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Thomas Sowell: Killing Terri Shiavo
Townhall.com ^ | March 24, 2005 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 03/24/2005 3:26:10 PM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past

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Killing Terri Schiavo
Thomas Sowell (back to web version) | email to a friend Send

March 24, 2005

People who say that the government has no business interfering in a private decision like removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube somehow have no problem with a squad of policemen preventing her parents (or anyone else) from giving their daughter food or water.

 Do those who want to keep the government out of private decisions think that the police are not the government? Do they think that the judges who authorized this are not the government?

 Sadly, this is not the only Alice-in-Wonderland confusion of words and deeds in this tragic case.

 We are being told that Terri Schiavo is being "allowed" to "die a natural death." Such an argument might make some sense if this were a terminally ill person. But Terri Schiavo is not dying from anything other than a lack of food and water, from which any of the rest of us would die.

 She is not dying a natural death. She is being killed.

 What is being kept alive artificially is the liberal media version of events. One side of this story is being repeated endlessly, as if it were gospel, but anyone saying something different -- including doctors and nurses who have actually seen or taken care of Terri Schiavo -- is unlikely to be reported.

 The nature of death by starvation and dehydration is also being depicted as "gentle" in the words of the New York Times -- the same New York Times which in 2002 reported starving people in India dying "clutching pained stomachs."

 This "gentle" death is the story line in the liberal media but a priest who has actually seen Terri Schiavo tells a wholly different story of her visibly deteriorating condition. If this is such an easy death, why not videotape it and show those of us who are less enlightened how mistaken we are? Instead, there is a ban on anyone's photographing Terri as she dies.

 Despite the oft-repeated claim that Terri Schiavo is being "allowed" to die, supposedly in accordance with her own wishes, the only person who says that these were her wishes is the one person who wants her dead and who personally stands to benefit from her death -- her husband, Michael Schiavo.

 When Sean Hannity said this on the Fox News channel's "Hannity & Colmes" program, he was assured by a lawyer who was defending the removal of the feeding tube that Michael Schiavo was not the only one to hear Terri say this. But, when Hannity demanded to know the name of just one other person, the lawyer followed an old lawyer's maxim: "When your case is weak, shout louder!" He shouted and waxed indignant -- but did not produce the name of any other person.

 This case is one where many people speak with certainty about very uncertain things -- and the certainties of one side contradict the certainties of the other.

 Many seem certain that Terri Schiavo is vegetative, does not understand what is going on around her and cannot respond. But Carla Sauer Iyer, a nurse who attended Mrs. Schiavo for more than a year, has contradicted all of this. Moreover, she has painted a very different picture of Michael Schiavo than the one he presents to the courts and to the media.

 But you are not likely to find her eyewitness account of events in the mainstream media.

 According to this nurse, Michael Schiavo complained that his wife wasn't dying fast enough -- only the word he used was not wife or woman but a word that cannot be repeated in a family newspaper.

 The nurse's sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, is that she reported to the police that she had found Terri in both medical and emotional distress after a closed door visit by her husband -- and that she also found a vial of insulin, as well as needle marks on Terri, after Michael Schiavo's visit.

 The same mainstream media that will scour the country to find individuals to quote in support of killing Terri Schiavo will not lift a finger to investigate the chilling charges this nurse filed with the police years ago. It might disturb the picture they are trying to paint.

 Terri Schiavo is being killed because she is inconvenient to her husband and because she is inconvenient to those who do not want the idea of the sanctity of life to be strengthened and become an impediment to abortion. Nor do they want the supremacy of judges to be challenged, when judges are the liberals' last refuge.

©2005 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Contact Thomas Sowell | Read Sowell's biography

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bigamy; cary; judicialsupremacy; schiavo; starvation; terri; terrischiavo; terrishiavo; thomassowell
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

What is being kept alive artificially is the liberal media version of events. One side of this story is being repeated endlessly, as if it were gospel, but anyone saying something different -- including doctors and nurses who have actually seen or taken care of Terri Schiavo -- is unlikely to be reported.

As usual.

101 posted on 03/24/2005 5:05:33 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: rdb3

Indeed.

We are assured (I can almose hear the dulcet tones), that this is simply a case of Terri being allowed to refuse medical treatment. Really, that's the legal issue, which Judge Greer decided based on testimony from Michael and his witnesses that Terri had made casual comments noting that she wouldn't want to be hooked up to a machine. No big deal, why get all excited?

Well, I'll even concede that's the legal issue, but in this case, THE LAW IS WRONG.

The state is allowing the killing of a woman who has committed no crime, who was not terminally ill, who was not in pain, who had left no clear, uncoerced written "living will", and was not on "life support".

If that ain't clearly wrong, I don't know what is.

Sad to say, it looks like Terri's troubles are just about over. But we can't forget this. Things have to change.


