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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:41 pm
Ralph Nader supports Terri Schiavo’s right to be fed:
Benefits of doubts should be given to life, not hastened death. This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live.
Sounds reasonable. What harm could there be in feeding somebody?
(Via J.F. Beck)
UPDATE. More from Debra Saunders and John Podhoretz.
UPDATE II. Still more from Currency Lad, including this:
Live Aid Organisers Were Having Us All On: “Lack of food and water ‘usually a peaceful death’.”
UPDATE III. And Frank Salvato:
Terri Schiavo is going to die. Not because she has a terminal disease. Not because she was convicted of a crime punishable by death, although she did received a death sentence. She is not going to die because she has no one who loves her or because no one will care for her. Terri Schiavo is going to die because a judge from Florida’s 6th Circuit Court ordered that she not be fed.
- Apparently every time you pour a can of Ensure into Terri Schiavo’s stomach a cute African child dies.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 25 at 10:19 AM • permalink
- When the crystal on your hand starts flashing, please report to the Carousel for “renewal”. Yes, the Euthanized States of America is headed towards Logan’s Run.Posted by MCaldridge on 2005 03 25 at 10:35 AM • permalink
- OK, J., we’ll leave you out.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 25 at 11:04 AM • permalink
- I must admit I’m ambivilent about the whole thing, as there is much truth to both Salvoto and J. Peden’s statements. What strikes me is the hypocrisy of the left (I know, what else is new). If only poor Terri was a mass murderer, in the hospital ward of one of Jeb Bush’s gulags, they’d be fighting to keep the tube in.Posted by Buzz Crutcher on 2005 03 25 at 11:40 AM • permalink
- I have no way to know what Terri Schiavo’s preference regarding her treatment under the present circumstance would be. I am not privy to the true details of her condition because I am not there and must rely on the conflicting data of the opposing parties involved in the case.
But I can speak to what my desires would be in a similar situation. Putting aside any speculation about how I came to the condition as irrelevant to the resolution of the problem, I would hope that if my body was in the same condition as Terri’s… I would hope that my mind would be completely incognizant. To have to lay there immobile, unable to speak, without control of my body, this would be torture of an extreme level. I cannot imagine being in this condition for long and retaining my sanity. I would hope that those who care for me and about me would end such a terrible existence.
- Our opinion elite–the “right thinking” people who run the MSM and academia–long ago determined that people whose existence is inconvenient or burdensome to us may be freely destroyed. If we were to take the position that Terri Schiavo has some intrinsic value as a human being that requires us to sacrifice to care for her (Matthew 25:31-46)–why, if such unenlightened fundamentalist nonsense were to catch on, then there’s no telling what might happen! Our carefully-constructed Culture of Death Personal Convenience would collapse. We’d have to close Planned Parenthood. We can’t have that.
- Man, this is complicated. I’ve been mulling this for two hours.
If we accept the points raised in this post, then the issue of what Terry’s wishes would be is irrelevant, isn’t it? If withdrawing the tube without knowing her wishes is murder because she is not terminal, then withdrawing a feeding tube with her prior consent would become physician-assisted suicide, which is illegal. Any living wills we might be drawing up to protect ourselves in this situation would seem to be on shaky ground as it is, and if the courts rule in favor of her family based on the issues I’ve seen raised, they’d be worthless.
And Baby M, this issue is FAR more complicated than “killing the inconvenient.” People of good conscience on all sides are struggling with it.
- The only thing more horrific than assuming her to be a vegetable would be to assume that she’s actually been lying there with some consciousness for 15 years. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of evidence from court-appointed medical experts without any dog in the fight that there’s no consciousness, any twitches to the contrary. Disregard the experts who’ve run to the media spotlight to claim otherwise. I’m a lawyer, and you can find an expert to say any preposterous thing. We do it every day. There’s a big difference between an expert reporting to a judge and an expert shilling for one side in a dispute.
The question for any observer is, if you haven’t had the foresight to give a medical power of attorney to someone you trust or make your wishes clear in a living will, which may or may not be effective, who do you want making decisions for you in this situation ? Your family or strangers with passionate religious beliefs and grandstanding politicians trying to calculate how they can best use your corpse for electoral gain. Since law and custom let the spouse make such decisions, we watch smarmy attacks on her husband by the same intermeddlers. By all accounts he would have a lot more money in the bank, privacy, and a better life if he had just abandoned her corpse when he finally accepted the reality that she was gone.
The most delicious hypocrisy is the agitation by the religious right against the cruelty of starving her. Of course, the only reason we starve her rather than show her the dignity and humanity we would show a pet dog in this situation is because the religious right has fought to criminalize any humane measures for assisted suicide of the terminally ill. The Bush administration while heroically trying to wrest control of Terri Schiavo’s body from the Florida courts is also heroically trying to overturn Oregon’s assisted suicide law. (It’s o.k. to trash federalism because liberals are hypocrites too.)
It’s been an interesting circus and a useful reminder to those of us on the non-religious right (I’ve voted for Bush three times now) that we need to watch carefully those we’re in bed with.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 12:51 PM • permalink
- The whole meaning of the United States is based on the Constitution. The courts have decided based on COURT ordered experts advice and multiple witness statments that this poor woman is no longer there and never wanted to be in this condition. The Right says that her 14th amendment rights are being violated but the court(s) have ruled that this was HER wish. To keep her alive would be to violate her 14th amendment rights not the other way around. This is why the goverment is wrong to get involved and why the US supreme court did not hear the case.
