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Schiavo case

Just some small comments on my part.

First let me say that it is just disgusting that anyone or any official power would allow anyone or any living thing to just starve to death. What a horrible way to die. There should be an alternative.

With that said I have to agree that this is the Law. This is a republic nation ruled by democratic states. The United States of America is a republic that has individual states that are democratic and are represented in the rebublic by senators and represenitives. The Laws of the states cannot and, rightly so, should not be overturned by the republic as then you will have a socialist form of government. Of course that seems to be the way we are headed. I have heard it said and I agree, that we are more socialist than the USSR before its demise. I for one will not live in a country that tells me when, what, and where of everything that I do without my direct input. You cant Vote on anything in congress...your senators and represenitives do that for you. Here in florida there must be a gereral election for any changes in the constitution of this state.The Public has a direct say about what is passed or not passed.
This country was founded with the thought(among others) that marriage is sanctioned by the almighty and that each spouse knows the other better than anyone else. It is unfortunate but that is the Law, right or wrong until it is changed then the federal government should step aside and remember the 1860's and all the bloodshed that arose from that when the federal government tried to tell the individual states what to do.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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Schiavo case

Well, I guess we agree to disagree. I can't ignore my conscience that easily.

Let me put it this way -- it's 1941 and you're in Germany. A Jew comes to your door asking for help, which you can provide at no threat to your family. Do you provide the help, or do you call the SS and wash your conscience clean by quoting the law?

I can't agree to taking a human life without exhausting all possible avenues.

MNHunter, I'm stunned that you actually waffled on whether or not my friends have the right to pull their son's tube.

But all that aside, I do find an interesting bit of hypocrisy on the Left. There's history here -- there was another case in Florida five years ago where a lot of people claimed Al Gore was in a persistent vegetative state. But in that instance it was the liberals complaining that rule of law wasn't the answer. They ran it all the way to the Supreme Court. Now when someone is going to die, they're all claiming that Florida law is sancrosanct and are doing their best to shut off the debate.

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Location: St. Paul, MN
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Schiavo case
Quote:
Let me put it this way -- it's 1941 and you're in Germany. A Jew comes to your door asking for help, which you can provide at no threat to your family. Do you provide the help, or do you call the SS and wash your conscience clean by quoting the law?

- Not even close to being the same thing. I am talking about carrying out the wishes of one Terri Schiavo. The ones that only Michael Sciavo can even claim to know. I understand that you are looking at this in the sense that she is a person who hasn't made a decision on her fate and now cannot. That is where we differ. I believe Michael Schiavo, you don't. You want to impose your belief as to what should happen. I want everyone to butt out so that according to the law, Terri's wishes can be carried out.

Quote:
MNHunter, I'm stunned that you actually waffled on whether or not my friends have the right to pull their son's tube.

- The situation is a little different. Their son cannot and has never been able to make a decision. Legally, they can pull the tube. You can can it waffling but I don't know what I would do in that situation. For me it is this:
Advance direct=should follow that directive
No advance directive but spouse claims to know:=Follow the law and absent proof the spouse is acting a in bad faith, carry out the wishes
Ward of state, minor, or person who could have never given a decision= Follow the law and let the guardian(s) decide. No one can possibly claim to know the "correct" moral position on that one. That is why I waffled.

Quote:
But all that aside, I do find an interesting bit of hypocrisy on the Left. There's history here -- there was another case in Florida five years ago where a lot of people claimed Al Gore was in a persistent vegetative state. But in that instance it was the liberals complaining that rule of law wasn't the answer. They ran it all the way to the Supreme Court. Now when someone is going to die, they're all claiming that Florida law is sancrosanct and are doing their best to shut off the debate.

-I'm not one to defend liberals but... I just wanted everyone to at least get the history correct.
It was Bush/Cheney who sued at the Supreme Court level (Bush v Gore), again casting aside the Federalism that conservatives used to claim so dear. We shouldn't be surprised therefore that when state courts (in this case FL again) make decisions not in line with what a Bush would want, that you will see the case appealed to Federal courts who lack jurisdiction.

