East Texans weren't short of the millions who watched the Terri Schiavo battle unfold on national television. "To me it's a really clear thing we don't let people starve to death in this country, we try not to at least. In this case we did it on purpose," says Rick Stewart of Tyler. "I think her parents should have been able to take care of her. I don't think her husband was a husband," says Virginia Vanderhoof of Tyler. On the contrary Heather Molandes adds, "I think the husband truly wanted her to be able to just rest and be at peace and the parents were a little selfish." "I think it was a good decision for the husband. Because I think he's responsible for her once you get married," says Marcus Blake of Tyler.
While Terri's family hoped that state, even federal courts, would keep her alive some say it's those very same courts that failed them. "I hope and pray this gets on camera. They've opened up the door to euthanasia in the United States than you would believe. And I've been talking about this for 12 years now and it's coming into reality," says Carl Gray of Tyler. For Virginia Gewin of Tyler, she says the feeding tube her husband was on saved his life. "He got down to 94 pounds and then they put in a feeding tube and he snapped right back out and in seven days he was a different person."
Although the Terri Schiavo case has a heartbreaking ending, East Texans say it sparked important discussions within their own families. "And I think everybody should have a living will to supercede the state and federal laws interjecting or contradicting family wishes," says Charles Hodson of Tyler.