102 posted on 03/24/2005 5:06:08 PM PST by absalom01
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To: winstonchurchill

So who is making things up now?


103 posted on 03/24/2005 5:06:20 PM PST by politeia
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To: jwalsh07

Wow. I didn't know the parents had requested a separate motion to give Terri food and water by natural means and that it was denied. Can you explain why he denied this motion by the parents? And why hasn't the media reported this?


104 posted on 03/24/2005 5:07:53 PM PST by I want to know
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To: winstonchurchill
So, you're at home with the concept that US Marshalls and state troopers ought to be the personal goon squads of whoever happens to be president or governor?

I'm assuming you are just ignorant, and not an idiot, so I will try to have a measure of patience with you. OF COURSE WE ARE A NATION OF LAWS. What's happening here is a conspiracy to commit murder by the judiciary! Who else do we look to to address that but the executive branch of government? That is so far from a "goon squad" it doesn't dignify any further comment, but you're going to get it anyway: Do you even know what "checks and balances" are supposed to mean between three EQUAL branches of government? Have conservatives become so "conservative" that they meekly bow before judges and kiss their pontifical rings? I'm sorry, but timid, weak, effeminiate conservatives like you make me sick to my stomach. Honestly.
105 posted on 03/24/2005 5:12:05 PM PST by farmer18th ("The fool says in his heart there is no God.")
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To: lonestar

I was listening to Dr. Bill Bennett on his radio show earlier this a.m., and he stated that if he was the Governor, he would use the State Police or the National Guard to remove her from the hospice, even if it meant the risk of impeachment. I'm afraid that that is what it comes down to for our political leaders. If they really believe in their heart of hearts that this is a state sponsored killing of an innocent human being, than they must put that believe above any considerations of their future political career. I'm disappointed to have to say that the same can also be said with regard to W's lack of action. If I recall, when Janet Reno snatched Elian Gonzalez, she did not have full approval of the courts. Sometimes you have to act, and sort it out later.


106 posted on 03/24/2005 5:13:30 PM PST by Binghamton_native
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To: Tax-chick
He is America's greatest living intellectual.

You are absolutely right. Thomas Sowell is America's greatest living intellectual. And totally unrecognized because he is blak and doesn't fit the MSM's vision of what black people are supposed to be.

107 posted on 03/24/2005 5:14:09 PM PST by Hardastarboard
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To: winstonchurchill

Wanna take the challenge? I thought not. More fun to make things up, isn't it?

From Abstract.com:

"Another motion resolved last week was the Schindlers' motion to permit Terri to be given food and water orally once the feeding tube is discontinued. You can read that motion here from the Terri's Fight site. The motion included the following lines:

"Discontinuing her "artificial life support" in the form of assisted feeding should not also automatically sentence her to death. Instead, Terri should be permitted to attempt to eat and drink by natural means. Ill people often get well, or at least get better. The opportunity to attempt to feed Terri by natural means may demonstrate Terri is able to swallow and to eat and drink naturally.

"In denying this motion, Judge Greer stated wrote that the motion appeared to ask for an experimental procedure and that the documents provided in support of this motion were the same ones provided with another motion based on new medical evidence. The court ruled that this motion was thus duplicative and that whether new tests should be conducted will stand or fall with the other pending motion. You can read the order here.

"Frankly, that ruling surprised me. I had read the motion as a request that she be given food, as any person in a medical care setting might, even if her feeding tube is removed. The language quoted above, though, does make the motion seem as if the request is actually for a form of therapy, rather than as a basic human right."

So, who's lying now?

108 posted on 03/24/2005 5:14:23 PM PST by garybob (More sweat in training, less blood in combat.)
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To: OKIEDOC
I am proud of what the Bush brothers have done.

They have been good little boys and they have turned it over to the imperial judiciary, just like their lawyers have told them. It's not exactly something you brag to your grandkids about.
109 posted on 03/24/2005 5:14:57 PM PST by farmer18th ("The fool says in his heart there is no God.")
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To: Hardastarboard

Exactly.


110 posted on 03/24/2005 5:15:25 PM PST by Tax-chick ("I have been half in love with easeful Death ... Now more than ever seems it rich to die.")
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To: Tax-chick
There was no judicial quarter in which Terri could find succor or sustance or compassion. From top to bottom, the judiciary, with the exception of that 11th Circuit gentleman Judge, have all had a hand in dealing her the death card. It is chilling, but really not that surprising. Step back, for a moment and just do a drive by,

Schiavo MUST put her to death,
She will receive NO drop of water, NO morsel of food,
Anyone trying to feed her WILL be arrested, lest they CHOKE her.

Here's another Italian expression, in the dialect of this proud peasant here: e roba da patze, hard to translate, but loosely speaking it means, this stuff could only be fed to lunatics and nuts.

