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Schiavo Case Headed To Supreme Court

The question is whether they will agree to hear the appeal.

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - After losing two consecutive appeals in federal court, Terri Schiavo's parents vowed Wednesday to take their fight to the U.S. Supreme Court as their severely brain-damaged daughter began her fifth full day without the feeding tube that has kept her alive for more than a decade.

In a 2-1 ruling early Wednesday, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the parents "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims" that Terri's feeding tube should be reinserted immediately.

"There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo," the ruling said. "We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law."

In his dissent, Judge Charles R. Wilson said Schiavo's "imminent" death would end the case before it could be fully considered. "In fact, I fail to see any harm in reinserting the feeding tube," he wrote.

I remain skeptical of the argument the Schindler's lawyers have put forth (they claimed that Terri Schiavo's religious and due process rights have been violated) in their federal case, and suspect the Supreme Court may decided not to hear the case. I still believe their only path to victory would have been to challenge the flimsy evidence to suggest that Terri Schiavo would have wanted the fate she's now about to meet.


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Comments (106)

If the Supreme Court does d... (Below threshold)
Dave:

If the Supreme Court does decide to hear the case (doubtful) Scalia and Rehnquist, who are the moralists closest friends, will not look too kindly on Congress' intervention here. They will say it is a violation of the rule of law, of the principles of federalism, etc.

Besides, they have already ruled on the issues being debated in other courts, in Cruzan. That was the case that required the Florida courts to find "clear and convincing evidence" about Schiavo's wishes for medical treatment. There's no new ground for the Supreme Court to decide on here.

You are likely right that the Court won't hear the case. If they do, they will basically say: "we decided a very similar case fifteen years ago for a petitioner in Missouri, and there's nothing different here. Etc."

Too much time spent on the ... (Below threshold)
Yogurt:

Too much time spent on the process and not the "goal". The goal remains for a self-centered, cheating husband to oft his disabled wife to make his life more merry. If stavation is dignified, I guess famine would be a cause-celebre...

Aren't there laws about endangerment or abuse that could be used to remove him from the equation?

The only thing different is... (Below threshold)

The only thing different is the Congressional Act requiring the courts to engage in de novo review.

Which is mildly relevant.

I think it ends here. Irreg... (Below threshold)

I think it ends here. Irregardless the way this woman is dieing or will die by starvation is an extremely inhumane act. It is very hard to move between the "culture of life" and a acceptable way to let someone pass. We havent found that agreeable medium and dont look any closer to finding a humane way to handle this. If she has to pass it shouldnt be like this.

In defense of the family’s ... (Below threshold)
Allan Yackey:

In defense of the family’s attorneys, the federal court, under the law passed, only had direction to review Constitutional violations and compliance with federal law. The way the law was written it did not, (and probably could not) direct the federal court to review the factual determinations of the Florida court.

In my view the action in congress was doomed to almost certain failure and raised false hope. The first step that the family had to take was to apply for a TRO. The TRO was needed because the time required to take the evidence under normal procedures would mean that the patient would be dead. The TRO could only deal with federal law and Constitutional law. All of those issues have been raised before and decided adversely to the family. The law directed the court to look again at these issues.

The catch 22 problem here is that in order to get the feeding tube reinserted at the outset, you have to show a strong likelihood of success with the first paperwork in order to justify the granting of a TRO. All of the available evidence suggests that the strongest probability is that the effort will again fail.

Therefore by definition you cannot get a TRO.

The family can continue the process to have the court review under the normal time frames and processes, but the case will be mooted by the Terri’s death long before that happens. The attorneys seem to have filed some state court material with the District Court, I suppose with the hope that it would be seen, but it is irrelevant to the issues sent to the Court by Congress

What was never in the cards was a review of any matter related to Florida State Law.

Jesus, hopefully soon this ... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Jesus, hopefully soon this thing that should be a PRIVATE MATTER will be off our screens. I'm SICK TO DEATH OF THIS WOMAN. ( That was a pun, heh. )

I completely side with the President though, HE"S DEA:T WITH THESE SITUATIONS BEFORE, especially when it comes to my tax dollars in all this. Let the family deal with it all themselves, but goddamn, why should I have to pay for it? There's enough welfare.

Allan, in a case like this,... (Below threshold)

Allan, in a case like this, I think the "strong likelihood" part of the criteria needs to be weighed against the "irrevocable harm" part of the criteria. Because the consequence of not issuing an injunction is certain death, I think it would have been appropriate for Whittmore to back away from the other criterion a little bit and grant a TRO if there was even the possibility of success.

Not being a lawyer, though, I don't understand at all why the plaintiff's first and only argument isn't "WE DON'T STARVE PEOPLE TO DEATH IN THIS COUNTRY."

Even with the order of de n... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Even with the order of de novo review, the justices are still only going to consider the arguments presented by the attourneys. Perhaps that was your point, Christopher.

It is unclear why the lawyers chose the arguments that they did. It would be interesting to see what evidence or testimony they would have presented that Terri *didn't* want to die if in a permanent vegetative state (thank goodness they chose not to argue the PVS finding, since they would have gotten crushed on that one). I mean, seeing as they didn't actually present any evidence in the first trial or any subsequent appeal to support the idea that she wouldn't have preferred death.

Kevin, I applaud you for being one of the very few people on this board that seems to understand that the lower courts have determined that death is Terri's preference in this condition and it is not a case of Michael commanding that the feeding tube be removed as her husband. Even if Michael decided today that he wanted the tube re-inserted, he couldn't make it happen, so all this talk of transferring guardianship to the parents, million dollar offers from philanthropists, etc. etc. is beside the point. The courts decided based on Terri's preference, and what they determined that was is what is being done.

Jeff,"Not being a ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Jeff,

"Not being a lawyer, though, I don't understand at all why the plaintiff's first and only argument isn't "WE DON'T STARVE PEOPLE TO DEATH IN THIS COUNTRY."

Actually, several people with uncontested living wills in Florida alone have had feeding tubes removed and starved based on their wishes. The law of Florida SPECIFICALLY covers this instance and enshrines this as a valid choice that must be respected. So I guess the lawyers realized that would be a grandstanding, but ultimatelty futile, argument.

The law of Florida can take... (Below threshold)

The law of Florida can take a flying leap. There are times when the laws on the books are JUST PLAIN WRONG and this is one of them.

"The law of Florida can tak... (Below threshold)
jYt:

"The law of Florida can take a flying leap. There are times when the laws on the books are JUST PLAIN WRONG and this is one of them."

Ahhhh, now there's a good opening argument for you. I'm sure the appeal to raw emotion as opposed to stupid laws and court decisions goes over really big in court.

Jeff Harrell's opinion of the law and what is JUST PLAIN WRONG should reign supreme. Why can't the rest of us just see what is as plain as the nose on Jeff's Harrell's face? No thanks, Jeff. I'll keep our form of government with all it's crazy elections, courts, constitution, etc.

And I characterized the other argument as grandstanding. Silly me. I should have known you'd come back with an argument that made the last one look intelligent.

Terri is probably going to ... (Below threshold)

Terri is probably going to expire given the circumstances. But for Michael, the hospice, the Judge, the trouble is about to begin.

The family will (from what I have heard) be filing a wrongful death suit against the above almost immediately after she passes away.

Before you say, "For what?" Here is what this suit will bring.

First, you have no doubt heard of numerous health care workers on the media and such speaking out about her treatment by Michael and some other serious alligations. More stories came out today. Something isn't right here.

In a civil pursuit this would be a separate and brand new case. Under civil law ALL documents are reviewable and new evidence (which Greer consistantly refused to allow) would be entered and investigated. Everything would be "fresh", once more, from the beginning.

As a retired law enforcement official, I didn't really have an opinion about this case. In fact I had been siding with Michael prior to looking at some evidence I have aquired under Sunshine Law here in Florida.

To put it bluntly, something stinks about this whole thing, and a civil trails may just be the way to find out once and for all.

Another twist. If in a Civil Trial Michael is found reponsible for her death, especially is abuse is uncovered, a criminal trial may follow. A stretch, yes, but entirely possible, and in fact has occured many times in the past. Somehow we are going to find out the truth.

I am personally looking into the case (hey I'm retired), and in the process of requesting all pertainent documents under the law. Also got a few local media buddies to help take this to the next level.

Stay tuned...

I predict the Supreme Court... (Below threshold)

I predict the Supreme Court will decline to review, without rendering any reason.

Allan Yackey has it nailed.

Jeff wants to ignore "the law," which is perfectly understandable from an emotional and idealogical perspective --- and, having read every comment posted on this subject on this blog over the past five days, I think ALL of the sentiments expressed on Terri's behalf deserve the same respect and recognition.

Charles Krauthammer wrote a wonderful column this morning that, I think, put it all into perspective:

"Given our lack of certainty, given that there are loved ones prepared to keep her alive and care for her, how can you allow the husband to end her life on his say-so? Because following the sensible rules of Florida custody laws, conducted with due diligence and great care over many years in this case, this is where the law led.

For Congress and the president to then step in and try to override that by shifting the venue to a federal court was a legal travesty, a flagrant violation of federalism and the separation of powers. The federal judge who refused to reverse the Florida court was certainly true to the law. But the law, while scrupulous, has been merciless, and its conclusion very troubling morally. We ended up having to choose between a legal travesty on the one hand and human tragedy on the other.

There is no good outcome to this case. Except perhaps if Florida and the other states were to amend their laws and resolve conflicts among loved ones differently -- by granting authority not necessarily to the spouse but to whatever first-degree relative (even if in the minority) chooses life and is committed to support it. Call it Terri's law. It would help prevent our having to choose in the future between travesty and tragedy. "

For those whose hearts ache for Terri Schiavo and are angry that this is going on, the constructive approach is to advocate changing laws, to codify into law the protections for others that could not be extended to her.

tmcatamney: yeah, you!... (Below threshold)
-S-:

tmcatamney: yeah, you!

I share your gradual change in perception about Terri Schiavo. Before I read much at all, I had the impression that there was some directive with the husband, Michael Schiavo, that was motivating his loving, caring desire to see his wife's wishes carried out.

Then I read the details, the story as unfolded, and have arrived at much the same conclusions as your own.

If Terri Schiavo continues to suffer and dies in these next few days by neglect and direct cause by others, I am hoping that her situation will bring about a greater good to prevent such a thing from ever taking place again in our country. At least to make a difference in that regard.

This isn't euthanasia, even, what is happening to Terri Schiavo, it is murder. And, she's blameless. Michael Schiavo has no evidence to support his contentions that he is entitled to end Terri Schiavo's life and the amount of suffering and misery that he has brought about in her life is astounding, astounding in the level of denigration that, particularly, the entire culture and environment of Florida has allowed to take place.

I mean, some people want death instead of maintainence if ever severely disabled. Without directive in place, the deferral by our society should not be death but life when cases exist where someone is incapacitated.

As an aside, I know people who have removed the Donor Status from their Drivers' License records because there is indication that some physicians become too aggressive about organ donors, the profitability and demand for donor organs by some such that there's an indication that heroics are assumed to cease after a point when/if someone is a potential donor. People should think that over before offering their body parts up to those who want them, at least know and know well your community emergency care system.

There's one thing I've not ... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

There's one thing I've not heard said yet. That is that the legal aspect of this case aside, there is the MORAL aspect. Morality and legality do not necessarily coincide. For example, Robert Blake is a guilty murderer but the law doesn't think so. Here, we have a husband, who has abandoned his wife for another woman, yet has refused to request a divorce from his wife. Why??? Said husband has also received money for his disabled wife yet has not used the money to help his wife. Why??? It is quite apparent to any objective observer, that said husband does NOT have his wife's interests in mind. I say that only because there is no existing document explaining her wishes. Furthermore the husband is not related by blood to the wife, but of course, her parents are. Morality would dictate that it is the parents who have the best interests of their daughter in mind, not the husband. The husband legal guardian or not, is irrelevant in the case because he is too eager to let his wife die based only on his word, rather than let the loving parents, who have not abandoned their daugther, continue to hope. Something stinks in Denmark, and his name is Michael Schiavo.

Son, if you have a PROBLEM ... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Son, if you have a PROBLEM with the MORALS of this country, you work to change the LAWS. You don't just cast them aside if they don't suit your beleif.

Maybe that's what will happen, but you gotta beef with SOMEONE ELSE HERE BUDDY.

Mr. Hackney, You a... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Mr. Hackney,

You apparently did not understand my post. I'll make it simpler for you.

1. I don't have a problem with the morals of this country.

2. There is no need to change any laws.

3. I do have a problem with secular left-leaning judges who should be enforcing laws tempered with morality.

4. Don't call me "Son". I'm not YOUR son.

5. I'm not your "buddy" either.

tmcatamney:I would... (Below threshold)
Allan Yackey:

tmcatamney:

I would not put too much faith in yet another civil suit in this situation.

1. A Judge in most states is completely immune from civil suit. The only recourse in most states is to not elect him the next time or to remove him from the bench for misconduct. Removal can only be done in most states by a judicial qualifications commission or the like.

In this case the various appeals have confirmed everything he did, so it would seem to be nearly impossible to make a misconduct case.

2. The hospice is following a court order and would not seem to be at any risk for “causing” the death. I understand that Florida also has a recently passed law to protect facilities like the hospice. I have not seen that law but I understand it was passed after a legislator watched a relative die a painful death. I also understand that it is that law and its supporters that are keeping the Florida legislature from passing other laws that might change the situation here.

Allegations about earlier abuse that was not caught or involved the hospice, aside from the difficulty of proof would need to be within the statute of limitations. I don’t know what the Florida Statute of Limitations is, but common time limits are one to two years from the incident.

3. The act causing the death here has already been judicially determined to be Terri’s choice. The family has been actively involved during the entire battle. The court has ordered it. There is a concept in our law that says you only get one chance to try a case. It is a defense to any lawsuit that there has already been a lawsuit and a judgment.

3. Most of the recently discussed allegations about Terri’s husband and abuse are old ones and likewise would be subject to whatever statute of limitations exists in Florida for both civil and criminal cases. In addition, proof of these recent statements could be very difficult.

