Third Party & Independents Archives

March 19, 2005

Schiavo and Lunsford

Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed yesterday clearing the way for her alleged wish to die rather then be kept alive in a dependent state. Should the federal government and the Republicans really be seeking to use the power of the federal government to override State laws on such issues? Jessica Lunsford’s body has been found after a pedophile living across the street admitted killing her. Is it time to bring back the mental hospitals where individuals are, due to mental incapacity, kept indefinitely from harming society again?

The Republican Party has traditionally stood up for state's rights issues holding out limited federal government as a cornerstone of their platform. The Terri Schiavo case however appears to signal a direction shift in the GOP. Republican Congresspersons sought to stay all actions by Florida courts and laws to permit removal of Mrs. Schiavo's feeding and hydration regimen. Terri Schiavo chose her husband with her full mental capacities in place. Does not choosing one's mate and partner in life, also confer upon that individual all legal decision making power in the event of incapacitation of their spouse? Terri's parents, say no. But, Terri did not choose her parents to make decisions with and for her. She did choose her husband to make decisions with and for her.

The United State's prisons have large populations of people who would have resided in psychiatric facilities by court order prior to the 1970's. With the advent of 'miracle drugs' which promised to alleviate inappropriate behavior resulting from schizophrenia, manic depressive illness, and a host of other mental maladies, America essentially emptied its populations of psychiatric patients onto our streets with instructions to take their meds. Today, large numbers of these people now run free in America without the discipline, means, or capacity to take their meds or, they sit in prisons with little, if any, psychiatric treatment, and a great many of them, will be set free to harm society again when their sentence is up. Is it time for the U.S. to reinvest in affordable psychiatric hospitals where serial compulsive killers (character behavior disorders) and the likes of pedophiles can either be successfully treated or retained under lock and key indefinitely?

Posted by David R. Remer at March 19, 2005 01:40 PM
Comments
Comment #47422

1. I personally have no idea why anyone would want Terri Schiavo to continue living as she does now. I feel sorry enough for people with down syndrome and mental retardation as it is. Terri cannot even move or speak and more or less spends her days drooling. I just wish someone would have put her out of her misery before now.

2. It’s interesting that other countries “not up to speed” with America’s standards have far less of a problem with pedophiles and rapists. Something’s wrong here and I don’t think it’s the lack of mental institutions.

Posted by: Zeek at March 19, 2005 02:08 PM
Comment #47427

Zeek, I think the question is, should anyone else’s ‘drothers’ have any impact on Shiavo’s fate, other than her own choices? I don’t think so. But, many on the right believe they are better able to make that decision for Terri and her husband.

Given the taxpayer cost now which has gone into these years of wrangling over Terri’s fate, it would seem prudent to me to offer American tax payers a tax incentive for creating and updating a living and last will every three years. We would not have to face these situations as taxpayers in the future if most of us were encouraged to execute living and last wills.

The single largest factors in America contributing to sex crime in America in my opinion are our Puritanical history, and our media saturated brainwashing of ‘beauty’ standards and establishing icons representative of what is sexually attractive, which relegates far too many of us to feeling less than desireable, and therefore unwilling to shame ourselves by presuming to seek romantic relationships in a normal way. Women too are now finding illicit ways of fulfilling their desires, women teachers engaging in romantic encounters with male students is on the rise.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 19, 2005 02:31 PM
Comment #47433

David,
1. I believe Terri’s husband is in favor of removing her IV tube. So the question becomes, who is in charge of Terri’s fate? Terri can hardly be accounted for to speak in her own defense. It just seems logical to me that someone with hardly any of their brain functioning and with full-body muscular dystrophy wouldn’t want to live. In any event, since Terri can’t sustain life on her own, it comes down to someone else deciding Terri’s fate.

2. Your theory on sex crimes is intriguing. Please, don’t mind if I happen to borrow it in the future. ^_^

Posted by: Zeek at March 19, 2005 03:18 PM
Comment #47442

The attempt by some Republican congressmen to get involved in the Schiavo case is disgraceful. So is the involvement of the courts. We as a society have to come to some general agreement on this issue. It is possible to keep people alive for months or years after they would have died under any more normal conditions.

It is no respect to life to maintain it after it is not worth living. I am not sure it should always be the individual’s choice. Hard as it might sound, I am not willing to spend millions of dollars to keep anyone alive. I know, I would feel differently if it was me or my children, but that is precisely why we should not leave the choice to individuals.

We can’t be afraid to make the hard choices or else we will get the default choice of people hanging around long after nature or God meant them to leave. It is immoral.

Your other related point about mental patients has similar repercussions. If you are morally certain that a person will commit murder or rape, should he be allowed the opportunity? Doesn’t some child’s right to live outweigh a perpetrator’s right to freedom? If anyone killed any of my kids, he wouldn’t live long after he was released from prison and I certainly would not want anyone who killed someone else’s kid living anywhere near me. As far as I am concerned, a pedophile murderer removes himself from the fellowship of decent society forever.

