, Theological
Page Count: 280
Terri’s story started in 1990 when for some unknown reason she collapsed and suffered brain damage. The author often said that she was brain-injured not brain dead, she still had brain activity and could do several things that a brain dead person could not. Her husband (Michael Schiavo), his lawyer, and the media said she was in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS), but that was very controversial. Her family thought she was in a Minimally Conscious State (MCS). Many doctors and rehabilitation professionals said they would like to test her and work with her to discover what she was capable of. However, her husband wouldn’t allow her many visitors, much less someone to examine her that he didn’t approve of. She was shut in and others were shut out.
The reasons Terri was “sentenced to death” were because her husband claimed that she had said she wouldn’t want to live with life support. (However, the only support she got was a feeding tube because she couldn’t swallow nutrition or hydration.) She didn’t have a Living Will to state her wishes; the judge used hearsay to put her to death. She was stated to have been in PVS and her husband said she wouldn’t want to live that way.
About 2 years after Terri collapsed her husband began dating and later began a family with this woman. Terri’s husband put her in hospice, and even arranged her room so no one could see her from the hallway, and not even so much as Christmas Carolers could sing to her although her husband knew how much she loved Christmas. One of the saddest parts of the book was reading that her husband had Terri’s family removed from the room the night before she died and early the next morning only he was there with her when she died.
“In the last generation, the United State Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, laying the groundwork for the proliferation of abortion in our society. Was our judicial system now set to approve the killing of disabled people hidden away in nursing homes and hospices?” -- David Gibbs
“If you (starved) condemned criminals, how far would you get? It would take about two seconds for the court to strike it down as cruel and unusual.” – Jack Kevorkian. Dr. Kevorkian assisted in many suicides because he believed in the “right-to-die.” However, I doubt he believed someone should be tortured to death. He often assisted in deaths to give people a fast, painless, and tranquil death, but nothing was fast, painless, or tranquil about Terri’s death.
Positives: I liked how this book talked of all the people who the doctors had given up for dead and they made a miraculous recovery. The author told of over 10 people who went from being PVS to being a productive member of society – there are no doubt many more people who have defied the odds, or who could defy the odds if given the chance. Too often, these are allowed to die by taking them off life support (Ventilator, Feeding Tube, etc.) and therefore, we don’t know what chance they have of surviving.
Another positive for me was that the author used many Bible references, all from the King James Version. The fact he used the KJV really impressed me since so many people use
other versions – or, perversions as my pastor calls them.
I have always had mixed feelings about Living Wills and I was glad to hear what the author thought about them. He offered an alternative to a Living Will because he said the Living Will has so many drawbacks because there are so many advancements in the medical field on an almost daily basis. The author’s alternative was a “Designation of Health Care Surrogate.”
Negatives: A negative about this book is that it was so sad at times. Also, I’m afraid that some people wouldn’t read it because the copyright has now been 8 years ago. As time goes by, this book will get even older and some people may think it’s too old to read for how things are at the current time in America. However, it has a lot of good stuff packed in it that I believe will be good for many years to come.
Other Books by this Author: “One Nation Under God”; “Understanding the
Final Words: I think everyone has had a ‘woe is me’ time in their lives. Some people have even thought of committing suicide, but a good point the author brings out is that God gave us life and it should be according to His timetable when our life should be taken away. Those who believe that quality of life should be the deciding factor for whether we live or die consider self as the only factor because they are thinking only of how this person living or dying will impact themselves. However, if we begin thinking in the quality of life direction, where will we stop? How physically or mentally damaged should a person be before their quality of life is such that their life is not worth living?
If we, as Christians, say we believe in the Sanctity of Life, we need to have viable reasons for saying we believe that. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it. Christians who don’t have a good testimony are hurting all Christians’ testimonies. America is at a point where we can either go further away from God or we can go closer to Him because there is such a fight for evil and also the good side is putting up quite a fight. The fight for good vs. evil begins with each individual Christian and Jesus Christ’s churches across the nation (2 Chronicles 7:14).
The author gives 4 points to bring America back to God:
I. Humble Ourselves
We need to stop blaming others for us not doing what God’s Word tells us to do. How interested are we in what His Word says? If the Bible is telling us that what we think or do needs to be changed, are we willing to make changes in our hearts, minds, and lives? When we humble ourselves, the least of these (Matthew 25:40,45) look a whole lot more important to us.
II. Pray, Pray, Pray
If some important person said we needed to have a conference with him at such and such a time, we’d break our neck to get there on time, if not early, to make that meeting. We have the greatest privilege ever; we can meet with not just a king, but The King of Kings! He’s not just a lord, but The Lord of Lords! And yet, how often do Christians ignore Him? Have you had a conference with Him lately?!
III. Seek His Face
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, seek means “a passionate excitement” or a “burning desire”. Unfortunately, most people get more excited over a sale or a game than attending church and worshipping The Lord Jesus Christ. If you had just gotten engaged and obtained an engagement ring and then you lost it, but someone said if you meet them at 8 am and they would help you find it, would you get up at 7:30 and mope around trying to get ready and then get there at 8:30 OR would you jump out of bed with plenty of time to spare and maybe not even be able to sleep all night at the thought of getting your ring back? (Psalm 63:1-2)
IV. Turn From Our Wicked Ways
Several years ago, George Gallup took a survey of the behaviors and attitudes within America’s churches. Here is a summary of his findings: “There’s little difference in ethical behavior between the churched and the unchurched. There’s as much pilferage and dishonesty among the churches as the unchurched. And I’m afraid that applies pretty much across the board: religion, per se, is not really life changing. People cite it as important, for instance, in overcoming depression – but it doesn’t have primacy in determining behavior.”
I leave you with this one verse that sums up the whole life and death issue that seems to be plaguing America. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Deuteronomy 30:19