4. Some people point to the OJ Simpson case as an example of multiple trials. But that was a criminal trial followed by a civil trial.

This is already a state civil trial. A second state civil trial covering pretty much the same area seems unlikely.

TruthTeller,"3. I ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

TruthTeller,

"3. I do have a problem with secular left-leaning judges who should be enforcing laws tempered with morality."

I believe the common term for what you are requesting is "activist judges."

With the finding of facts in this case being that 1) Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state and 2) Terri Schiavo would not want to persist in such a condition and the Florida law giving her the right to have that choice carried out, I'm not sure where your desired "morality" comes in. Please be more specific about what law is being enforced without moral temperment in this case.

Florida is one of the few s... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Florida is one of the few states that legally recognizes verbal statements about end of life whishes. It's also likely that spouses share such information with each other, but not necessarily with parents.

Assume for a second that Terri Schiavo did express her whishes verbally about what circumstances she would not want to live in, and did so to only her husband and one other member of her husband's family, which is what the Florida courts have found. Then Terri's whishes are being fulfilled and Charles Krauthammer idea of allowing a single relative to stop those wishes from being fulfilled is misguided at best.

If you want to pass a law to prevent this situation in the future, then require every adult to file a living will. It wouldn't be any more intrusive than what we are seeing now.

Not being a lawyer, thou... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Not being a lawyer, though, I don't understand at all why the plaintiff's first and only argument isn't "WE DON'T STARVE PEOPLE TO DEATH IN THIS COUNTRY."

Then you would presumably be satisfied if the court ruled, "OK, then we hereby authorize the use of a lethal dose of narcotics." True, there's no law that allows them to do this, but if the mentality is "the law can take a flying leap," then wouldn't this certainly be more "moral" than letting her starve?

You know though, I don't th... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

You know though, I don't think judicial activism can realy be pinned on any of the judges in this case. It is just a judicial ruling we on the side of letting Terri live don't feel comfortable with. Judges make poor (or what is percieved as poor by one side) decisions all the time, sometimes there is a legitimate argument for the bad decision, but the judge still made the decision within the legal rules that apply.

I think Judge Greer made some huge mistakes in this, but I don't think he is an activist judge. I don't even think the district judge who ruled was an activist, he just didn't seem to think the Schindlers met all the criteria for an injunction. I think the real weakness may be in the Florida law itself, but only that can really be changed through the Florida legislature. I have said repeatedly that in cases where there is nothing in writing, and there is a dispute among immediate family members as to the wishes of the incapacitated person, then at the very least that person should be appointed an Attorney or Guardian ad litem to represent their interest through the entire legal proceedings.

I doubt the Supremes will take this case, I think it will get turned down.

I actually agree with much in the dissenting judges opinion (regarding the whole de novo ruling and the fact that without the injunction the trial becomes moot-it isn't like the terri has all the time in the world until a trial). I think he may have given the Schindler's an attorney something to use on appeal, but I don't think it is going to work.

I figure Terri will die sometime Easter weekend, or just after.

I don't see a "wrongful death" suit as being all that successful, although maybe it would work.

What I do see is the media circus continueing over the fact that Michael presumably still has control in regards to funeral/buriel/cremation arrangements, and I can see another emotional battle heating up and another media circus surrounding these issues.

"Posted by: jYt at March... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

"Posted by: jYt at March 23, 2005 12:29 PM"

I'll take your points separately.

1. PVS: No conclusion like that is possible without an MRI which the husband refuses to allow.

2. How do you know this??? The husband's verbal utterances??? Not a valid reason to snuff out life when the parents wish otherwise.

"Please be more specific about what law is being enforced without moral temperment in this case."

The law in Florida that says the legal guardian can make life and death decisions apparently without regard to BLOOD relatives. See my original post.

I've heard on tv, radio, pr... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I've heard on tv, radio, print and Internet gossip, innuendo, and hearsay that the husband is everyting up to and including a murderer.


Does anyone have any PROOF of these charges?


Does it bother anyone that all this stuff has been alledged against him with no proof?


If I was in the condition Terri was in (as best I understand it, since NO ONE POSTING HERE has *PROOF* of what her mental state is) , I would not want to be kept alive by a feeding tube.

My God, what if she is silently hoping and praying to be put out of her misery and you guys keep putting the feeding tube back in?

What if she wants to keep the tube in and they pull it out anyhow?

None of us - NONE OF US- knows for sure. I only know that I would be ready to leave this earth if I was disabled like her.

"Then you would presumably ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Then you would presumably be satisfied if the court ruled, "OK, then we hereby authorize the use of a lethal dose of narcotics." "

Brian I would just point out that if the courts did this, there would indeed be a case made for judicial activism.

Using a lethal dose of narcotics to kill severely disabled people would absolutely be a job for the legislature, and for the court to actually make this ruling would amount to judicial activism.

Posted by: Allan Yackey ... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: Allan Yackey at March 23, 2005 12:25 PM

You posted two number 3s. In reference to the first: The act causing the death here has already been judicially determined to be Terri’s choice.

Legally speaking true, of course. But moral??? I think not. The husband has behaved suspiciously at a minimum. The parents still want their daughter alive. The judge in Florida is immoral to allow only a law to dictate that an innocent woman should be starved to death. Have you ever seen an animal starve??? Its considered inhumane. Except, of course, when a human is starved. If Terri is supposed to die, why not inject her with the same chemicals used to kill criminals??? Why let her starve??? This is the immorality. The law and judge are wrong, wrong, wrong (to quote the Grand Kleagle)

Just Me, I don't advocate t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Just Me, I don't advocate the court ruling that way. I was just painting a scenario that addressed Jeff's assertion that the "first and only" point here is starvation, and that the law shouldn't matter.

And I greatly respect the points you made in your 01:09 PM post.

Posted by: Les Nessman a... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: Les Nessman at March 23, 2005 01:12 PM

Then speak for yourself

jYt,Every single per... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

jYt,
Every single person killed by an oppressive government was killed legally.

Stalin's starvation of millions of people was legal. Aktion 4 was legal. The Shoah was legal.

Keep on believing that law shouldn't have any connection to morality. Repeat these words until they become your mantras:

"I'm just obeying the law."
"I'm just doing my job."
"I'm just following orders."

Maybe you'll live, for a while. Until your life is deemed "unworthy of life." Then someone else will "follow orders" and "obey the law" by protecting your "right to privacy."

You need to move to Florida to show how trusting you are of their laws. Or Oregon. Or Missouri. Or California. Or whichever state that's next, until the feds force them all to adopt the "Save Social Security by Bumping Off Useless Eaters" protocols.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at March 23, 2005 01:33 PM

Yeah, what she said.

Sue in a country that goes ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Sue in a country that goes by the rule of law, the imperitive thing to do is change the law.

I admit I see a lot of Eugenics type stuff in this case, especially with all the "vegitable" "mush for brain" etc comments. I think a lot of people who think the tube should be pulled use these terms in order to dehumanize Terri in order to make themselves feel more comfortable with the moral implications. I am far more comfortable with the "because I believe the trial court judge was right, and this is what terri would have wanted" arbuments than the it is okay because she essentially isn't really a human anymore arguments. The fact that I have a disabled child makes me feel very uncomfortable with the arguments in favor of tube removal based on the disability.

I think Terri was failed by our legal system, not because the judges were screw ups, but because the law is inadequate to protect the interests of Terri in these proceedings. I pray that the one thing that happens from this case is that legislatures will seek to make sure that in future cases like this, the incapacitated person has an indpendant representative that advocates for their interests only.

I think the moral aspects of this case are a no brainer though, I find the whole thing very disturbing and it makes my stomach just twist to think of her being slowly starved to death.

Re: Numerous posts by Tr... (Below threshold)
Julie:

Re: Numerous posts by TruthTeller.

Yeah, what he said.

Thank you, and others, for speaking so articulately on behalf of this woman, that some are so rabid about killing.

Posted by: Just Me at Ma... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: Just Me at March 23, 2005 02:13 PM

It is not necessary to re-write laws or introduce new ones, if the current laws are interpreted within a moral context. However, for judges that are morally confused, perhaps appending to the law to clarify moral positions may help. But really, if law schools educated lawyers with morality and ethics we wouldn't be in this mess. Imagine that, a "moral lawyer".

Posted by: TruthTeller:... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Posted by: TruthTeller:

1. PVS: No conclusion like that is possible without an MRI which the husband refuses to allow.

2. How do you know this??? The husband's verbal utterances??? Not a valid reason to snuff out life when the parents wish otherwise.

"Please be more specific about what law is being enforced without moral temperment in this case."

The law in Florida that says the legal guardian can make life and death decisions apparently without regard to BLOOD relatives. See my original post.

TruthTeller,

1. I'm sure that you are in a good position to make that pronouncement, having reviewed all of the trial evidence and being a neurologist (NOT). The courts appointed neurologist determined she was PVS. Please don't bother to cite the overused study about 43% of diagnoses in error. None of the ones that were found to be in error had any CT scans (which Terri has had) and none of them had been in the state for more than a year, much less 15. In a case as extreme as Terri's, with the amount of damage that was done and the time she has been in this condition, virtually all knowledgeable observers concur with this analysis, as does the court. Please see this article for more details.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55137-2005Mar21.html

2. Further view of actual court proceedings would show that your idea of the law and the decisions in this case is waaaay off. Here's some quotes from the actual decisions.

"Michael Schiavo testified as to a few discussions he had with his wife concerning life support. The Guardian Ad Litem felt that this testimony standing alone would not rise to clear and convincing evidence...The court reviewed the testimony of Scott Schiavo (brother) and Joan Schiavo (sister-in-law) and finds nothing therein to be unreliable. The court notes that neither of these witnesses appeared to have shaded his or her testimony or even attempt to exclude unfavorable comments or points regarding these discussions. They were not impeached on cross-examination." So, your idea that this is about a law having to do with a "legal guardian can make life and death decisions" is simply incorrect. The court found this was Terri's desire. After this decision, Michael could not decide to keep her alive. The court's decision was that it was her wish to die in such a state.

The court finds "beyond all reasonable doubt that Theresa Marie Schiavo is in a persistent vegitative state...with the exception of one witness whom the court finds to be so biased as to lack credibility, her movements are occasional and totally consistent with the testimony of the expert medical witnesses...the unrebutted evidence remains that Terri Schiavo remains in a persistent vegitative state."

As one other point, the court also found that, "The medical evidence before this court conclusively establishes that she has no hope of ever regaining consciousness and therefore capacity and that, without the feeding tube, she will die in seven to fourteen days. The unrebutted medical testimony before this court is that such death would be painless."


If you had bothered to review the court documents instead on relying on message boards for your information, perhaps you would have a better concept of the relevant laws and decisions in this case as well as the determination on Terri's condition.

Posted by: Julie at Marc... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: Julie at March 23, 2005 02:15 PM

You should thank yourself really. You are human and caring and we need more people like you in the world.

Anyone interested in the fa... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Anyone interested in the facts can get a good summary from Jay Wolfson's (Guardian Ad Litem to Theresa Marie Schiavo) Dec 2003 report to Gov. Jeb Bush here.

The facts seem to be at odds with much of what has been written in the media.

This is a public document so here's a small excerpt

"In late Autumn of 1990, following months of therapy and testing, formal diagnoses of persistent vegetative state with no evidence of improvement, Michael took Theresa to California, where she received an experimental thalamic stimulator implant in her brain. Michael remained in California caring for Theresa during a period of several months and returned to Florida with her in January of 1991. Theresa was transferred to the Mediplex Rehabilitation Center in Brandon, where she received 24 hour skilled care, physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapies.

Despite aggressive therapies, physician and other clinical assessments consistently revealed no functional abilities, only reflexive, rather than cognitive movements, random eye opening, no communication system and little change cognitively or functionally.

On 19 July 1991 Theresa was transferred to the Sable Palms skilled care facility. Periodic neurological exams, regular and aggressive physical, occupational and speech therapy continued through 1994."
.
.
.
"Terri is a living, breathing human being. When awake, she sometimes groans, makes noises that emulate laughter or crying, and may appear to track movement. But the scientific medical literature and the reports this GAL obtained from highly respected neuro-science researchers indicate that these activities are common and characteristic of persons in a persistent vegetative state."
.
.
.
"Theresa's neurological tests and CT scans indicate objective measures of the persistent vegetative state. These data indicate that Theresa's cerebral cortex is principally liquid, having shrunken due to the severe anoxic trauma experienced thirteen years ago."

Posted by: jYt at March ... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: jYt at March 23, 2005 02:25 PM

First of all, it is very presumptuous of you to know where I get information. Secondly, where in the court proceedings are the PARENTS examined. Third, and this is a point that for some reason seems to escape you, there is no written document expressing her wishes. We only have passing conversations. I find that, and the court should have found that, insufficient, especially if BLOOD relatives claim otherwise. I won't explain this again to you.

Now about the PVS: My bad, I meant brain-dead. She may be in PVS. She may recover from it with therapy. We won't know that if she is dead. She is not on life support. The state has no right to sanction this womans death, let alone you and your ilk, ESPECIALLY IF THE PARENTS WANT TO KEEP HER ALIVE.

Sue,Thanks for voi... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Sue,

Thanks for voicing the extreme slippery slope argument, AGAIN. If this happens, it leads to this, which leads to, that, which leads to the other. I'm sure that you don't go outside because it might rain and a car might spin out of control, and it might crush you and your premature death might lead to all cars being banned from the roads to prevent this tragedy again. Let's just actually take one thing at a time, shall we.

The thing we're addressing at the moment is that someone determined by the courts to be in a permanent vegetative state is being granted HER wish to die in such a state. I could argue that if the decision is reversed, it would lead to all other abridgements of rights, leading to the collapse of government, leading to the rise of a government where we'll all be opressed, but I actually prefer to argue real specific points here on earth, not what-could-possibly-happen-in-an-alternate-future-in-my-mind fantasyland.


I'm sorry that you think the US Government is so oppressive. I think we have a very good, but imperfect system. I'm surprised that you would so lump it in so quickly with Stalin's Russia. I didn't realize you were a moonbat.