Posted by: Jack at March 19, 2005 05:08 PM
Comment #47443

While it should be left up to either Terry’s husband or parents (that’s a whole other debate in this case regarding who should be more responsible for her fate and who is telling the truth on what Terry wants) what I find horrendous is that once the decision to let her die is made, why not treat her as well as we do our pets and put her out of her misery instead of letting her slowly starve to death?

Does it really absolve us as a society of ‘killing’ someone by letting them slowly and painfully deteriorate like that?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 19, 2005 05:21 PM
Comment #47444

I think the Parents, unfortunate, and pitiable as they are, are wrong. I don’t think so many courts would side with the Husband if the facts were not on his side. I think the Republican attempts to legislatively pull an end run around the courts is both a cynical act, and a contravention of the protective balance of powers. We may prevent one young woman from dying, but do so at the expense of the freedom and maybe even the lives of so many more.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 19, 2005 05:23 PM
Comment #47457

The husband must feel very strongly that Terri does not want to ‘live’ this way. Just because the parents never heard her say it, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t have wanted to die instead of lay there all these years.
I feel for her parents.
I don’t understand why the husband would never sign her over to her parents. This is why I feel he knew more than they did about her feelings of not wanting to be kept alive by a feeding tube. Or, like some suggest - he is afraid of what she may say some day.

There is more than brainwashing of beauty going on in this country. Everyone’s right to hear, say, and do anything they want whenever they want has something to do with it too. There is very little respect for others and as for decency ..

Bad language, sex, nudity, and violence in everything we watch. Claiming the rights of those who want these things all the time are more important than the effect being subjected to it all the time has on society in general?

Our children are far more important than some adults right to hear the F word on television and see some woman with her boobs hanging out.
There was nothing wrong with Prime Time being respectable.
People have gotten ‘used to’ all this stuff. If things were changed back we would get used to that too.
I just wish the networks would realize there are more consumers in this country than 16-30 year old singles.

There is a dead 9 year old girl in Florida.
WHY????
Because some sicko was able to move in across the street from her?
Why was he out of jail? Good behavior? Wasn’t molesting the other ADULT prisoners? Technicality?
Pedophiles should be drugged into the vegetative state Terri is in OR at the least they should have tracking devices implanted in their bodies.

Posted by: dawn at March 19, 2005 07:01 PM
Comment #47463

Jack, you and I have expressed many differences on other issues. I thank you very much for your comments above, and we stand shoulder to shoulder on these issues.

Posted by: David R Remer at March 19, 2005 08:19 PM
Comment #47465

Rhinehold, thank you for your comments, and raising one of the most difficult issues an open society can face: when and how to intercede on an individual’s behalf when that individual’s capacity to choose, is destroyed?

Posted by: David R Remer at March 19, 2005 08:23 PM
Comment #47466

I wasn’t sure I even wanted to post anything on Schiavo. It’s heartbreaking & pitiable. It’s also despicable that politicians would grandstand and make political hay out of what should be a private & terribly sad end to a person’s life.

Posted by: phx8 at March 19, 2005 08:24 PM
Comment #47467

All I can say is that I am completely against removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube. It should be her choice of if she wants to die or not, not her husbands. Her “not wanting to live in this kind of state” thing is a bunch of BS that didn’t come up until several years after this all happened and Michael was given some money.

Posted by: Lance Adams at March 19, 2005 08:26 PM
Comment #47468

Stephen said “I think the Republican attempts to legislatively pull an end run around the courts is both a cynical act, and a contravention of the protective balance of powers.”

I did not fully appreciate the Constituional balance of powers in this issue, Stephen, thank you. You raise a very fundamental issue here.

Posted by: David R Remer at March 19, 2005 08:27 PM
Comment #47472

Dawn, as a father of a daughter I love very much, you have expressed very well my feelings about the kind of world I must send my daughter into everyday.

I have to ask though, if a little freedom removed here, or there, by an authority with the means to back itself up, is a good thing?

If not, then the question of how to restore civlity and beauty and aesthetics to our children, as a nation, becomes paramount. There are many answers and many, many good people trying hard to make those answers work, from Laura Bush to your local kindergarten teacher.

Clearly, the public owns the freqency bands through which some of the vulgarity and diminishment of human values reaches into our homes everyday. Does the responsibility for what is received by our children’s and even our own sensibilities rest with us as individuals, or with the government to censor and extricate those forms of communication which diminish us as individuals and as a society?

You have indeed touched upon one of the most difficult challenges facing us as a Constitutionally free people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 19, 2005 08:52 PM
Comment #47474

So does she want to live or does she want to die?
Is this even the Question?

When we as society find someone about to jump off a skyscraper or with a gun to their head we intervene even though the person says they want to die.