- Quack. Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack quack quack.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 25 at 01:23 PM • permalink
- If withdrawing the tube without knowing her wishes is murder because she is not terminal, then withdrawing a feeding tube with her prior consent would become physician-assisted suicide, which is illegal.
I do this stuff for a living, so please permit me to respond. A person always has the right to refuse treatment. I draft living wills for my clients, which direct that treatment be discontinued in defined circumstances, and may also direct that a feeding tube be withdrawn, all the time. Refusing active treatment when one is terminal isn’t suicide, and I’m not sure that discontinuing the feeding tube in that situation would be, either. Complying with those directives is not “illegal physician-assisted suicide” because the law specifically authorizes it.
I agree that there are complex issues in play in these sorts of decisions–and that’s why I never presume to tell my clients that they should, or should not, have advance directives. There are people of goodwill on the other side of this issue from me, and I appreciate that. However, you’re kidding yourself if you think there’s not a culture of death out there. There is, and it’s ugly, and I really do not want my children growing up in a world where it holds sway.
- Boy, this issue is really helping me to understand why, even though I voted for Bush and have supported his efforts in foreign policy and fiscal reform, there are still miles between me and the Republican party these days. The kind of emotionalism and ugliness being displayed by many people in this matter are precisely what drove me away from the left after September 11th.
Andrea, I have to say that, though I have always enjoyed your comments and irreverence and management here, on this issue you are being very unpleasant to a lot of people who are friends of this site and Tim’s writing. I mean no disrespect to your views, but it is possible for reasonable people to differ in this case.
- I am not a lawyer so when I say I do this for a living, I mean I take care of people like Terri Shiavo. I know the families, the fears, the worries and also the love. Do not think for one moment that her mother would not welcome this burden. And don’t assume you have the right to know what is best for this woman.
Her mother is her family, the judge and the court are the government.
It is absurd to say that this should be left to the family and the government should stay out of it while all her blood relatives are being told to buzz off.
And where does it end? Is this the new plan to deal with medicare and social security? Gramps is old, and sick and incontinent and out of it and has Alzheimers so lets just starve [excuse me dehydrate] the old woman to death and save the resources. After all who would want to be like that?
Nobody wants to be like this woman. And I think that a lot of folks look at her and think, let her die, she would be better off dead. Hell I heard a young girl say the other day she would rather be dead than be fat.
But to be truthful you can look at the elderly, the sick, the infirm and even the crippled and say that…but just because you might rather be dead than be a quad does not mean you get to kill Charles Krauthammer. if you catch my meaning.
I still say this is barbaric and if I did this to one of my patients they would charge me with a crime.
It reminds me of the stories I have heard about how inconvenient women used to be housed in mental hospitals on the word of a doctor and a husband. never to be seen again. bedlam.
- Last time I checked, Charles Krauthammer had a brain (and a pretty good one) and was perfectly capable of making his own decisions. This woman does not, and the family was divided, so it fell to the courts to resolve the issue. They did so using exhaustive due process over many years trying to determine what Terri Schiavo would have wanted. As noted on the Volokh Conspiracy, almost every judge involved as best we can tell (there’s not a detailed record of how the Supreme Court or 11th Cir. en banc voted), including the very conservative ones appointed by Bush 41, Bush 43 and Reagan, concluded that the trial court’s decision was correct. The courts did not factor in the howling of relgiously excited strangers. Perhaps when we have Sharia, things will go differently.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 03:12 PM • permalink
- Dunno, guys. She doesn’t have a living will, and doesn’t have the benefit of any recent medical diagnostic procedures or rehabm she’s not lying “immobile” in bed. If all those things were true then I’d be content to shut up and let the issue rest. But without those things all I see are a bunch of judges and “experts” patting each other on the back about how progressive and compassionate they are for letting a woman die of thirst based on the say-so of her cheating spouse. I realize that The System has ordained this result and Must Be Obeyed but under these circumstances it’s just not the kind of precident I want to leave unchallenged.
That’s the difference between us: to me she know longer is human; she’s protoplasm. What was human about her dissipated about 15 years ago. Even some of my religious friends take the “God called her home a long time ago” view of this. I still think the protoplasm is entitled to be treated with dignity, which is what the husband is trying to do in my view. That he just didn’t wash his hands of this a long time ago and walk away shows that no good deed goes unpunished. The attacks on the husband (“cheating spouse” and that kind of slime) and attacks on the judiciary show the seamier side of the true believers who find their theological notions challenged.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 04:33 PM • permalink
- Perhaps some people could explain to me the disdain for this helpless woman. The cracks about how she has no mind, she is a house plant etc.
It is ghoulish, this desire to do away with a woman who can not do anyone any harm.
It also seems kind of hypocritical to claim to be acting in her behalf when you can not even think of her as a person with rights.
- I think the case testifies to the importance of having a living will so others cannot presume to say what’s in your best interest.
There was a fairly interesting article about it in the local newspaper.
Given how ridiculous it is to see kids at a protest march holding a sign condemning Bush or whatever, I hope the notion of a six-year-old kid standing outside the hospice condemning Terri’s husband is though equally repugnant.
