Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Terry Schiavo

Well, I figure since I have been hearing a lot about the Terry Schiavo case on the news, on blogs, and on talk radio, I should give my own opinion on the case. I definitely have one, but I am not sure it offers a clean-cut solution. Contrary to what Rush Limbaugh says, things are not always black and white.

Ok, first of all I would like to point out that there is way too much name calling, rhetoric, exaggerating, etc. going on in this case. For whatever reason, when politics gets involved in situations like this, the truth gets flung out the window in a hurry. The term "activist judges" is out again. This term really angers me. Basically, any judge that makes a ruling that the "right" doesn't agree with gets labelled this, regardless of political affiliation, prior rulings, etc. Basically, if you are a judge and rule against the "right" or their opinions, you are an activist, no matter what the facts in the case are.

Secondly, I think it is interesting that this case has gotten SO MUCH national attention. I mean, the Congress and Senate passed a new bill to help this one person. As of today, the appeals court refused to hear the case, so it looks like the process was to no avail. Two people were taken off of life support in similar situations in Texas recently because a bill signed by then Governer Bush allows hospitals to make the call when people are in vegatative states. The families of these two wanted their family members kept alive. Bush now says we should err on the side of life. Why didn't he say that then?

As for my feelings on Terry Schiavo:

I do believe she is in a chronic vegetative state. People in her same situation have life support withdrawn all of the time. This is definitely not "killing" Terry as many would have you believe.

This "feeding tube" is not just putting food in her stomach. This is not comparable to a person that just cannot eat. She is having liquid nutrients (not food) pumped into her body because her body is incapable of processing normal food.

This is not a coma or brain damage situation. Sadly, Terry's brain is not repairable. On that note, in spite of what many protesters with signs claim in front of the hospital where she stays, Terry cannot and has not spoken any words.

From the videos, it does appear to me that Terry has some sort of idea of what is going on around her. Doctors have said otherwise (she smiles and makes sounds randomly, whether or not someone is in the room), but to me it does appear that she has some sort of understanding (even if it is very limited).

The courts have decided 22 times now from 16 judges that Terry's husband should have the say on her welfare. Even if we don't agree with that, obviously they are seeing something in the law there. Calling basically the entire Florida and now part of the Federal judiciary activist judges is really just silly.

In my opinion, Michael Schiavo has moved on with his life. He has a new family and has been living with them for about a decade. No matter what his feelings for Terry are/were, he has obviously moved on with his life. He should allow Terry's parents and family to do the same. I am surprised that the courts have not addressed his guardianship and how he has moved on with his life. Is he not committing adultery by being married to Terry but having relations with another woman? Is that not grounds for someone to divorce him on Terry's behalf?

Ok, so those are my points in a nutshell. I think that Michael has moved on with his life, and the courts should recognize that and give guardianship to the parents. However, I do not think that removing life support would be killing Terry, and I am insulted at the level of rhetoric this case has drummed up from "kind and caring" politicians. A right wing radio guy in my home town called Michael Schiavo a "dirt bag" and an Exodus employee called compared him to the murderer Scott Peterson. Come on guys, he is trying to let his wife pass on peacefully as she asked him to do (so he says-- sure we haven't proven that, but we haven't proven otherwise, and calling him a murderer without proof that Terry didn't say that is a bit much).


Post a Comment

<< Home