News Release

Terri Schiavo Case: “Err on the Side of Life”

President Bush stated yesterday regarding Terri Schiavo: “This is a complex case with serious issues but, in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is always wise to err on the side of life.”

JEAN KILBOURNE
The AP recently reported: “The Schiavos’ lawyer said her 1990 collapse was caused by a potassium imbalance brought on by an eating disorder. It is a cruel twist lost on no one close to the case: A woman who is said to have struggled with an eating disorder is now in the middle of a court battle over whether her feeding tube should be removed so that she can starve to death.”

Kilbourne is author of the book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel, and creator of the “Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women” film series. She said today: “Congress holds a special session, Bush jets back to Washington from vacation, the case might go all the way to the Supreme Court. Imagine if all this energy and media attention focused instead on the self-loathing and hatred of their own bodies that our culture generates in women and the rampant eating disorders that often result. Now that might save the lives of many young women for whom it is not too late.”
More Information
“Schiavo Case Highlights Eating Disorders, USA Today, Feb. 25, 2005
“Terri Schiavo’s Bulimia: Not on ‘The Agenda,'”

Dr. QUENTIN YOUNG
National coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, Young has chaired the Department of Medicine at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital. He said today: “It is stunning how little regard this president has for human life. His interest seems to extend to only one tragic brain-damaged woman. The U.S. is the only industrialized country to lack health care coverage for all citizens. Over 18,000 Americans perish every year because they lack health insurance. A lack of health insurance increases the chances a 55-year-old will die before they turn 64 by 40 percent. If the president wanted to save lives he would call for an emergency session to make Congress vote to extend Medicare to every American.”
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Rev. G. SIMON HARAK
A Jesuit priest and author of the books Virtuous Passions and Nonviolence for the Third Millennium, Harak is anti-militarism coordinator of the War Resisters League. He said today: “One of the first things we learn is that the more universal your ethical principles are, the more moral force they have. I hear of Bush’s flying back to D.C. to sign the Schiavo bill, and I think of him flying back from his first presidential campaign to sign the death warrants of Texas prisoners. I think of Bush signing a bill in Texas to cut off funds for life support for people who want their children to live, but can’t afford it. I hear of the government’s concern for this individual, tragic case, and I think of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children whom we diseased and starved to death during sanctions, and now the hundred thousand more Iraqis who have died in this invasion and occupation. How universal, how convincing, is the concern?”
More Information
“Counting the Iraqi Dead” from FAIR
“McClellan Lies About Bush’s ‘Pull the Plug’ Law” from Daily Kos

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167