I am a Republican and usually a staunch supporter of George W. Bush. But I was aghast at the flagrant political maneuvering over the fate of Terri Schiavo [April 4]. Shame on Bush, Representative Tom DeLay and all those others who wasted their time and our money on this right-to-life charade. Those same politicians are too cowardly to attack at the federal level the real right-to-life issues--abortion and the death penalty. I pray for Schiavo's parents and husband. We all have a right to a dignified death without government meddling.
BERNARD JOSEPH WILSON JR. Lincoln, Neb.
Schiavo, free of interference, has now peacefully passed through a natural stage of life. Life is precious precisely because it is finite.
ALICE HOOPER Rochester, N.Y.
Michael Schiavo abandoned his marriage vows to Terri years ago. Yet our nation's courts gave him the right as her husband to condemn her to a prolonged death. Michael insisted that Terri wouldn't have wanted to live as she did for the past 15 years: cared for by her loving family and apparently without suffering. Can he claim she would have wanted to die over a period of two long weeks by starvation and dehydration?
REINE D. BETHANY Hempstead, N.Y.
We had police officers standing guard to ensure that a human being died a slow death while her family watched in horror and was powerless to do anything to help. Was this the U.S. in 2005 or a Nazi concentration camp in the 1940s?
ALAN W. GARETT Corpus Christi, Texas
Of all the kindnesses shown to Schiavo during her 15 bedridden years of care, the greatest was her husband's allowing her to die naturally.
WILBUR F. POPPE Denton, Texas
It was understanding that people had conflicting thoughts about Schiavo and hesitated to take sides. I relate to those who wanted Schiavo to live because of her family's grief and the belief that she might be helped by advances in medical science. Harder to comprehend was the passion of some who were eager for her death. Without a living will as proof of Schiavo's desires and in light of her parents' willingness to take full responsibility for her, should the life-or-death decision have been left to a husband who had moved on and started a new family?
BONNIE O'NEIL Newport Beach, Calif.
It's ironic that so many Americans tore themselves apart over the death of Schiavo but had no qualms about sending thousands of able-bodied young men and women off to Iraq to kill and be killed in a needless war.
FRANK STRYLECKI Ottawa
The political hypocrisy in the Schiavo case was appalling. How many of those politicians and "right-to-lifers" who worked themselves into such a lather over this matter have also supported the death penalty or actually signed a death warrant? Those people are obnoxious.
JIM CLEARY Itasca, Ill.
The death and resurrection of Christ were meant to show us that death has no power, that the soul lives eternally while the body serves only as a container. Removing Schiavo's feeding tube was not cruel or disrespectful of life. On the contrary, the real cruelty was keeping her shell alive and not allowing her to be at peace with God. It is agonizing to have to let go of a loved one, but as God showed us through the sacrifice of his son, it is the greatest love of all to do so.
SANDY BRITT Cumberland Furnace, Tenn.