The real questions are what is cruel and unusual punishment or what is manslaughter or who should be put in those psychiatric wards you want to re-open

Posted by: George at March 19, 2005 08:56 PM
Comment #47475

David,

I am not asking the government to censor.
I am asking those responsible for what is placed on our airwaves to realize that we have babies born everyday. Babies who have never seen the wholesome shows we grew up with.
Just because adults need something more stimulating doesn’t mean they are the sole audience out there.
I am sure, given the chance, there are plenty of viewers ready to watch some good family entertainment.
I remember my mother laughing - we kids couldn’t figure out what was so funny - until we grew up.
The jokes my mother was laughing at were targeted towards adult entertainment while still being able to let the kids watch.

Freedom.
As a parent you must want to agree that the freedom of a child to walk down the street is much more important than the ‘total’ freedom of a known pediphile.
It isn’t like I am asking for PEDOPHILE to be tatooed on the forehead.
Let them go about there daily business - just do something to keep a better eye on them.
If I have to choose - I choose freedom for my child over the child molester.

Posted by: dawn at March 19, 2005 09:08 PM
Comment #47476

George, thank you very much for your comments. I obtained a BA in psychology and worked for years as psychiatric nurse’s aid, psychiatric technician, and counselor for federal prisoners in a half way house program.

I have witnessed the awesome power that can be mustered by individuals over other individual’s lives when the state elects to define who is sane, and insane, stable, and unstable, a threat to society or harmless. It is a power which at first appears to be too great to confer upon individuals over other individuals. And there certainly have been reams written about the abuses of such power.

I have to believe however, that well intentioned professionals who oversee each others actions and review each others actions would justify society taking upon itself a measure of self control with regard to individuals whose behavior clearly threatens the welfare of others. This is no easy balancing act, but, it is one we must walk carefully and sincerely, if we are to stay off anarchy.

Posted by: David R Remer at March 19, 2005 09:09 PM
Comment #47477

Dawn, if I understand you correctly, you are asking for moral leadership by media owners and managers. If that is the case, we are in total and complete agreement.

Now, how do we, the people, convince them that what we want will sell as well as what they are currently pedaling? These are the horns of free enterprise and social media.

Posted by: David R Remer at March 19, 2005 09:23 PM
Comment #47478

Lance said: “It should be her choice of if she wants to die or not,”

But, don’t you see, Lance, that is the heart of this issue. She cannot express that choice for herself.

Posted by: David R Remer at March 19, 2005 09:25 PM
Comment #47479

Convince?
Who knows.
From what I’ve heard the most money made at the theaters last year was for movies we could actually take our children to see.
They must be able to take a clue from that.

I know that the shows I watch before 9pm - my girls can also watch. Few and far between.

Maybe it is the managers of the media outlets that need to be replaced. Convincing the owners is another thing.
Considering there is a product to sell no matter what the program - tough one.

Posted by: dawn at March 19, 2005 09:30 PM
Comment #47480


David,
Sorry I did not make myself more clear. I was referring to Teri Schiavo and those that would be God for her.
I believe Teri is performing her roll on this earth rather well. I would consider it an honor to perform as well.
Teri is today showing the U. S. and also the rest of the world who are watching, how low, how degraded life is regarded in our society.

Posted by: George at March 19, 2005 09:33 PM
Comment #47492

Republicans really disgust me! On the one hand they argue they should not let court to decide on abortion or same-sex marriage “the moral issue”. On the other hand they are reckless in abusing the system for their personal gain — to get publicity at the expense of the Schiavo’s family.

Shameful!

Posted by: a. kronecker at March 20, 2005 12:05 AM
Comment #47502

The 2006 Elections are coming up. Republican Congressmen Must once again prove their Moral Superiority to their Holier-Than-Thou Constituents. Don’t you guys know the Evangelicals want this? This is the Will of GOD!!!

Posted by: Aldous at March 20, 2005 03:33 AM
Comment #47503

Moral Leadership from the Media Owners?

HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!

Do you know the No. 1 TV Program watched in the Bible Belt? Guess.

Its DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The belief that the Media Owners are evil is complete crap. There are selling a product that everyone wants to see but won’t admit it. Its like Playboy Magazine. Everyone bemoans Playboy but every Guy I know who isn’t Gay has at least one Playboy Magazine in the House.

Typical Hypocrisy.

Posted by: Aldous at March 20, 2005 03:41 AM
Comment #47512

Thsi whole Schiavo case is about one thing. The mother of the hubby’s kids wanted to be upgraded from slam-piece to wife.

I can only imagine the outcry if we starved to death a prisoner on death row.

