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Tuesday, March 29, 2005
 
THE AMERICAN LEFT TO THE DISABLED: NO RIGHTS FOR YOU!

It is a bizarre world we live in, but how did we get to a place where it is difficult to find a liberal who is opposed to with-holding food from a disabled woman?

I've said before this is a tricky case. But what is shameful is the amount of mis-information spread by the MSM about Terri's condition. The mis-conception is that Terri is on life support. That's false. That she has received an MRI and a PET scan and these have indicated she is "brain dead." Also false.

I have no doubt she has a low quality of life. It is an unimaginable burden on the families. But given that Terri's wishes were not spelled out and that the husband in this case has a clear conflict of interest, it seems reasonable to do some serious medical testing before you starve her to death. Her parents, and some doctors who have visited with her, say she is "conscious". Now, it may be miserable to live in that condition. But if she is "conscious" she is not brain dead and she has an inalienable right to life that cannot be denied without due process. Not due process for her husband -- due process for her. That never happened.

I'll grant, it isn't clear that she is conscious. So what is the harm in having a battery of tests performed by a panel of disinterested experts?

Think that is the ranting of a right wing religious nut? Think again. This position is essentially the same as that expressed here by uber-liberal, atheist, anti-Ashcroft hero Nat Hentoff.

The fact is, this has become a proxy battle in the culture war. Terry Schiavo is not so much a mercy killing as an abortion. Because at the end of the day, that's what this is all about. Where does this lead? I'm not sure. But we are one more step to solving part of the Medicaid crisis -- after all, there are poor people who need the money for medical care that is currently being eaten up hand over fist by those who are paralyzed and brain damaged. And gosh, who wants to live like that anyway?


Comments:
This battle has become about abortion, which I am 100% against, even in the case of rape and incest. However, this is most of the problem. I see Sean Hannity sitting outside her hospice as discusting. Conservatives usually are the leaders, and Liberals the ones I laugh at, but this situation has become the opposite.
Her husband, regardless of circumstance, has been said over and over by our judical branch(s) to have the final say. He says she would want to die. The courts believe him, so I believe him (formally), and so it goes.
It has become a discusting circus, and her picture hovering over the blog earlier today was worse then the 9/11 tribute showing the jumpers.
Lets let this one go.
She is as good as dead, and for all we know has been for years.
 
RE: Terri
The only part of this battle that I find discusting is that the laws of the State of Florida was ill equipped to protect her.
She isn't "as good as dead" she is
daughter of parent's and sister of siblings. Who is being starved and
thirsted to death while the nation watches. If your right in this matter, I have no probem while she lives with her immage on view
on the SCG blog, But if we are to
wittness her demise with hearsay then I want to see murder on live TV.
 
wow. tj please get your facts straight. the saddest part of the whole save terri circus is that everyone is using this poor woman and her family as political pawns. How many of you would like to see your wife's photo everywhere if she was in a persistant vegetative state? At least have the common decency to show a young healthy terri. I know many of you have a hard time with actual facts and science but over the past twelve years the evidence, yes actual evidence not faith or rain-dances have shown that terri shiavo feels no pain, actually feels nothing. This has been well documented medically and is why the courts have ruled in favor of mr. shiavoeverytime. Another well documented fact is that 4 years after the doctors had told mr. shiavo to give up and pull the plug, he had every surgery known to man to try and save his wife. Only after 5 years and every expert telling him she could never recover did he make a heartwrenching choice of letting go. These are undisputed well documented facts. Another well documented fact is that terri did not want to be kept alive. I ask each of you to put yourself in his place and imagine your wife has been in a vegetative state for 5 years? People die and that is not always a bad thing. Why can we put our pets to sleep to ease their suffering but not our loved ones? If anyone has ever gone through seeing a loved one pass away while in hospice care they would know that most people die from starvation or thirst. Why? because your body gives up and shuts down. It is a horrible process which evidently none of you were unfortunate enough to have witnessed. I beg you to try and live in the real world rather than your neocon idealistic one. It's ok that the world is a messy place because we have each other. The big problem I have with this administration is that this is yet another issue that has divided the country instead of bringing it together. This country needs to heal and the sad reality is that it won't be happening under the current administration. Please, Please, be part of the solution. I respect all your beliefs and your right to harbor them, but you must return the favor. It is my understanding that it is that mutual understanding that is the foundation of our democracy.
 
amen brother:
First if you are documenting facts,
list them, document your argument or place them under
"Hitler said..." Utter Wow!
 
