Fighting for Dear Life:
by: David Gibbs with Bob DeMoss
Published by: Bethany House
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Reviewed by Addie Mattson
Subtitled: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo and What it Means for All of Us
What American didn't choose sides between parents and husband as their brain-injured daughter and wife, Terri Schiavo, lived out her final days in 2005?
Debate continues today over right-to-life and quality-of-life and who decides for us when we can't decide for ourselves
Attorney and author David Gibbs is uniquely positioned to help readers explore this important question. Gibbs' firm represented Schiavo's parents as Mary and Bob Schindler sought to have their daughter's feeding tube replaced following a court order affirming that she was in a persistent vegetative state and had verbally stated she would not wish to live that way
The reversal effort took Gibbs' legal team through the state and federal courts, the U. S. Congress, the Florida statehouse, the White House and finally to the U. S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the lawyers fought a parallel battle in the world's media.
Attorney Gibbs certainly ranks as one of the fiercest legal advocates ever. In retelling the case, Gibbs provides a unique perspective and extensive information, including timelines and documents, which could help many readers refine their own thinking about the Schiavo case. Unfortunately, this otherwise informative book is marred by Gibbs' insistence on loaded word choices: "She did not die naturally, she was purposely killed." (page 139), and repeated innuendoes about husband Michael's role in her injury and his decisions about her care.
Oddly, after arguing repeatedly in court that Terri Schiavo had left no written directive about her care, he denigrates the Living Will as a tool for others to express end-of-life decisions.
Finally, a chapter entitled "Brave New World," makes it obvious that Gibbs is writing a narrow diatribe by invoking the Third Reich, alluding to "millions of illegal aliens" and alleging the euthanistic intentions of an unnamed Congressional subcommittee (page 211-212).
Armchair Interviews says: While Gibbs clearly remains Terri Schiavo's advocate after her death, she and his readers deserve a better telling of her story.
From our armchair to yours...