Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Poll: No Role for Government in Schiavo Case
ABC News ^ | March 21, 2005 | GARY LANGER

Posted on 03/21/2005 7:30:53 AM PST by Dog Gone

Federal Intervention in Schiavo Case Prompts Broad Public Disapproval

Analysis by GARY LANGER

Mar. 21, 2005 - Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, with sizable majorities saying Congress is overstepping its bounds for political gain.

The public, by 63 percent-28 percent, supports the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube, and by a 25-point margin opposes a law mandating federal review of her case. Congress passed such legislation and President Bush signed it early today.

That legislative action is distinctly unpopular: Not only do 60 percent oppose it, more -- 70 percent -- call it inappropriate for Congress to get involved in this way. And by a lopsided 67 percent-19 percent, most think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.

This ABC News poll also finds that the Schiavo case has prompted an enormous level of personal discussion: Half of Americans say that as a direct result of hearing about this case, they've spoken with friends or family members about what they'd want done if they were in a similar condition. Nearly eight in 10 would not want to be kept alive.


In addition to the majority, the intensity of public sentiment is also on the side of Schiavo's husband, who has fought successfully in the Florida courts to remove her feeding tube. And intensity runs especially strongly against congressional involvement.

Included among the 63 percent who support removing the feeding tube are 42 percent who "strongly" support it -- twice as many as strongly oppose it. And among the 70 percent who call congressional intervention inappropriate are 58 percent who hold that view strongly -- an especially high level of strong opinion.

GOP Groups

Views on this issue are informed more by ideological and religious views than by political partisanship. Republicans overall look much like Democrats and independents in their opinions.

But two core Republican groups -- conservatives and evangelical Protestants -- are more divided: Fifty-four percent of conservatives support removal of Schiavo's feeding tube, compared with seven in 10 moderates and liberals. And evangelical Protestants divide about evenly -- 46 percent are in favor of removing the tube, 44 percent opposed. Among non-evangelical Protestants, 77 percent are in favor -- a huge division between evangelical and mainline Protestants.

Conservatives and evangelicals also are more likely to support federal intervention in the case, although it doesn't reach a majority in either group. Indeed, conservative Republicans oppose involving the federal courts, by 57 percent-41 percent.

Conservatives and evangelicals hold these views even though most people in both groups -- 73 percent and 68 percent, respectively -- say that if they personally were in this condition, they would not want to be kept alive.

Should Feeding Tube Be Removed?
Support Oppose
Non-evangelical 77% 18
Evangelical 46 44
Catholics 63 26
Liberals 68 24
Moderates 69 22
Conservatives 54 40
Democrats 65 25
Independents 63 28
Republicans 61 34
Conservative Reps. 55 40

Regardless of their preference on the Schiavo case, about two-thirds of conservatives and evangelicals alike call congressional intervention inappropriate. And majorities in both groups, as in others, are skeptical of the motivations of the political leaders seeking to extend Schiavo's life.

Should Federal Government Intervene?
Support Oppose
Non-evangelical 26% 71
Evangelical 44 50
Catholics 38 56
Liberals 34 62
Moderates 29 67
Conservatives 48 49
Democrats 34 63
Independents 31 61
Republicans 39 58
Conservative Reps. 41 57

Preference and Experience

Public views on this issue are informed in part by Americans' preferences for their own care if they were in a similar situation: Sixteen percent would want life support; as noted, 78 percent would not. While still a very large majority, that's down from 87 percent in an ABC News/Washington Poll last week.

Among people who favor removing Schiavo's life support, 94 percent say that's also what they would want for themselves. By contrast, people who oppose removing the feeding tube in Schiavo's case divide about evenly on what they'd want for themselves: Forty-five percent would want life support, 41 percent would not.

Some speak from experience: A third of Americans say they've had friends or family members who passed away in a hospital or other care facility after life support was removed; nearly two in 10 say they were personally involved in that decision. People who've been personally involved in such a decision are more apt than others to support removing Schiavo's feeding tube and to say they personally would not want life support.

Age and Attention

There are differences among age groups. Senior citizens are more apt than others to strongly support removing Schiavo's feeding tube, and also more apt to oppose federal intervention. And young adults are less likely to say that, as a result of the Schiavo case, they've discussed their own wishes with family or friends.