Posted by: Peter at March 20, 2005 09:54 AM
Comment #47516

Aldous,
‘Desperate Housewives’ comes on at 10pm here. It is outrageous and hilarious (and dumb). My young kids do NOT watch it.
Most guys that I know who have Playboy do not leave it sitting on the coffee table for the kids to look at.
Guys that do are just jerks.
I don’t know why you think the people in the ‘Bible Belt’ have to be prudes.
I never said the media owners are evil.
I never said stop giving the choice to watch shows like ‘Desperate Housewives’.
I did say; “I am sure, given the chance, there are plenty of viewers ready to watch some good family entertainment.”

The government should do no more than let Terri’s husband divorce her AND ONLY because she has a family willing to assume responsibility for her care.

Posted by: dawn at March 20, 2005 10:17 AM
Comment #47517

Peter, that would be different. A prisoner can speak in his own defense, walk, and talk. Terri can do none of these things. I know that what this comes down to, for me, is that Terri could not sustain life if left to her own devices. A state of vegetation that shall never change. Why anyone would wish this state of existance on another human being is beyond me.

Posted by: Zeek at March 20, 2005 10:29 AM
Comment #47520

I think the Congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo case is in violation of the Constitution. In the Constitution’s balance of powers the Judiciary should be able to make decions without Congress intervening. When Schiavo married her husband she gave him the right to make medical decisions for her in the event of her incapacity to make decisions for herself. The justice system upheld this and Congress should not interfere. If the Political Right believes a parent’s desires override that of a husband then they should appear to the Supreme Court and not have Congress prolong her life by supoenaing her to testify before Congress when she claerly does not have the ability to do so.

In my opinion, God has decided that now is the time Terri Schiavo should die. Otherwise the events that put her into the vegetative state she is in would not have happened. I do however believe that her end should be as painless as possible and not a two week starvation and dehydration.

Posted by: Warren at March 20, 2005 10:49 AM
Comment #47610

HEY! WARREN! WE CAN’T END HER LIFE! SHE HAS TO STARVE NATURALLY! KILLING HER WOULD BE IMMORAL!

Posted by: Zeek at March 20, 2005 10:42 PM
Comment #47617

Warren:

I think the Congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo case is in violation of the Constitution. In the Constitution’s balance of powers the Judiciary should be able to make decions without Congress intervening.

The constitution gives the legistlative branch of government the authority go grant jurisdiction. So Congress is completely within it’s constitutionality to grant the family the right to be heard in federal court.

As long as we are big on the constitution here, the constitution only requires a simple majority to appoint judges as well. So if the left wants to get real technical here, then it would be fine to do away with Senate rules on fillibuster.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 20, 2005 11:37 PM
Comment #47622

Craig- maybe you know this matter more than me, but while Congress can grant jurisdiction, under what authority can it grant the federal court to interpret state law? As I understand it, the federal court would have to hear a federal issue to override the state court’s decision- is there a hook I am missing.

I am rather morbidly ammused that the same Democrats that have spent their lives fighting to have NO limits on the power of congress (putting every single thing under the Commerce Clause- even if it has nothing to do with commerce) are now upsett with Congress overeaching its “constitutional” limits. You asked for it brothers.

As for those of us who have always advocated for a limited roll for Congress (limited to the actual constitution), we have just cause to be upsett at this overeaching attempt by congress to get the federal courts involved in a situation that is beign adequately taken care of by the State in question…

Posted by: Misha Tseytlin at March 21, 2005 03:05 AM
Comment #48127

I can understand both sides of the Terri Schiavo debate, but at what point do you let go of a loved one. Terry is clearly not going to get any better, and I think it is cruel and selfish for the parents to let her linger in her current state. To what end? What is Terry’s quality of life? If it were her wish not to suffer in this state, then her desire to be let qo should be respected. It is, or was, her life after all, and if we do not have ultimate dominion over ourselves, what type of real freedom do we have?

And I think the Republican led Congress has way overstepped it authority on this one and will hopefully get slammed by the federal courts. The Republicans talk a blue streak about the need for government to stay out of our lives, for government to get off of our backs, for the federal government to respect states rights and here they are mucking around in a very, very personal issue; the hypocrisy is galling. Would any of us want Congress butting into our personal business?

It is clear to this citizen that the Republican’s seem to distain the third branch of government (the “unelected” judicial branch) and seek to discredit it in the minds of the citizenry by calling into question the very legitimacy of its rulings on the law by stating that they are not elected. Even a sitting Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (AS) furthered that ignorant school of thought in a speech last week chastising the Court’s recent ruling vis-à-vis the right of the states to execute minors.

The Republican’s also state that we are (the United States) should uphold the principles of a “culture of life,” but they think nothing of cutting funding for Medicaid and other medical and or social programs for the poor (guess they are not included in the culture of life, because their lives are worth less then others); letting tens of thousand die in Sudan; turn a blind eye to torture and murder in U.S. detention faculties overseas; refuse to support common-sense prescription drug coverage for all Americans; and support the state-sanction murder of U.S. prisoners. Sounds like a culture of life to me, how about you?

