Skip to comments.Terri Schiavo counts: Now give her equal protection
Posted on 02/23/2005 8:17:45 AM PST by NYer
Before lawmakers in Florida allow Terri Schiavo, a mentally disabled woman who is fed through a tube, to be starved and dehydrated to death, they ought to take a careful look at the 2000 Census.
It explains why the Constitution compels them to keep fighting for Terri's life.
In 2003, a Florida judge decided Terri's estranged husband (who has two children by another woman) could disconnect her tube and kill her by starvation and dehydration. Gov. Jeb Bush persuaded Florida's legislature to enact a law allowing him to restore Terri's tube. But the law was narrowly cast: It applied only to Terri, retroactively reversing the judge's decision to authorize her killing.
The Florida Supreme Court overturned Terri's Law, saying the governor and legislature did not have the authority to reverse a final judicial determination made under existing state laws. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Bush's appeal of the decision.
But the truth is Terri's Law did not go far enough. This time, Gov. Bush and the Florida legislature should protect not only Schiavo from starvation and dehydration, but also every other person in the state.
As the 2000 census illustrates, this is their constitutional duty.
Under the 14th Amendment, the Constitution requires the census to count "the whole number of persons in each State." Accordingly, the 2000 Census counted 88,828 "persons" living in nursing homes in Florida, 3,538 living in "hospitals/wards and hospices for the chronically ill" and 4,233 living in psychiatric hospitals or wards. Nationwide, it counted 1,720,500 persons living in nursing homes.
There was no degree of disability, incapacitation or illness that disqualified someone from being counted as a "person" under the Census Bureau's 14th Amendment mandate to count "the whole number of persons."
Under the 14th Amendment, Terri Schiavo and other disabled people are indisputably "persons."
Even judges who wrongly deny that unborn babies are persons cannot deny that the 41-year-old Shiavo is a person. Every member of the U.S. House of Representatives is elected from a district drawn a certain way because all disabled persons such as Schiavo were counted just like any other person under the plain meaning of 14th Amendment.
This presents what ought be an insurmountable constitutional obstacle for those who want state governments -- either through their courts or legislatures -- to legalize the killing of innocent persons like Schiavo, no matter by what means the intended killing is affected. The same 14th Amendment that considers Terri a "person" when it comes to taking a census and apportioning Congress also says, "No State shall ... deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Terri has an equal right to every other person in Florida to the state's protection from homicidal acts. Florida may no more legalize killing mentally disabled persons than it can legalize killing persons with brown hair.
America has seen antecedents to this type of moral crisis. There is an ineradicable force in the fallen nature of man that will always drive some human beings to trample the God-given rights of others. The reason we have a Constitution is to stop them. It is especially the reason we have a 14th Amendment.
When the Constitution was originally ratified, it did not command the census to count all persons. It commanded that it count "the whole Number of free Persons" and only "three fifths of all other Persons."
The "other persons," of course, were African-American slaves. Many Southerners preferred slaves to be counted as persons when it came to apportioning their state's congressional representation, but not when it came to apportioning federal taxes among the states by population. Many Northerners, who rightly viewed slavery as a gross violation of human rights, nonetheless wanted slaves counted as persons for apportioning taxes, but not for apportioning congressional seats.
Northerners and Southerners compromised and wrote constitutional language that pretended slaves were not full persons. This failure to recognize and protect the full humanity of all persons was the original sin of the Republic. It led to years of turmoil, a bloody Civil War and, finally, a 13th Amendment to abolish slavery and a 14th Amendment to ensure that all states give all persons equal protection of the law -- and that all persons are counted in the census.
All along, the Declaration of Independence had stated the truth: God endows all men with certain inalienable rights, including life and liberty.
Florida lawmakers must protect Terri Schiavo and all other persons from death by starvation and dehydration. It is their constitutional duty.
However, Florida has a lot to gain by removing assets that sap the resources of the state AND to absorb the assets of those deceased without heirs.
You see, Florida is a retirement state - why should Florida not profit from assisting the "drains" on the health system on to their reward. Apparently the death culture (meaning death determined by the courts and others for the weak) is very strong in Florida.
It might prove beneficial to plan your retirement for some place other than Florida. Yet, if you are willing to allow a spouse the right to kill you if you fall into a coma and the spouse suddenly remembers you said you did not want to live incapacitated, go ahead - enjoy Florida.
Please ping the list.
Lawyer contributes to Judge's election campaign.
Wife wins phony malpractice suit and serious money.
Man gets common law wife, has kids by her, refuses to divorce Wife.
Man refuses to give Wife's parent custody.
Man stays married to Wife plotting to get her money.
Man plans to murder wife to get malpractice suit money.
Man finds crooked lawyer, lawyer's hospice, and even more corrupt judge to murder wife.
Thanks for the ping!
|Should the husband of Terri Schiavo be allowed to remove her feeding tube?|
Could someone from Florida provide us with an in depth background on the judge,who will rule on whether Terri is starved to death.
Couldn't have written equally well.....oh yea....I did:
i haven't heard why a mid 20s female has a heart attack explained. seems fishy to me.
Now where did I read this before.....oh yea....I wrote it:
Man swears under oath that Terri is his life and that he will care for her until he dies
One can only wonder how that poll would go if the wording were to accurately reflect the details of how this woman will die if the feeding tube is removed.
We treat stray dogs better than this. Jesus wept.
I would love to see her kidnapped. It would have to be a pretty high-tech operation, to move her, keep her alive, set her up in some secret location, but I'd love to see it. And then set up a web-cam --- not connected to the traceable internet but to a VCR. And send tapes to the media once in a while. And let them fume and rage that they didn't get to kill her.
Ok. I know. Time to wake up and smell the crematorium.
Michael Schaivo needs HIS feeding tube removed - without anaesthetic. It would be easy - there is no heart to get in the way.
Surely, with all the questionability of voting in FLORIDA, TERRI voted, (even if for the DEMOCRATS)!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.