Just under six in 10 Americans are closely following the Schiavo case, including 16 percent who've been following it very closely -- a respectable albeit not overwhelming level of public attention. Young adults, age 18 to 29, are less than half as likely as their elders to be following the case closely -- just 27 percent are doing so. There's an irony in that result: Schiavo herself was stricken at age 26.


This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone March 20, 2005, among a random national sample of 501 adults. The results have a 4.5-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abc; civilrights; cultureofdeath; deathcultpoll; elitistpoll; eugenics; euthanasia; hadicaped; justiceforterri; lifelibertyhappiness; mediabias; msm; msmbias; notfairnotbalanced; parentsrights; propaganda; schiavo; terri; terrischiavo; terrisfight; terrisfightorg
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 61-8081-100101-120 ... 241 next last
To: SoFloFreeper

When the doctors told me my wife had six weeks to live, I starting investigating cryonics. I was shocked to discover just how credible their arguments were, especially those written by some of the world's leading neuro experts. I already knew nanotech will be able to repair cellular freezing damage within 50 years. What I didn't know was how important it was to begin the crygenics preservation before the brain was too damaged to preserve its neural links.

I loved my wife and didn't want to lose her. I then resolved to contact the Cryonics Institute and sign up my wife in the hopes she can be cured and revived in the future. Unfortunately, she passed away the night before I was going to call CI.

I felt horrible, not just of losing her, but also because of guilt and regret. If only I learned of cryonics a month before. If only I joined the Cryonics Institute a week before. Perhaps we would've been able to preserve her before her brain's connections broke down.

Since then, my entire outlook on the right-to-die has changed. While not supporting it strictly, I do support cryonic preservation before the brain's connections have been irreversably damaged.

My rationale is preserving the person and his personality is more important than extending life as long as possible.

By way of analogy, would anyone want to undergo a procedure that will extend one's life by 20 years but will have that 20 years as a mindless invalid? I doubt anyone will.

Cryonics hold the hope of revival in the future. If I ever suffer a brain-wasting disease such as Alzheimer's; I want the option while still cognitive of getting cryogenically frozen before my brain is irretrivably destroyed.

If we can chose to be buried or cremated, we should also have the option of getting frozen. After all, if cryonic revival in the future is impossible; no harm done - we'll be just as dead as if we were buried or cremated. However, if we're right; we will be restored to health sometime in the future.

81 posted on 03/21/2005 8:26:00 AM PST by Edward Watson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 71 | View Replies]

To: Edward Watson
artificially keeping this poor woman alive

Food and water are not artificial to keeping one alive. Terri can swallow, but because her husband ordered that she not be fed by normal means a feeding tube was being used. Except for a few times when she was very sick, she has never needed a feeding tube to survive, but she does need to be fed, which is forbidden by her husband.

MYTH: Terri is PVS (Persistent vegetative state)
The definition of PVS in Florida Statue 765.101: Persistent vegetative state means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is: (a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of ANY kind. (b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.

Terri's behavior does not meet the medical or statutory definition of persistent vegetative state. Terri responds to stimuli, tries to communicate verbally, follows limited commands, laughs or cries in interaction with loved ones, physically distances herself from irritating or painful stimulation and watches loved ones as they move around her. None of these behaviors are simple reflexes and are, instead, voluntary and cognitive. Though Terri has limitations, she does interact purposefully with her environment.

MYTH: Many doctors have said that there is no hope for her.
Dr. Victor Gambone testified that he visits Terri 3 times a year. His visits last for approximately 10 minutes. He also testified, after viewing the court videotapes at Terri’s recent trial, that he was surprised to see Terri’s level of awareness. This doctor is part of a team hand-picked by her husband, Michael Schiavo, shortly before he filed to have Terri’s feeding removed. Contrary to Schiavo’s team, 14 independent medical professionals (6 of them neurologists) have given either statements or testimony that Terri is NOT in a Persistent Vegetative State. Additionally, there has never been any medical dispute of Terri’s ability to swallow. Even with this compelling evidence, Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, has denied any form of therapy for her for over 10 years.