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at March 21, 2005 09:49 AM
Comment #48249

Misha, like Steny Hoyer said regarding the Shiavo situation, when the Congress agrees with the courts, it has no problem with the court’s jurisdiction. When it agrees with what the courts would decide, Congress has at times increased its jurisdiction. And as we see now, when the Congress disagrees with the Courts, it seeks to alter the Court’s jurisdiction.

What we are seeing happen here is our nation’s departure from the idea of a nation of LAW, and large initial steps toward becoming a nation of “MEN”, (or people to be politically correct). This is indeed a very dangerous time, for we are redefining what America is, what America stands for, and what America will become as we move down this road toward becoming a nation of popular opinion and away from being a nation of laws.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 21, 2005 02:32 PM
Comment #48251

There is no reason why this issue needs to be handled at a national level. The state courts have ample resources to handle this, and have already done so. I’m not certain that I agree with their decision, but I don’t see how US Supreme Court judges are more qualified than Florida judges to rule on issues of Florida law.

Every court that has tried this case has ruled the same. Why do we need yet another trial? Isn’t this why the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case?

This just seems to be a case of “run it through more courts until one gives us a ruling that we like”. That’s not how the justice system is supposed to work.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at March 21, 2005 02:38 PM
Comment #48287

Rob, the Supreme Court has already turned down hearings this issue. They declined the appeal. So Congress is referring it to a Federal District Court in Florida. Just to complicate things further..

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 21, 2005 04:35 PM
Comment #48288

Rob, sorry, I must have skipped over your sentence regarding the S.C.

Yes, it does appear to be judge shopping, doesn’t it. We must not forget however, who is motivating all this Congressional action. A minority of Christian Right people who organized and raised a million or dollars to lobby the Republicans and the President on this issue.

If it weren’t for the Christian Right lobby power, Congress would never have achieved a majority vote on this issue. Since the Constitutional implications as well as the jurisdictional issues are no small thing, the lobbying by the Religious Right was very intense to motivate such radical actions. Rule by the minority is alive and well, as usual, in this one party government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 21, 2005 04:41 PM
Comment #48379

“In extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life.” -President Bush

It’s very interesting to see which of Terri’s family members obviously love her and which obviously don’t.

It’s also very interesting to see which side of the political spectrum obviously values her life, and which side obviously doesn’t.

The left seems to argue for people’s rights only when there is something to be gained politically. It’s the “We helped you, now vote for us” mentality. When the right tries to protect someone’s rights, the left will try anything to sabotage it.

This isue is showing to the American people who realy values human live and who doesn’t.

Jack,

It is possible to keep people alive for months or years after they would have died under any more normal conditions. It is no respect to life to maintain it after it is not worth living. I am not sure it should always be the individual’s choice. Hard as it might sound, I am not willing to spend millions of dollars to keep anyone alive. I know, I would feel differently if it was me or my children, but that is precisely why we should not leave the choice to individuals.

That’s just cruel and unfeeling. Who are you (or her “husband”, for that matter) to say her life isn’t worth living?

“I know I would feel differently if it was me or my children…” Do you really think the lives of you and your family are more important than Terri’s and hers?

“…but that is precisely why we should not leave the choice to individuals.” Then we as a society must choose life once and for all. Perhaps a constitutional amendment saying these people can’t be killed is in order.

We can’t be afraid to make the hard choices or else we will get the default choice of people hanging around long after nature or God meant them to leave. It is immoral.

So it’s better to let her starve to death so she won’t be “hanging around” anymore? I don’t think so. I agree with the President that it’s better to err on the side of life. After all, it’s not up to you or me to play God. Playing God is God’s job.

Posted by: TheTraveler at March 21, 2005 08:38 PM
Comment #48398

The Traveler, what in inordinately one sided viewpoint. Let me take your comments and change just a word or two to show you how narrow your focus is.

In extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of alleviating pain and suffering.” -David Remer

It’s very interesting to see that both sides of Terri’s family obviously love her, one side unwilling to let her go, and the other side wanting to end her vegetative state.

It’s also very interesting to see which side of the political spectrum obviously values her life under any circumstances, and which side obviously takes into account suffering and quality of life.

With the religious right pressuring Republicans, the right seems to argue for Terri’s life against her husband’s rights only because elections are next year.

That’s just cruel and unfeeling when you (or her parents, for that matter) are unwilling to see the evidence presented by Dr.’s who have examined her (not those who watched a TV video) and the judges who have listened to both sides and agree that Terri’s husband’s evidence and position is equally important and germaine as her parents and they believe it was Terri’s wish not to be kept in the state she is in.

Then we as a society must choose life once and for all and force the elderly to suffer and degrade themselves rather than allow themselves to be kept alive on machines long after their cognitive life has ended. Perhaps a constitutional amendment saying these people can’t be allowed to die definitely NOT in order.