So, Sue, just keep believing:

"My views on what is moral are obviously correct"
"No one could possibly know more than I do about what is right and just"
"When the laws and courts don't agree with me, the end is nigh for us all"

Those types of beliefs never, ever lead to any types of problems.

In a case as extreme as ... (Below threshold)
TnTexas:

In a case as extreme as Terri's, with the amount of damage that was done and the time she has been in this condition, virtually all knowledgeable observers concur with this analysis, as does the court. Please see this article for more details.

This argument doesn't work if Terri has been misdiagnosed all along.

From Starving for a Fair Diagnosis:
Neurologists who are familiar with diagnosing and treating PVS and other brain injuries have told me that PVS is a notoriously difficult diagnosis to make. It requires a great deal of time spent with the patient over several days or weeks. The reason for this, as Dr. Bell explained, is that brain-injured patients have severely disrupted sleep/wake cycles. Dr. Mack Jones, a neurologist in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., added that patients with severe brain injury will have greatly varying levels of alertness: "Two independent examiners may get an entirely different impression depending on when and how long he/she has spent performing the examination. For example, one examiner may unknowingly attempt to evaluate the patient during a stage of sleep. Another examiner, by chance, may find a more responsive patient simply because [the patient is] now more aroused." Dr. Morin concurred, saying that in his experience "the attention of brain-injured patients is very erratic," and that because of this he has "seen inadequate assessments even by experienced neurologists." Because of these difficulties, the American Academy of Neurology has made it clear that it can take months for a physician to establish with confidence the diagnosis of PVS. .........

So, did Dr. Cranford, or any of the doctors testifying for Michael Schiavo, spend months evaluating Terri? No. To be fair, none of the doctors appearing for the Schindlers spent months with Terri either. But it is hardly coincidental that the doctors who spent the most time with Terri came to the conclusion that she is not PVS. The doctors brought in by the Schindlers spent approximately 14 hours examining Terri over more than two weeks; their conclusion was that Terri is not PVS, and that she may benefit from therapy.

In marked contrast, Dr. Cranford examined Terri on one occasion, for approximately 45 minutes. Another doctor for Michael Schiavo, Dr. Peter Bambikidis of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, examined Terri for about half an hour. When Dr. Bell learned of the cursory nature of these exams, he said: "You can’t do this. To make a diagnosis of PVS based on one examination is fallacious." In Cranford’s examination, described by one witness as "brutal," he discounted evidence under his own eyes of Terri’s responsiveness. At one point, Dr. Cranford struck Terri very hard on the forehead between her eyes. Terri recoiled and moaned, seemingly in pain. In his court testimony, Cranford dismissed the reaction and moan as a "reflex."

"I asked Dr. Bell if he thought a moan uttered after a painful blow could be a reflex. "It's highly unlikely," he replied. He qualified his answer by noting that he had not actually seen the video of the exam, but he believes that the description of Terri's reaction is not consistent with a reflex. "A moan is not a reflex," Bell said. "A wince or grimace is not a reflex."

From Killing Terri Schiavo:
Even more powerful is the testimony of the numerous doctors who emphatically deny that Terri is in a PVS. The most convincing medical testimony comes from Dr. William Hammesfahr, a neurologist specializing in the treatment of brain injuries, who has spent approximately twelve hours examining Terri. At the October 24 press conference, Hammesfahr explained that Terri is able to respond to commands: She can raise and lower her limbs, although her range of motion is limited by severe muscular contractures from a lack of physical therapy for more than a decade. Doctors testifying for Michael Schiavo have dismissed such responses as reflexes. But what is most telling is Hammesfahr’s description of Terri’s response to a standard strength test: In this test he asked Terri to lift up her leg while he pressed down on it with his hand. He instructed her to keep lifting it in spite of his pressure. Hammesfahr explained how he could feel Terri pressing up against his hand with the same degree of force with which he was pressing down, so as to keep her leg in the same relative position. Such a response, Hammesfahr explained, is simply not reducible to a "reflex."

Hammesfahr has even observed her move her head and limbs into positions that clearly cause her discomfort and maintain them in order to carry out instructions he gave her. Such behavior, Hammesfahr said, cannot be reflexive: "Reflexes are designed to avoid injury. They are there to prevent pain." One has to overcome reflexes in order to perform a task in spite of discomfort or pain. .......

But the evidence of the videos and the testimony of the numerous family members and doctors overwhelmingly show that Terri does respond "consistently" to numerous stimuli. According to Hammesfahr, any of these responses, let alone all of them, should rule out a finding of PVS. "By definition," he said, "if there is any response to the outside world, the patient isn’t in a PVS."

Posted by: jYt at March ... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: jYt at March 23, 2005 03:20 PM

TROLL ALERT.

The troll said: The thing we're addressing at the moment is that someone determined by the courts to be in a permanent vegetative state is being granted HER wish to die in such a state.

Show me PROOF that her wish is to die. Of course, you have a will? No. Tape recording. No. Video. No. Postcard. No. Letter. No. Anything? Well, no. Well, for someone so obstinate that the law is correct, and you have no PROOF, seems like your argument is BULLSHIT.

Final question troll: How do you know what is moral?

Some past actions by our in... (Below threshold)
been there:

Some past actions by our infaluable courts:

Marshall was succeeded as chief justice in 1836 by Andrew Jackson's close associate, Roger B. Taney. Never again would it make quite so much sense to name a Court after its chief justice, because fragmentation, rather than unity, increasingly characterized future Courts. Broadly speaking, the so-called Taney Court did not deviate too sharply from the paths established earlier. On two occasions it upheld Fugitive Slave Acts, even though Congress was nowhere specifically authorized to pass such legislation. Taney bitterly opposed use of the contract or commerce clause to limit state regulatory power, though he did not always prevail and could only indicate his opposition in dissents.

The most notorious case of this period was Dred Scott v. Sanford in 1857. Taney ruled that blacks could not be citizens of the United States (he viewed the founding generation of Americans to have been so racist that they could not have intended that blacks would be part of the political community). He went on to declare that Congress was without power to limit the taking of slaves into new territories being opened. Inasmuch as the newly formed Republican party argued in behalf of Congress's right to make the territories "free soil," the majority of the Court, over sharp dissent, in effect declared the Republican platform unconstitutional. Although the majority may have been motivated by a desire to resolve the tremendous political hostilities generated by the slavery issue, it clearly failed, and many historians view Dred Scott as contributing to the outbreak of war four years later.

SUPREME COURT HISTORY

TruthTeller,>"Firs... (Below threshold)
jYt:

TruthTeller,

>"First of all, it is very presumptuous of you to know where I get information."
Well, I certainly know where you DON'T get information, and that would be the court documents. You know, where evidence was presented on both sides and determinations were made in accordance with the laws of the state of Florida. We've adressed the obviousness of this above, and we'll do it again below.


>"Secondly, where in the court proceedings are the PARENTS examined."
I'm glad you asked. Here's some relevant information you might have gotten if you'd actually bothered to go read them instead of hurrying to post again: "Mrs. Schlinder testified that her daughter made comments during the television news reports of the father's attempts to have life support removed to the effect that they should just leave her (Karen Ann Quinlan) alone. Mrs. Schlindler first testified that those comments were made when Terri was between 17-20 years of age but after being shown copies of newspaper accounts, agreed that she was 11 perhaps 12 years of age at the time..." So let's not have any pretend outrage that the parents didn't get to testify, shall we.


>"Third, and this is a point that for some reason seems to escape you, there is no written document expressing her wishes."
That doesn't escape me at all. What escapes you is that Florida law doesn't require this and part of the court proceeding was to determine what TERRI desired based on the testimony presented. Here's the relevant portion from court documents that you could actually go read: "The Florida Supreme Court established the clear and convincing test as a requirement and futher held that when 'the only evidence of intent is an oral declaration, the accuracy and reliability of the declarant's oral expression of intent may be challenged." Thus we have had this trial. I quoted the court's ruling on this standard above.


>"We only have passing conversations. I find that, and the court should have found that, insufficient, especially if BLOOD relatives claim otherwise."
Florida law expert supposedly in the HOUSE. Are you seriously telling me what the Florida court SHOULD have found? Since you stubbornly refuse to go read the court documents and came to this conclusion reading no testimony, how can you even claim this is even a minimally informed opinion, much less a meaningful viewpoint.


>"I won't explain this again to you."
Thank you for your forbearance, since the "explanation" of your uninformed opinion on this point meant nothing to me in the first place.

>"Now about the PVS: My bad, I meant brain-dead. She may be in PVS. She may recover from it with therapy."
Since the court's conclusion was specifically that she is PVS and will not recover (actually, the definition of PVS is that she will not recover, hence "persistent"), I guess this is where you'll also tell me what they "should have found" on that factual determination as well, based on your great medical knowledge and extensive review of the evidence.


>"The state has no right to sanction this womans death, let alone you and your ilk"
Fortunately, no one has asked for my sanction or yours. The state actually has exactly this right as granted by Florida's legislature and upheld by the Supreme court. I'll stand on that. On what legal precedent are you basing your claim to deny her right to die on?

IIRC Dr. William Hammesfah... (Below threshold)

IIRC Dr. William Hammesfahr was under investigation by the Florida Medical Board for fraud in regards to his claims regarding Stroke victim recovery, the same type of claims he is making for Terri.

Last time I checked his website for his neruological practice was gone

And "truth teller" you might do well with a does of truth yourself. There is testimony from multiple people about Terri's wishes, its just you seem hellbent on ignoring it. Its not even a point up for discussion as its been ruled on. Of course I'm sure you will come up with some far reaching theory as to why this judge or any of the dozen or so other judges who have reviewd the case and its evidence are all lying and just trying to "murder" this poor woman.

Can't some nasty situations... (Below threshold)
PTG:

Can't some nasty situations just be ascribed to to fantastically bad luck, instead of to the world being all wrong? Even with a living will, what happens if you change your mind? Say you become a vegetable and find out it really suits you. You didn't think you'd like being vegetative when your signed that living will. But now that you've tried it you are thinking, "Life isn't so bad. Its a matter of degree. Now, where's my feeding tube?" Wink Wink

PS. Morals are subjective, ... (Below threshold)

PS. Morals are subjective, of course that doesn't stop someone like you from shoving them down other peoples throats now does it.

Posted by: Mac Lorry... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Posted by: Mac Lorry

Here's what we do know from Jay Wolfson's report to Gov. Jeb Bush:

1) Theresa received aggressive medical treatment and therapies in the five years following her heart attack.

2) Neurological tests and CT scans show Theresa's cerebral cortex is principally liquid, resulting in a persistent vegetative state

3) Theresa is unable to swallow. The machinery is all there, but there's no mind to operate it. Thus, she must be sustained by means of artificial life support -— the feeding tube.

4) Theresa left no written record of her end of life whishes is such circumstances. Her parents have never claimed that she made any verbal statement that would indicate she would wont her life artificially maintained. However, two witnesses say she made verbal statements that she would NOT want to be kept alive artificially.

If in fact Theresa did express her will to not be kept alive artificially, as the Florida courts have found, then all those attempting to force Theresa to live are the ones acting barbarically. Living in a PVS, may be far worse torture for what may be left of her mind than dying of dehydration.

>TROLL ALERT.Not abo... (Below threshold)
jYt:

>TROLL ALERT.
Not above name-calling I see. If you can't argue, then move to labeling me to try and discount what I'm saying. What makes me a troll and you a contentious poster? That my beliefs differ from yours?


>Show me PROOF that her wish is to die.
I believe that I already pointed you to the court documents and quoted extensively from them and the law in question. The PROOF that she did NOT want to die in this state that has been presented by you is exactly nil. I'd say I'm a little ahead of your curve on this one. What you're asking for here is incontrovertible evidence of her wishes, and I'll readily admit that I don't have it. If I did, I assume that we never would have gotten to this state in the courts. The judge and I DO agree that the evidence presented for her desire to die in a PVS outweighed the evidence presented for her desire to live in a PVS.


>How do you know what is moral?
I think my moral beliefs have the same value as yours. In a society where different people value different things, it's important to have a court system set up to resolve disputes. You're just mad that they're not deciding in your favor.

We happen to disagree on what's moral here. However, when you present no evidence to support your knowledge of Terri's wishes and demand incontrovertible evidence for mine, it appears you think that your morality is superior. If not, then why don't you have the same standard for your position that you demand for mine?

"morals are subjective"... (Below threshold)
been there:

"morals are subjective"

That opens up a whole lot of possibilities for pedophiles, sadists and multilevel marketers to justify their actions.

Do you want to be on the recieving end of someone elses subjective morality GC?

I should also mention that ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

I should also mention that Hammesfahr testified in the original case as an expert witness presented by the Schlinders. "The judge noted that Hammesfahr testified that he had treated patients worse off than Mrs. Schiavo yet 'offered no names, no case studies, no videos and no test results to support his claim.'" A real great expert. This is a guy who has never examined a PVS patient that he didn't think could be rehabilitated. To him, PVS is never a valid diagnosis.

Do you want to be on the... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Do you want to be on the recieving end of someone elses subjective morality GC?

Posted by: been there at March 23, 2005 04:11 PM

Of course not. When the shoe is on the other foot moral relativists cry foul.

Been There,As far ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Been There,

As far as morals being subjective:

I don't think it is moral to keep people alive against their wishes in accordance with the law. You seem to think so. Fortunately, the state is not restricted by your morality and I don't have to be governed by it.

There are a lot of points where people's morals conflict. As a society, we must decide what we want to do and how to enforce it. What you seem to want is an open mandate for YOUR morality (cause it's so obviuosly correct). You and the pedophile both want that.

People are quick to quote other decisions by the court, historical leaders, etc., etc. that we now recognize as being non-moral. In general, this is because societal morality has shifted and evolved. Something I believe very strongly may be considered insanely wrong 200 years from now. Ditto for something you believe. However, we can't see the future and we have to make decisions based on our current knowledge and experience.

TruthTeller,"Of co... (Below threshold)
jYt:

TruthTeller,

"Of course not. When the shoe is on the other foot moral relativists cry foul."

