Skip to comments.The Forum: If Terri Dies, Who is Safe?
Posted on 03/28/2005 11:01:48 AM PST by marshmallow
Mar. 25 (CWNews.com) - The treatment of Terri Schiavo has emerged as a major watershed in the drive toward euthanasia in the US. If I were an enthusiastic proponent of "the right to die," I would not be comfortable with this test case.
There are times when it really is not clear when respirator should be disconnected-- times when it is difficult to know whether or not a beloved relative should be allowed to die in peace. This is not one of those cases.
Terri Schiavo was not close to death-- until her feeding tube was disconnected. She was not, apparently, in pain. She was not "brain dead" by any definition of that slippery term. She was not being kept alive by extraordinary means. Her death would be caused not by the suspension of medical treatment, but by starvation and dehydration.
From a non-medical perspective, it was all too clear that Michael Schiavo has incentives for seeking his wife's early death. He stood to gain a substantial financial inheritance, and freedom to marry the woman with whom he has conducted a lengthy affair. His implacable hostility toward his wife's parents showed all too clearly that he was on a personal crusade to end Terri's life. And those parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, were clear and outspoken in their insistence that Terri wanted to live.
No, this was not a good test case for the "right to die" movement. And yet the advocates of euthanasia have chosen to take a stand in this case, and thrown their full support behind Michael Schiavo. Why?
There are two answers to that question, I think. First, the "right to die" movement is seizing an unexpected opportunity. Second, the pro-life movement has been betrayed-- yet again-- by its political allies.
1) A careful political strategist, plotting a campaign for euthanasia, might have planned a series of test cases, beginning with "hard cases" (a patient who is in chronic severe pain, and terminally ill), and moving gradually forward as public acceptance increased. But with the Schiavo case, the "right to die" movement recognized the opportunity to skip over several intermediary steps, to score a major legal and political coup. If the courts would authorize the starvation of this woman, and if the public would accept it, the entire debate would shift in favor of euthanasia. If Terri Schiavo can be starved to death simply because her life has been judged burdensome, then every person who is disabled, retarded, or senile becomes a candidate for similar treatment. The key precedent will have been set; the principled opposition to "mercy killing" will be thoroughly undermined.
2) But why did the "right to die" movement perceive this enormous opportunity? Because as the Schiavo case developed, they encountered so little determined resistance. The courts sided with Michael Schiavo, and the people's elected representatives-- both in Florida and in Washington-- grudgingly acquiesced.
When they were presented with a judicial fait accompli, legislators could have begun impeachment proceedings to remove the judges who had produced these outrageous decisions. Executives could have intervened directly to save Terri Schiavo's life, claiming their authority to defend citizens from imminent danger. (As I write, there is still a flickering hope that Governor Bush will take that step.) Instead, fearful of avoiding a constitutional confrontation, both the legislative and executive branches announced that they would abide by the court's decisions.
Notice that both in Florida and in Washington, most elected officials (at least, most of those who had the courage to cast a vote) were inclined to help Terri Schiavo. But they were not willing to pay the price of intervention. A generation ago, the federal government summoned the political will to send federal troops into Mississippi, to integrate schools there, in a direct confrontation with state officials. On this occasion, our government has shown that it lacks the will to save an innocent citizen from a court-approved killing.
If Terri Schiavo dies, countless thousands of other Americans are instantly imperiled. And if that happens, it will be because the American forces of "culture of death" showed more political resolve than the pro-life movement.
The words of William Butler Yeats echo in my mind:
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Behold a pale horse.
Who is ever safe, anyway? Jeez, you folks need some balls!
It would seem only Judges are safe!!
The missing ingredient in the second instance that was present in the first: judges ruling against the state. It wasn't about justice; it was merely about upholding federal judicial authority.
Frankly, if I'm in Terri's condition -- whatever that really is -- I wouldn't mind leaving this scene ASAP, even if it requires some additional suffering on the way out.
They came for the unborn, but I did not speak out as I had been born.
They came for those unable to speak for themselves, but I did not speak out as I could speak for myself....
Many treat this case as if it is the first time
intravenous food has been removed from a patient
who is brain dead but appears to be responsive to
It's been done since the beginning of medicine. It will
continue to be done until the end of medicine.
The folks that are so adamantly protesting this action
are much more worried about it's effect on the anti-abortion/right-to-life movement movement than they are about Terri Schivano.
That's a bit of an odd statement. You don't know what her condition is, yet you're certain that you'd prefer death to it?
