As Ms. Schiavo left no will, I think the issue boils down not to who has the legal right to make a decision surrounding the status of her life, but who has the moral right. The issue boils down to a question of motives with the parents of Ms. Schiavo, Bob and Mary Schindler pitted against the husband of Ms. Schiavo, Mr. Michael Schiavo.
The parent's motive is relatively simple: They want their daughter to live, and she would if the feeding tube, not exactly considered an extraordinary method of sustaining life, were reinserted. Dr. William Cheshire of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville states that Ms. Schiavo's face brightens and that she smiles in response to the voices of familiar people like her parents, and because of this and other responses that demonstrate what Dr.Cheshire refers to as a 'minimally conscious state,' the parents have not abandoned hope. Hope can be naively placed but what is at question is individuals motives and not the realistic nature of their desires. Their motive, if rightly identified seems noble, and even those in support of Mr. Schiavo do not question the sincerity of Mr. and Mrs. Schindler's desire to see their daughter live. Combined with their hope, is the case of Ms. Kate Adamson who has launched a campaign to save Ms. Schiavo. What makes Ms. Adamson special is that when she was younger she suffered a catastrophic brain stem stroke and was dependant on a feeding tube fore nourishment. Eventually she had her feeding tube removed. She knows what it is like to be starved. Ms. Adamson's story has given hope to those close to Ms. Schiavo, and has recently given rise among the common public to the demand that Ms. Schiavo be given a chance to live.
Mr. Schiavo wants the feeding tube of his wife removed. As food is necessary for life, and as the feeding tube facilitates this, its removal will result in her death. His motives are more difficult to discern. Some suggest that he beat or attempted to strangle his wife, which resulted in her state, and that he fears that a fully conscious Ms. Schiavo will confirm such accusations. While the bone scan taken in 1991 is not inconsistent with that which would result from a severe beating, others feel that it is as consistent with bulimia, a fall, and the CPR given by paramedics. That there is uncertainty is worthy to note. Working in Ms. Schiavo's favor is that it seems unlikely that he would cause her to collapse, and then initiate a lawsuit against someone else for her collapse, thereby opening the case up to a serious and detailed inquiry.
Mr. Schiavo won this malpractice suit and recovered approximately $ 700 000 for the care of Ms. Schiavo and another $ 300 000 for himself. A relatively unreported detail in this well documented story is that Mr. Schiavo has romantically engaged himself to another woman who has conceived by him two children. If Mr. Schiavo were to divorce Ms. Schiavo, then upon her death the money would go to her parents and not to him. It is important to remember that while Ms. Adamson's husband was campaigning to preserve his wife's life, Mr. Schiavo has been unfaithful and produced two children by his 'fiancé' all the while identifying himself as Ms. Schiavo's 'loving' and 'grieving' husband, remaining married to her so as to cash in on a nice inheritance, and insisting on the feeding tube's removal so as to speed up that process. I realize that such an analysis calls into question the goodness of his character, but it seems that the conclusions drawn from these speculations are unavoidable and the examination of his actions speak louder than any analysis. Other questions persist and add weight to the case against Mr. Schiavo's legitimacy in determining the future of someone else's daughter. After the malpractice award, why, in mid-1993, did he have a 'Do not resuscitate' placed on her medical chart? She was only 30 years old at this point. Why in June of 1993 did he refuse to allow treatment for an ear infection that had developed? Hint: He later said under oath that he expected the infection to progress to a fatal sepsis that would result in death. Why in 1998, eight years after Ms. Schiavo had gone into cardiac arrest, and only after the hiring of right-to-die lawyer Mr. George Felos, did Mr. Schiavo remember that Ms. Schiavo had made some vague comments about not wanting to be sustained on anything artificial? Why, on October 18, 2003 would Mr. Schiavo's lawyers not even allow Msgr. Malanowski to receive a miniscule peace of communion onto her tongue? Finally why has Mr. Schiavo spent a great bulk of the malpractice award on his lawyer Mr. Felos in an effort to end Ms. Schiavo's life rather than spend it on therapy or rehabilitation programs that may improve her quality of life?
It would seem that Ms. Schiavo's parents have more of a moral right to determine their daughter's fate, than does her husband. But while judges deny this possibility, hope is dying, and so is Ms. Schiavo.