Jeb Bush is again coming under attack for his support of
the parents of Terri Schiavo in a bitter end-of-life dispute a decade ago, but his help was legally – not politically – motivated, Schiavo's brother argues in a defense of the former Florida governor.
Writing on online opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal
Bobby Schindler, executive director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, named after his late sister, concedes criticism of Bush for supposedly "running roughshod over Florida state law" appears to "go with the territory of what appears to be a presidential run."
In a letter to the editor in the Miami Herald
earlier this month, Terri Schiavo's husband, Michael, wrote, "The truth about Jeb Bush is that he used my wife for his own personal political gain."
Many families who "know their loved ones are alive, even if minimally conscious" and believe they deserve to live are willing to take on the care and responsibility for them, Schindler writes.
"All they ask is for the right to do so. All Jeb Bush did was try to help win that right for me and my family," he writes. "Sadly for us, and for Terri, he couldn’t."
Terri Schiavo died March 31, 2005, 13 days after a feeding tube was removed and 15 years after she collapsed in her Florida home.
The attacks on Bush "never tell my sister’s whole story, or identify the coalition of liberals and conservatives, believers and nonbelievers, that tried to prevent her slow death by dehydration," Schindler complains.
"The effort to protect Terri went all the way to the Supreme Court," and included the late Pope John Paul II, President George W. Bush and the former Florida governor, he says – along with "many ordinary Americans who didn’t believe that providing food and water for a living human being with a brain injury could reasonably be regarded as extraordinary care."
"The case against Jeb Bush seems to be that he exceeded his constitutional authority and, having done so, revealed the kind of rogue president he would be if elected," Schindler writes.
But Bush followed a Florida law later found to be unconstitutional, and "once the statute was invalidated, Mr. Bush followed the law, Schindler argues.
"Ten years later, the media still tread the same well-worn path, presenting a false paradigm of a supposedly loving husband versus interfering theocrats," Schindler writes.
Bush, as governor, was "legally permitted to seek 'to clarify the facts' in a court case that appeared to many to have clearly defective judicial orders and irregularities," Schindler insists.
"That is what he did—for which he was immediately and viciously attacked. Having clarified the facts, and having been advised that without food and water Terri would slowly starve and dehydrate to death, he sought as governor to have her case 'reviewed'—very much as he had been asked to do, and did, in capital-punishment cases."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.