Since you're the one crying foul in this case against the law, the courts, and public opinion (as if that one matters), I guess moral absolutists (which I assume you are) and moral relativists have this in common.

"Mrs. Schlinder testifie... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

"Mrs. Schlinder testified that her daughter made comments during the television news reports of the father's attempts to have life support removed to the effect that they should just leave her (Karen Ann Quinlan) alone. Mrs. Schlindler first testified that those comments were made when Terri was between 17-20 years of age but after being shown copies of newspaper accounts, agreed that she was 11 perhaps 12 years of age at the time..." So let's not have any pretend outrage that the parents didn't get to testify, shall we.

Au contraire, angel of death. The passage you site is not RELATED TO TERRI SCHIAVO, just to Quinlan. Irrelevant. And even if it was, are the parents not allowed to have a change of heart??? Or does your precious court rulings disallow that???

The PROOF that she did NOT want to die in this state that has been presented by you is exactly nil.

I don't have to present proof to PRESERVE LIFE. You, as the death squad commander, must present proof to murder. Works that way in death sentences too by the way.

What you're asking for here is incontrovertible evidence of her wishes, and I'll readily admit that I don't have it.

I agree. You don't.

I think my moral beliefs have the same value as yours. In a society where different people value different things, it's important to have a court system set up to resolve disputes. You're just mad that they're not deciding in your favor.

We happen to disagree on what's moral here.

No, I would say you have it completely wrong. When your morals allow you to murder a human being against the wishes of their parents without good cause, your morals do not have the same value as mine, because you have no morals. And let me clue you in about morals: they are absolute, not relative, like that ignoramus GC stated. I get my morals from the study of my religion. Where do your morals come from????

I don't think you can cite ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I don't think you can cite the courts as your authority for proof that she wanted to die.

You can certainly say the court believed she wanted to die, but the clear and convincing evidence standard is not reasonable doubt, and I think given the witnesses and circumstances surrounding this case, that there is ample evidence to doubt that this was her wish.

The court found that it was her wish to die, but courts make bad decisions all the time, even when they are decisions that are permissable within the perameters of the law. Frankly, had this been a case before a jury, and I was on it, I wouldn't have found in favor of her wish to die, I see too many conflicts of interest here to trust the witnesses.

What you seem to want is... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

What you seem to want is an open mandate for YOUR morality (cause it's so obviuosly correct).

Wrong again. It is not my morality, it is God's morality. Again, I ask, where do you get your morals from???

Since you're the one crying foul in this case against the law, the courts, and public opinion

Oh, public opinion??? You quoting the ABCNEWS poll??? The one that incorrectly characterized Terri's medical condition??? That one!?!?!?!?

Something I believe very strongly may be considered insanely wrong 200 years from now. Ditto for something you believe.

For 3000 years, God said (or whoever you think said it) murder, theft, adultery, etc. has been wrong or immoral as us absolutists say. Hmmm, I guess I missed the part where God said "murder" was now okay.

"The passage you site is no... (Below threshold)
jYt:

"The passage you site is not RELATED TO TERRI SCHIAVO, just to Quinlan. Irrelevant. And even if it was, are the parents not allowed to have a change of heart??? Or does your precious court rulings disallow that???"

"Mrs. Schlinder testified that HER DAUGHTER (Terri Schiavo) made comments..." How is that not related to Terri? Terri was commenting on a case similar to the one she now finds herself in to her mother. Seems pretty relevant to me. In any event, my only point here was that the parents had a full and complete opportunity to present their evidence and opinions about Terri's beliefs as they were expressed to them. Your question was, "where in the court proceedings are the PARENTS examined?" I pointed out one place where they were examined that was relevant to Terri's beliefs about death, since you didn’t seem capable of finding it on your own. If my answer isn't satisfactory for your original question, perhaps you should rephrase it, since I answered exactly what was asked. There's something really funny about your interpretation of the above quote, but, since you're oblivious, I won't point it out to you. I only mention this in case you happen to realize what it is and then state that I was claiming something that I'm not about Mrs. Schlinder's testimony.

And what's this "change of heart" business. Mrs. Schlindler is relating an exchange that happened between her and her daughter. How can you have a change of heart about the contents of a past conversation. You might change how you feel about it, but you can't change what was actually said. That's the point of the testimony. Like I said -- oblivious.


>>"The PROOF that she did NOT want to die in this state that has been presented by you is exactly nil."
>"I don't have to present proof to PRESERVE LIFE. You, as the death squad commander, must present proof to murder. Works that way in death sentences too by the way."
All I'm saying here is that the judge and I both feel that the evidence presented was clear and compelling enough to make the ruling he did about her wishes. When one side has evidence and the other has none, it's not too much of a stretch to reach this point. As I have repeatedly pointed out, I might give your feelings a little bit more weight if you'd read the testimony and the judges decision. Of course, that might actually require you to think, so I can understand why you don't want to go there.
As long as we're on the subject, 'I' don't have to do anything. That's why we actually have courts, judges, etc. To hear evidence and make these decisions. They did and you don't like it. Sorry.


>>What you're asking for here is incontrovertible evidence of her wishes, and I'll readily admit that I don't have it.
>"I agree. You don't."
OK, we're agreed on both:
1) that you have no proof of her wishes
2) I have no incontrovertible proof of her wishes.
The disagreement is whether the evidence presented was "clear and compelling". After reviewing it, the judge and I think it was. Before ever reviewing it, you reached your opinion. For you, what would be "clear and compelling" oral evidence, given the parents have their current wishes for Terri?


>>We happen to disagree on what's moral here.
>When your morals allow you to murder a human being against the wishes of their parents without good cause, your morals do not have the same value as mine, because you have no morals.

Glad we got down to the crux so quickly. I can see why I MUST be a troll to you. Your beliefs don't brook any opposition. Those who aren't believers can always have their beliefs discounted as "immoral". Thankfully, I live in America where there's freedom of religion. I'm sorry you hate America because we're free.


>And let me clue you in about morals: they are absolute, not relative.
>I get my morals from the study of my religion. Where do your morals come from????
It must be nice to not have to think about morals and just have them handed down to you by your superior. I actually try to think about what's moral and what I believe can actually change. Sure, it harder work than your system, but I'll take it.

Why don't you pass along the name of the particular religion you adhere to and I'll review their holy text(s) and let you know where my other morals conflict with yours and why. Should be interesting.

Look....1. IF Terr... (Below threshold)
ginabina:

Look....

1. IF Terri's wishes were to not be kept alive by "machines" or "artificial means" or even "extrordinary methods," THEN she should be allowed to be given food and water by mouth.

Yes, even if she might choke and die (what a joke). She is not even allowed to have her mouth swabbed with hydrogen pyroxide/water or be given an ice cube as a comfort measure! This is assured by the armed (heartless SOB) police officer next to her bed.

2. IF Terri's wish was to "die if I'm ever in a situation like that," THEN that is suicide. It's illegal. One cannot chose to kill oneself.

She is being purposely killed by starvation and dehydration by the state. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I predict she, an innocent subjected to great suffering, will die on Good Friday. (yes, I have religious convictions. Sue me)

Posted by: jYt at March 23,... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: jYt at March 23, 2005 05:32 PM

Brian asked if I'd be happy... (Below threshold)

Brian asked if I'd be happy with a deliberate lethal overdose. While I wouldn't be happy, of course, I think if we're going to make it a part of our culture that we kill people, we have a responsibility to do it in the most humane and gentle way possible. So if my choices were death by deliberate starvation and an overdose of morphine — if those are the only two choices available to me — I would push the plunger myself.

I think it's a mistake to start acting like those are the only two choices available, however.

On the question of laws versus morality, I don't think anybody here could argue that our system of laws is perfect. We create laws to try to impose order on what would otherwise be chaos, and we use morality as our guide in defining those laws. There are times when the system of laws is constructed in such a way that a person can take a course of action that is both legal and wrong. This is one of those times.

The laws in Florida say that a patient in a hospital or hospice can be starved to death? That's obviously the wrong answer. Those laws are broken and must be fixed. As I've said before, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm baffled by why the plaintiffs' attorneys are arguing what to my uneducated eye seem like technicalities rather than attacking the law that permits ritualistic starvation head-on.

>>What you seem to want is ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

>>What you seem to want is an open mandate for YOUR morality (cause it's so obviuosly correct).
>Wrong again. It is not my morality, it is God's morality. Again, I ask, where do you get your morals from???
You're the one who's writing messages on this board. I assume that these are your morals. If God wants to express an opinion, let him get an internet connection. I already answered the "where do you get your morals from" in another posting where I was replying to you. Keep your pants on. Since I actually have to take the time to go find evidence and quotes for my posts they take a little longer than yours.


>>Since you're the one crying foul in this case against the law, the courts, and public opinion

>>Oh, public opinion??? You quoting the ABCNEWS poll??? The one that incorrectly characterized Terri's medical condition??? That one!?!?!?!?
I see you decided to cut off my "(as if that one matters)" after "public opinion". Intellectually dishonest much? Anyway, I was using the Fox Poll with this question, "Terri Schiavo has been in a so-called "persistent vegetative state" since 1990. Her eyes sometimes open, but doctors say she has no consciousness. Terri’s husband says his wife would rather die than be kept alive artificially and wants her feeding tube removed. Terri’s parents believe she could still recover and want the feeding tube to remain. If you were Terri’s guardian, what would you do? 1. Would you remove the feeding tube 2. Or would you keep the feeding tube inserted? 3. (Not sure)" "61% Remove" was the response. Other polls besides this one and the ABC one showed similar results. You can let me know your problems with the Fox question in your next post, but try to cut down on the unnecessary punctuation. I know that you get really excited when you think you see a viable point for yourself, but it just makes it sadder when I have to point out that you're wrong again about the facts.

>Something I believe very strongly may be considered insanely wrong 200 years from now.
>Ditto for something you believe.

>For 3000 years, God said (or whoever you think said it) murder, theft, adultery, etc. has been wrong or immoral as us absolutists say. Hmmm, I guess I missed the part where God said "murder" was now okay.

Since it's not murder, here, but granting the (court determined) wish of a woman in a PVS, I think were OK. 3000 years ago, there were no feeding tubes, so I kinda doubt this particular thing was covered.

Since we're on the subject, though, of what God said 3000 years ago, what did he say about adulterers and how they should be dealt with? If you don't know (which wouldn't surprise me AT ALL), I'll be happy to provide some documentation for you to go over. I assume that you're down with his commandments and all that and that they were moral at the time and just as moral now. If not, whither moral absolutism?

TruthTeller,Regard... (Below threshold)
jYt:

TruthTeller,

Regarding your post at 5:41 -- finally, a post where I can agree with everything you said :-)

jYt

Please see: <a hre... (Below threshold)
MMM:
About the issue of whether ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

About the issue of whether or not Terri Schiavo ever said that she would prefer her life to be ended for her if ever faced with a situation requiring life support and/or a feeding tube:

Michael Schiavo and some of his siblings, from what I've read, say that she 'said' so. And that'd place her statements within the confines of a social group under the controlling influences of Michael Schiavo.

But it's also reported by people who knew Terri Schiavo well (and one who it's agreed was Terri's closest female friend) that Terri spoke out to indicate quite the contrary, that she shared that she found the idea of ending a disabled person's life to be unacceptable on various levels.

There are, in fact, more people who heard Terri Schiavo say express that last sentiment than there are who heard her, so they allege, express the former.

It's a case so far of what has been admitted into court record/proceedings as to whatever Terri Schiavo wanted and now wants and unfortunately, what I've concluded is that the entire legislative process has failed to be qualified to meet her level of need as it is now, that the proceedings were limited by their limited scope and content and considered information, sorta bound by their own closed society, so to speak, and that there has been a huge failing to provide this woman and those like her with adequate recourse.

But, about honing in on the "court proceedings" routinely and dismissing all other concerns, it is a retrogressive and wasteful concentration of effort because it's clear to nearly everyone else (who is not doing so, but taking into consideratin only that which has already occured) that there has been a huge failure throughout the past fifteen years on this woman's behalf, if on her behalf at all (it seems that Michael Schiavo has been represented well while Terri has not, to be succinct), and although perhaps legally correct, all the t's crossed, i's dotted, all that, morally wrong, morally and humanely failed.

Even to the point of ending her life, we provide convicted felons and other species with greater care and considerations than has been provided to Terri Schiavo as human being. That's the worst point of all.

Jeff,"I'm not a la... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Jeff,

"I'm not a lawyer, but I'm baffled by why the plaintiffs' attorneys are arguing what to my uneducated eye seem like technicalities rather than attacking the law that permits ritualistic starvation head-on."

Since the Florida law is what it is AND the Supreme Court has already upheld such laws are constitutional in Cruzan (see first post in this thread), they parents' lawyers correctly realized that they had no possible case to make on this point. There is simply no basis for overturning it in the courts. If you're against this law, I suggest you fight it in the Florida legislature. That's where the law was passed and where it would have to be rescinded.

To other posters talking about wrong decisions made by the court(s), I have the following points:

1) Yes, courts can make incorrect decisions. That's why there are appeals, higher courts, etc. This case has gotten more than its fair share of review and appeal and could still be overturned.

2) The purpose of the courts is NOT to legislate. That's why "activist judge" is a slur. If you want to disagree with the finding of fact in the case, please show why WHAT THE COURT HEARD should have led to different decisions or why the law as written was misinterpreted.

Since my morality is relative, I don't lay claim to an absolute knowledge of what's right and wrong. However, having reviewed this case, I think that the right decisions were made based on the evidence and the law. Since this decision doesn't conflict with my morality, that's great. For those of you that it does conflict with, work/contribute to elect different state representatives and senators in Florida.

Posted by: jYt at March ... (Below threshold)
TruthTeller:

Posted by: jYt at March 23, 2005 05:32 PM

The Quinlan case is irrelevant here. An 11-12 year old has no grasp of death of someone else, let alone herself. Hell, even the SCOTUS (your beloved judges) said that 16 and 17 year olds were not eligible for the death penalty because they're too young.

All I'm saying here is that the judge and I both feel that the evidence presented was clear and compelling enough to make the ruling he did about her wishes.