111 posted on 03/24/2005 5:15:36 PM PST by AlbionGirl
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To: I want to know
Can you explain why he denied this motion by the parents?

No, it is incomprehensible to me and I won't try to rationalize a legal argument that propounds it. Sorry.

And why hasn't the media reported this?

:-}

112 posted on 03/24/2005 5:16:47 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
He has said what I've been posting most of this week.

God help this Country is no one, if President Bush or Governor Bush or the director of CFS has the grit, determination and b@lls to stand down this arrogant Judge.

113 posted on 03/24/2005 5:18:06 PM PST by HighlyOpinionated (SAVE TERRI SCHIAVO'S LIFE -- send in the Guard or Marshals. Let's Roll!)
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To: AlbionGirl
this stuff could only be fed to lunatics and nuts.

Sort of an Italian version of "Honest, I'm not making this up!"

114 posted on 03/24/2005 5:18:34 PM PST by Tax-chick ("I have been half in love with easeful Death ... Now more than ever seems it rich to die.")
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To: HighlyOpinionated

The freepers defending the judiciary give me the creeps. I think there is a wheat v chaff thing going on here right now in Freeperland.


115 posted on 03/24/2005 5:20:40 PM PST by farmer18th ("The fool says in his heart there is no God.")
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To: Tax-chick

I think you're getting the hang of it!

God bless you Tax-chick on this Holy, Last Supper, Thursday.


116 posted on 03/24/2005 5:20:49 PM PST by AlbionGirl
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To: AlbionGirl

And the same to you! My husband and oldest son went to Mass this evening, while I'm home with the babies. I get the Good Friday service and the Easter Vigil, and he gets Sunday.


117 posted on 03/24/2005 5:25:23 PM PST by Tax-chick ("I have been half in love with easeful Death ... Now more than ever seems it rich to die.")
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To: garybob

Anybody seen winston?


118 posted on 03/24/2005 5:31:58 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: zygoat

A feeding tube is arguably "heroic measures", just as a ventilator is, but if a person is able to eat & drink by mouth, that's a horse of a totally different color.


119 posted on 03/24/2005 5:32:33 PM PST by Amelia (Still cynical after all these years.......)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
The nature of death by starvation and dehydration is also being depicted as "gentle" in the words of the New York Times -- the same New York Times which in 2002 reported starving people in India dying "clutching pained stomachs."

Yeah, I remember the MSM standard line was when Clinton broke down the doors of Elian's home in Miami, and snatched the frightened child in order to send him to his Daddy who is owned and lives in Castro's hell hole, that Elian is so happy. See the wonderful pictures of him playing. He was never happier. Yep, happy juice would do that to a kid wouldn't it?

This article by Thomas Sowell is exceptionally good.

120 posted on 03/24/2005 5:34:05 PM PST by harpo11
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Comment #121 Removed by Moderator

To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
The Killing of a living person because this judge and the A**hole Terri was married to has stolen all the money that was suppose to take care of her for the rest of her life.Now it killing time no more money no more life.I hope god will Zap these two heartless Ba$tards.
122 posted on 03/24/2005 5:55:57 PM PST by solo gringo (Liberal democrats are parasites)
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Comment #123 Removed by Moderator

To: farmer18th
They have been good little boys and they have turned it over to the imperial judiciary, just like their lawyers have told them.

Please remember they are both politicians and as such not a lot should be expected of them in the way of strong moral leadership. (Yes, I know there are exceptions.)

124 posted on 03/24/2005 6:09:56 PM PST by nosofar
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To: jwalsh07
Thank you jwalsh07 for coming to my rescue while I was at dinner. I figured that her Mom wasn't being "practically strip searched" as has been reported lest she sneak in an ice chip and people would not be arrested for trying to give her water without the Lord High Executioner Judge Greer having said to do so. He has been calling all the shots in this case afterall.

I am none the less amazed at the venom and sarcasm, as well as out right falsehoods, that people (shall we mention names?)will peddle in order to support this atrocity.

But to get back to important matters, what can we do to get the politicians to act on this now? This refusal to let her take food and water naturally cannot be legal. I defy anyone to point to any legal authroity for a judge to order this. He is getting away with it because our politicians will not call him on it. On another thread a person mentioned that since she is swallowing her own saliva she might very well be able to take water and maybe even dilute food. A thread with an editorial in the weekly standard by a Harvard Psychiatrist said there is no legal, medical or ethical reason not to give her a chance to take food and water. No reason unless you are determined that she die even if she could sustain her own life, that is.

Please, are you listening Jeb or George Bush? Take her out of that facility and let someone give her water -- NOW!

125 posted on 03/24/2005 6:11:09 PM PST by politeia
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

I have been reading his articles and books for years, one of the smartest men of the last three generations if not the smartest, IMHO.

You should read his book "Liberty or Equality".