Amen Brother makes much more of a point then you my dear cross dressing uncle.
I suggest you stop blindly following everything the Bush administration is responsible for, that kind of life could really backfire..after all, that is how Hitler made it to the top.
The courts have spoken, I am sorry you don't agree with them, but they have spoken so this case, as well as Terri, are dead.
I hope there a dmn natural diaster or something so this story will die..pardon the pun.
 
MMark...
Did I mention Bush? You and Amen should stop getting your news from the Weekly Reader. ae:
"undisputed well documented facts"
Do you have a grasp or is it just in your pants? In 1981 I went from
180 pounds to under 80. I was on a feeding tube and at times I was
comatose. (open for comment)
But here I am. Don't make the mistake between cross dressing and Military dress.
And what
does your argument have to do
with Hitler? Thou he did say never
pick on someone crazier than you.
Thank you for your kind words.
 
I could painstakingly cut and paste all the links from a google search in this space but that would be pretty silly.
instead just click here
this of course doesn't include all the legal documents and the lexus nexus search but it becomes quite clear that the save terri sites have little fact and a lot fiction
 
Is her family - the genesis of this entire controversy - using Terri as a "political pawn" - I think not. I clicked on your google link and the first thing I saw was her parent's web site - it showed pictures Terri in her hospital bed and Terri before. If the picture is good enough for her parents it's good enough for me. The evidence the courts have used to rule for Michael dates back to the original trial over 10 years ago. There has not been an MRI since. It is an "undisputed well documented fact" that people can and have regained feeling, end result - she may be feeling pain, but we don't know. Wouldn't you at least take an MRI or a PET scan to make sure? Michael suddenly remembered that his wife wanted to die several years into this litigation and only after he had started a family with another woman - does that produce any doubt in your mind? We put our pets to sleep because they are animals - we also eat them and wear them too. If you are ever unlucky enough to break your leg or develop cancer - I hope no one suggests that you be put down.

The big problem I have with liberals is that constantly complain that President Bush has "divided" this country. This country was "divided" even more bitterly on issues like the Vietnam War and Civil Rights legislation. Would you have opposed those who marched against the war and the Civil Rights acts for being "divisive" - or does that only apply when the minority in the great "divide" is the over-educated, under-worked muddle headed liberal do-gooder?

Every day when I walk home from school I see the empty space in the sky where the World Trade Center used to stand. I don't need to "heal".
I need political leaders who recognize evil, aren't afraid to make moral distinctions and instead of mouthing platitudes about the community of the world - fight terror and spread freedom.
 
Well Margret, I'm glad your still with us, and hope you put back on the weight. I mentioned Hitler in response to your mentioning of him..sorry you didn't get it.
So when you lost all that weight and were near death were you also brain dormant with a husband who the courts agreed with, saying you would not want to live??
I will nevet make the mistake of confusing cross drssing with military dress, and I don't really get the joke.
So, without me stooping to the level of sharing my own near death experience, because it would not matter anymore then yours, The courts have spoken. If you are unhappy to the point of revolution then feel free to commence, and I will be there waiting to shoot until I see the whites of your eyes.
 
Is it me or does "the courts have spoken" remind anyone else of the scene in the wizard of Oz where the wizard keeps saying "The Great Oz has spoken!"

The problem you have here is not with process, but with facts. The facts are very much in dispute -- including the "fact" that she would have wanted to die in this situation.

The first trial judge made some conclusions about the "facts" of the case which have been disputed by family members. The suggestion that, well, every court has found the same thing is just wrong, as far as the facts go. The whole point of a de novo review was to get to the bottom of the dispute on facts to make sure this woman's civil rights were not abused. If she is not actually brain dead, and she isn't terminal, I don't believe it is legal to with-hold food and water from her -- even if she did want it that way. This isn't the same as taking her off a respirator. It isn't the same as someone who can't eat any more because their body is shutting down.

If she is "brain dead," it seems to me that there is very little to lose by conducting a final battery of tests prior to moving forward with this. If she isn't "brain dead" then you are starving a woman to death who, though brain damaged, is healthy.

LSC can help us out here, hopefully, but I don't think a living will provides for your starvation in the event that you are brain damaged. It provides for DNR and the with-holding of life support equipment such as respirators, etc... to keep your body functioning artificially. The inability to feed yourself doesn't cut it.

You may want to die if you are in that situation. That's understandable. But until now, the state did not provide that as an option.

Put yourself in Terri's parents situation. They believe that she is conscious. That she has feelings. That she can feel pain, joy, sadness... Can you blame them for saying "hey, don't kill her. She is my daughter and we will continue to provide her with love and attention and compassion." No, it ain't much of a life. But it is a life. And I am not sure we should be so cavalier about what lives have value and what lives do not.