The notion of a “culture of death” doesn’t ring true to me (compared to what period in history?). One would think that these days we actually have a culture that tries to deny death.Posted by Major Anya on 2005 03 25 at 04:42 PM • permalink
- I don’t disdain her. I’m sorry for her. It’s just that she’s left the building. I imagine we all project ourselves into this situation. What would be ghoulish to me would be to have a feeding tube shoved down my throat after my cerebral cortex had liquified.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 04:46 PM • permalink
Well then have the decency to kill her and get it over with. I spend a lot of time around sick people, some get better and some don’t…but let me tell you there are a lot more offensive things out there than a feeding tube.
Besides what right have you got to decide what she is? Protoplasm. ah yes a rationalist. Well then perhaps you should begin a cmapaign to rid the country of all the other [ugh] unsightly protoplasms out there that have the tmerity to exist and in the process offend your delicate sensibilities.
I look at a man and I see a two timing sperm bank with a wallet.
- We know we’ll be loved with a sound, audited financial statement.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 05:03 PM • permalink
Speaking of love that piece of protoplasm is loved.
She has a family that is willing to take care of her and make whatever sacrfices are necessary to do that.
But they are being denied that oppurtunity and she is being condemned to die by people who will never get their hands dirty. It is no sweat off their asses.
You might think that woman is pathetic, but right now I feel kinda sorry for you.
- Actually, this is quite simple: You either believe she is a human, as helpless as a baby and worthy of being cared for by her family. Or you believe she is sub-human “protoplasm” and worthy of death by starvation because her husband and the law says so.
And as for all that blather about right-to-die and state’s rights, it proves my theory about politcs being like a circle with the extreme left and right dwelling together at the bottom of the hour arguing over where the furniture should go in their fantasy utopias. When reality turns out to be inconvienient to their theories, they just want to be rid of it.
Jeb Bush should declare a state of emergency and save this woman, otherwise the very concept of law – the one formulated around the principle of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – becomes an inverted joke.
- Our dear Vidkunquisling seems to “know” enough to fill a thimble–and that might be generous–Ha!
I appreciate that some can agree to disagree, but for a self-admitted lawyer you’ve made some incredibly poor arguments.
First up, this is not a case regarding assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Terri is not terminally ill. You’re arguing the wrong case here, Counsellor.
Next, you cite smarmy attacks on the husband. I suppose it takes an attorney to refer to the facts–Michael Shiavo’s fathering two children with another woman while married–as smarmy. Some would suggest that these facts create a conflict for Michael that might (or should) disqualify his testimony regarding the issue of “substituted judgement”. Pointing out such facts–smarmy, or not–could be characterized as “arguing against interest”. I suggest it’s best to leave such inconvenient facts unmentioned.
Attributing the leaning, temperment or predilection of federal judges with the appointing president’s political affiliation is not an argument that is sustained by the facts, e.g. John Paul Stevens and David Souter smartly fail such broad assertions.
An informed medical opinion regarding the status of Terri’s brain, i.e. to make a diagnosis of a persistent vegitative state (PVS) requires an MRI or PET imaging; diagnostic tests which have not been performed. A CAT scan, which was performed over a decade ago, is not considered sufficient for such diagnosis.
One thing that is known is that Terri is NOT brain dead, as, among other things, she breathes on her own.
Protoplasm is an archaic term that pre-dates the electron microscope, and is no longer used in any scientific meaningful way. I suggest an updating of your crib notes.
Finally, feeding tubes aren’t shoved down the throat.
Other than that, you’ve made it quite clear that Terri should be treated like the family dog that has lost its’ usefulness and should be “put down”.
Given such sentiments, I recommend extreme caution when choosing who you get in bed with, as they may care as little of your regard.
Treating Terri Schiavo like the family dog would be much less debasing than what you want to do to her body. I remember quite vividly putting down my cancer-ridden dog a few years ago. I remember petting the dog while the vet gave her a shot and it was over peacefully in about 3 seconds. I particularly remember thinking at the time, “Why don’t we treat people with as much mercy and dignity ?” I could have let the dog live for another 2 or 3 days, but I lacked spiritual guidance from those knowledgeable about God’s plan for the dog’s soul.
As far as Terri Schiavo’s persistent vegetative state, I guess I’ll ignore the doctors that the court appointed in deference to your views from surfing the web. Bill Frist was able to give an upbeat prognosis just by looking at a videotape of her. Faith and political ambition are wonderful things.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 07:43 PM • permalink
- You want a toe an affidavit from an “independent neurologist�?? I can get you a toe an affidavit from an “independent neurologist�?, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don’t wanna know about it, believe me. … Hell, I can get you a toe an affidavit from an “independent neurologist�? by 3 o’clock this afternoon… with nail polish.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 07:55 PM • permalink
- I can’t believe that goldsmith has pulled the pathetic “you’re mean” card. Listen, honeybuns, if I had been MEAN to you, you would not only have felt your fingers smoking on the keyboard, there would have been nothing left of you within five seconds but a grease spot in your chair.
“to me she know longer is human; she’s protoplasm”
Vidkunquisling (great name, by the way), that has to be one of the most contemptible, despicable, disgusting things I have seen anyone write in this blog about anyone. Who the fuck do you think you are, God? Oh, I’m sorry, did I use harsh terms? Some of you may want to lie down in a darkened room for a while with a cool cloth on your forehead.
