Saturday, April 02, 2005

Terri's Gift: Disabled Man Makes His Wishes Clear

Terri Schiavo has not died in vain. Her tragedy is creating conversations that will save at least one life. The Associated Press reports that Thor Spencer, 29, has let his family know: "I'd rather be alive than dead."

Despite the fact that the AP headline calls him a "Child," Thor is a man with a strong will. After seeing Terri on TV, he decided he never wanted doctors or the courts to make life-or-death decisions for him.

As a result, the Spencer family held a meeting, designed to help them come to terms with Thor's wishes. The family sees a pressing need for this conversation, because Thor often has health problems due to a brain injury.
In explaining his wishes,he brings up an experience I share, and one I've heard from others with disabilities:

Doctors said his clenched right arm might never relax. It did.

Doctors said he might not learn to talk again. He can.

Doctors said he probably would never walk on his own. He does.

"They were wrong," he says. "They were wrong every time. So, don't make that decision from what they say."

Like Thor, I have begun to tell my family and friends that I want to live, no matter what the doctors say. I am asking them what they want, and suggesting that they file living wills and durable power of attorney documents.

Thank you, Terri.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Rapist Lottery Winner Paroled in London?

From London's Daily Telegraph on the web:

Rapist free to spend lottery win


April 2, 2005

LONDON: A rapist who won the lottery while serving a life sentence left prison yesterday and got his hands on the $17 million fortune.

Why is a habitual sex offender who's been sentenced to life in prison being paroled, anyway?

Thursday, March 31, 2005