Yes, yes. I know what you are saying. You keep repeating it ad naseum. How about trying to think about this though, without disparaging morality, shall we??? So the bottom line is that you believe it is okay to murder a human being against the wishes of their parents without good cause. YES or NO?

I actually try to think about what's moral and what I believe can actually change. Sure, it harder work than your system, but I'll take it.

You THINK about what's moral?!?!?! So its a feeling you have that determines what you feel is moral??? That's moral relativism. That was discussed above and was shown to be quite silly. BTW, moral relativism is easy because it eminates from a single individual. No universal interpretation needed, its just about how one feels about a particular situation. Applying God's morality to a situation is difficult (which law, how to interprete the law, etc.). Sort of like a judical system, but with morality.

Thankfully, I live in America where there's freedom of religion. I'm sorry you hate America because we're free.

That's right, you live in America where there is freedom of religion, NOT freedom FROM religion. Our founding fathers, declaration of independence, and laws are all based on God's law - morality. Your presumptuous statement that I hate America because we're free is, of course, assinine. Are you a child??? Because you argue like one.

And now, I am through with you.


-S-,Good post. I'm... (Below threshold)
jYt:

-S-,

Good post. I'm glad to see someone actually followed testimony and evidence.

I did have two points, though:

1) "There are, in fact, more people who heard Terri Schiavo say express that last sentiment than there are who heard her, so they allege, express the former."

Michael, Michael's brother, and Michale's sister-in-law are 3. Terri's friend is 1. Who are the others expressing that sentiment? (OK, I know of 1 more, but why should I do all the work)


Part of the problem with the testimony of Terri's friend was that she wasn't consistent. From the trial record, "The court further notes that this witness (the friend) had quite specific memory during trial, but much less memory a few weeks earlier on deposition." The other main problem was that her conversation with Terri took place when she was just a child of 11 or 12, as opposed to the other testimony took place when she was an adult, according to the court findings.

I've heard the "representing Terri" argument several times, but I don't see how that would be possible. The court acted to determine her wishes. Since those were not determinable beforehand, what would Terri's representation have done and what arguments would he have presented?

"The judge noted that Ha... (Below threshold)
TnTexas:

"The judge noted that Hammesfahr testified that he had treated patients worse off than Mrs. Schiavo yet 'offered no names, no case studies, no videos and no test results to support his claim.'"

Is there any possibility that medical privacy laws would have precluded him from doing so?

This is a guy who has never examined a PVS patient that he didn't think could be rehabilitated. To him, PVS is never a valid diagnosis.

And Dr. Cranford, the major medical witness for Michael Schiavo, is apparently the exact opposite:

From Starving for a Fair Diagnosis:
Dr. Cranford was the principal medical witness brought in by Schiavo and Felos to support their position that Terri was PVS. Judge Greer was obviously impressed by Cranford’s résumé: Cranford travels throughout the country testifying in cases involving PVS and brain impairment. He is widely recognized by courts as an expert in these issues, and in some circles is considered "the" expert on PVS. His clinical judgment has carried the day in many cases, so it is relevant to examine the manner in which he arrived at his judgment in Terri’s case. But before that, one needs to know a little about Cranford’s background and perspective: Dr. Ronald Cranford is one of the most outspoken advocates of the "right to die" movement and of physician-assisted suicide in the U.S. today.

In published articles, including a 1997 op-ed in the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune, he has advocated the starvation of Alzheimer’s patients. He has described PVS patients as indistinguishable from other forms of animal life. He has said that PVS patients and others with brain impairment lack personhood and should have no constitutional rights. Perusing the case literature and articles surrounding the "right to die" and PVS, one will see Dr. Cranford’s name surface again and again. In almost every case, he is the one claiming PVS, and advocating the cessation of nutrition and hydration.

In the cases of Paul Brophy, Nancy Jobes, Nancy Cruzan, and Christine Busalucci, Cranford was the doctor behind the efforts to end their lives. Each of these people was brain-damaged but not dying; nonetheless, he advocated death for all, by dehydration and starvation. Nancy Cruzan did not even require a feeding tube: She could be spoon-fed. But Cranford advocated denying even that, saying that even spoon-feeding constituted "medical treatment" that could be licitly withdrawn.

In cases where other doctors don’t see it, Dr. Cranford seems to have a knack for finding PVS. Cranford also diagnosed Robert Wendland as PVS. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could pick up specifically colored pegs or blocks and hand them to a therapy assistant on request. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could operate and maneuver an ordinary wheelchair with his left hand and foot, and an electric wheelchair with a joystick, of the kind that many disabled persons (most famously Dr. Stephen Hawking) use. Dr. Cranford dismissed these abilities as meaningless. Fortunately for Wendland, the California supreme court was not persuaded by Cranford’s assessment.

Expert witnesses in court are supposed to be unbiased: disinterested in the outcome of the case. Part of the procedure in qualifying expert witnesses is establishing that they are objective and unbiased. But given Dr. Cranford’s history of advocacy in the "right to die" and euthanasia movements, and given his track record of almost always coming down on the side of PVS and removal of nutrition and hydration, one might question his objectivity. Indeed, the Schindlers’ attorneys attempted to do so in the 2002 evidentiary hearing at which Cranford testified, but went unheard. Organizations such as the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide submitted amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in the appellate proceedings in Terri’s case, demonstrating Cranford’s bias in detail. But these arguments also seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Some neurologists who also consult in legal cases were not surprised at the handling of Dr. Cranford’s expert testimony. In theory, they said, the expert witness is supposed to be objective, but, as Dr. Bell explained, "the way it really works is that an attorney carefully selects an expert that will give him the outcome he desires." He related that he has been asked by attorneys to serve as an expert. "I have looked over medical records," he said, "and told attorneys what I thought." But on occasion, he said, his opinion was "obviously not what they wanted to hear" and "they moved on to another expert." Bell acknowledged that Cranford is "a highly accomplished and experienced speaker," but said that in him the court "likely found a highly prejudiced expert."

From Killing Terri Schiavo:

In light of Felos’s association with the euthanasia movement, it’s hard to imagine that his choice of Cranford is coincidental, as Cranford is perhaps the leading medical exponent of the pro-death movement.

Cranford jokingly refers to himself as "Dr. Death" and, for a fee, will come to a trial and testify that the person whose life the plaintiff wants to end is in a PVS. He was the leading medical voice calling for the deaths of Paul Brophy, Nancy Jobes, Nancy Cruzan, and Christine Busalucci, all of whom were brain-damaged but not dying. Nonetheless, he advocated death for all by dehydration/starvation, just as he has for Terri.

Nancy Cruzan—one of his "patients"—required no skilled nursing, no care but food and fluids, hygiene, and turning to prevent bedsores. She didn’t even need tube feeding, but Cranford testified that he would even consider spoon-feeding "medical treatment." Cranford wrote in the summer 1998 issue of Concern for Dying that he foresees "that there may be extreme situations, and in the future increasingly common situations, where physician-assisted suicide may not only be permissible, but encouraged." In a 1997 op-ed for the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune, Cranford advocated the starvation of Alzheimer’s patients. ..........

Cranford has testified that patients in a PVS have "no hope of recovery," but this is simply untrue. A number of people found to be "unrecoverable" have, in fact, recovered. Cranford himself diagnosed Sergeant Richard Mack, a police officer shot in the line of duty, as "definitely...in a persistent vegetative state...never to regain cognitive, sapient functioning." Almost two years later, Mack "woke up." He eventually regained almost all his mental abilities.

As for Dr. Hammesfahr, the article says: Hammesfahr is one of the doctors challenging medical orthodoxy regarding PVS patients. He has had promising results in treating stroke and other brain-injured patients. The effectiveness of his treatment program has been confirmed by Medicare, which, by law, is not permitted to pay for treatments that are experimental or not demonstrated to be medically effective. In a 2001 decision, after review of more than 700 patients and the medical literature, Medicare ruled that Hammesfahr’s therapy is "medically reasonable and necessary."

>The Quinlan case is irrele... (Below threshold)
jYt:

>The Quinlan case is irrelevant here. An 11-12 year old has no grasp of death of someone else, let alone herself. Hell, even the SCOTUS (your beloved judges) said that 16 and 17 year olds were not eligible for the death penalty because they're too young.

I’m so glad you took that position on that piece of testimony. So did the judge. So do I. The whole point of the Quinlan testimony was that Terri WOULDN’T have wanted to die. That’s probably why her mother was delivering it. However the judge discounted this as the opinion of a child, especially since the mother’s and friend’s testimony was shaky for other reasons. That was the funny part that I was referring to before about your lack of understanding of what you read. I’m glad that I got to share it. Since your moral determinations are based on “studying your religion,” your reading comprehension skills might need a little touch up. Otherwise, you might be basing your beliefs on mis-readings. I mean, if this little exchange is any indication.


>>All I'm saying here is that the judge and I both feel that the evidence presented was clear and compelling enough to make the ruling he did about her wishes.
>Yes, yes. I know what you are saying. You keep repeating it ad naseum. How about trying to think about this though, without disparaging morality, shall we???
>So the bottom line is that you believe it is okay to murder a human being against the wishes of their parents without good cause. YES or NO?
Also humorous. You print my position. You say that you understand it. Then you ask a question that clearly shows that you still don’t understand. I’m feeling better about your ability to make moral judgements based on what you read all the time. Are you sure quite you aren’t worshiping "dog" instead of "god"? Just so you won’t get your panties in a wad over my not answering your burning question, the answer is "NO". We probably disagree on the terms "murder" and "good cause" though.

As a follow-up to you, what would you consider "good cause"? War, capital punishment, adultery, all of the above?


>>I actually try to think about what's moral and what I believe can actually change. Sure, it harder work than your system, but I'll take it.

>You THINK about what's moral?!?!?! So its a feeling you have that determines what you feel is moral??? That's moral relativism.
Yes, it is. It’s more of a belief system based on my experiences rather than feelings, but you’ve got the essence?

>That was discussed above and was shown to be quite silly.
You’ll have to repeat the argument for me on relativism that showed it to be silly. Was it clear and compelling? I hope it wasn’t the one where you said that relativists whine when decisions go against them in the midst of your whining when this decision has gone against you.

>BTW, moral relativism is easy because it eminates from a single individual. No universal interpretation needed, its just about how one feels about a particular situation. Applying God's morality to a situation is difficult (which law, how to interprete the law, etc.). Sort of like a judical system, but with morality.
Which I guess is why the application of "God’s morality" keeps changing over time by the true believers, even though he and his word supposedly don’t. Of course what often remains consistent, from Jesus, to Constantine, to Pope Pious II, to today is that the believers always state that they’re consistent and the current interpretation of the texts is now wholly consistent.

>>Thankfully, I live in America where there's freedom of religion. I'm sorry you hate America because we're free.

>That's right, you live in America where there is freedom of religion, NOT freedom FROM religion. Our founding fathers, declaration of independence, and laws are all based on God's law - morality.
Oh, I guess that’s why adultery is illegal in the US? Oh, and not keeping the Sabbath holy, also illegal? Surely, placing no God before the God of the Bible is illegal here, then? What’s actually based on the Bible in our laws? No stealing? No murder? What countries are these legal in today? I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the laws of the US as written and enforced here in the 21st century.

>And now, I am through with you.
Awww, what’s the matter? Your beliefs can’t stand up to a little examination, TruthTeller? I’m really starting to feel kind of sorry for you. You remind me of the guy on the Daily Show who said that all kinds of prophesies from Revelation had come true. When asked what they were, just stopped, stared, and said nothing. It was unbelievable to him that anyone could possibly ask such a question. The fact he couldn't name one was beside the point.

Part of the problem with... (Below threshold)
TnTexas:

Part of the problem with the testimony of Terri's friend was that she wasn't consistent. From the trial record, "The court further notes that this witness (the friend) had quite specific memory during trial, but much less memory a few weeks earlier on deposition." The other main problem was that her conversation with Terri took place when she was just a child of 11 or 12, as opposed to the other testimony took place when she was an adult, according to the court findings.

And part of the problem with the testimony that was accepted: 1.) The first time Michael mentioned "Terri's wishes" was 8 years after her collapse. 2.) Michael's brother and sister-in-law didn't say anything about remembering her "wishes" until after the guardian ad litem said that corroboration of Michael's statements would give them more weight.

Inside the hospice is Terri Schindler Schiavo, whose collapse in 1990 and subsequent brain injury has left her severely disabled. .........

In 1998, Michael petitioned the court to remove Terri’s feeding tube. He argued that there was no hope for her recovery and that Terri had expressed the wish to him that she would not want to be kept alive in her condition. This was the first time that Michael had ever claimed such a wish on Terri’s part. Terri’s parents and several of her close friends—who found his assertion totally out of character with what they knew of Terri—vigorously disputed the claim. .........

At the time of Pearse’s report, the only evidence that Terri had expressed a wish not to go on living was Michael’s assertion. Pearse had mentioned that Michael’s story would be "more credible if it were corroborated." It’s strangely coincidental then that at the last minute before the trial, Felos produced two witnesses who corroborated Michael’s claim: his brother and sister-in-law. Felos delayed producing his witness list until two days before the trial, preventing the Schindlers’ attorney from deposing them. Nevertheless, Judge Greer permitted their testimony to be entered into evidence, and the Schindlers’ attorney, who was not an experienced trial lawyer, didn’t contest his decision. from Killing Terri Schiavo

jYt: several people have m... (Below threshold)
-S-:

jYt: several people have made first-hand statements, live on broadcasts for all the world to hear, that they knew Terri Schiavo well enough to be regarded as some special or even close friend and all share that they heard Terri say and say several times that she found the idea of inducing death among the disabled to be offensive to her set of morals and religious values, and, that she found it unacceptable.

And, several of those say and have said quite publicly that Terri made those statements among a group of people, at mutual meeting places, and all share that their testimony was never heard, so to speak, not included on Terri's behalf by Michael Schiavo...and all say that what they heard Terri share with them was even soon before Terri became incapacitated so it's not like it was random, uninformed, not related to her condition at present.