You know, all you people with the fake compassion for Terri Schiavo are a bunch of ghouls. You come here and spout about how “no one should live like that” and “she died fifteen years ago” and shit like that as if you knew fuckall. You don’t know shit, and if it was your kid in that situation I’ll bet we wouldn’t be reading cracks about “houseplants” and godlike judgments on who should be considered human and who shouldn’t. That stupid religious faith you are mocking is called hope, and it’s sad to see you don’t have any. Have fun playing with your things.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 25 at 08:54 PM • permalink
Although the vast majority of my sympathy is with the Terri Shiavo and her family I have to admit I feel some sympathy for Jeb Bush. If he does not act there will be people who will not forgive him and if he does he could face impeachment for whatever charges the let Terri die fan club cooked up. And they would get her back anyway.
People like to think that judges are just kindly old men in black robes, but in truth they are THE LAW. sucks don’t yet.
- Cracks about houseplants are social announcements that you can’t count on the reaction that you might be hoping for. It’s generally wholesome, and generally done for pretentious company and tactfully out of range of the grieving loved ones, who may in all probability have just been invoked in come capacity or other.
Moral arguments are not meant to result in agreement, but to stake out positions, and see if they’re ones that the other guy can respect. Mostly they end with a judgment that the other guy is a moral incompetent. This is not a failure of the moral argument! That’s what they do.
Within families or workplaces, everybody knows just not to bring those things up again.
The web can do better, in the form of just trying another tack when another tack is called for. Resaying what has been ill said or ill understood won’t kill anybody
- Dude, if you can get me a toe an Affidavit saying precisely what you want (and what on earth is your reference to a “toe”?), you should have volunteered for the Michael Schiavo legal team years ago.
I’m certain that there would have been room for another attorney who gleefully relates how easy it is for him to obtain a false and misleading testimony.
Shot yourself in the foot, Dude.
- to me she know longer is human
Oh God, that “my truth” meme really is catching on. That’s nice Vidkun, but what is she to her parents and siblings? What is she to herself? Come to think of it, what’s my husband to me? Am I justified in locking the fridge if “to me” he is just a bit of protoplasm? I suspect that what you really mean is “If were in that state, in my opinion I would no longer be human.” Bully for you, write a living will to that effect. But please try, just for a second, to imagine a world where people may come to different conclusions than you when faced with the same dilemma.
- To me vidkunquisling is not even protosplasm, he is a series of bits and bytes. I can wipe his hard drive anytime. How do you like me now?Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 25 at 10:37 PM • permalink
As I clearly indicated in a prior post, I am projecting myself into that situation. I would not consider myself to be human without a functioning cerebral cortex. (We’re not talking about facial deformities, loss of the use of your legs, or the other silly disability comparisons I’ve seen.) I assume that all the other commentators, including the hyperventilating administrator, are projecting as well. How anyone could want to be kept alive under such conditions is something I’m incapable of understanding, but I don’t begrudge them their right to debase themselves in that manner. The concern that any libertarian feels in watching this circus is that a living will (which I can assure you I have) might not be an ultimate protection against religiously motivated intermeddlers and politicians who curry their favor. There’s already a groundswell to assemble a posse, ignore the 30 or 40 judicial tyrants who have ruled on the matter, and seize the body. Why respect the legal process when you disagree with the result based on religious belief?Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 25 at 11:06 PM • permalink
- “It’s been…a useful reminder to those of us on the non-religious right that we need to watch carefully those we’re in bed with.” Got that damn straight!
The case is unremarkable. Decisions like this are made every day by families in private. It appears to me the exception in this case is the strong difference in the spiritual beliefs of the two parties and the willingness of one party to attempt use the courts to exercise those beliefs to frustrate the wishes of the other.
The most sickening thing in this whole episode is the opprobrium being heaped on the husband. I can only assume anybody who suspects his motives or actions are anything but honourable have not read any of the court judgements. These are unequivocal.
To clear up one gross misconception. The lady’s wishes have not been determined by the simple assertion of the husband. In fact when required to make a such a decision he decided he was not confident in his ability to determine them (her wishes)alone and so asked a court to appoint an independent guardian to decide. That court relied on the testimony of five (5) independent witnesses to determine the lady’s intentions. The sole exception is in 1994 Mr Shiavo attempted to refuse a particular treatment for his wife because, on medical advice, he thought it may be harmful to her.
Unless of course you want to put on your tinfoil hats and alledge a vast secular kill the inncocent conspiracy infecting the whole hierachy of your justice system, up to and including your Supreme Court.
And yes Andrea I do worship at the “alter of the mighty courts” (read: rule of law) without which we may as well all pack up, go home, clean the guns and accept anarchy.Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 25 at 11:06 PM • permalink
- “As I clearly indicated in a prior post, I am projecting myself into that situation.”
“And yes Andrea I do worship at the “alter of the mighty courts�? (read: rule of law) without which we may as well all pack up, go home, clean the guns and accept anarchy.”
Jesus, you’re both fools.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 25 at 11:10 PM • permalink
- I certainly believe it right for people to hold a spiritual belief of their choosing and to exercise that belief as they see fit.
What’s wrong is when they attempt to use processes such as the courts to frustrate the wishes of others and then when that fails heap opprobrium on those who don’t practice similar beliefs.
It’d be OK to simply say “I believe all killing is wrong. This is killing, therefore it’s wrong.” Fair enough. I disagree but that’s why we have rule of law in the demoncratic anglosphere. And the courts have taken a different view.
The appropriate response, one I would respect, is to attempt to change the law. Not public vilify a man who exercises a different, but legal, belief system to you.
