Silent Witness by Mark Fuhrman

I have not actually read this book. There is no way that I could read this without becoming extremely angry. A friend read it and gave me the details.

Here is a baisic list of it’s positives and negatives. Fuhrman discusses the legal and ethical issues surrounding Terri Schiavo’s death. While claiming that he is “not a religious man,” Fuhrman raises some pertinent questions about the ethics of the “right to die” issue. He makes use of medical records, depositions, police records, and interviews with those associated with Mrs. Schiavo (family, friends, and care givers) to present a compelling case. While answering many questions surrounding the life and death of Terri Schiavo, he also raises questions that bear answering about this case. The only problematic part of the book is that he uses four swear words.

Now, I have read a bit about this case and here are some observations. First, this issue is tied inseparably with abortion. The same philosophy that approves abortion logically allows for the murder of the infirm (physically or mentally ill). What difference is there in killing a silent baby or a silent woman?

Secondly, we have reached a crisis in our country. Our judges act as if they have all-power. This has come to a head in the Schiavo murder. Twice over the course of her illness, care-givers signed affidavits insisting that Mrs. Schiavo could swallow. They repeatedly told the judge that she did not need a feeding tube. Why did the judge ignore those affidavits and why did he deny her parents the opportunity to have a swallow test administered? If his reason for allowing her to die was that she was unable to live without a feeding tube, why not have a medical doctor test her ability to swallow? What right did the judge have to sentence an American citizen to a cruel and painful death through dehydration and starvation? Even convicted serial killers get a painless injection. Who is he to deny an uncovicted women to death?

These two reasons make the Supreme Court nominees desperately important. John Roberts must help resist this slide. We must stop this dastardly trend before we lose everything of value. We must make a change before it is to late for our nation. I do not want to live in a country that encourages and/or mandates the murder of the young, old and infirm. What are you doing about it?

This book will give you vital information about this particular case and assist you in understanding the “right to die” issue.

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4 thoughts on “Silent Witness by Mark Fuhrman

  1. I realize that this is a book review site, but given the emphasis of this particular note, I’d like to inject some commentary. First, let me say that I am a religious & political conservative. I am completely against abortion as well as euthanasia. However, I believe that conservatives in general, and certain religious conservatives in particular, have gravely erred in regards to the death of Terri Schiavo.

    The first point made by the author alleges that Mrs. Schiavo’s unfortunate situation should be compared to abortion. There is one glaring problem with this assertion: an unborn child is alive and Mrs. Schiavo was conclusively dead. She died when she went into her vegetative state, and her body was merely kept functioning through the miracle of modern technology.

    Further, though the video tapes made by Terri’s parents seem to show otherwise, the autopsy found that Mrs. Schiavo was indeed brain-dead, so that none of her movements on tape could possibly be evidence of brain activity. Since she was blind (a natural result of being brain-dead), all of the “reactions” witnessed on the aforementioned videos were 100% unconscious. The fact that the body was allowed to cease functioning through starvation is reprehensible. However, there is no medical evidence to suggest that Terri Schiavo was a living woman, and therefore, she was not a helpless murder victim. Removing her feeding tube was essentially no different than when my family removed my grandmother from life support due to her persistent vegetative state caused by a heart-attack.

    The second point of the author’s review addresses the known problem of judicial legislating. Unfortunately, since Terri Schiavo was not murdered, this particular case is not an example of this problem. It is instead a manifestation of an equally dangerous political malady: an attempt to circumvent checks-and-balances. Why is it that numerous state, federal and Supreme Court justices all came to the same conclusion? Even the state judges that are elected to office stood firmly by there decisions despite public outcry. Why? The voluminous evidence presented at both the jury and appellate level confirmed that Terri was brain dead. What is exceedingly troubling is that in the case of Terri Schiavo we have an extraordinary example of congress, the President, and numerous interest groups doing their best to circumvent and reverse the established opinion in the judicial system (by jury and judges) to get their way. It is truly dangerous when an emotional plea is made and lasting policy decisions and precedents are made in the heat of the moment. Such decisions can have traumatic and unanticipated effects. The three branches of our government were setup to be a “check and balance” in order to prevent men from consolidating power and dictating policy. When any of the three branches of government decides the other is at fault and tries to punish and subjugate the disobedient renegade, the American people have real cause for concern. Thank goodness our judiciary system did the right thing. Even Sen. Bill Frist retraced his earlier statements.

    I know I’ve gone on too long, but I do want to address one more thing: the book that was reviewed made allegations into misconduct by Terri’s spouse Michael Schiavo. Specifically, there have been allegations that Mr. Schiavo either intentionally caused his wife’s death or waited an unconscionable amount of time before calling 911. Interestingly, the probe initiated by Gov. Bush into these allegations concluded and completely exonerated Michael Schiavo from any blame.

    I agree with the author that euthanasia and abortion is morally reprehensible. I agree with the author that courts that legislate from the bench are an outrage and can be used to trample upon our individual and collective rights. However, I think that the case of Terri Schiavo is a good example of neither vice. Further, the irresponsible rhetoric being thrown around recently makes Christians and conservatives alike look like uneducated, misinformed wackos. Unfortunately, in this case, the critics are right about our behavior.

    Supporting evidence:

    Autopsy Report: http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/061505_schiavoautopsy.pdf
    Frist Retracement:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,159753,00.html
    Resolution of Criminal Probe for Michael Schiavo:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,161873,00.html

  2. Pingback: The Just Shall Live by Faith » Blog Archive » Response to a Book Review

  3. Mind you, that i do not know all the details of this case, But the question i want to know is how does a person “completely brain dead” contiune to live without any support except water and food. I currently don’t know how this is possible. No one every considers “life support” as food and water. I mean if that were the case then could we Pull “life-support” from the author by removing only his food and water.

    so we know it is not consider life support. As a Medical student, i find that only the heart can live with out the brain. whereas the lungs can not fuction without the brain being alive to some degree. (I Offer all my condoances to TJ) So, if as JT says that his Grandmother was in a “persistent vegetative state” then the Schiavo case is not the same. For JT Grandmother would not have lived with out oxygen support, however Schiavo lived 15 years on just food and water. would she have died….. yes…… eventually, but that doesn’t mean we should pull the food and water.

    incidently, Schiavo died of dehyration, not starvation.

    But back to my question, How does a completely brain dead woman live on just food and water and survive. Funnything is that most of us humans live on just food and water. As a matter of fact, i have two friends of my with muscular dystrophy that have feeding tubes. Both of them have highly active lives with a really neat business of selling slide-shows on DVD’s. Should they have their feeding tubes removed, considering it is all that sustains them.

    Please, note that this author also is sustained by food and water. Note that this alone will not prevent my death, no matter how brain-dead you think i am or might be.

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