It's above the number count of "one" as to those who heard what Terri shared with them and in the case of those who endorse what Michael Schiavo says that Terri 'said,' those are his siblings, and again I write, persons within some area of his control.

I'd have dismissed his sibling's statements or, if considered them, would have required statements by persons not related to Michael Schiavo by family or commerce, which was not allowed (as in, the persons with whom Terri shared what she did have been disallowed from the record, inexplicably, out of deference for Michael's assumed status as spouse).

I'd find the sibling testimony questionable, by the way, but that's me. When her "best friend" and those other associates non related to Michael and not influenced by him all heard Terri Schiavo say what she said (that she found inducing death to be objectionable, etc.), I'd have considered that to be far more credible than Michael's (even) statements and the sibling's, too...who also say that they heard what they heard during depressed experiences and also earlier in Terri's life than did her friends hear the opposite, while Terri was not with Michael.

There's also the suggestion of physical abuse by Michaal Schiavo and that completely startles me that has not been taken into consideration where her situation has been concerned these many years. I'd say that there is social agreement to indicate that Michael Schiavo held a 'controlling' presence over Terri (Terri is described as having been 'swept off her feet' by Michael who was literally the first adult male in Terri's life who showed any interest in her, so that alone tells me that she was a vulnerable person who attracted someone who found her controllable if not attractive because of that)...

Her friends are still findable and available, by the way, and still have the same story to tell, but are not being included in the issue on any official basis, again, while pandering to Michael Schiavo simply because he was 'spouse.'

Once you consider that Terri had an eating disorder, was displeased with her relationship of marriage to Michael in the year prior to her disability adn that there's the suggestion of physical abuse by Terri at Michael Schiavo's hand (and pscyhologically), I'd say that there's a lot of smoke to indicate that, at least, Michael Schiavo was not qualified to be responsible for her care. Since he's long ago deemed the living Terri as being "dead," and denied her compassionate care (because she's "dead" already), I'd say that there's more than a reasonable doubt there to indicate that Micheal Schiavo was and is not a person who ever intended Terri well, but harm.

Just saying, it was worth considering and should even now be considered, despit what or whatever 'the courts" have had to say about whatever.

And, no, I haven't been following the court record so much as I've been following the story and reading a lot. I hold of the opinion that the legislative process, although perhaps done legalistically accurately, has failed Terri Schiavo and emphasises just how inept it can be in the face of human need.

I hope that Florida's Social Services can tonight intervene, and think they should have years ago.

Do you people just like to ... (Below threshold)
ginabina:

Do you people just like to argue?

Not one of you addressed my post regarding Terri's wishes.

Even IF she wanted to die, she either doesn't have the right to die (suicide) OR she doesn't have to die like this (withdrawl of all food and fluids administered by mouth).

Feeding and hydration can be attempted via mouth unless the sole intent is murder/assisted suicide. Suicide is illegal, making State imposed starvation and dehydration murder and those involved should face trial.

Maybe Dr. Kevorkian's lawyer is available.

Been There,... (Below threshold)
been there:

Been There,

As far as morals being subjective:

I don't think it is moral to keep people alive against their wishes in accordance with the law. You seem to think so. Fortunately, the state is not restricted by your morality and I don't have to be governed by it.

But the converse seems to be true

There are a lot of points where people's morals conflict. As a society, we must decide what we want to do and how to enforce it. What you seem to want is an open mandate for YOUR morality (cause it's so obviuosly correct). You and the pedophile both want that.

I don't know you so I can't speak to your motives on the wording you use but more often than not I have found people that say "we must decide what we want..." have already decided what "we" want and are very deterimed that their desires will be enforced.

I don't expect anyone else to be bound by morality. However deneyal of basic human rights based on disability or debility is a fairly straightforward concept.

As far as your insinuation that I believe only my morals are correct:

BITCH!

Women and minorities are more often the recipients of so called death with dignity. Does this make it an affimitive action program? A brave moral statement or racism and sexism.

Many in the disabilty rights movement view what is happening to TS-S as ableism and anything but protection of her rights. This includes people that were diagnosed with PVS and even some that were started on terminal dehydration.

People are quick to quote other decisions by the court, historical leaders, etc., etc. that we now recognize as being non-moral. In general, this is because societal morality has shifted and evolved. Something I believe very strongly may be considered insanely wrong 200 years from now. Ditto for something you believe. However, we can't see the future and we have to make decisions based on our current knowledge and experience.

You learn from history to hopefully make a better future. One of the reasons that some uf us keep bringing up T-4 and eugenics. Care to speculate on those that get angry at us for bringing those subject up?

"The judge noted that Hamme... (Below threshold)
jYt:

"The judge noted that Hammesfahr testified that he had treated patients worse off than Mrs. Schiavo yet 'offered no names, no case studies, no videos and no test results to support his claim.'"
Is there any possibility that medical privacy laws would have precluded him from doing so?
Names, quite possibly, though I imagine that the judge knows that legal boundary better than I do. Case studies, no. The whole reason that they're created is for presentation purposes. The other doctors didn't seem to have any problem presenting their cases studies.

This is a guy who has never examined a PVS patient that he didn't think could be rehabilitated. To him, PVS is never a valid diagnosis.

And Dr. Cranford, the major medical witness for Michael Schiavo, is apparently the exact opposite
Well, that's probably why there was an independent, court appointed physician. Because the judge knew that both sides would bring the iron-clad extremes.

>From Starving for a Fair Diagnosis:
I've seen and responded to this article several times already in other threads. Why do you guys always have to post the text over and over again. I can follow links. Short summary: written by Reverend Johansen (sp?), noted right to life advocate. Spends 10 paragraphs on Cranford, 0 on Hammesfahr. The article by the same guy (Rev. Johnasen) drools all over Hammesfahr and his diagnosis, even, though, as you note. They're exact opposites. The judge in the case basically discounted both, and mainly relied on the court appointed doctor (not that Johansen's article hints at this). Only Hammesfahr was characterized by the judge as a "self-promoter" who "operates his clinic on a cash basis in advance", from which he offers a "patented procedure" which is "not recognized in the medical community". If you need more details, go to other threads and search for Hammesfahr.

-S-:"several people have ma... (Below threshold)
jYt:

-S-:"several people have made first-hand statements, live on broadcasts for all the world to hear, that they knew Terri Schiavo well enough to be regarded as some special or even close friend and all share that they heard Terri say and say several times that she found the idea of inducing death among the disabled to be offensive to her set of morals and religious values, and, that she found it unacceptable."

Now those are references I'd really like to see. Since your counting them and they're speaking out quite vocally, I'm sure you can come up with the references for me. It's intersting that they care enough to say this in interviews, but not enough to testify in court and be cross-examined on the matter.

To be very clear, before you send all the links, references, please make sure that they said that "She said X and I heard it myself", not "Terri wasn't the kind of person that would want X", since one is not subjective and the other is.

Well, TruthTeller cartainly thinks that her best friend's testimony of what she said when she was 11 should be discounted, since at that age, one has no concept of death. Since he had every reason to believe that Terri wants to live, I have to applaud his objectivity on that matter.

Again with the Michael bashing and the tired old conspiracy theories of abuse? "I'd say that there's more than a reasonable doubt there to indicate that Micheal Schiavo was and is not a person who ever intended Terri well, but harm." Wow, pretty stong words, -S-. Let's look at a few more judicial findings and facts, shall we.

"By *all* accounts, Mr. Schiavo has been very motivated in pursuing the best medical care for his wife, even taking her to California for a month or so for experimental treatment. It is *undisputed* that he was very agressive with nursing home personnel to make certain that she received the finest of care." What a heel, indeed. I have more specific testimony and findings to that effect, if you're interested.

Gina,"Even IF she wa... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Gina,
"Even IF she wanted to die, she either doesn't have the right to die (suicide) OR she doesn't have to die like this (withdrawl of all food and fluids administered by mouth)."

I had already answered that question (maybe a little differently) in another thread. The law in Florida is that:

"The Legislature recognizes that for some the administration of life-prolonging medical procedures may result in only a precarious and burdensome existence. In order to ensure that the rights and intentions of a person may be respected even after he or she is no longer able to participate actively in decisions concerning himself or herself, and to encourage communication among such patient, his or her family, and his or her physician, the Legislature declares that the laws of this state recognize the right of a competent adult to make an advance directive instructing his or her physician to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-prolonging procedures, or to designate another to make the treatment decision for him or her in the event that such person should become incapacitated and unable to personally direct his or her medical care."

Further:
"Life-prolonging procedure" means any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention, including artificially provided sustenance and hydration, which sustains, restores, or supplants a spontaneous vital function. The term does not include the administration of medication or performance of medical procedure, when such medication or procedure is deemed necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.

Hope that explains the nature and limits of the law.

>"Feeding and hydration can be attempted via mouth unless the sole intent is murder/assisted suicide. Suicide is illegal, making State imposed starvation and dehydration murder and those involved should face trial."

It's state sanctioned, by the above law and therefore, it's explicitly legal.

Been There,>>As fa... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Been There,

>>As far as morals being subjective:
>>I don't think it is moral to keep people alive against their wishes in accordance with the law. You seem to think so. Fortunately, the state is not restricted by your morality and I don't have to be governed by it.
>But the converse seems to be true
Not at all. I'm simply standing by the court determination of what this woman wanted. I'm not trying to impose ANYTHING on Terri against her will. If her wish had been to live on in this state, more power to her. If you wish to live on in such a state, more power to you (unless you're on a respirator in Texas and can't pay). I would like her, and everyone else, to be able choose for themselves.


>>There are a lot of points where people's morals conflict. As a society, we must decide what we want to do and how to enforce it. What you seem to want is an open mandate for YOUR morality (cause it's so obviuosly correct). You and the pedophile both want that.

>I don't know you so I can't speak to your motives on the wording you use but more often than not I have found people that say "we must decide what we want..." have already decided what "we" want and are very deterimed that their desires will be enforced.
Hey, I'm the moral relativist here. The absolutists are the ones that *by definition* can't change. Their beliefs are absolute. I guess you've dealt with a lot of those in the past. TruthTeller, for instance. Absolute, unchangeable, mind made up, even if arguments fall flat as a pancake. Eventually just can't talk about it any more, because other points of view are being heard.


>I don't expect anyone else to be bound by morality. However deneyal of basic human rights based on disability or debility is a fairly straightforward concept.
The courts have decided that this choice can be made by individuals. The court has determined that this individual chose to die instead of live in such a state. The only denial of rights is potentially denying the carrying out of Terri's wishes.

>As far as your insinuation that I believe only my morals are correct:
>BITCH!
>Women and minorities are more often the recipients of so called death with dignity. Does this make it an affimitive action program? A brave moral statement or racism and sexism.

I assume that your only talking about the ones where individual choice is a factor, since that is what we're talking about here. I'd love to see your statictics on the matter. I honestly don't know the answer. However, if this study includes cases where life is ended because of inability to pay (which I DO NOT support), then I certainly believe you. However, that's not relevant here.


>Many in the disabilty rights movement view what is happening to TS-S as ableism and anything but protection of her rights.
What's ableism?
I don't doubt that many hold that view. We disagree on that point and her rights and how they're being honored.


>This includes people that were diagnosed with PVS and even some that were started on terminal dehydration.
How many of them had high quality brain scans showing the same level of deterioration as Terri and were in a PVS for 15 years? If you can provide independent documentation for a single one meeting that criteria, I'll admit that you're right and convert to your side of this issue.


>One of the reasons that some uf us keep bringing up T-4 and eugenics. Care to speculate on those that get angry at us for bringing those subject up?

It's simply not a logical argument. It's the slippery slope where you take the worst possible thing you can think of that's remotely related and say X leads to Y. It's like the South Park underpants gnomes with the three steps:

1) Steal Underpants
2) ?
3) Profit

Your steps are:
1) Terri Schaivo is allowed to die (replace stem cell research, heart transplants, capital punishment, torture of captives, etc. for different variations)
2) ?
3) Eugenics

I'm not going to argue that if Terri doesn't die that the states will lose all powers, since the federal gov't overstepped its constitutional bounds. Why? Because at every step of the decision making process in this country, we discuss, pass, and interpret laws. Not much that is so wide ranging just happens because the one right building block fell into place. I kind of doubt that if Terri dies that you'll just sit in your house and wait for the lethal injection squad to come for you, so let's not pretend that this case has any such levels of implication.

jYt you seem to very capabl... (Below threshold)
been there:

jYt you seem to very capable of carrying on both your side and my side of a conversation and, as my true words and thoughts do not match your script, there seems to be little reason to continue with you.

You might find if you continue your conversation with myself and others off line you will be spared the annoyance of people attempting to correct you on what they really think.

Say hi to Toto and the wiz for me.

Been There,>there ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Been There,

>there seems to be little reason to continue with you.

Soooo, I take it those statistics on women and minorities being given death with dignity more often AND the independent verification of the people who were diagnosed with PVS according to that criteria won't be forthcoming. Not a huge surprise, but I am a little disappointed.

>as my true words and thoughts do not match your script...
You not answering my questions about claimed factual data matches my script perfectly. It comes right after you call me a "BITCH!" and accuse me of wanting an "affirmative action program" of death for minorities and women based on said data. Then you roll on off into the sunset without providing it. I hope that part at least matches the script you're reading from.

I guess you'll just join the ranks of "TruthTeller" as someone who just wants to spout off about how great his/her beliefs are, but can't or won't stand by them when the basis for them is challenged. A pity. Go on back to your echo chamber. It's safe there. No people with different, scary ideas.

Say "Hi" to the underpants gnomes for me. And try to keep the eugenics hysteria to a minimum. That's all I'm really asking for.

I think one unmistakeable f... (Below threshold)
Terry:

I think one unmistakeable fact that has been lost in this mess is that Michael Schiavo is a DICK. Only a DICK would euthanize someone elses child. Even if he is right, He's still a DICK.

I don't know how one debate... (Below threshold)

I don't know how one debates such a fine pointed argument as Terry's. Nice work sport keep up the good work.

jYt and Gabriel, thanks for... (Below threshold)
John:

jYt and Gabriel, thanks for keeping the discussion rational. Thanks, too, for your forbearance with those who know only one thing, but can spout off on it forever.