And going by recent polls here and in the US you would have little chance of success. Democracy can be a bitch.Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 25 at 11:25 PM • permalink
- As was said by someone else preview is for pussiesPosted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 25 at 11:31 PM • permalink
- And going by Andrea’s previous threat to smite us at our keyboards, I’m wondering why my browser blows up every second time I use preview. I’ve now got my tinfoil hat on.Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 25 at 11:33 PM • permalink
- *Basilisk stare*Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 25 at 11:38 PM • permalink
- Preview works fine for me. I am using Firefox version 1.0.2. running on Windows XP Pro, with a cable connection to the internet. I don’t have loads of other things running at the same time but I usually have several windows open and also other programs running in the system tray.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 26 at 12:09 AM • permalink
am unsophisticated at links (read too lazy to learn) so here is the address hope it works:
The important text is as follows:
“In this case, however, Michael Schiavo has not been allowed to make a decision to disconnect life-support. The Schindlers have not been allowed to make a decision to maintain life-support. Each party in this case, absent their disagreement, might have been a suitable surrogate decision-maker for Theresa. Because Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers could not agree on the proper decision and the inheritance issue created the appearance of conflict, Michael Schiavo, as the guardian of Theresa, invoked the trial court’s jurisdiction to allow the trial court to serve as the surrogate decision-maker.[bold is mine]
See page 3 para 2 and page 5 last (2nd) para.
In essence because his wishes conflicted with the parents MS asked the court in 1998 to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to decide if the tube should be removed. He was then free to take the position that it should and the parents could argue their case but the decsion would not be his.
Interestingly this means that even if he wanted to MS could not unmake that decision because he did not make it in the first place.Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 26 at 12:17 AM • permalink
- OK, Dean, I’ve referenced that, and Page 4 Paragraph 1 delineates the Court’s view:
“Consequently, the Court is unable to rely upon his (the Guardian ad Litem) conclusions except for the fact that he felt Michael Schiavo alone, due to his potential conflict of interest, was not able to provide clear and convincing evidence to support the granting of his Petition.”
The bold part is mine.
The Floridian Circuit Court Judge chose to ignore the recommendations of the Court-appointed Guardian ad Litem.
Now I’ll put on my tin-foil hat.
- You have misread the meaning and context of that statement. Please read the entire document. It is simply re-stating, in legal jargon, the standard of proof required ie, that it would be incorrect to rely soley on MS opinion. Something MS agreed with. So the court considered the other witnesses and found that they, in aggregate, did meet the required standard of proof.
The court cannot (and did not) ignore the recommedations of the Guardian ad Litem. I don’t know where you got that from.Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 26 at 12:54 AM • permalink
- I haven’t banned him. I can’t make out what the “toe” thing is either. I’m not sure I want to know.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 26 at 12:54 AM • permalink
- Dean, I get “You have misread the meaning and context of that statement” every time I have an argument with an adherent of the Religion of Peace about the Koran.
I’m going to waste some paper and print out your link, and in the fullness of time (say 20 minutes) I will let you know whether I have misread the meaning of the Court’s words, or taken it out of context.
- I have consumed a vast quantity of ink and paper to do just that with all the judgements. It is very illuminating to see the efforts judges and the parties have gone to to resolve this matter sensitively.
I couldn’t help but feel, that the sub-text of these from the judges is “We wish we didn’t have a role in this, but if we must, here it is.”Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 26 at 01:14 AM • permalink
- Incidentally, all I’m looking for is an acknowledgement from those on the opposite side of the argument that it is highly unlikely that MS motives are not honourable.Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 26 at 01:33 AM • permalink
- The left and so-called “libertarian” right like to point out the presumed religious affiliations of those who want the feeding tube re-inserted. Perhaps the faith based aspects of their beliefs should be scrutinised. What we are witnessing is the ascendancy of hyper-rational scientism – the belief that if science cannot answer the question, then the question is not worth asking. The best that can guaranteed is that there is “no scientific evidence” that Terri Schiavo will suffer during the process of starvation. To the hyper-rationalist, this becomes “she will not suffer”. I am sorry but that doesn’t satisfy me in the slightest. By denying that there are limits to scientific knowledge, the hyper-rationalists seem to be engaging in the exact type of faith based reasoning they claim to reject.
- My reading of these opinions is that Michael Schiavo apparently asked the court to decide the matter when the guardian ad litem disagreed with him. The court held that the guardian ad litem it had appointed had an undisclosed predisposition in the matter and that it should hold a full evidentiary hearing. It’s clear from the subtext of the court’s opinion that it thought the guardian was disregarding Michael Schiavo’s evidence because the guardian thought Michael had a financial interest when Terri’s parents in fact had an equal and opposite financial interest. Both the trial and the appellate courts dismissed this mudslinging and found that both parties were acting in good faith. The trial court held a full evidentiary hearing with numerous witnesses and found by clear and convincing evidence that Terri Schiavo would have wanted not to continue life support. Non-lawyers would not normally note the point, but “clear and convincing” is a standard under U.S. law that is substantially higher that the “preponderance of evidence” standard that applies to normal civil proceedings although less than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that applies in criminal trials. There is much else in the opinions that would discomfort those trying to assassinate Michael Schiavo’s character or the courts’ actions under the rule of law if they are intellectually honest.