The only question in the back of my mind is this: which racial/ethic groups are going to end up in the proverbial boxcars of THIS era?
Please get your facts straight before posting on a thread like this, where there's a lot of sincere concern and outrage on this subject.
Excellent analysis. Regards,
And the elderly in nursing homes, which the hospice took in over $14 million scamming medicare for 150 plus patients who were not TERMINALLY ILL, and the disabled. I mean, If Judge Greer can alter the statutes to fit one particular case, as they did ten years ago, but Jeb Bush cannot do the same thing without FELOS and GREER declaring it unconstitutional, then what manner of disability is ruled ARTIFICIAL LIFE SUPPORT next?
Absolutely. In fact, I'm certain I prefer death to anything this world has to offer. But, my time isn't up yet.
So far I have seen Scott, Brian, and Michael Schiavo speaking on television. All three come across as not particularly bright, bullying SOB's. The lawyer Felos is a unatic, if his book is any indication. The judge is likely a petty, corrupt little man on a power trip. Michael's shack-up Jodi is likely either as venal and heartless a witch (but spelled with a "B") as there ever was, or a doormat completely cowed by bully Michael.
Poor Terri. Lord, why can't she and her parents prevail? Why must Michael and the cloud of evil around him win?
She had no ability to consume solid food. How do you
opine she was been fed?
Uh, okay. Thanks(?).
Here is a washcloth from Pontius Pilate. You might want to wash your hands. So you can, you know, go on.
Several nurses have sworn statements saying that they have fed Terri jello, chocolate pudding, and with liquified food from a bottle.
They have been called liars by people who weren't there, and have never actually seen Terri.
And some here believe those who weren't witnesses to these events, rather than face the fact we are starving an woman innocent of any crime to death.
Remember, the CDC released a report saying 120,000 people per year die from medical mistakes. Terri Shindler-Schiavo is one of them.
So it's artificial nourishment rather than intravenous.
Has she eaten orally since her collapse? Don't you suppose
that nursing staff have at least tried ice cream or baby
food in 16 years?
Never mind. By this quote I can see you won't mind when the decision is made for you. Like it is in holland. That's what the international groups want for us too. This Terri case, of taking someone who was not terminally ill, and terminating her is the start.
Have her parents said they have tried solid food
in 16 years? Did it succeed?
Well, sorry for saying so, but this really isn't the thread to be talking about generic death wishes.
I know, it's not my place to be telling you what to post and where, and normally I wouldn't be so nitpicky on most threads regarding other subjects, but this one's kinda serious.
This is right on the money.
It's open season on anyone on life support. Legal starvation of the inconvenient is in play. And we've taken the second step toward legalized infanticide.
Actually, they could not try solid food. Mike Schiavo was the one who decided whether or not a treatment(therapy) would be tried, and he said no.
And solid food can hardly be the standard. If that is the case, than an infant can be starved to death as well. It is something that has to be worked up to, and her 'husband' said no.
You could put it that way, I suppose, but it's hardly the same thing as being hooked up to a machine. You could feed a person through an NG tube just by manually pouring the nutrients into a funnel. Her parents have been more than willing to take care of her that way.
Has she eaten orally since her collapse? Don't you suppose that nursing staff have at least tried ice cream or baby food in 16 years?
I don't know the full details of her care. I only know that her husband has refused (formal) swallowing evaluations on her. What the nurses might have done off the side and off the record is anyone's guess.
You have COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT!
Where did you hear that talking point? Felos? One of their paid doctor "witness"?
In this undated photo released by the Schindler family, Terri Schiavo is shown before she suffered catastrophic brain damage. (AP Photo/Schindler Family Photo)
Protesters take part in an Easter mass outside the Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo is a patient on Sunday, March 27, 2005 in Pinellas Park, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Protesters prepare a sign that says, 'God will judge America' outside the Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo is a patient on Sunday, March 27, 2005 in Pinellas Park, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Bob Schindler, left, Mary Schindler, center, and Suzanne Vitadamo, right, Terri Schiavo's family, walk to visit Schiavo at the Woodside Hospice on Friday, March 25, 2005 in Pinellas Park, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
One and the same. The courts are a branch of gov't. The balance between the branches of gov't may be out of whack. It could be a structural problem, or it may be that a handful of individuals have temporarily caused the imbalance.
keep your head up and KEEP FIGHTING WE CANT EVER QUIT
> The Forum: If Terri Dies, Who is Safe?
everyone that writes a living will.
It is too bad you are anonymous so that the proper legal authorities are unable to come after you and put you away.