As a Floridian, I've already called my Assembly senator and representative and told them to back off, immediately, from the misguided attempts to change legal fact that were being undertaken by the governor. I'm pleased to see that they shared my concerns and voted accordingly. Surprisingly, although this is a Republican-majority district, they said nearly all of the people calling in were recommending the same action.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the FL laws, though it's clear that they don't agree with everyone here. I second your suggestion that they move to FL in order to elect representatives more friendly to their world views. But I'd just as soon they stayed far away. The kind of 'thinking' they seem to conduct is simply dangerous.

It is dangerous to be right... (Below threshold)
Voltaire:

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

I think most of America has... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

I think most of America has no clue, no idea, of what it's like to be in this position. I also don't think anyone has ever walked into a room of a person who is brain dead - ie vegetative state. At the age of 27, the last thing Terri would be thinking of, is a living will, so she'd she something on tv or out on a walk and chatting with her husband, she'd tell him how she felt about living in such a situation. At the time, living wills and donor cards were just starting. So the only person who would know what she felt and what she wanted would have been her best friend, lover and that man would be her husband.

There are thousands of cases like this throughout the country and we don't hear about them because they didn't have parents who splashed it all over the front pages and now all over the friggin internet. They won't even show you pictures of what she looks like today so all I can tell you is to think of Karen Ann Quinlin.

Yes, her brain stem still functions. The only thing the brain stem does is breathing, body temperature and blood pressure. Just because that grape sized thing at the base of the neck still functions, does not mean she does. She is brain dead and probably noticibly seen over the the last of the 15 years she has been in a vegetative state.

You can thank Medical Science for this conundrum. I was 24 years old when I had to make the decision for my husband to be unplugged. At one point, even Terri was in that condition. Again, over the past year, I had to push that decision through on my father because I knew this was not what he wanted. He did have a Living Will but you also need a DNR - a do not resuscitate order. And if you've been resuscitated, you have immediate shut down. Even with a living will, they will monitor your brain activity for three days before they will again, shut you down.

They are also not telling you the complete story. She is not being starved to death and without fluids- even though that is the case. She is heavily sedated just in case - one of the benefits of being in a hospice. Back when I did my thesis on eutanasia for college (in my mid thirties), I learned even more than I had after I was 24. (That situation caused me to go out and get a living will and a DNR).

You would be amazed at the lengths some people have gone through to die - and most of them without dignity. Many were not brain dead but their brain stems were dead or almost dead. Perfect example: ALS
There was a woman who actually had herself removed from her hopital bed, brought to a motel, so she could starve herself away. Starvation is incredibly painful. Although they have not said it and would probably deny it, Terri is heavily sedated. No one is that cruel and I'm sure her hospice is seeing to her care. Trust me, they didn't close the door and walk away; she is indeed being cared for. I doubt she feels anything but they'll do it anyway for the sake of the families and that of Terri.

Now if she were not in the news CONSTANTLY and was not in the news over the past years because of her parents, her husband could bring her home and arranged for her to have a shot - not unlike those they get on death row and her ending would have been quick and over in ten minutes. But too much notice about this situation has been given, so they did not have the option. All that's left is the option to starve and remove fluids but let me tell you from studying, from example, from knowledge, she is not suffering even if she could feel suffering. So instead they make this really big deal about her starving to death - not even having water without telling you the entire truth. For some one who has been in this state for 15 years and over the last 7, completely brain mush, is indignanty for her and for her family.

Her family has to move on now; they need to let go of their daughter and let go and start living for themselves right now. They have put off their lives for over 15 years and if anything was going to happen, it would have happened by now. So what they need to do is get along with her husband, plan her final body goodbyes and then focus on living their lives without Terri.

If they hadn't made such a big deal over it, they could have quietly let her die by the lethal shot which really lasts at most 5 minutes and no one would even know the difference. She doesn't know the difference now and she never will.

It's time for this country to move on - this stuff if happening every day. She's not in a coma, but in a constant vegetative state from being brain dead. It's way past time to say goodbye. And her family and spokespeople are going to make it worse than it really is. There is just so much you do not know.

This can be reproduced anywhere.

JyT/jYt:You do rea... (Below threshold)
-S-:

JyT/jYt:

You do realize that you display in your expressions an ongoing denigration and disrespect for the information, opinions, if not persons of others, do you not?

I read your earlier determined aggression on a personal level, this thread, involving others and now you're including me in your target practice.

From what you write, I assume you don't listen to anything on the television because if you were and had been, you'd have been hearing actually "live" persons speaking "live" as living, present persons from Terri Schiavo's past years offering their names, speaking in their own voices, names provided to the whole world, sharing information and stories about having known Terri well and sharing what Terri Schiavo shared with them prior to her disability and that it was that she found inducing a disabled persons life to be unacceptable from a religious and ethical, and emotional, basis.

You can make your snarky demands for "proof" all you want but it only offputs persons such as myself who at one point MAY have attempted to interact about points you've raised in your Holy Grail of Court Record worship...

It only convinces others, your didactics and nasties to and about what others try to share here, that you're not a nice person, not worth much time even trying to interact with. I think that also explains why you're so reliant upon copying and pasting "court records" and such...

Not like anyone else hasn't read them, can't find them, not like they're your opinion, by the way, just that you're using your cut and paste method here like some word hammer to attempt to discredit the information that anyone else attempts to share.

Much as, I write here, Michael Schiavo (and Felos) have done where the information from others that counters Michael's insistences are concerned, to the extent that they've managed to use "the court" in all it's dotted i's and crossed t's to enforce the disallowance and silencing of other opionions.

There are people even as recently as yesterday on FOX News speaking out on Terri's behalf, sharing their relationships with her and to what extent they knew her, sharing what she told them, under what circumstances she said what, and that counters what Michael Schiavo insists and had courts affirm (yet they only affirmed that Michael Schiavo said what he said, not that Terri Schiavo ever expressed what Michael Schiavo insists, so "the court" to my view has affirmed time and time again Michael Schiavo's need to be right, his own opinion, his own perspective, his own insistences including the fact that a living person is, preposterously, "dead", all that, but they have yet to establish proof that what Michael Schiavo says Terri expressed was ever what Terri Schiavo intended on her own behalf).

Even medical professionals who interacted with Terri Schiavo have attested to the fact that they experienced Terri Schiavo at different times expressing a desire to remain alive and yet those, too, were preposterously refused into the court record out of some, it seems, desire to affirm Michael Schiavo's opinion and no one else's.

And, court records, although possibly accurately composed, legally arranged well and correctly as to precedent, et al., are not a moral force.

And, last thing here, they are also a record of the past. The rest of us are concerned with the present and future, in what will respect the life that Terri Schiavo has and should be able to enjoy to the best of her diminished capacity.

"I also don't think anyone ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"I also don't think anyone has ever walked into a room of a person who is brain dead - ie vegetative state."

After all the debates on this, you still think brain dead and PVS are the same thing? They aren't you know.

"There are thousands of cases like this throughout the country and we don't hear about them because they didn't have parents who splashed it all over the front pages and now all over the friggin internet."

Actually there are probably thousands of people on various types of life support and feeding tubes that have to deal with situations to remove it, but the majority of cases, the families agree on the wishes of the person. The big difference in this case is that there is disagreement between family members on what she actually wanted.

"Her family has to move on now; "

Funny, I think since Michael has pretty much already moved on, he should just finish the job, and let her parents take care of her, that is all they want to do.

"She's not in a coma, but in a constant vegetative state from being brain dead."

Once again she isn't brain dead she is brain damaged, and there is a difference, you don't seem to know that, or you haven't been reading all that closely.

And, JtT: you can focus on... (Below threshold)
-S-:

And, JtT: you can focus on all the "legal findings and facts" all you may care to -- be my guest, enjoy your reading -- but people lie all the time even under oath. Yes, that actually happens. Meaning, they then go on record as part of "legal findings" and their deceit is later acquainted with 'fact' but it may not be.

Your determination to justify your own concept of morality (you've alreaedy many times expressed that you consider it 'immoral to keep a person alive against their wishes', so it's pretty well established that that is your bone of contention here about Terri Schiavo, that you determine that she is being beset by [your applied moral standard here] immoral requirements of being alive, of remaining alive despite 'legal proceedings' determining already that she be [as per your code, morally] put to death).

We get that, we being me and others, this thread, that your concept of morality is what it is.

However, it isn't a morality that some of the rest of us share, and if applied to the legalistic standard that you continue to insist must be met, then no one with a fatal condition who feels they have no chance of survival should ever be presented with healthcare/treatment options, since that might be an "immoral" attempt to motivate them to live.

No one should wish them well. They should not eat. They should go without water, be deprived of that, even, if taken to the extreme application of your morality. Because, they believe they cannot survive, should not survivce and therefore no one should attempt to motivate them to survive, offer them alternatives to their demise...suicidal persons should be allowed to destroy themselves, no treatments should be offered, no one attempting suicide should be held for observation afterward with the attempts to protect them from themselves and others from them...

The concept of "morality" that you insist as being necessarily applied to the Terri Schiavo situation (as with others of similar disability) is not, thank God, shared by the general society, who assumes it is necessary on a humane level alone to at least offer to assist or intervene when someone displays a marked denigration about their capacity to survive, even those determined to end their lives.

Had Terri Schiavo left a record of her wishes for such circumstances of disability that later befell her, then there would be little argument here by many, despite many even disagreing about whatever her moral choice was, on a differential moral scale. And, yet, all and only that which existed was Michael Schiavo's opinion about what Terri Schiavo may or may not have expressed at an earlier time in her life. Maybe she said she didn't want to live, maybe she was depressed when she said it, maybe she was angry, maybe she was fearful, who knows, maybe she never expressed what Michael Schiavo says she expressed but that he INTERPRETED her expression as meaning.

Again, I write that there is ENOUGH SUGGESTION TO MY VIEW that counters the opinion of Michael Schiavo about what was best for Terri Schiavo, there is enough to suggest that Michael Schiavo has not intended and does not now intend what is best for Terri Schiavo, has not acted in her best interests and worse, has actually appeared to insist on her demise by one means or another (since there is a suggestion that he was abusive toward Terri Schiavo earlier, certainly has been in her disability)...

You continue to assert and insist that your moral choice be met by society and continue to copy and paste "legal decision" to advance your morality and interpretations, and yet it does little to make for a discussion here, other than to share what your concept of morality is.

About Terri Schiavo, her circumstances of present exist because and only because and by that very "legal decision and fact" that you continue to further, yes, we all understand that and have already, long ago even. But the point of the discussion is what can be done to resolve the quagmire-toward-death that is objectionable to those who love Terri Schiavo, recognize the possibilities of inaccuracies included in that "legal decision and fact" as to applications of those, and more.

Even this morning, people continue to cite "nineteen courts" have affirmed Terri Schiavo should die, that it was "her decision" not to survive under disabiliity, and yet that in and of itself is yet another lie by Michael Schiavo (there have not been "nineteen courts" making decisiions, but Michael Schiavo said that inaccuracy on a television broadcast and some people now assume it to be true...if a person can lie about something that huge, they can lie about anything else and I do believe that Michael Schiavo has long ago proven himself to lack credibility, particularly as to his capacity to care for Terri Schiavo).

It's a case now of trying new things. And that's what all this recent discussion is about: what can now be done on her behalf, and that includes trying to discover just what Terri Schiavo's wishes actually were and are now and what the rest of us can do to prevent someone else from inducing death upon a person with grave disability.

<a href="http://www.commond... (Below threshold)
been there:
Yeah, cindy. you keep telli... (Below threshold)
julie:

Yeah, cindy. you keep telling us that only you know the TRUTH! Jeesh! Get over yourself.

You never responded earlier when I asked you how do you reconcile your position with Pope John Paul. You profess to be a good catholic, so how can you be spouting off in direct contradiction of his teachings?

Of the many ironies generat... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Of the many ironies generated by the case of Terri Schiavo - the comatose woman whose fate has divided America - two currently stand out. The first is that what originally seemed an overwhelming victory for conservatives - with Republican congress and president in an unprecedented federal intervention in the Florida "right-to-die" case - has now exposed a deep conflict in conservatism itself. At issue is a dilemma for many of George Bush's strongest supporters. Are they primarily social conservatives - in which case they back the federal government's move to keep Mrs Schiavo alive at all costs? Or are they primarily constitutional or "federalist" conservatives - in which case they dislike Washington imposing itself over the decision of state courts, a precedent that conservatives would bitterly resist if it was pursued by a Democratic congress or by a liberal president?
The second is that Ms Schiavo's best chance of returning to a cognitive state lies with stem-cell research. Although stem-cell therapy is still in its infancy, a likely future application is expected to be the replacement of damaged brain cells, such as those that have reduced Ms Schiavo to a vegetative state for the past 15 years. In a few years, it is possible that Ms Schiavo may be curable. But for this to happen, moral conservatives, including Mr Bush, would have to revise their view that stem cells not only have the right to life, but one that outweighs the right to cognitive life of sufferers from brain conditions such as hers. Having demonstrated how much value he attaches to Ms Schiavo's life - allowing himself to be wakened in the early hours to sign the federal intervention into law - Mr Bush may one day have to decide whose hopes for life are higher value: a woman who was in the prime of her life when she was struck down by brain damage, or a group of cells forming part of an embryo of four or five day's existence.
When this case took off, conservaives may have treated Ms Schiavo's case as a black-and-white moral issue. But they will have to wrestle with the complex consequences for many years to come.

-S-,Only time for a ... (Below threshold)
jYt:

-S-,
Only time for a quickie reply at the moment.

First, I have respect for other people's opinions and beliefs. What I don't respect is totally uninformed opinions expressed in contradiction to actual facts. In this thread alone, I have been called "death squad commander", "BITCH!", "troll", and "immoral", mainly for presenting informaion that people didn't want to hear.