Dr. Melvin Greer, appointed by Schiavo, testified that a doctor need not examine a patient to know the appropriate medical treatment. He spent approximately 45 minutes with Terri. Dr. Peter Bambakidis, appointed by Judge Greer, spent approximately 30 minutes with Terri. Dr. Ronald Cranford, also appointed by Schiavo and who has publicly labeled himself “Dr. Death”, spent less than 45 minutes examining and interacting with Terri

MYTH: Terri does not need rehabilitation
Florida Statute 744.3215 Rights of persons determined incapacitated:
(1) A person who has been determined to be incapacitated retains the right
(i) To receive necessary services and rehabilitation.

This is a retained right that a guardian cannot take away. Additionally, it does not make exception for PVS patients. Terri has illegally been denied rehabilitation - as many nurses have sworn in affidavits.

MYTH: Removal of food was both legal and court-ordered.
The courts had only allowed removal of Terri's feeding tube, not regular food and water. Terri's husband illegally ordered this. The law only allows the removal of "life-prolonging procedures," not regular food and water:

Florida Statute 765.309 Mercy killing or euthanasia not authorized; suicide distinguished. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.

82 posted on 03/21/2005 8:26:10 AM PST by Between the Lines (True Christianity is the best kept secret around.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
The truth is exactly the reverse. The GOP is helping Terri to have a chance to live. But don't expect to hear it broadcast by our legacy media.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
83 posted on 03/21/2005 8:26:14 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 79 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen

Okay, but Terry never made a living will with instructions to take her off assistance.

84 posted on 03/21/2005 8:26:19 AM PST by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 79 | View Replies]

To: goldstategop
And we live with these horrors because we never see the victims.

The more I read of these cases, the more convinced I am that this is the reason the culture of death we have today seems to be gaining favor with the public. It is all done out of sight and out of mind. The screams are muffled by the spurious legal shroud of "privacy". The blood that is spilled and the limbs torn asunder are left unseen. When the bloody practices are exposed to the light of day (e.g., billboards, or signs placed on trucks), the howls of protest are heard throughout the land ("cruel", or "unnecessary"), precisely because that is what the acts are, but people cover their eyes and ears to them.

The Romans put their bloody acts on public display in the coliseums and at places like Golgotha, and the populace was well aware to the nature of these acts. Today, people are duped into thinking the acts we practice today, while no less bloody and barbaric, are acceptable because they are "choice", or "the wishes of the family". Well, killing is killing, whether it is done on a cross of crucifixion or in the antiseptic rooms of an abortion clinic.

85 posted on 03/21/2005 8:27:17 AM PST by chimera
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 76 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone; All

One day 'flash' polls with MOEs between 4 and 5 points are beyond worthless!

[This said, I'm sure that a majority of 'adults' do support removal of Terri's feeding tube; after all, this is the most UNINFORMED and MSM-DEPENDENT of the polling cohorts!]

Fortunately, we have a president who knows that the RIGHT decision is not always the popular decision and is still willing to make the RIGHT decision any way!!

86 posted on 03/21/2005 8:27:39 AM PST by DrDeb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

I truly thought Conservatives were against an intrusive government, yet we see people here not only welcoming it, but demanding it. I'm sure that those who want it both ways to suit their opinion will not understand my confusion.
87 posted on 03/21/2005 8:27:52 AM PST by NY-YANK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
So let me get this straight....




am I the only one amused by the inherent conflict of ABC's article???
88 posted on 03/21/2005 8:29:24 AM PST by TexasRainmaker (God only created a few politically perfect people. The rest He called democrats.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen

Rational people understand that
having a new common-law wife and family
automatically destroys
any "spousal rights" claim
that he may have had
to be the guardian
of the woman who
practically and logically speaking
is now his former wife.

At the very least he has a conflict of interest that he cannot overcome when it comes to any decision about Terri's fate.

"Judge" Greer seems to be an incompetent buffoon.

And you seem to be ill-informed about her current state of health and the therapy her "husband" has denied her.

89 posted on 03/21/2005 8:29:50 AM PST by Notwithstanding
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
While my heart goes out to this lady and her family, I DO NOT believe the imperial federal government should be getting mixed up in this. This only opens the door for them to use this type of thing as an excuse to do anything they wish to do to tear down our rights. No, even tragic as it is, the damned government should keep its hands off. The president has more things to worry about than to be ready and able to sign each and every individual little bill that might come up on these issues. This could set a precedent we do not want or need.
90 posted on 03/21/2005 8:30:21 AM PST by RetiredArmy (Ted Kennedy is a democrat. Democrats are the enemy. Destroy your enemies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone

If I polled ABC news viewers and readers, I'd find that Abe Lincoln was the first President of the US and that Washington DC was near Seattle.

