2005/03/21

Terri Schiavo case "America is watching"

Peggy Noonan is correct. Writing in Opinion Journal, she declares "America is watching" the Terri Schiavo case. But Peggy is wrong in thinking that Republican politicians are doing the right thing. We're instead watching Republican politicians make complete fools of themselves. Terri Schivao used to have a complete, healthy, functioning brain in her cranial cavity. Today, it's very largely spinal fluid that's up there. Mrs. Schiavo is not quite a vegetable, she is instead in a vegetative state. She's never going to get better. She will never advance beyond a living, but helpless and unaware state.
Once again, as it has so many times over the past five years, the media has disgraced itself by failing to point out the well-known facts of the case as seen by the reputable doctors and scientists who have examined her. No, I don't count Doctor/Senator Frist as being among that company.
Mrs. Schiavo's husband is the single person closest to Terri and has every right to speak on her behalf and make her life and death decision for her. Her parents have no such right as long as he is alive and capable.
UPDATE (05Mar23): Polls are running very, very strongly against the Republican Party on this issue. The utter hypocrisy of defending the precious sanctity of marraige against those "awful" gays who wanted to "degrade" marriage by getting married to each other is now considered irrelevant to defending the right of a parent to overrule a spouse in making life-or-death decisions.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Why can't she be manually fed or given liquids - why no food or liquids at all?
Taking the feeding tube out is one thing, denying all food and liquids by any means is murder isn't it?
2. Why did it take years before her 'husband' said she did not want to live this way?
3. Her friends said she was considering a divorce...certainly an indication that the relationship dynamics were in question,
4. Why can't guardianship be given to her parents so her 'husband' can go on with what he has already determined to be 'his own life'....another woman...2 children...engagement....common-law marriage (By the way, how did he file federal taxes?...joint or single and who was listed as the spouse and dependants?
5. What message is this giving to children today?
6. Could this issue possibly have contributed to the Minnesota school killings?
7. How do people with brain damage view this and what do they think? Are they next?
8. Why has the ADA been so silent? Why is no one calling them or why are they not on the news with statements?
9. What precedence will this now set…anyone who has a ‘loved one’ in ICU or on feeding or other life sustaining means could now say, ‘it was not the wish of this person to be this way, so pull the plug’…let me get the inheritance…let me stop the expenses…forget what the person wants…..whatever
10. Why can’t President Bush just ‘pardon her’?

Rich said...

Excellent questions. I'll answer them in order.

1. Terri Schiavo is essentially unliving. In the cavity that used to hold a full brain, there is a great deal of spinal fluid. Yes, her "life" can be preserved. No, there's no point in doing so.

2. From http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2005/03/out-comes-lions.html:
But what surprises me is that someone thinks, after eight years of trying to save her, going to nursing school, that he wanted her dead.

3. Perhaps it does, but in the absence of actual legal action, this is simply speculation.

4. This is the same logic of anti-abortionists who advocate adoption as an alternative to abortion. The presumption is that the people making the "anti-life" decision are cold, ruthless people who couldn't care less about anybody but themselves.

5. Life is an important subject and decisions concerning it should be approached thoughtfully and with great care. Decisions should NOT be made on a knee-jerk ideological basis.

6. Very highly doubtful.

7. How do people with hopeless brain damage that has left them in a permanent vegetative state view this and what do they think? Are they next? Very probably yes, but it depends on who is making the decision on their behalf.

8. The ADA has probably been so silent because the case has been litigated by 20 judges over eight years. If there was anything new to add, I'm sure it would have been.

9. Procedures are not being set. They're being confirmed. No one is making new law, they're simply confirming that the old laws apply.

10. How does one pardon someone who has not committed a crime? Terri is not being punished. Her husband has concluded that Terri cannot be revived and that it is cruel and pointless to preserve her life.