I have to say, the canard about Bush's divisiveness is getting stale. I've been present for huge anti-war rallies that have desecrated the flag with nazi symbols, compared Bush to hitler and supported the fragging of American officers. I've heard mainstream liberals claim that this is the first step toward assassinations and the establishment of a theocracy. That, my friend, is divisiveness squared.
 
Amen Brotha - please get your facts straight.

"How many of you would like to see your wife's photo everywhere if she was in a persistant vegetative state?" See that's one of the problems. There is considerable disagreement amongst credible medical professionals as to whether or not she is.

"I know many of you have a hard time with actual facts and science but over the past twelve years the evidence, yes actual evidence not faith or rain-dances have shown that terri shiavo feels no pain, actually feels nothing." Actually nothing has been done to try and "treat" her in nearly seven years. Despite the fact that her parents (you know, her own flesh and blood whose only agenda is caring for a loved one) have offered to take full responsibility for her care.

"This has been well documented medically and is why the courts have ruled in favor of mr. shiavoeverytime." Yeah, see not really. One judge, Judge Greer, ruled in MR. Schaivo's favor (in favor of killing his wife), and has continued to do so on multiple occasions. Every court finding since then has been based only on his ruling, not on the original (or any new) facts entered in the case.

"Another well documented fact is that 4 years after the doctors had told mr. shiavo to give up and pull the plug... There's no plug to pull pinhead. No ventilator, no heart machine, no dialysis unit, nothing mechanical whatsoever. We're not talking about discontinuing a medical intervention process, we're talking about food and water. See the difference?

...he had every surgery known to man to try and save his wife. Only after 5 years and every expert telling him she could never recover did he make a heartwrenching choice of letting go. Yeah, it was right about that time that he "remembered" for the first time that she said (when she was 19 or 20 years old mind you) that she wouldn't want to be kept alive by way of a feeding tube. Let's have a show of hands on many people had such a discussion when they were 20 shall we.

"These are undisputed well documented facts. Another well documented fact is that terri did not want to be kept alive." Do you really believe that? You really believed that she expressed her wishes on this particular scenario?

"Why can we put our pets to sleep to ease their suffering but not our loved ones? If anyone has ever gone through seeing a loved one pass away while in hospice care..." Listen you freak, she's not a parakeet with a broken wing or a cat with an intestinal problem - she's not a bloody pet, she's a human being - yes a human being even still. And I've been in the room and involved in the decision to take 3 of my 4 grandparents (god rest their souls) off life support and refrain from heroic measures. Guess what? Food and water ain't all that heroic, ya know? We're not talking about withholding medical treatment, we're talking about an affirmative act to take her life. AS YOU SAID, PUTTING HER TO SLEEP. That's sick. That's not human or humane. I disagree with TJ too. This is not a complicated matter, it's not a "tricky case." This is "assisted suicide" under the assumption that she would want to commit suicide. Since we CAN NOT KNOW THAT, it's outright court sanctioned euthanasia, Terri has simply outlived her value as a human being.

"The big problem I have with this administration is that this is yet another issue that has divided the country instead of bringing it together. This country needs to heal and the sad reality is that it won't be happening under the current administration."

What the hell does that mean? Grow up would you. Get yourself into a support group or a twelve step program. You go "heal," the rest of us have actual work to do.
 
I don't know why you guys tolerate Uncle Margaret. That person is clearly a liberal troll who just posts ridiculous right wing sounding garbage to make conservatives look stupid.
 
Anonymous - as opposed to yourself who doesn't seem to need any help at all looking stupid.
 
Anonymous - as opposed to yourself who doesn't seem to need any help at all looking stupid.
 
At least Uncle Margaret is big enough to sign his name to his posts.

And Jason is right. You don't need help looking stupid. You must know that, since you hide behind A-n-o-n-y-m-o-u-s.

Very small of you.
 
So in my perfect world, Uncle Margret, a good long time reader, would actually be anynomous. Just to bring furtur light to her very slanted comments.
I appreciate Uncle Margret , Sip, Jason, T.I.B.S, the guest poster, T.J., and the rest of the lot.
This subject has become very, very tired. If you feel so strongly against the outcome then do the right thing and protest abortion clinics. I don't care that it upsets the teenage girls walking in to get them, because it does save lives on occasion.
In My opinion, this has been handled in the very worst of ways by both parties. When Jesse Jackson is hugging republicans you need to recognize that all is not right.
Anyhow, she is dead now, and so will be the issue in a few more days, now that the televison advertising potential has died down..
But don't worry, the POPE is now on a feeding tube, so his eminant death will apparently be made unrefined also.
 
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