After all, it�s not up to you or me to play God. Playing God is God�s job.

What a crock of horse pucky. Do you stand behind the President’s invasion and killing of 100,000 women, children, fathers brothers, and grandparents in Iraq. There is a lot of god playing going on and Bush’s hands are well dipped in the blood. Doctor’s and insurance companies play god every day, choosing who they can afford to save and who should die for lack of money.

C’mon, there are two sides to this issue and each has extremely valid points to make and arguments to make. Are you really saying no one in America should be allowed to die if medical science can keep their body alive? Are you prepared to see your tax dollars triple or quadruple along with insurance rates and hospital fees to make the objective a reality?

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 21, 2005 09:55 PM
Comment #48404

David,

Horse pucky, eh?
I haven’t been posting much recently, but this is an issue that really has my hackles up, so to speak.

With the religious right pressuring Republicans, the right seems to argue for Terri’s life against her husband’s rights only because elections are next year.

I talked about “the left” and not “Democrats” because there are quite a few democrats who came in to vote positively. This isn’t about the “religious right” as you claim.

Forget the war and everything else. This is the issue at hand and it comes down to whether you value her life or not. She’s obviously suffering more now that she’s not feeding, so stop trying to use suffering as an excuse to starve her to death her for convince.

So what is the “valid point” you say you have for killing her? You don’t want to pay for it? That’s really the only reason you brought up, and again, that’s very cruel.

Posted by: TheTraveler at March 21, 2005 10:21 PM
Comment #48411

David,

“her husbands rights”?

He wants is wife out of the way for convience and that’s more important to you than someone’s life?

By the way, she’s not elderly and on machines, as you tried to twist it.

It’s very interesting to see that both sides of Terri’s family obviously love her

I’m sure that when her husband has all those kids with another woman, Terri was the one she was thinking of. Give me a break.

Posted by: TheTraveler at March 21, 2005 10:37 PM
Comment #48414

I meant to say “he was thinking of” in that last paragraph.

David,

Every time I read through your post, it never ceses to amaze and disgust me.

In extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of alleviating pain and suffering.” -David Remer

By making it worse? Do you even know what someone goes through during starvation?

Posted by: TheTraveler at March 21, 2005 10:41 PM
Comment #48417

The woman is irrelevant. What is important is the loyalty of the Evangelical Vote in the upcoming 2006 Elections. As the recent GOP Memo said, this is a perfect opportunity to cater to the religious right and guarantee a high turnout. It is admirable that the Repubs have their eye on the ball…

Posted by: Aldous at March 21, 2005 10:57 PM
Comment #48419

Aldous,

If this is all about the religious right, how come so many congressional Democrats disagree with you?

Posted by: The Traveler at March 21, 2005 11:47 PM
Comment #48421

Is Terri even alive right now? Perhaps most of her cells and tissues are, but is Terri? As a biologist I’d like to know what people consider “alive.”

Henrietta Lacks died years ago, however her cells have not only survived they thrived in thousands of labs across the globe. In fact, I have some of her cells in my lab right now. Does the fact that Terri Schiavo’s cells are still intact in tissue form and interact in an involuntary way mean that she’s still alive? If a car accident victim “dies” and dontates an organ to another person are both people alive? How about if they dontate a dozen organs to a dozen people?

It’s obvious in both Henrietta Lacks’ and Terri Schiavo’s cases that science can keep cells and tissues alive long after the conscious bodies are unrecoverable.

This leads many people to agree that the brain will determine if you’re alive or not. Since Terri Schiavo’s brain is mostly dead, especially the conscious aspects, isn’t Terri already dead? Shouldn’t that be the definition of life or death: If the brain has permanently lost conscious function?

PS- David: I love your idea of making incentives for having current living wills. It’s because Terri and her husband were irresponsible while Terri was alive that the photos and movies of her in her current state will be how she’s remembered forever.

Posted by: JP at March 21, 2005 11:53 PM
Comment #48426

The Traveler, be careful, I was. I said I would show you a different perspective by changing just a few words. You seemed to be puzzled how anyone could have a different view than yours. I showed you how, and those arguments are as valid as yours, some more so, because some of your arguments assume consciousness in Terri, a fact already dismissed as false by many experts with direct examination.

Those arguments I provided are not mine, I have outlined my positions elsewhere here. The point was to show how narrow a view folks on your side and on the other side can appear to have.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 22, 2005 01:29 AM
Comment #48427

The traveller asked: “If this is all about the religious right, how come so many congressional Democrats disagree with you?”

Because they have elections and religious conservatives as constituents too, just like the Republicans. Neither of the duopoly parties have a monopoly on sensitivity to voters as elections come forward, or as issues come up that will be remembered when distant elections finally arrive. You think the religious right only lobbies the Republicans?

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 22, 2005 01:32 AM
Comment #48430

JP, if her head were removed from her body in an accident but they could put her body in an iron lung and pacemaker her heart, would the religious right still think she should be saved?