My major point here has been to explain the laws, how they were applied, and why they are applicable. Very few people on this board seem to understand them. To this end, court records and laws are actually relevant. When I start seeing understanding, I'll stop using them. I have used a few other references as well, but to me, the court documents are THE MOST relevant, since we are actually discussing court decisions, court findings, and ongoing court proceedings. One of the things you supposedly want is to recognize the "possibilities of inaccuracies included in that 'legal decision and fact'". When people in this thread have blu-skied about such matters, I've been more than happy to say they're wrong and show exactly why.

Look at my converstaion with "Truth Teller". He demands to know where the parents got to speak in court. I give him a reference. He says it has nothing to do with Terri. I show him why it does (Mrs. Schlindler was talking about what her daughter told her). He claims that the whole thing is irrelevant because Terri was 11 at the time. I tell him that's what the judge found and, that if he'd read more closely, he'd understand that this was testimony to support his position. Of course, I thought this was all hilarious, but in a sad sort of way.

I admit I don't watch a lot of TV. I watch even less Fox. I believe Media Matters has already posted about 5 articles on their various slanted presentations and what they leave out of each one. While you point out people can lie in court, court is the place where we, as Americans, actually resolve disputes of fact such as this. Not on the TV. See, in court, there are two sides, cross examinations, a judge, and a court reporter. And the oath and threat of perjury. On TV, you get none of this. I can understand why you'd rather rely on Fox news reporting of this rather than actually review the evidence presented in court, but you and I differ on that view.

What I have seen on TV is some old friends of Terri's saying that the person they knew would never have wanted this. Of course, that's a far cry from "She told me that, if in such a condition, she would want to live". One is just inferring based on the kind of person that they saw; an interpretation in their own mind only. The other is actual information imparted from Terri. Of course the one exception is the best friend who has already testified what Terri told her regarding the Quinlan case, but we've already discussed that point.

So, is what I'm asking so hard? The nice thing about the net is that this type of information gets recorded and everybody can see the same thing -- just like with the court records. Your claim is that these people are all over TV, but you don't want to give me one reference on the net that I can go read about what they're saying?

jYtYour wasting yo... (Below threshold)
DavidB:

jYt

Your wasting your time . . .and why bother. You are trying to force the visually impaired to see.

-S-

Interesting responses. Question, how do you reconcile this view . . .

I'm just saying here that ANYone can harass ANYone else by starting false rumors about them and most who harass others engage that very process and start their quite evil and violent process against and about someone else by attempting to proliferate false, negative characteristics about someone else. Which is, to my view, the actual violence, anyone who instigates and authors and encourages that sort of derogation of someone else based upon their own intolerances.

with these statements, which are basically unfounded rumor, or disproven rumor . . .

There's also the suggestion of physical abuse by Michaal Schiavo and that completely startles me that has not been taken into consideration where her situation has been concerned these many years. I'd say that there is social agreement to indicate that Michael Schiavo held a 'controlling' presence over Terri (Terri is described as having been 'swept off her feet' by Michael who was literally the first adult male in Terri's life who showed any interest in her, so that alone tells me that she was a vulnerable person who attracted someone who found her controllable if not attractive because of that)...

Once you consider that Terri had an eating disorder, was displeased with her relationship of marriage to Michael in the year prior to her disability adn that there's the suggestion of physical abuse by Terri at Michael Schiavo's hand (and pscyhologically)...

Looks a little hypocritical to me, but that's just my opinion.

TruthTeller

Interesting moniker, and a very high opinion of ones self. Tell me though, can you hear the truth?

OK I've been trying to get ... (Below threshold)
been there:

OK I've been trying to get these links up since last night and keep getting errors. I will try in smaller batches.

Minorities,
the Poor and Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia

African-American academics who study bioethical issues have
expressed concern that permitting assisted suicide, along with new
limits on health care, presents new opportunities to victimize
minorities: "People know they don't get the health care they need
while they're living. So what makes them think anything's going to
be more sensitive when they're dying." [Detroit Free Press 2/26/97]
.

<a href="http://www.fnsa.or... (Below threshold)
been there:

A feminist case
against euthanasia

Yet it must also be recognized that women are going to be more
affected by the euthanasia debate than men, simply by virtue of the
fact that women live longer than men, and in their old age
command fewer financial and social resources. In a sexist society
that also suffers from ageism or prejudice and discrimination
against the old, more women will end up living alone as fragile
persons in need of care. As families become smaller and more
dispersed, many women, particularly single childless women, will
not have nearby kin who can care for them or serve as their
advocates within increasingly complex health-care systems.

jYt will have a fit over th... (Below threshold)
been there:

jYt will have a fit over the E word but I'll just have to live with that

EUTHANASIA
AND EUGENICS

The director of Hadamar institution was personally responsible
for the murder of "more than 1000 patients". He opened the gas
cylinders and watched his patients die through the peephole,
children included. He declared: "Of course, that tormented me. But
the fact of learning that eminent scientists such as Pr. Carl
Schneider, Pr. Heyde, Pr. Nitsche, participated in this program
reassured me". To justify himself, Dr. Karl Brandt, medical director
of the euthanasia project, says: "Weren´t the academics in favour
of this program? Who could be better qualified than them?"And in
fact, the most eminent psychiatrists had been the ones who
launched this program.

news/1085504/p... (Below threshold)
been there:
international.... (Below threshold) Truncicated copy before sor... (Below threshold)
been there:
Let's remember your stateme... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Let's remember your statement before we begin that I objected to:

"Women and minorities are more often the recipients of so called death with dignity." That's what you're trting to back up here; that and that Terri's death leads directly to eugenics.

OK, I'll try to deal with these all quickly:

1. "Minorities, the Poor and Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia" -- This article contains lots of statistics about health care: broken bones, AIDS cases, ccancer treatment, etc. It has exactly 0 statictics on dying with dignity as applied to African-Americans. I actually support universal health care provided by the government to alleviate some of the actual inequities presented in this article. As they said on the Daily Show about Terri Schiavo, "We now know just exactly how sick you have to be before Congress gives a shit."

2. A Feminist Case Against Self-Determined Dying in Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
Once again 0 statistics to back up your claim. This article is mainly an examination of issues related to the morality of this decision, including from the personal level. Fine. I fully agree that everyone should make their own determinations, and the information in this article can help people do that.

That's the end of the articles that were supposed to back up, "Women and minorities are more often the recipients of so called death with dignity." Evidence presented to back up this statement. Still 0. If I missed the statictic in one of these articles that showed that this was true, please point it out.

Let's move on to hadling more eugenics hysteria.

3. EUTHANASIA AND EUGENICS
So, how many of the patients that the Germans exterminated

4. The Eugenics Movement in the U.S.
Great, Peter Singer stuff. Let me know when he's making US laws and we'll talk.

5. Euthanasia : a choice for doctors
I believe this is a satirical piece. Excerpt: "Doctors have high rates of drug addiction, debt, divorce and suicide, not to mention high golf scores. Despite the sacrifices made by their families and by society, they are often unable to acquire even rudimentary social skills." No actual argument is presented here.

6. A Defense of Genocide
Oh, wow. Another Peter Singer article. Perhaps you can come up with more than one fringe academic to base this incredible movement to eugenics on.

7. Dehydration Nation
Ahh. Great article. First sentence. "For more than ten years, conscious and unconscious cognitively disabled people who use feeding tubes have been legally dehydrated to death in the United States. This intentional life-ending act-clamping feeding tubes and denying all sustenance-has become so ubiquitous that, generally, little attention is paid. " So true. As so many people have pointed out, this case is ONLY of interest because the judiciary, legislature, etc. has been so involved. For over 10 years, it has been legal to let the wishes of people be carried out not to live in PVSs, comas, etc. And guess what. We've survived. We haven't started wholesale slaughter of minorities yet

So, on the first point, nice try, but please actually back up your statement with something that actually supports it. If I say "More red-haired people die in car accidents every year," giving the stat that more are beaten up at school or slip in the tub doesn't support me.

On the second point, yes, there are other people like you that believe that we're headed down the eugenics path. Some of them even say so on their own websites. But, as they say in Reservoir Dogs, "just because you say something (on the web) doesn't make it f***ing so."

Drawing similarities to Nazi programs is such a staple of internet debate that we call it Godwin's law. No matter what happens, whether it's George Bush, Saddam Hussein, or Hillary Clinton, someone sees a direct link from what their doing to Hitler, the Third Reich, etc. However, as your own articles point out, we've had these laws for ten years and we're pretty much still in the same state as we were then. No concentration camps yet. No vast killing of "undesirables". Going back to "The Eugenics Movement in the U.S.", it shows how there have been Peter Singer-like philosophers in the US since 1942. Somehow, we've survived. My guess is that having a totalitarian government had more to do with allowing eugenics than a right for people who desired not to be kept alive in a PVS to die. Actually, the Germans didn't even have that law. They started out with mental patients and just killed them, so even that comparison falls flat.

Euthanists report their act... (Below threshold)
been there:

Euthanists report their actions to the same agency the other murderers report their actions, so as to have accurate numbers for people like you. As I recall the office is in the same building as you beloved gnome underpants co world wide headquarters.

I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?

Jeff wrote:Brian ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Jeff wrote:
Brian asked if I'd be happy with a deliberate lethal overdose. While I wouldn't be happy, of course,

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you didn't alter my words intentionally. I didn't say "happy". I said "satisfied", specifically with regard to how the solution proposed would address your legal argument.

So if my choices were death by deliberate starvation and an overdose of morphine — if those are the only two choices available to me — I would push the plunger myself. I think it's a mistake to start acting like those are the only two choices available, however.

I was just responding to your contention that the plaintiff's first and only argument [is] "WE DON'T STARVE PEOPLE TO DEATH IN THIS COUNTRY." If that's truly your "only" issue, then you would drop your objection if she was allowed to die by other means.

While we're at it, just who... (Below threshold)
been there:

While we're at it, just whose dog are you Brian?

Both of you, one person or two seem to think that everything is just jim-damn dandy and that the rights of TS-S and other disabled people are being protected by Greer and the rest of the wonderful court system.

Here's some home work for you boys. Start asking nurses that work with the elderly and profoundly disabled how many patients in thier facility die of dehydration. Not just the young pretty ones guys but the old war horses (the ones who would be honored to be called that) that have been in the work for 30 years or more. Then ask them what the cause of death is when the death certificate is filled out.

Got the stones to do it boys or are you more happy letting the George Felos do your thinking for you?

Benn There said:"Wom... (Below threshold)
jYt:

Benn There said:
"Women and minorities are more often the recipients of so called death with dignity."

and now says:

>Euthanists report their actions to the same agency the other murderers report their actions, so as to have accurate numbers for people like you.

I assume that this is your snarky way of saying that you actually have no idea how many people die in this fashion every year, much less what the proportion of African-Americans or women is. Let's try and remember who claimed to have that knowledge. It was you. Now that you're admitting you don't you're trying to pretend that it's my fault and it's just plain crazy that I would ask how you could know such a thing. Seriously. Look at your original claim and then read this response and tell me that you're thinking coherently.

>I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
>Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
Actually, I'm an independent. I'm not anybody's dog. That's why I actually went and read the trial court decisions on this case before coming to any conclusions and posting to message boards on it. When you have your facts straight, it helps to prevent you from making outlandish claims that have no basis in fatc like, "Women and minorities are more often the recipients of so called death with dignity."

Posted by: jYt at March ... (Below threshold)
been there:

Posted by: jYt at March 25, 2005 09:57 AM

"YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP....."

Gee you've been reading what the courts came up with. Let me see if I have your logic straight:

The courts made an honest and correct finding because to courts made the finding.

Does that cover it?

Here I've been wasting my time talking with disabled people that have been gnawed on by the system, including the courts. Further I have been fool enough to listen to people who have witnessed medical murder first hand (nurses and other medical professionals, family members etc) and had the courts,protective services tell them nothing was wrong. WHAT A FOOL I'VE BEEN!

I was so wrong, you're nobody's dog. you're a sheep.

Well this has been interest... (Below threshold)
been there:

Well this has been interesting. Seeing the mindset of the usefull idiots.

I have a living to earn though and nobody but myself to blame for the time I have wasted on the likes of you.

I wish you all the happiness in the world pretending that everything is as it should be and there would be pure perfection if only everyone would stop disagreeing with you.

I believe that we've been t... (Below threshold)
jYt:

I believe that we've been talking about the Terri Schiavo case. If you've been talking to disabled people et. al. that aren't related to that case, then I'm failing to see the relevance of these discussions. Yes the medical system disenfranchises the disabled that can't pay. Yes I'm sure that you've talked to family members that feel that their loved ones were killed by doctors. However, you're fighting the wrong fight here. If the facts of those cases were different from Terri's, as you say, then I'm not against a different outcome for them. We're both behind keeping people alive that expressed no desire to die in such a state and whose families want to keep them alive. We're both behind treating the disabled to the limits of our capabilities and their desires (when those can be expressed).

So, that's where court documents come in, You seem to think that the only thing relevant about these documents are the judicial opinions. There are also facts, testimony, and relevant laws. When those are taken into account in this case, it's easy to see why the decision was made as it was. So it's not my assertion that the courts made the correct opinion because they made it. It's that the courts made the correct decision because they are supported by the evidence and the law. Perhaps you differ, but trying a case via message boards and 24 hour news is a more flawed system than our current legal one in any case.

I know that you'd rather defer to believing without question articles that are posted on the free republic, but sometimes, actual facts about the case and knowledge of the law come in handy. It's OK to disagree with court decisions, but it's nice to have some basis to do so other than, "I don't like that finding. Eugenics! Eugenics! Someone on the net said Eugenics!" as is your mantra.

Since Easter Sunday is fas... (Below threshold)

Since Easter Sunday is fast approaching and we are all waiting for a bloody miracle here, maybe Terri Shiavo will rise from the dead. But until then, the only thing that could possibly help matters along would be to hold a pillow over her head for a few minutes or to spike a vein and send her into a deep, narcotic induced slumber. While admittedly cruel, it's far better than starving the poor woman to death. In retrospect that 'diet' she tried; i.e., eating whatever you want for dinner as long as you have "two fingers for dessert," the undeniable cause of her problems, seems to not have been such a good idea in the first place. A lesson well learned; albeit a bit late, for the "soon to be” dearly departed.




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