126 posted on 03/24/2005 6:29:52 PM PST by lolhelp
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To: mlc9852

They would have to kill me, ever seem a mad Mama with a back up of a bunch of redneck relatives who don't beleive in gun control?


127 posted on 03/24/2005 6:37:51 PM PST by lolhelp
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To: lolhelp
Lost your cool didn't you? I have been trying to be calm and level headed and just happened to look up at a picture of my 41 year old daughter taken in Ireland last year, when she and some cousins took a cousins ashes there and started shaking and lost all control. Sorry fellow freepers.
128 posted on 03/24/2005 6:50:24 PM PST by lolhelp
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To: jwalsh07; winstonchurchill

Anybody seen winston?

Not since he got spanked

129 posted on 03/24/2005 7:18:25 PM PST by garybob (More sweat in training, less blood in combat.)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
I am not going to be too hard on the Bush family. They have tried very hard to help.

I thought that myself until just yesterday. But I'm beginning to think they could have done more. One Bush is President, the other Bush is Governor. With the best team of lawyers, they couldn't come up with a solution for this, a rescue for Terri?

Something is very wrong when a President and a Governor can't outwit a swamp judge (as Savage calls him). I think they're more interested in giving the appearance of helping, rather than actually rescuing her. They could have called in the National Guard (or whatever) to get her out of there - career be damned!

I still don't understand the purpose of starving Terri? If they wanted to terminate her life, why didn't they do it humanely, with an injection? Even Kevorkian killed humanely. Why starve her to death? It's barbaric.

130 posted on 03/24/2005 7:24:10 PM PST by my_pointy_head_is_sharp
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To: docbnj
I can add nothing more to [Sowell's] analysis. It is perfect.

Perhaps. But we can strengthen it by taking out some of his arguments. He ought to make his case without arguing the facts as decided by the court. The argument fails when relying on contrary evidence. Too much argument has been wasted to trying to refute the facts as decided by the court. To win it, you have to argue the law.

The court already decided the facts. It's too late to change that.

Nicollo unmasked: Bromleyisms here

131 posted on 03/24/2005 8:20:03 PM PST by nicollo (All economics are politics.)
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To: TNCMAXQ

IMHO, The Lord is using Terri to clearly illuminate the moral choices before this generation. Please see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1369009/posts
which is a prayer written by a friend. He says it better than I can.


132 posted on 03/24/2005 10:21:02 PM PST by Conservative Goddess (Veritas vos Liberabit, in Vino, Veritas....QED, Vino vos Liberabit)
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To: CDB
Careful, I was excoriated on another thread for daring to suggest that. But I too see chilling parallels.
133 posted on 03/24/2005 10:22:39 PM PST by Conservative Goddess (Veritas vos Liberabit, in Vino, Veritas....QED, Vino vos Liberabit)
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To: Fitzcarraldo
If I were Terri's father it would be time to risk arrest and rescue my daughter.

Agree, totally........as a mother.

134 posted on 03/24/2005 10:25:56 PM PST by MamaLucci (Libs, want answers on 911? Ask Clinton why he met with Monica more than with his CIA director.)
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To: politeia
"The real question is whether Greer has overstepped his authority by ordering that no one can give Terri food or water by mouth. " Bingo! And wouldn't that also answer the question of whether TERRI, not the scumbag husband, wants to live or die? Why hasn't anyone else noticed this aspect of the case?
135 posted on 03/24/2005 10:25:56 PM PST by Conservative Goddess (Veritas vos Liberabit, in Vino, Veritas....QED, Vino vos Liberabit)
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To: garybob

Feeding someone is an experimental procedure? For the love of God! Is there no end to the pretzel logic this clown will employ to kill Terri? I can't believe this is happening in America.


136 posted on 03/24/2005 10:33:39 PM PST by Conservative Goddess (Veritas vos Liberabit, in Vino, Veritas....QED, Vino vos Liberabit)
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To: curiosity
Congress, exercising its Constitutionally granted authority to enforce the 14th Amendment, should have passed a law ordering the feeding tube inserted.

Santorum, DeLay et al tried to do that.

But if they had insisted on keeping that provision in the bill, the Death-o-crats were not going to let it pass. Who are the principal villains? Levin (Michigan), Boxer.

137 posted on 03/24/2005 10:40:58 PM PST by shhrubbery!
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To: CDB; Conservative Goddess
" Just following orders. Where have we hears that "excuse" before?

And how about "Lebensunwertes Leben" ?

The Death-o-crats use that phrase all the time now, except of course in translation. Their English version is "no quality of life."

138 posted on 03/24/2005 10:44:21 PM PST by shhrubbery!
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

Bump...thanks for the truth.


139 posted on 03/25/2005 6:14:53 AM PST by Lady Eileen (Where there is Life there is Hope -- TERRI.)
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