They argue yes, above. But, I think a headless torso would not have the same appeal for them, nor the same motivation. The cortex having turned to a mush of dead tissue is something they can’t see which leaves the eyes open which they can. It really is as simple as that, psychologically, I think. But, this also ties into abortion and their need to appear consistent, despite the fact that there are a number of circumstances where their consistency falls apart like captial punishment or elective war against Muslims.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 22, 2005 01:38 AM
Comment #48431

Aldous said, “As the recent GOP Memo said, this is a perfect opportunity to cater to the religious right and guarantee a high turnout.”

Bingo! for some or many of them. It is also safe to say that some of them are actually acting on their own conscience of what is right. I can say that because some of them actually have integrity in other areas.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 22, 2005 01:40 AM
Comment #48468

You seemed to be puzzled how anyone could have a different view than yours.

YUou’re right, I am.

Because they have elections and religious conservatives as constituents too, just like the Republicans.

Or perhaps they simply have more reguard for human life than you do. You seem to think this is all political. It’s not. I’m not a republican and I don’t have any ofice to run for. The only difference betwen you and me (on this issue) is that I believe human life is sacred. Like I said earlier, trying to sabotage anything the right tries to do is more important to you than this woman’s life. That’s why you are talking about politics and not her.

As for the memo (which I haven’t seen a link to) I’m not sure why they would need it. After all, isn’t starving a handicaped woman to death for convience against everything the left has previously claimed to stand for? The left has a fit when someone tries to starve an animal to death. Are thier lives more important than Terri’s? Well, not to me.

Posted by: The Traveler at March 22, 2005 10:45 AM
Comment #48476
After all, it’s not up to you or me to play God. Playing God is God’s job.

God played his hand 10 years ago, when she collapsed and became unable to sustain her own life.

That’s when mankind intervened with life support, and started playing God.

If anything I’m a little confused by the religious folks interest in messing with the natural order of things. Wouldn’t you think god would find it grotesque that his creation is bastardized for 10 years past it’s shelf life by the hand of man?

Oh, but I just remembered, if one is religious you get to pick, choose, mold and shape the parts that are most convenient to believe. Carry on then.

PS - What if Terri was a lesbian muslim, would this case even get this kind of publicity?

Posted by: Taylor at March 22, 2005 12:21 PM
Comment #48478

Babies aren’t able to sustain their own lives without being fed. Do you advocate killing them too, taylor? Or is it just the handicaped you don’t like? Or just people with certain handicaps? Do you think any husband should have the right to starve his wife to death if she is in any way incapable of feeding herself?

Never heard of a lesbian muslim, but I’d feel the same way about her as I feel about Terri.

Posted by: The Traveler at March 22, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #48481
Do you advocate killing them too, taylor?

Only when irresponsible parents bring the screaming ones into restaurants and movie theaters. Besides, you know that comparison is apples to oranges.

Or is it just the handicaped you don’t like?

She’s so far beyond handicapped she doesn’t fit that designation. I wish she would recover and get better, but I genuinely believe she’s long past hope. I would be very displeased if my own family sustained my life for 15 years because of a religious whim.

Never heard of a lesbian muslim, but I’d feel the same way about her as I feel about Terri.

Didn’t imagine you would, but that wasn’t my question anyhow.

Posted by: Taylor at March 22, 2005 01:14 PM
Comment #48490

The Traveler said: “Or perhaps they simply have more reguard for human life than you do.”

Well, what constitutes human life? Is a decapitated torso kept alive on machines a human being? To me, it is just a human torso. But, then I don’t believe the soul or humanity resides in the human heart, foot, hand, leg, etc.

If we found a way to retain a human brain alive outside of its body (due to the destruction of its body in an accident) and provide it with synthetic speech or communication of some kind, I would consider that living functioning brain human life.

Terri’s brain is dead. But, this is entirely beyond the issue at hand. You are not given the charge of making decisions for Terri, nor am I. The laws rightly grant that right to those most inclined to love her and care for her the most, her husband, and in the absence of a husband of her choice, her parents, and in the absence parents, her siblings, etc. There is no better way to grant custodial decision making for one who has lost the ability themselves. That is humane, it is based on love and care.

You seem to think this is all political.

Yes, anytime the government seeks to intercede into the lives of private citizens, it becomes political. Very good, you got this one right.

The only difference betwen you and me (on this issue) is that I believe human life is sacred.

Our difference is that I have defined what human life is for myself and would not assume to impose it on others. You would. That is our difference.

Like I said earlier, trying to sabotage anything the right tries to do is more important to you than this woman’s life.

Ah. So now you are a mind reader. I will save you a headache. You don’t crap about me. I have family who are on the right and I love them. What I oppose about the religious right, or left, or middle, is when they attempt to lobby government to force all others to live by rules based on their religious beliefs. For that matter I oppose anyone or group that tries to impose their beliefs about anything on others via the government.

