The fact of Terri Schiavo’s life, the possibility of her death, is a regular subject in the ethics classes Dr. Robert Walker conducts at the University of South Florida medical school.
Dr. Walker, an associate professor and head of the school’s division of medical ethics and humanities, made another presentation last Thursday, one day after Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer handed Schiavo’s parents another defeat and set still another date for the removal of her feeding tube.
What Walker said will not satisfy those who consider Schiavo’s case and see the word euthanasia written all over it. It will infuriate those who have so wrapped themselves in this cause that St. Petersburg’s Catholic bishop, Robert Lynch, last month counseled against calling the judges who have consistently ruled against keeping Schiavo alive “murderers.”
Walker left no doubt in an interview where he stands. He’s with the judges who have concluded Schiavo would not have wanted her life prolonged when there was no hope.
“I don’t think it is widely appreciated just how damaged her brain is,” said Walker, an internist, who has followed the case closely by reading the public record.
Are there any ethical medical ethicists teaching at our universities today? Are they all Pete Singer types and would Dr. Josef Mengele feel right at home in this environment?