If you want to learn more about obtaining toes, you should consult The Big Lebowski.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 01:55 AM • permalink
- Vidkun – yes, there’s such a huge groundswell, so much violence inherent in the religious crazies and so much danger of a theocracy that *despite all the outcry* she is still going to die. Notice how Jeb hasn’t actually sent in the troops (and no, I don’t think he should) and notice how the president was unable to pass an act that could not be blocked by a single judge. The power of literally hundreds of highly-placed government people cannot destroy the wishes of Michael Schiavo, George Felos and George Greer. If this were really the desperate situation you suggest, this wouldn’t even be an issue; Terri’s door would have been knocked down by presidential fiat and she’d probably be in some undisclosed location or other being tube-fed again while Jeb granted her a summary divorce from Michael, and never mind the fact that she’s legally incapable of divorcing him. They would be breaking actual laws. But they’re not – and this for a case turning on very dubious evidence. If she had had an actual living will or even *anything* in writing, it would never have gotten this far. And with all this – she still dies. Theocracy is not exactly raging unchecked all over the land, or if it is it’s the weakest theocracy I ever heard of.
- Dean, I have briefly perused the full decision of Circuit Judge George Greer as per your .pdf link above, and upon which I commented, and your response was that:
“You have misread the meaning and context of that statement. Please read the entire document. It is simply re-stating, in legal jargon, the standard of proof required ie, that it would be incorrect to rely soley on MS opinion.”
My response from a brief review? Utter balderdash.
As far as I can see, the presiding Judge (George Greer, 9th Circuit) totally disregarded the views of the Guardian ad Litem (as per my quote from Page 4 para 1).
You say in your reply:
“The court cannot (and did not) ignore the recommedations of the Guardian ad Litem.”
Upon what do you base this assertion?
As far as I can see, the Court (Greer J.) did precisely that.
- disagree with does mean ignorePosted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 26 at 02:15 AM • permalink
- Should read “disagree does not mean ignore.”
Incidentally, are you prepared to agree the vitriol heaped on MS is unjustified?Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 03 26 at 02:17 AM • permalink
- I should have presented that argument more clearly and concisely.
Nowhere in the linked judgement of Greer J. does he refer to the advice of the Court appointed Guardian ad Lietem, apart from dismissing the evidence/advice. (P4 para 1). Nowhere.
Prove me wrong.
In my experience, any Court that disregards the evidence/advice of a Court appointed guardian or representative for a legally impaired person has to set out in great detail precisely why that evidence/advice is being refuted.
- Incidentally, are you prepared to agree the vitriol heaped on MS is unjustified?
Dean, this purely depends upon whether he attempted to strangle his wife to death in February 1990 or not.
By corollorary, if he did so, an observer of human nature would not be surprised by his subsequent legal actions to ensure the death (and immediate cremation) of the only possible witness against him.
I have no problem with him “moving on”, and having a new relationship.
I do have a problem with his using the legal system to order and ensure the killing of a damaged, though functioning, human being.
FYI, I do not believe in the hereafter, nor a God. I think it was Skola (?sp) who said in WW2 in a concentration camp “If there were a God, this would not be happening.”
Same shit, different day.
- I don’t know how much more clearly the judge could have said it although he tried to be diplomatic: he thought the guardian was biased in favor of feeding tubes and that guardian should have disclosed this to the judge before he was appointed. Further, the judge thought the guardian was not listening to evidence that didn’t suit his predisposition. The judge said this specifically about Michael Schiavo but there’s also a general statement that the guardian didn’t have the opportunity to interview the witnesses the judge heard. Bias is a classic reason to disqualify a judge or anyone acting in a judicial capacity.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 02:36 AM • permalink
- Kaboom, where in the fever swamps did you find evidence that he tried to strangle his wife ? And he tried to cover it up beginning 6 or 7 years later because of concern she’d grow a new brain and testify against him ? Do you have medical issues ?Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 02:45 AM • permalink
- it’s ok to kill terry schiavo but it’s not ok to kill saddam’s henchmen, or alternatively it’s not ok to kill terry schiavo but it’s ok to kill saddam’s henchmen – folks, life is so dang difficult to work out
why does nobody order an up to date brain scan, or several, to see if there is anybody at home in terry’s head? relying on a 15 year old CAT scan is not good enough
- Well, well, we have received the pearls of wisdom from vidkunquisling again.
In my post #46 I enquired of him:
Well, let’s look further at our friend vid, and as he said in post #20:
“What was human about her dissipated about 15 years ago.�?
Perhaps he can identify what was human about Terri Schiavo in 1990, and (especially) identify what makes her non-human or sub-human today.
No response. This is interesting.
He has not even referenced the “toe”, and I am disinclined to consult The Big Lebowski about this. Let Mr Toe explain all to the forum.
- Kaboom, what part of “persistent vegetative state” are you not understanding ? The lack of all consciousness, cognitive functions, emotion, memory and every shred of your personality ? Ask your neurologist if this confuses you. Now that you’re enlightened, solve your crime for me.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 03:09 AM • permalink
1. I’m on kidney dialysis with total kidney failure, from what I don’t know. All my life I was as healthy as any human could possibly be. In one 14 year span I had only 1 minor tooth cavity, and that’s it. Well until I got very sick.
A lot of people make statements that “they would never want to live like that”. I’ve made those statements myself many times. But life is sweet. And giving it up is sometimes far more difficult than you can possibly imagine. It’s very easy when you’re healthy to make statements like this. But even a fraction of a life, is still living. No matter how difficult and tenuous it might be.
As long as there is no pain, or the pain can be managed, then there are very few people who really would opt for death. Life is sweet and letting go of it is much harder than you can possibly imagine.
