It reminds me of some of my coach training sessions where we were instructed to not hand a crying client a box of tissues (which was within their easy reach anyway). That action is more about our own discomfort with emotion (and wanting to short-circuit its expression) than with helping them.
I think the saddest thing about the whole Schiavo case is at the center you have a family that is so afraid of accepting death. The desperate appeals up and down the judicial hierarchy get more and more selfish each time. This is not about Terri’s wishes or her husband’s custody as her legal guardian: this is about a family that is profoundly afraid of their own grief.