We have a Constitution. We have a political system that worked most of the time, and still might, for some time to come. It was and is a system of laws designed to create equality and fairness for all in the application of those laws.

I am both a parent and a husband. If my wife or daughter were brain dead, I would not want anyone but myself and her family to make the decisions for her. If her family and I disagreed as to what to do, I would like a law that is fairly and equally applied in all cases that outlines or determines who should speak for my wife or daughter. I WOULD NOT WANT THE GOVERNMENT to make that decision. I would not want the church to make that decision. I would not want a Judge to make that decision. I would simply want a law that I could refer to that would clearly define or determine an order of precedence as to whom in her family should make those decisions for her.

I am a law abiding citizen where the laws can be clearly understood and applied fairly and equally for all. Either Terri’s Husband or her parents should make custodial decisions for her. The courts of Florida have on numerous times heard the pleas of both, and have determined from the laws of Florida regarding dependent custodial decision making that Terri’s husband should make the decisions for Terri. We are a nation of laws, not of men. Let the law be fairly and equally applied.

Congress trying to make special laws for special individuals UTTERLY violates that principle of our being a nation of laws which has served our nation so very, very well in America until we got this one party government in office.


Posted by: David R. Remer at March 22, 2005 03:17 PM
Comment #48517

While the Schiavo case is getting saturation coverage, very little attention if any is paid to the case of Sun Hudson, a 6-month-old infant with a fatal congenital condition. His mother wanted him kept alive as long as possible, but the hospital didn’t want to pay for the continuing care. Just last week, the hospital overruled the penniless mother, removed his feeding tube, and he died. The hospital’s action was perfectly legal, under the Texas Futile Care Law, which allows the termination of life if there is no hope of improvement, even if the family objects. The law was signed by George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas. It boosts the profits of the medical-industrial complex, allowing the for-profit health care providers to pull the plug if a biopsy of the patient’s wallet proves negative.

Posted by: Paul D at March 22, 2005 06:11 PM
Comment #48575

First, I would like to agree with those who believe that the federal government has no right to interfere with the decisions of state courts, and that the ‘end run’ it made last Sunday was unconstitutional and purely politically motivated. It even violated the alleged beliefs of (or shows the cynical hypocrisy of) the Republicans who are allegedly in favor of “states rights”.

In regard to why a pedophile was on the street, it all goes back to the closing of mental hospitals during the Reagan era, which also created the class of homeless people which weren’t nearly so numerous before him. I think that prisons (and mental hospitals) should be reserved for people who are too dangerous to be walking around - those convicted of murder, rape, attempted murder, multiple assaults, etc. People convicted of property crimes or ‘victimless’ crimes should not be in prison at all. The victims of property crimes should be the focus, not the criminals. That is to say, people who steal should have to repay the victims. Convicted murderers and sexual offenders should be kept off the streets permanently.

Reforming these laws is part of my presidential campaign platform, which endorses the idea of replacing Congress with direct democracy. There are many good reasons to do so - see http://www.revolution2008.org for more information.

Posted by: Rick Williams at March 23, 2005 10:22 AM
Comment #48625

The Traveler, as taylor pointed out, babies grow. They eventually get to the point where they can sustain their own life. Ontop of that, they are also capable of movement and thought. Terri will never be able to do any of the above. And don’t give me all that crap about how Terri still shows signs of life. Yah, her spinal cord still works, whoop-dee-doo. That doesn’t make her alive pal.

You may not have an office to run for, which is probably why your actually concerned with the “ethics” of this case. However, the politicians (as displayed by 47 Democratic Senators) are more concerned with being re-elected than whether or not Terri dies. Consider that none of them have made a hullabaloo about the Redlake shootings that happened a few days ago where TEN people were killed (second worst school shooting in U.S. history behind Columbine). I find it hard to believe that these very same people care about Terri.

Posted by: Zeek at March 23, 2005 06:27 PM
Comment #48803

David,

I agree with your comments, but to be perfectly accurate, what the courts ruled on was that they believed that the testimony proved that Terri would not want medical intervention to sustain her life in the state that she is in. It actually found that Michael and the Schindlers were unduly influenced by other factors, so they merely took their testimony into account.

That being said, Michael is still in charge of determining her regular medical care, I believe.

Just to be clear.

Posted by: Julia at March 25, 2005 03:57 AM
Comment #48847

That sounds right Julia, regarding the narrow legal question first brought forth, thank you. The appelate courts and challenges their covered much more legal ground as I understand it, where the laws in Florida were questioned. And then, Jeb Bush’s appointee to assess the situation addressed much larger questions as to Terri’s abilities. However, if I understood correctly, his findings were rendered moot by the courts since narrower legal issues were overriding.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 25, 2005 12:36 PM