2. If having people motivated and mobilized to keep you alive is facism, then this depraved world needs quite a bit more facism. Particularly in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
3. People demand perfection when dealing with capital punishment. What’s that argument again? Oh yes. You know the one. The one where there can be no doubts when applying death, because a state that kills it’s own citizens is the most terrifying thing of all.
4. Frankly I still have many questions about this case. I don’t necessarily want her to die and I don’t necessarily want her to live. What I want, and so many other people do too, is for one last final determination of what exactly are the facts and what is the truth.
IMHO much of the “facts” being tossed around are hardly that. An actual definitive report is what’s needed. This is the only thing that would let this issue rest. It is the one thing that the judiciary is unwilling to provide.
I fully expect Congress to create an investigative commission to find out if a great wrong was done.
I can understand “the lack of all consciousness”. Simple, really, this is being unconscious. Does it apply to Terri? No.
I can understand “cognitive funcions”, reacting to environmental inputs. No, this is not merely global warming. Does Terri not react to environmental inputs? No.
I can understand “emotion”. Does Terri not show emotion? No.
I can understand “memory”. Does Terri have a memory? Maybe not. Does your mother have a memory? Maybe not.
I’m not condoning the killing of your mother because she does not have a memory.
I can understand “every shred of your personality”. If you think that losing just one shred of your personality entitles someone to decree that you should die, then so be it.
Or, how many shreds? You, the lawyer, must know. Tell me.
Or, perhaps you can tell me about The Toe.
Just explain to me, in simple terms, why Terri is less of a human now, than she was in February 1990.
- Kaboom, I’ll humor you further about how easy it is to get a toe or an expert affidavit only after you explain the evidence for your theory that Michael Schiavo strangled his wife then tried to prevent her from growing a new brain years later lest she expose him.
As far as explaining why she’s less of human, I took a stab at detailing what no or close to no cerebrum means. I have nothing further to offer on the subject.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 03:42 AM • permalink
- BTW ed,
Thank you for your courage in posting. If I were in your situation, I would be considering my options.
I would not be forcing my opinions/ options/ etc etc on anyone else. Only because I as the object would (presumably) be able as a cognizant human being to readily explore those options.
Forceably removing a person’s basic human right to food and hydration is appalling.
Though I do not believe in a God, I wish you a speedy recovery.
You do not have to humour me. You entertain me, my lad.
I do not have to prove to you or anyone on this forum that MS strangled (or attempted to strangle) his wife or not in February 1990.
You as a lawyer would appreciate the word “if” to represent a hypothetical situation.
Now, getting back to basics, you still have not explained “The Toe”.
As a lawyer, I’m sure that you can tell me what the result of not having a cerebrum is, and I’m positive that you can point to the recent diagnostics of Terri that support your case with reference to her.
Just explain to me, in simple terms, why Terri is less of a human now, than she was in February 1990.
- Dean said that decisons like this are made in private every day.
No they are not.
We are not allowed in private or anywhere else to deny food and water to a depenent adult. This is a crime. It is not a privacy matter. This is myth.
As for due process, you have a pro euthanasia lawyer working for a group that gives campaign contrtibutions to the judge in the case.
There are so many conflicts in this case I can not believe people assume this is just the courts doing their job. Well people the courts are representatives of the state and so the government is deciding this issue, not just the family, in private.
But let us say that Terri is already dead, like some seem to think.
How did she get here? As a general rule healthy young women do not just collapse.
If she had actually died 15 years ago an autopsy would have been performed and a cause of death would have been established. There would have been an ivestigation into her death. That is something that happens everyday. I know her brother wants to know what happened to his sister.
But who the hell is he? Just another pesky blood relative trying to keep the houseplant alive while her owner, [excuse me her husband and lord and master] is trying to establish in a court room that food and water are life support and as such can be removed from the woman and she allowed to slowly die.
- She wasn’t a healthy young woman. She was a bulimic.
The malpractice case, whatever its merits, was against the physicians treating her for the bulimia. You may be certain the insurance carrier fully investigated the case looking for any reason not to pay. The case is sad but not sinister.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 11:56 AM • permalink
- Soul? Come now, ushie my friend, you are violating the secularist’s self-serving rules of argument by introducing ideas they don’t like into a debate! Be kind to Vidkin the filthy Nazi sympathizer and only argue according to the loaded and biased rules he has determined will enable him to win and get his way.
In other news:
Looks like Jeb made a half assed attmept to save her.
He was willing to have her pulled out if they murderers were willing to give up and let his social worker SWAT team in. Wow, the guts. Jeb’s a hero for our times.
- Guys, I tried fixing the code in radtrad’s url but it still isn’t working right. Try this:
Yes, I know I broke my the format here, a thing I usually slap you all around for. Anyway, I used the “code” tag (use square brackets) to get around the http redirect.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 26 at 02:09 PM • permalink
- I meant to say: take the above url, copy and paste it into your browser address field.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 26 at 02:10 PM • permalink
- radtrad, would Vid say that the only thing that made Terri a human was her cerebrum?
Yeah, probably. How rationalist. How tidy, and clean. None of that messy spirituality to clear up.
I wonder–is this how Pete Singer justifies putting down severely retarded infants?
My aunts had Alzheimer’s before they died. Didn’t recognize anyone, couldn’t feed themselves. What a waste of money putting them in homes! We shoulda chained them in the basement and starved them to death.
