Skip to comments.U.S. Supreme Court Protects Liberty (ACLU on Schiavo-Starvation Death Protects Liberty)
Posted on 03/26/2005 7:55:14 PM PST by huac
"MIAMI - The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida today welcomed the U.S. Supreme Courts rejection of a petition forcing the reinsertion of Terri Schiavos feeding tubes, a decision that protects the severely brain-damaged womans right to withdraw her own life-sustaining treatment and prevents politicians from interfering with intensely personal medical decisions...The ACLU of Florida filed a 47-page brief with the High Court early this morning, asking the Justices to reject efforts to reinsert Schiavos feeding tube..."
(Excerpt) Read more at aclu.org ...
March 24, 2005
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MIAMI - The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida today welcomed the U.S. Supreme Courts rejection of a petition forcing the reinsertion of Terri Schiavos feeding tubes, a decision that protects the severely brain-damaged womans right to withdraw her own life-sustaining treatment and prevents politicians from interfering with intensely personal medical decisions.
"Terri Schiavos wishes were honored today by yet another court that recognized her constitutionally protected right to refuse and withdraw medical treatment," said Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida. "If the court had ruled otherwise, the nation may have taken a giant step backward in the protection of privacy and made it harder for families to make these difficult but intensely personal end-of-life decisions without the intrusion of politicians."
The ACLU of Florida filed a 47-page brief with the High Court early this morning, asking the Justices to reject efforts to reinsert Schiavos feeding tube, which was removed on Friday following a court order. The brief was filed on behalf of Michael Schiavo, Terris husband of 18 years and her legal guardian. For nearly seven years, he has fought a legal battle to carry out his wifes choice to disconnect her feeding and hydration tubes, which have sustained her for more than a decade. Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state since she suffered cardiac arrest in 1990.
"Nowhere in his approach to this case, or in his relationship with his wife and ward, has Michael Schiavo ever underestimated the gravity of the inevitably consequence of his wifes choice not to be forced to receive nutrition and hydration in her vegetative state," the ACLU said in its brief. "However, as Mrs. Schiavo herself recognized when she was in a position to communicate to her husband her wish not to be forced to undergo unwanted medical treatment, there are other important values and issues at stake in this case first and foremost among these values is Mrs. Schiavos constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment."
Todays decision follows a series of recent court rulings that upheld Terri Schiavos wish to discontinue medical treatment. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore denied a temporary restraining order that would have forced the reinsertion of Schiavos feeding tube. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld Whittemores decision early Wednesday morning. Later that same day, the full appeals court also ruled that there is no legal basis to needlessly prolong this tragic saga by overriding state legal procedures in this case.
The case moved to federal court on Monday, following unprecedented action by Congress giving federal courts the authority to fully review her case. The federal bill was the second attempt by politicians to disregard Terri Schiavos wishes and intervene in her case. In October 2003, the Florida Legislature passed a one-time bill giving Florida Governor Jeb Bush the authority to reinsert her nutrition and hydration tubes without the consent of her husband and duly appointed guardian. The ACLU challenged the law and it was struck down as unconstitutional by every Florida court; the U.S. Supreme Court again declined to hear the appeal.
In another attempt to circumvent the courts, Gov. Jeb Bush sought a court order to allow the Department of Children & Families to take "emergency action" to reinsert the feeding tubes against her wishes.
"He concocted a way to use the machinery of state government to overrule the court judgment that we have to honor Terri Schiavos wishes," Simon explained.
But before the political pressure mounted, Gov. Bush also had expressed faith in the judicial system and said he felt it was necessary to honor Schiavos wishes. On August 26, 2003, in a letter to a circuit court judge, he wrote: " Our system of government has committed these decisions to the judicial branch, and we must respect that process." He went on to add: "No one involved should be permitted to circumvent due process or the Courts authority in order to achieve personal objectives in this case."
"The governor was right in August 2003," said Simon. "Nothing has changed medically. Her medical condition has been confirmed and re-confirmed, even by a Guardian Ad Litem appointed by the court and at the Governors insistence. Nothing has changed legally; in fact, determinations that were made in 2003 that she would not want to be artificially sustained have been upheld over and over again. What has changed is the politics of the Terry Schiavo case."
The ACLU is correct on this one. Case closed.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
The only way I see the ACLU protecting liberty if they all were to starve to death themselves. Thanks, but I'll let Winchester protect my libery.
If you are a cop killer, baby-raper or terrorist bent on the destruction of America, the ACLU are your go-to guys. A severely handicapped woman who can't tell you what she wants? The ACLU says starve her to death...they can't let those right to life types have a victory. Mrs. Schiavo is merely collateral damage in their political games.
"God Bless America - To Hell With The ACLU!!"
The ACLU is a stealth organization, founded and funded by forces external to the United States. Have you ever heard of a case where the ACLU help a normal person?
"The ACLU is Orwellian..."
I suspect that the ACLU would have scared Orwell.
I haven't been getting involved in this one, but saying that it's "a decision that protects the severely brain-damaged womans right to withdraw her own life-sustaining treatment" is utter horse manure, typical of the lies we've come to expect from our favorite Leftist catspaw.
I hope no one is surprised. I never expected more from the ACLU. It is trying to destroy everything good and decent about our lives and country.
The ACLU is rarely right and this case is in exception. No one should be forced to starve to death without their written consent, especially when 33 doctors have stated their is hope for a meaningful recovery. This government-mandated euthanasia.
Don't you mean, 'Casket Closed.'?
scuse me, barf?
The ACLU always favors death ~ this is not news.
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