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Location: St. Paul, MN
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Schiavo case

One final thought:
When does it end? How would you feel if someone else; Congress, the President, a liberal, a conservative, whoever basically says we know it is your decision/right as a spouse/parent/legal gaurdian but if you don't see it my way, you haven't made the "right" decision?
Ponder these:

Quote:
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on Peter Busalacchi, whose teenage daughter died in 1993 after he won a two-year legal battle to remove her feeding tube after a car accident. John Ashcroft, as governor of Missouri, intervened to prevent the removal of the tube. "He just injected his own religious beliefs in my daughter's case," says Busalacchi.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Mary Martin tried to get her brain-damaged husband's feeding tube removed in 1992. Michigan's highest court blocked removal of the tube, and the Supreme Court refused to take the case in 1996. Martin died of pneumonia in 2001.

The Washington Post reports that Michele Finn of Virginia tried to remove her husband's feeding tube in 1998, but was opposed by his brother, Edward. James Gilmore, then Virginia's governor, intervened against Finn, but the state Supreme Court rejected his appeal and Hugh Finn died later that year.

From 3/24/05 issue of the Washington Post

expatriate's picture
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Schiavo case

I simply don't buy the argument that legal guardianship should grant you the right to end someone's life on your word alone.

I think we're on a very slippery slope here. If the Schiavo case sets the precedent, it's not much farther to cut off food and water for grandparents in advanced alzheimer's or for parents to do the same thing with severely handicapped children. Then it's not much of a reach for somebody to complain that starvation is cruel -- and it's replaced with injection.

Now you're euthanizing people involuntarily based on somebody's subjective definition of what constitutes "life worth living." The problem with subjective definitions is that they can always be adjusted to fashion.

In October 1939, Hitler himself initiated a decree which empowered physicians to grant a "mercy death" to "patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health." (Source: Holocaust Teacher Resource Center). The Holocaust started in psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes with lethal injections after panels of physicians assessed each case and decided life or death. How much of a stretch is this from what's happening at this moment? There is no evidence that Terri wanted to die other than her husband's word.

Think about it. It's a slippery slope, and it's not pretty at the bottom.

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Location: St. Paul, MN
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Schiavo case

Expatriate,
I understand your concern on the slippery slope issue. I just hold out hope that the system of laws established in this republic prevent the slide. There are major differences between our country and Germany in 1939, or even today. Nevertheless, I see your point. I still disagree but appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks,
Lee

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Schiavo case

What has me worried is that laws reflect the mores of society. If a democratic society's social values change, the laws will follow suit. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Good discussion.
Cheers.

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Schiavo case

There seems to some misunderstandings about this case.

What seems to be getting missed is that Micheal Schiavo is not the one who said that Teri didn't want to be kept alive with tubes allover her body, Teri Schiavo said that. According to news reports and a special on the History Channel last night, Micheal Schiavo is not the only person who was told this by Teri Schiavo as several of their friends, her brother-in-law and her brother were all present at a gathering after the death of Teri's grandmother, who was kept alive by artifical means, finally passed away and Teri said that she wouldn't want to be kept alive like that and made Micheal promise to not let that happen to her, in front of these people. This was a promise she made him make several more times over the next several weeks.

We still have the right to refuse medical treatment in this country. Its one of the rapidly disappearing liberties that we still have.
According to 7 years of trials, hearings and appeals, Teri Schiavo did say she would refuse this type of medical treatment, however because of her condition she cannot say this, so according to State law....this responsibility falls to her husband, Micheal Schiavo. I think I speak for almost everyone when I tell you I hope this responsibility never befalls myself.

I do not in any way, shape, or form agree that she should just be allowed to sit there and starve and dehydrate to death...this sickens me.

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Schiavo case

I think they should administer something to her that would at least accelerate the death process. At this stage, what would that matter?

I don't feel this necessarily sets a precedent as far as euthanizing people goes, and to go and say well this could mean it will be done to the handicapped and Alzheimer's patients is going overboard. Even if euthanasia were to become a legal practice, there would obviously be a number of regulations in place for it.

If somebody had something that was clearly irreversible, like lung cancer spread throughout the body or blast-phase CML leukemia, then there's no reason why they should not be able to speed the death process up, since it is inevitable anyway. My opinion is, if it is a disease where there are no effective treatment options left, then what does it matter?

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Schiavo case

Those that don't remember history are doomed to repeat it.

Tell the thousands of Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in the US during WWII that the laws of this country will never allow us to take the German path.

Laws reflect morality, and if we slide, laws will change. Move the margins, and you have a new margin.

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