- Andrea: sorry about that. Is it possible to delete that post of mine, if that would help?
ushie: radtrad, would Vid say that the only thing that made Terri a human was her cerebrum?
Probably, that’s is a favorite sophism with these people.
I wonder–is this how Pete Singer justifies putting down severely retarded infants?
I’ve never felt the need to familiarize myself with his work at any depth (there are real philosophers to read) but I’d guess it would be more likely that he’d justify it on a pain/pleasure basis and tell himself that he was doing the infant a “favor”.
Interesting fact: Singer nursed his severely ill and disabled mother until her death. Which shows:
1.) He’s a better man than his ideology would indicate (which is not to canonize him).
2.) He doesn’t actually believe in what he says and expounds it for ulterior motives. I’m betting he either thinks it is more “enlightened” (how fashion clouds the mind) or that he has some vice he needs to rationalize away. It would be interesting to learn if he had a religious upbringing.
My aunts had Alzheimer’s before they died. Didn’t recognize anyone, couldn’t feed themselves. What a waste of money putting them in homes! We shoulda chained them in the basement and starved them to death.
I was the only man in the house when we finally had to take my grandfather (on Mom’s side) to a home because we just couldn’t care for him any more. I had the duty of helping change his underwear, because he was so gone that he couldn’t even do that. Dad, being a selfish adolescent in the body of a middle aged man, was gone for good, I was about 14, my sister was 10, and Mom had never finished college. Medical bills for him were $10,000 a month or thereabouts.
I recall thinking to myself: “Should we just unplug him let him die?” My answer was “NO”, and I was ready to call it murder to Mom’s face if she disagreed; I can’t say I wanted him to hang on, because that’s not true and he really was in a terrible way, but I was unwilling to be a party to causing his death actively or passively by denial of food or water. This despite the fact that Father Dearest had left us and we had no way of earning an income sufficent to support three people in the area we lived in. Mom, being a good woman, never even mentioned letting him die. He went on his own time soon enough.
I guess I’m just a sentimental religious fanatic. Except I wasn’t even baptised then, but whatever. The shoe fits. It has for a long time.
If every woman in America with an eating disorder keeled over half the female population would either be dead or protoplasm.
Like I said, steroids create chemical imbalances, diet pills, yeah, but we don’t know what happened to her.
Does this mean that if a diabetic turns up dead we are not supposed to investigate?
You know I heard a woman earlier today say the following: “I think it is cool that they are going to kill her, she’s just a slab of meat and eff her parents for not having the guts to kill her themselves.”
This young woman is med student. If I ever have to go to the hospital she will be working in I hope they let me keep a gun under my pillow.
- Update: I decided to break the url into two parts to fix that horizontal scroll problem, so you will have to select the url in two parts.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 26 at 07:47 PM • permalink
- By the way—it is interesting that the v.quisling has joined his voice to those that are claiming that she was a bulimic and therefore somehow deserves her fate. I am not sure where this hatred of women with eating disorders comes into the picture, unless it is to further illustrate the general misogyny that seems to shape so many of the opinions of the Terri-killers.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 26 at 07:55 PM • permalink
- Andrea, you are as intellectually dishonest as you are intemperate. I pointed out that she was bulimic in direct response to the immediately previous post stating that her death was suspicious because she was in perfect health. No one with an IQ higher than tree moss would read this as a suggestion that she deserved to be brain dead.Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 09:21 PM • permalink
- If people are going to kill her they should do it with a fatal overdose of morphine, not by the slow torture of starvation and thirst.
If we are going to adopt the philosophy of “life unworthy of life” and euthanasia for sick people “using up too many resources” (“useless eaters” in the original formulation of the advocates of this idea) we should have a national debate about it, and have the political process take into account the objections to such instrumentalism with human lives, not have some overreaching judges order it on a case-by-case basis until it is the defacto law of the land.
Slope, meet oil.Posted by Michael Lonie on 2005 03 26 at 09:24 PM • permalink
- should read “her brain death was suspicious”Posted by vidkunquisling on 2005 03 26 at 09:24 PM • permalink
Andrea, you are as intellectually dishonest as you are intemperate. I pointed out that she was bulimic in direct response to the immediately previous post stating that her death was suspicious because she was in perfect health. No one with an IQ higher than tree moss would read this as a suggestion that she deserved to be brain dead.
This totally insulting and incoherent statement will serve as an explanation why you have just been banned from this blog.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 03 26 at 10:17 PM • permalink
They thought about euthanasia, but decided on a “natural” death.
Her eyes and tongue are bleeding now. Can’t get much more natural than that.
I hear her better half as still not relented on the whole cremation thing. Her parents can’t even have her body, they are Catholics and they don’t want her cremated. But he has completely ignored their wishes thus far..why change now?
If I was this guy I would be hoping I never met her brother in a dark ally.
- If I was this guy I would be hoping I never met her brother in a dark ally.
Michael Schiavo is about 6’7” or so I hear. I doubt he walks in fear of much.
Of course, if someone cut his legs off at the knees and his arms off at the elbows, that would be a different story. Then a rehabilitated Terri could beat the hell out of him.
I like that thought.
- Ok, what I don’t understand is the following:
if she is in a persistent vegetative state, then surely she’s not in any pain, so why not keep on feeding her? It surely can’t be prolonging her pain, so why not continue to look after her?
If she isn’t in a persistent vegetative state, and given she hasn’t left a living will, then surely she has to keep on being given food, because no one can reliably determine her wishes.