91 posted on 03/21/2005 8:30:34 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Okay, you evolved. I was created. Get used to it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
The Coliseum reeks with the rancid odor of spilled gruel.

All thumbs down.

92 posted on 03/21/2005 8:30:51 AM PST by Old Professer (As darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of good; innocence is blind.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen

What evidence is there that Terri wants to be starved to death or ever clearly expressed a desire to be starved to death if she were in her current state?

93 posted on 03/21/2005 8:32:13 AM PST by Notwithstanding
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 79 | View Replies]

To: chimera
Well put. When human beings are guided by subjective feelings, they can rationalize evil as acting on what they think is best at a given moment in time. If people are guided by objective values, that eternal sense of right and wrong will always make them oppose that which is wrong and lend their support to that which is right. Liberals operate largely on feelings. Conservatives mostly operate on the basis of values. That explains why Congress seemingly disregarded public opinion on the subject. The media, which has played up feelings has ignored and dismissed the larger role of values in how people see social issues in this country.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
94 posted on 03/21/2005 8:32:30 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 85 | View Replies]

To: goldstategop; Long Cut; Poohbah

Yeah... and in case you haven't noticed, at least one P-3 squadron is having a hard time getting the parts it needs to get its aircraft ready for deployment.

When the folks defending this country are having trouble getting spare parts for their planes, something is screwed up.

95 posted on 03/21/2005 8:36:31 AM PST by hchutch ("But, Rally, they're SMOKE GRENADES.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 70 | View Replies]

To: CSM; Puppage

"even thought there's NO written, or video taped wish on Teri's part, so LET'S JUST ERR ON THE SIDE OF DEATH."

I'm in agreement with you on this particular point, and I think it is the only point that should be considered.

Close as they can get with guards on duty.

Posted on 03/18/2005 5:55:38 PM EST by spycatcher

A mentally disabled woman whose court ordered starvation-execution began Friday attempted to contradict her estranged husband's claim that she wants to die hours before her feeding tube was disconnected, an eyewitness is claiming.

Barbara Weller, an attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents, told reporters Friday afternoon that during her visit earlier in the day she told Ms. Schiavo:

"Terri, if you would just say, 'I want to live,' - all of this will be over."

According to pro-life activist Randall Terry, who recounted the scene to radio host Sean Hannity, Schiavo tried desperately to repeat Weller's words.

"'I waaaaannt . . .' Schiavo allegedly said, in a prolonged yell that had police stationed nearby running into her hospice room.

"She just started yelling, 'I waaaannt, I waaaannt,'" Terry said, according to Weller's account.

At that point police ejected Weller, he said.

96 posted on 03/21/2005 8:38:23 AM PST by Calpernia (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: Long Cut

All of my neighbors but two are upset about this and I just got back from the gym and Mr. Peach and I got in a discussion with another guy and he and his wife are upset as well.

Now a friend from CT just called and she's not pleased and I haven't even opened my e-mail yet.

Most of these people haven't spoken specifically about the Terri Schiavo case and how they feel about her but rather the broader implications for how this will affect family and hospital decisions that are made thousands of times a day across the country.

97 posted on 03/21/2005 8:42:47 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: TexasRainmaker
DNC Talking Points. I never watch ABC so I could care less what their pollsters' view of public opinion is. Just a lot of special sauce tossed into bolster the party line about Terri Schiavo's fate. You don't get to hear the other side of the story from them.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
98 posted on 03/21/2005 8:43:08 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 88 | View Replies]

To: hchutch
Hmmm.... and who hollowed out the military? Americans are carefully shielded from knowledge of the true suspects. Nothing new here. Just blatant bias.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
99 posted on 03/21/2005 8:45:41 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 95 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone

The Nazis never had so much success with the German public.

100 posted on 03/21/2005 8:47:30 AM PST by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 61-8081-100101-120 ... 241 next last

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.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson