Friday, March 25, 2005

(Updated) Notes to Jackwhispers Readers Concerning Terry Schiavo


Since I stopped posting around the internet a few months back, in order to make more time for this BLOG, I haven't had much that I thought I would need to discuss outside the Mac Business community.

I feel as if it is my duty to discuss the Terri Schiavo situation and ask for your support and insight into the matter.

I am really tired of all the helpless, invalid pictures I have seen circulating of Terri Schiavo ... this is her (disabled and in the same state she remains today) just a few years ago.

The story has been updated for grammar errors and with a few more points. If interested go back and read again. I will continue to update the story as the weekend progresses ... let me know if you find any errors. See the comments section for someone who takes exception to Terri's right to life.

What I don't understand ... why there is any one who is FIGHTING for or giving fodder to the notion ... "Terry should die"!

I am not placing this story in to the FixYourThinking story archives ... so I am pasting the original story here:

I realize this is a major departure from normal content circulating the Mac News web. I'm not writing this story for attention to this site. I feel as if the Mac Community is betraying Terri Schiavo, in some aspects. With the Mac Community's ability to spread information and assistance quickly, why has no one prominent in our community, or even the technology sector, said something about this?

I will update this story with more eloquence, as I have the time, over the weekend. Please feel free to go to the comments section and give your thoughts about this situation ... maybe I can integrate them into the full, finished story.

Bullet points for us to consider:

• Terry Schiavo's parents could be Mac owners ... if we mobilized to help. I don't know what they use now. Our compassion could be an opportunity and certainly as much good publicity as the Tsunami Relief Effort. (Apple was recognized as being a ringleader in online charity fundraising)

• Instead of providing your opinion for what you think should happen ... what is your opinion on what you would do if this were your daughter or your wife?

• If she were a Catholic (which the parents are devout), asking to be put to death by her husband, if in this state, would go against her religion. The Catholic church could not absolve her. I do not believe this way, but Catholics are pretty clear about the consequences of suicide and assisted suicide.

• If we go by law ... she had no power of attorney in Micheal Schiavo as he was in breach of the contract of marraige (which is a legally binding attainment)

He has two children by another woman = adultery

- He is living in the other woman's house while still legally married to Terri = adultery

- He is common law married to a second woman = polygamy (illegal in Florida)

- He has revoked his rights to carry out any ORAL agreement he may have had with Terri.

• Why hasn't anyone thought of arresting Terri Schiavo? It is illegal to commit suicide, because it is attempted murder. If she told her husband to disconnect her without writing it into a living will ... then it is suicide, possibly even homocide on Mr. Schiavo's part. To make a such a form of death legal ... it MUST BE WRITTEN DOWN and signed by the Power of Attorney related to your estate. A friend of mine works at the local hospital. She says, that after failed suicide attempts complete counseling, therapy, and a hospital stay ... they must appear in front of a judge. Unlike, homicides you are not given a court hearing and arraignment on charges, but you are CONVICTED and it IS placed on your criminal record.

• Some people are saying she is brain dead and can't feel anything ... I find it hard to believe that ANY brain doesn't know it's hungry for sustainance. After all, she saw the feeding tube removed. I have seen recent video where she was brought balloons ... her eyes tracked the balloons and a vague smile went across her face. This says to me; she is aware.

• Some people are also making the argument that we are prolonging her misery by keeping her alive. Wait, if she can't feel anything from the feeding tube being removed, how is she then in misery from being alive.

• If her parents are willing to take care of her and Mr. Schiavo can valiantly say he tried to live out her wishes .. why does he persist? Bill O'Reilly has made this point on his website and other media outlets. I believe this is now just being done out of hate for Terry's parents.

• If scientists found something as alive as Terri Schiavo on Mars we would spend billions, if not trillions to bring it back to earth to study it and keep it alive. Look at all the billions that is flowing in to Mars research since scientists found out what they thought might be a single cell organism's remains.

• Concerning judges ... for those that are ON the side of Think Secret, and disagree with the judge's decision that The Powerpage and AppleInsider must reveal the sources of the "Asteroid" leak ... aren't you tired of judges around the country making law? Judges don't make laws ... they are to enforce them. They don't interpret the law; they are to enforce the law. The people vote ... state & federal CONGRESS make laws; not judges.

• Some people argue this falls under the Bill Of Attainder in Artcle I Section 9 of the Constitution.
Bill of Attainder

Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.

There is no punishment, there is no trial involved here.

A law could be made as a result of an individual so that the precedent is set and the problem/burden of the justice system; does not persist.

• Recently, a convicted murderer was taken off death row just hours before his execution. The reasoning was; that at the time of his sentencing, he wasn't capable of understanding that he would die. Terri Schiavo has committed no crime, yet we are letting Mr. Schiavo and activist judges sentence her to death? And not to mention, without putting her to sleep ... just starving her?

• Some in favor of keeping Terri alive say that, "... there is always the possibility she will recover if cared for properly and was under the right supervision." Does that statement remind you of a company we all know and love?

• If one positive thing has come out of this; it is to make sure you have a concise will and testament that includes a living will. It is very important.

Another point to ponder (a little bit of a stretch):

Even a plant will indicate it is in trauma if not fed correctly. Rose bushes will even bend in real time, towards water, if in need. I have watered roses that had not been watered, in a hot dry summer for days, and actually seen them bend completely away from the sun, in real time. They even shook like they were blowing in the wind ... even though the wind was calm. Roses are not considered intelligent beings, but they have immense impact on human emotions at Valentine's Day, they are a part of ecosystems that help us breathe, and they provide purpose. Terri hasn't doesnt provide any purpose?

Is Terri not at the very least; living as rose? Metaphor intended.

Are we so desensitized to the beauty and purpose of life that it takes 100's of thousands to die, such as in the recent tsunami, for us to care? One life isn't just as important as many?

Quoting the Declaration of Independence...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You do not have the right to die ... you do not have the right to kill yourself or take your life. You do not have the right to kill someone or even assist them them to die, even if it is their own choosing.

The reasoning behind this is ... you were born in this country to provide purpose and continuity. You break that covenant by killing someone (or yourself). You also cost our justice system in man power, time, and resources. I'd also point out the unnecessary weight on human hearts; a death has.

Why have no women's rights groups come forward? Why has no corporation with a conscious come forward? Why has NO wealthy doctor, that might want to try an experimental therapy on her, come forward?

FixYourThinking readers, please call your state representatives and tell them you are upset and want Terri to live or at the very least be put to sleep humanely. She isn't even being given the respect of an animal shelter dog at this point.


Anonymous said...

Why I am responding I don't know. I suspect that is largely do to the in appropriate anologies, and lack of understaning around this case.

First of all, Florida law does not state that it must that there must be a written document requesting that life support mechanisms be removed or stopped in the case where it is deamed that the individal is in a vegetative state. If this was the case, there would be no case. The legal question that the Florida courts were do decide was whether there was sufficient evidence to show that Terry Schiavo had expressed such wishes. It is not suicide, at least in a legal sense. I recognize that the Catholoic church has deamed this as suicide, but Florida and the rest of the nation is not governed by Vatican law.

There is a difference between your beliefs and scientific knowledge. Those with scientific knowledge state that persons in persitent vegetative states would not feel hunger. There is a difference between this and physiological deterioration, which is certainly a response to starvation.

Mr. Schiavo is trying to follow the wishes of his wife. You can argue that there is some disagreement over what her wishes were, but if he believes that he is following his wife's wishes, then allowing her parents to take over would be breaking that promise. Period.

The Mars analogy is simply foolish.

The courts, by no definition, are not making law in this case. They are interpreting the law. That is , they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. If they disregarded Florida law and let her parents take over her care, then they would be writing law. The law in Florida states that if someone expresses that they do not wish to be kept alive in conditions such as Terry Schievo's then they can be removed from life support at the request of family members. And in this case, the Husband has the power over any other family memer. This is the law. And Federal law stipulates that this is a state matter. Now, the U.S. Congress has attempted to adjudicate this case, and overstepping federal law by requiring federal courts to intervene. Why aren't you complaining about Congress adjudicating law instead of writing it? Or even better, a heart surgeon diagnosing a nuerological condition by watching a video tape. Isn't that overstepping Mr. Frisk's responsibilities?

Terry Shiavo is not being sentenced to death. Although I am not sure how you can say this and also say that she was trying to committ suicide. Are, then, murderers committing suicide when they committ capitol crimes in states with the death penalty? Agian, this is not a case of an activist judge, or in this case several judges on 11 courts (indluding the Supreme Court), deciding the fate of an individual. They made a judgement that Mrs. Schiavo decided her fate when she expressed her will to be removed from life support if she were in such a situation.

There can be arguments made that Mr. Schiavo is lying about his wife's wishes. There can be general arguments regarding the use of life saving measures, and what is the definition of life. However, much of the points you raised are illogical and inappropriate. You say that this is both a case of suicide and a death sentence. You claim that this is an example of activist judges making law, when in fact that this is a text book example of courts staying away from writing laws, and instead trying to follow the law. This point is the one I have the biggest issue with. You can disagree with the decision, or I should say the decision of several courts on this matter. But your argument against these decisions shows a lack of understanding about the rule of law, and the concept of adjudication.

FYT said...

Thank you for your opinion.

I would argue though that your points are lost by the way you argue ... putting me (the writer) down in your statements.

Do you agree that if Terry Schiavo was found on Mars it would be miracle? Would we not spend billions trying to make her life the most significant find in human history? Why is this life, as it is on this planet, any less of a life?

The religious argument is a valid one. If she were a Catholic, asking to be put to death by her husband if in this state, would go against her religion. The Catholic church could not absolve her. I do not believe this way, but Catholics are pretty clear about the consequences of suicide and assisted suicide.

Those with scientific knowledge state that persons in persitent vegetative states would not feel hunger. There is a difference between this and physiological deterioration, which is certainly a response to starvation.

Scientists know nothing because they have never spoken to someone and heard them give first hand account of how they feel. Scientists know very little about the brain when it comes to coma ... nor could they ever know ... that is ... until the breakthrough of reading minds comes about.

Mr. Schiavo is trying to follow the wishes of his wife. You can argue that there is some disagreement over what her wishes were, but if he believes that he is following his wife's wishes, then allowing her parents to take over would be breaking that promise. Period.

Why didn't she tell her parents these wishes if they were so important to her - wouldn't you? I have.

I think Mr. Schiavo should have to take a lie detector test on this matter.

But honestly, this a moot point. If Terry's parents are offering to take care of her and PROPERLY rehabilate her to give her a chance at new feeling and new life, Mr. Schiavo has no say.

Question: would you let some man who has been shacking up with a woman, depriving your child of proper care, KILL your daughter by starvation?

Why is this any different from a negilence claim?

Again, I do appreciate your opinion, but your next comment will be deleted if you can't play by the rules of this BLOG.

Anonymous said...

I did not mean put your down, and I don't feel that I did. However, I should have elaborated my comment regarding the Mars analogy. Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent on heroic measures to maintain life for individuals such as Terri Schiavo. However, this purpose is much different from the purpose of pursuing evidence of life on other planets. The purpose for trying to find life on other planets is not done for humanitarian purposes, is it is done with patients, but instead to further our knowledge about life. Given the difference in purpose, the analogy falls apart. It is also not useful in the sense that millions are spent on patients in to keep them alive, whatever your definition of life. Thus, it does not work.

As for scientific knowledge regarding feeling, nuerologist study brain activity and know what areas of the brain are used for different purposes, such as cognition, hearing, maintaining bodily functions, etc. They study brain imagery and assess how the brain reacts to different stimuli. They don't have to read the mind, they instead watch it respond using advanced imagery techniques. So they do have an understanding about how the brain works when we are "feeling", compared to how the brain responds to pain and other stimuli.

In regards to your religious argument, the question regards whether she requested that she kept alive, that is all that matters, even if it goes against her religious faith. Agian, if this was not her request, then that is another story. The state, however, should not intervene and say that "hey, you are a Catholic, so we will not let you make a decision that goes against her faith." Just as it would be wrong for the state to invalidate a decision by someone who stated that what ever measures necessary should be done to keep them alive based on their religious beliefs, it would be wrong for the state to invalidate a decision because it appears to be contrary to their faith. If it was her decision, then it was hers to make, and no one else's.

I don't know why she did not inform her parents of her wishes. Maybe she was afraid that they would disapprove. Maybe she never had a chance. Just because she did not tell them does not mean that she did not express this to her husband. Afterall, a similar claim could be made that she had told them, but her parents did not acknowledge this because it went agaist their beliefs. Several courts have decided on this matter. And while the public can never know for sure, it is not up for the public to decide. It is between her and her familiy. And because there is a difference between the family members, the courts had to intervene. I don't know the nature of the evidence that was presented at the several hearings, but apparently it was effective.

The fact the Mr. Schiavo is now with another woman also does not change the legal issues of this case, nor does it necessarily invalidate his decision morally. He believes that his wife is no more, so he moved on. This does not mean that he did not love her, just that he has moved on. And even if her parents will offer to care for her, it still goes against her wishes, according to him. Also, several medical experts have concluded that she has no hope of recovery. That is the hole point of the decision to remove the feeding tube. Senator Frisk did not conduct a proper medical evaluation, so his testimony on the Senate floor is mute. The doctor that Jeb Bush found also did not conduct a proper medical evaluation, at least not up to court standards. As far as I know, all the doctors that have have concluded that she will not recover.

The only two questions to be addressed her are whether she did express the will that she not be kept on life support under such conditions, and whether she is in a persistent vegetative state. Since she did not write a living will, we will never know the answer to the first question, and all the doctors that conducted thorough medical evaluations have concluded that she cannot recover. Now while medical science is not perfect, there is a wealth of knowledge in this area, including how the brain works in regards to cognition and feeling.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to clarify a point in regards to her parents offering to care for her. If she left a living will, would they be allowed to care for her against her wishes? Again, if this was her wish, then her parents do not have a right to act contrary to it.

And one more thing. The final comment on my first point was not meant to be an insult. It was a reponse to the comments regarding activist judges. Judicial activism, or judge made law, arises when courts make decisions that clearly have statutory effects. The Roe v. Wade decision could be construed as such since the decision stated that the right to abortion was based on a right to privacy, which is not expressly stated in the Constitution, only inferred in several amendments. In this case, the courts we asked to make a decision about whether there was evidence that Terri Schiavo expressed the wish that she not be kept alive, and whether she is in a persisten vegetative state. The decisions did not create law, they applied the law to this particular case. This is adjudication, not legislating. The U.S. Congress said that she was not recieve due process, and forced the case into the federal courts. In other words, they adjudicated in this matter.

FYT said...

By making sure to drop Republican names ... it sounds like this is somewhat of a political issue to you ... do you feel Terry should die because Republicans are supporting her right to life.

Let me make it clear by quoting the Declaration of Independence...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You do not have the right to die ... you do not have the right to kill yourself or take your life. You do not have the right to kill someone or even assist them them to die, even if it is their own choosing.

The reasoning behind this is ... you were born in this country to provide purpose and continuity. You break that covenant by killing someone (or yourself). You also cost our justice system in man power, time, and resources. I'll also mention the unnecessary weight on human hearts a death has.

The point of the Mars argument is simple ... why is life somewhere else that may or may not be actual life at all ... more important than any life that we KNOW is alive here? Placing importance on the study of life over the existence of life is hard to justify.

Again, what scientists can analyze and what they know are two different things. One synapse firing could be entire dream ... dead people have minute brain activity such as very low electrical activity for hours, sometimes days after pronounced dead.

The fact the Mr. Schiavo is now with another woman also does not change the legal issues of this case, nor does it necessarily invalidate his decision morally. He believes that his wife is no more, so he moved on.

I'm sorry, but he is STILL married to Terry. He has cheated on her ... he has broken the the sanctity of marraiage and therfore loses the rights a husband has ... in my opinion.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Of course this is a political issue. It is about who has the right to make certain decisions, including individuals, legislatures, exectutives and judges. I mention Republicans because certain Republicans have made it their cause. Other Republicans dispise what is going on because it goes against their conservative ideals regarding indvidual rights and the role of the federal government, especially in state matters as well as matters of faith.

Okay, the Declaration of Independence is not the law of the land, the Constitution is. As for the right to die, several states have created such a right under certain conditions, and they have not been deamed unconstitutional. Of course, if they were, then it would have had to been done by activist judges.

Now, in this case, what is costing the legal system is those who are fighting against this issue, which is not the same as court costs on murder. I know that some believe that this case is murder, but that is not the law. Remember, judges are to apply the law. If people want to change the law not to allow people to decide to not recieve medical care to keep themselves in certain states, such as persistent vegetative states, then they should go through the legislative process, right?

I understand that you have an issue with Mr. Schiavo's actions regarding getting involved with another woman, but his wife slipped away 15 years ago. And if he divorced her he could not follow through with his wife's wishes. In the end, this is a matter of law, and the Law says that he has the authority to make the decision he has in regards to following through with his wife's wishes.

Back to the Mars example, it is still for another purpose. And again, billions are spent on lives here. However, it is misplaced to measure the value of life in this matter. The purpose of looking for life on other planets is not to save it, while the purpose for spending money on health care is. Different purposes, different values. And even in the matter of health care, would you say that we differentiate between individuals value of life due to the differences in money spent on health care for different individuals?

As for science, knowledge is the whole purpose. While you are right about the difference between observation and knowledge, scientific methods help to match the two. And electrical activity after death does not necessarily mean mental activity, it is simply molecular activity. The science in this matter regards whether the parts of her brain that deal with cognition and memory are functioning, and whether there is hope that they will function again. Doctors, who have more knowledge then lay people, have said no to both. This is a matter for experts to decide.

This is a matter that people have a lot of opinions about, as well as a great deal of moral conviction. That is why this is a matter for the courts. This matter has been exhaustively reviewed by individuals with both the legal authority and expertise to make the decision. What ever decision is made, it is sure to offend some people, and be an afront to their
beliefs. Again, that is why we have a legal system. My interest in this matter is the political response, and concern for the system which I feel is being high jacked for ideological purposes, as well as good old media hype.

Anonymous said...

Let me directly respond to the question of whether I think Terri (with an i not a y) should die because Republicans have intervened on behalf of her parents. That is offensive. I have political beliefs, but I would never think that someone should die because it would offend members of a certain party. I mentioned Senator Frisk because I feel that he missued his authority as a doctor to claim authority on this matter, and he abused his power by intervening in both a state matter and a judicial matter. I mention Governor Bush because he is trying to overstep his executive power, and is trying to justify it by shopping for a doctor who will support him, and again did not give a thorough medical evaluation to come to his conclusion. My issue is with the rule of law, and matters of medical expertise. The two individuals, I believe, have no respect for both in regards to this matter, and several Republicans also agree.

FYT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FYT said...

I'll definitely go along with media hype part of your last comment.

What I don't go along with is leaving the courts to decide .. in my opinion ... a democracy is what the majority decide. Judges are unelected politicians ... they do not represent me and in most cases ... they do not represent the majority.

Granted ... the majority do not understand the law ... but ... neither do the majority of judges.

I gave the declaration of independence, not as an example of law, but as an example of what our forefathers thought the world should know abouthe citizens of our country ... one "thing to know" was ... we are here to live and provide purpose.

And for argument sake ... the constitution is restrictions on the government and government control of the people ... not a granting of any certain rights ... after all ... any constitutional grant can be revoked or ammended at ANY time the government sees fit.

Anonymous said...

Okay, let's quote some law.

"nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"

This is from the 14th amendment of the constitution. This clause shows that the law of the land allows for the taking of life, as long as due process of the law is followed. That is the legal matter of this case.

Jack, on legal grounds, you have not made a persuasive argument. I am not sure that one can be made.

On medical grounds, scienfic evidence is what is required to make a persuasive argument. Again, in this matter, doctors have presented a wealth of evidence regarding her state of consciousness and her ability to recover.

You can make a moral argument for her life. A moral argument can also question the laws governing this matter. And, there is legal precedence regarding over turning laws deamed to be morally reprehesible, but those are rare. Heck, we had slavery for a long time. Nevetheless, a moral argument can be made for her life. There are also moral arguments for the romoval of the tube.

Again, the basis for the Mars argument is one of morality. But the logic in that argument then would lead to a conclusion that we should not spend money on matters unless it can be shown that lives can be saved. Nevertheless, in this matter it is not the cost of her care. Medical malpractice regarding her misdiagnosis is paying for her care.

Moral arguments on this issue can lead to legislation to govern the broad issue about the maintainence of life, but the fact of the matter decision to remove Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube was guided by law and medical science.

FYT said...

The best argument against keeping Terri Schiavo alive:

Talk show host Neal Boortz.

"Do you believe that the human soul can make the transition to everlasting life while the human body that carried that soul through life clings to life on this earth? If you do, then you must surely believe that Terri Schiavo has earned and is already enjoying her reward in heaven. That being the case, why is it so important to you that the now-unneeded body of Terri Schiavo is kept alive?

"But perhaps you believe, as I do, that the human soul is so connected to and integrated with its earthly body that any transition will not be made until that body ceases functioning -- until death occurs.. That being the case, why do you so ardently desire that the soul of Terri Schiavo spend five, ten, perhaps 30 years or more trapped in a useless and non-functioning body, unable to move on to whatever reward awaits her? Isn’t 15 years enough?"

I still say, if we turn this in to a religious issue, God has purpose for all life, no matter how small or how we define it. Look at the amazing statements Terri is making without saying anything. Look at the amazing contribution she is giving to will and testament and living wills. Look at the contribution to debate of this issue she is almost standing up at a podium and delivering herself!

Anonymous said...

Judges are not supposed to represent the majority, they are supposed to represent the law. And if this issue was a matter of majority beliefs, then polls suggest that the majority of the public believes that the feeding tube should be removed, and that the Congress overstepped their authority, and took adavantage of the case for political purposes in order to advance pro-life issues.

Our founders did not create a pure democracy where the majority rules. They created a representative sytem with checks against majoritarian rule. This is the rule of law that governs our nation. This is the rule of law the the courts have followed in this matter.

Are you saying that we should do away with the court system? Maybe we can have all cases decided by instant polls given during the evening news.

FYT said...

Those were some good points but let me clarify for you:

1) The rules of this forum are clear - you can't put me down - because no form of insult is relevant to any discussion here at Jackwhispers.

2) My name is not Jack. Jackwhispers is a play on HiJack/Jacked & Mac. My name is Philip.

3) Your arguments lose a little persuasiveness by their repetitive nature, by the "you can't debate intellectually" comments, and to me; the political charge of your comments.

4) Please sign your comments with a unique signature if you wish to remain anonymous so I can know that I am responding to the same person

Thank you for participating ... this is a tough issue ... I think it's good to talk about it.

The only thing I am a little confused about is ... why so many people want her dead.

Anonymous said...

I am responding to your argument, it is not personal. I only mentioned what I thought was your name, becuase I feel that it is proper, it is not intended to be an attack on you. I don't believe that I have insulted you, or at least I have not intended to, I simply disagree with you and your arguments.

I have brought up points repeatedly because I don't think that your argument addressed them, and I was responding to your points which you bring up again, such as the Mars argument, or whether judges have overstepped their boundaries on this issue. I have argued why I don't think they have, you have basically said you disagree with them and labeled them as being activists and that they are legislating on the bench without giving evidence for such claims. I see how you might disagree with their decision, but I don't see how you can say that they are activists in this sense, nor have you presented evidence that most judges do not know law. Court decisions are certain to offend someone due to the fact that they always deal with two sides. Just because they make a decision that is unpopular does not mean they do not know law.

MInd you, I have never said I wanted her dead, and just because someone sides with Micheal Schiavo on this matter does not mean they want her dead. In fact, for many they feel that she already is. As the quote above states, many people feel that her soul is trapped, and should be freed. As I said, there is a moral argument for removing her feeding tube, it is not based on wanting her dead.

Good night,


Anonymous said...

I never said that you can't debate intellectually. I guess I should completely read your posts before I post, since I really wanted to get out the door.

You've brought up a point of view. I disagree with the premise of many of your arguments. I broke it down into three types of arguments, legal, medical and moral. I content that there is room for moral arguments, but I am certainly open for legal and medical arguments.

I am not sure why you are saying that my arguments are politically charged. I suspect that you mean ideolicially charged. I have pointed out that Republicans can both argu for and against the issue of removing Schiavo's tube. Again, I question how political power is being used, but so are you.

Good night again,


FYT said...

Ok, thanks for following the guidelines ... and I want to make clear that you have provided good debate here ... but you can dispense with the invalid arguments or uninformed statements.

Here is an example of judges not understanding the law...

Most judges think the 1st ammendment grants a separation of church and state, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press.

You have the right to protest the government as long as you don't infringe on other's sensabilities.

It grants none of these rights or anything that SHOULD HAVE been construed in this way.

The 1st ammendment says (clearly) but put in to different words:

You have the guaranty that the government will not establish a church and enforce that church or its doctrine upon you

You have the right and responsibility to discuss and report abuses of the government

You have the right to communicate with the government directly or as a group

You have the right to picket, march, or rally against the government as long as you repect people's right to privacy and property.

As fir the 2nd ammendment:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

This right has been restricted by judges and politicians who have made it necessary to register guns, banning some guns, restricting where guns can be carried and by whom.

This is what you get when you think the constitution is a living breathing document and is left up for interpretation.

I will say ... judges are to apply and enforce the law not interpret it. Judges, at the time of our forefathers, were ALL essentially mouthpieces for a jury of our peers. As time passed and people stopped being interested in the law due to time constraints and lack of interest ... judges were given new powers to be individual decision makers.

So, when you say judges have power and then say it was our forefather's intentions .... maybe you should research to see if this was our forefather's intent or not.

Anonymous said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

So you are right, the Congress is not to make laws based on a particular faith's beliefs that may infringe upon the belief of ther faiths. Very appropriate for this particular case. And also the premise for the belief that the government should not be involved in matters of the church. You brought up founders' intent by mentioning the declaration of independence. The author of that document had the concept of separation of church and state placed on his tombstone. How's that for intent. The fact of the matter is, law must be intepreted because it cannot be so specific as to deal with every particular instance in which it must be applied. You yourself reworded the amendement, which by definition is an interpretation of the law.

As for the second amendment, the main premise for the allowance of citizens to bear arms is for the maintainence of a militia for the security of a state. The argument in the second amendment was not that there is a natural right to bear arms, but instead that it is necessary for the establishment of a militia to protect the state. It is clearly stated in the amendment. So, it follows that if the purpose of private ownership of guns is to serve as the protection of the state, then the state should be able to regulate gun ownership. Of course, there is an argument that with the creation of a national defense system, the premise of the second amendment is mute.

Marbury v. Madison long ago established the concept of judicial review. Courts had to interpret law because law was vague, which it has to be. That does not mean that courts are free to do what they please. They still have parameters in which they must work under. If Congress did not like the concept of judicial review, they could have pushed for Constitutional amnedment to clarify the role of the courts. Courts apply the law. When the law is not clear, they then must interpret the law. Congress, or the state legilsatures in this case, is free to clarify laws, but they often do not for political reasons. Again, in this case the courts were clearly following the law. The irony here is that it would require an activist court to rule in favor of Terri Schiavo's parents. I say it is an irony because those who disagree with the court decisions in this matter are claiming that the courts making these decisions are activist courts, which they are not. An activist court would disregard Florida law, and federal law, which would mean a decision to reinsert the feeding tube. Instead, they are applying the law that states that if an individual who states the wish not to be kept alive by artificial measures if it is deamed that they can never recover consciounous should not be kept alive. Those who argue that the court should err on the side of life are asking the court to reinterpret law. In other words, asking them to be activist in this matter.

I am not going to argue that courts do not sometimes overstep their boundaries. They do. My argument in this case, however, is that the U.S. Congress oversteped their boundaries.

And I disagree with the contention that judges in the past were simply mouth pieces. Again, Marbury v. Madison long ago established the role of the court in regards to judicial review. Legislation could have corrected this if it was deamed out of step. In the early 20th centrury it was argued that the courts were being activists by over turning legislation favored by FDR. The bottom line is that when individuals or groups disagree with court decisions, they generally claim that they are over stepping their boundaries. However, disagreement is not sufficient to establish that the courts are being activist in action. Again, as I state above, due to the adversarial nature of the judicial process, there is a guarentee of being at least one disgruntled party for any case.

Give me aggregate evidence that courts are effectively the legislators in our land, and I will agree with you. I simply have not been convinced that this is the case. Nor am I convinced that just because of the Terri Schiavo Act that Congress abuses and oversteps its powers. I think that this is the case in this instance, but that is not enough to conclude that this happens in the aggregate.

Anonymous said...

I'm only here after seeing your publicity stunt posted on Slashdot. But this article just irked me. Everything that that woman was is now gone. All the interconecting cells which once made up her thinking and memories are no more.

The whole idea that biological life is sacred in and of itself is absurd. I certainly hope someone would give me dignity if I were in a similar situation rather than letting my body deteriorate in a state of living death.

FYT said...

I have updated the artcile on jackwhispers to directly address Bill Of Attainder arguments.

Bill of Attainder

Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.

There is no punishment, there is no trial involved here.

A law could be made as a result of an individual so that the precedent is set and the problem/burden of the justice system does not persist.

FYT said...

Publicity stunt on slashdot???

FYT said...

Oh my ... I just read through the dozens of emails I have received ... I suspect you think Jack campbell runs this site ... this is why you said publicity stunt on Slashdot ... I just read all that....

Man, I was just out for a while today ... story is forthcoming.

I'm not a fan of Jack Campbell and lately he's been testing my patience.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. Congress Schiavo act was not a bill of attainder, however they went through great pains to insure that it did not set precedent. A version of the bill tried to make a general piece of legislation, however Senate Republican did not want this. So, it was not a matter of setting precedent, it was a matter of them making a decision about a court decision. They stated that they did not feel that Terri recieved her due process right. They did not argue that the courts had over stepped their boundaries, they essentially adjudicated this matter by making the decision that due process was not servered. However, this is a matter for courts to decide, and this matter had already gone to the Supreme Court.

In the legislative history of the act showed that it was hoped that the courts would order that the feeding tube be reinserted while the federal courts reviewed, but the legislation simply stated that the federal courts were to consider the case. The biggest constitutional concern here has to do with the 10th amendment separating state and federal matters. This was a state matter, but they interjected the federal government into this matter.

If Congress, or the Florida legislature wants to deal with this, then they need to make a law that either requires written statement from the individual who requests to not be kept alive under certain conditions. Or, they can do what was done in Texas and create a medical review process for these matters, taking the decision away from family matters.


FYT said...

If we go by law ... she had no power of attorney in Micheal Schiavo as he was in breach of the contract of marraige (which is a legally binding attainment)

He has two children by another woman = adultry

He is living in the other woman's house while still legally married to Terri = adultry

He is common law married to a second woman = polygamy (illegal in Florida)

He has revoked his rights to carry out any ORAL agreement he may have had with Terri.

This is law.

You have made some good points in this debate, especially after you dispensed with the put downs to my point of view.

I think the greatest thing to come out of this is that there may be a law passed to say if you don't write it down then it can not be carried out on your behalf if you cannot communicate - for which I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

You should, then, correct where you put in bold that such wishes must be written. It is false in this matter.

Now, while adultery is grounds for divorce, the state does not dissolve the marriage, it is up to the couple to make that decision. I don't know Florida law pertaining to this, but my guess is that since the Schindler's tried this and fail, that his situation does not violate Florida law. That is, it is not a matter of legal definition of polygamy. Again, aldultery is grounds for divorce, that's all. And the courts should not decide otherwise, since they are to apply the law.

Legally, Micheal Schivo is Terri's guardian, and he has authority to make this decision. And, if Terri did request not to be kept in such a situation, then he also has a legal obligation, as well do the courts, legislators, executives and medical providers in this case

I believe that the Schindlers have moral justification for an act of civil disobediance. I would not agree with it, because I also believe that Michael has moral obligation this this matter. That is, a moral obligation to follow through with his wife's wish.

Anonymous said...

Re: the Mars argument

Yes, if a living organism were found on Mars, it would be considered one of the greatest (probably THE greatest) scientific discovery of all time, and much money would be spent studying it.


a) If it were a death row inmate discovered on Mars, it would just as significant as finding Terri Schiavo. Do you then follow your argument and argue against the death penalty?

a) If it were a plant that were found on Mars, it would just as significant. Should we therefore not cut down trees or weed our gardens?

c) If we found a scrap of paper on Mars it would be just as significant. See where this is going?

FYT said...

Yes I do realize the Mars argument was a weak one, but what I am pointing out is the fact that so many people that want her dead or "wish for her to die" are also in the pro abortion camp, against the death penalty, for discovery and propogation of life on other planets, against ecosystem damage - point is - they are contradictory.

The main point I am trying to make with this argument is ... what gives us the right to place priority on life. We know Terri Schiavo is alive. We don't know life exists any where else other than earth ... yet we are willing to give up on her and spend billions upon billions to find life that may or may not exist.

Colin said...

Moral issues notwithstanding, there is also the medical evidence that is not being considered here. Doctors, at Michael's request, have made more than a few extraordinary efforts to bring her out of this state. At this point her cerebral cortex (where we do our cognitive, or any thinking) has atrophied that all that is left is spinal fluid. Now, it is possible that some other part of her brain might have taken over, or what is left could suffice, but this too has been shown to not be the case. There is almost no electrical activity in her brain, even when her 'face lights up' as when seeing a balloon or a familiar face. These are basic motions that the non-conscious brain can undertake - and can do so because she is awake, but not aware.

The little bit of electrical activity that is still occurring was promising some years ago in this case. Michael went so far as to ask that electrodes be implanted to try to jump-start some activity in her brain, something that has shown limited success in other cases. But there was nothing. Even bit of medical evidence shows that the person that was Terri Shiavo no longer exists - all brain activity that can be recognized as human has ceased.

Perhaps her soul may yet be tethered to this broken body. Given my personal beliefs, I struggle with this idea - at what point does it become spiritual murder? But as there is nothing left that can be recognized as aware brain activity - and there hasn't been for 15 year, I would have to say that she died those 15 years ago, and that no amount of expensive waiting can help now. In all likelihood, Terri as a person died 15 years ago, and all that is left is this empty body. Michael has put forth a lot of money and effort to try to bring something back, but that money is almost gone, and nothing has shown any sign of success. As such, he has tried to interpret what her wishes would have been in a case like this, and the court system has agreed. In any case, he is her legal guardian at this point, so the decision falls to him. The ethics of him moving on aside, what would become of this man if he didn't? Always hoping that something would happen, and she would return? All of his money gone, he would eventually have to let her die, unless the state would be willing to pay the enormous cost of her half-life, something i very much doubt.

Your compassion is considerable, but every effort that can be made has been, and has been for the last 15 years.

FYT said...

She isn't even being given the respect of an animal shelter dog at this point.

This is my only gripe at this point ... I just can't believe they are starving her ... even if she can't feel it ...

Thanks Colin for your response

FYT said...

I also want to point out that an autopsy at this point would be very bogus ... starvation in and of itself causes brain detoriation and damage.

Colin said...

I am not certain what you are referring to with an autopsy - They already know her cerebral cortex is gone, replaced by fluid. She is being given pain medication at any sign of discomfort - something she can still express, as any animal and even plants can. This is SOP for someone in her situation, to keep the body as comfortable as possible, as they can feel pain just as any animal can, but no more. As to the starvation, after around 24 hours of no food, the body no longer makes the hunger feeling known as strongly, as sort of a self preservation thing. Just as chronic pain is shut off as it serves no purpose, so in hunger. THere may be some vague sensation, but nothing beyond that. As one who has spent days fasting before, I can vouch for this to a degree - you don't even feel it after a day or so.

She is being hydrated to keep her comfortable also. Any sign of discomfort, dry lips or skin, she is given water, or lotion to help. I am not certain what respect she isn't being given, unless you are referring to the takes that are shown of her daily...

Anonymous said...

It is not about wishing her to die. You say it as though there are a group of people eagerly waiting to smother her with a pillow. And you accused me of wishing for her death becuase I named two Republicans who were pushing for measure to reinsert the feeding tube, when I have not stated my preference for this matter, only my concerns about the rule of law, and how there are moral arguments on both sides. This is a medical deicision based on medical evidence that she no longer has the ability to regain consciousnous. For many people, this does not constitute life. But more importantly, those people who side with Michael Schiavo believe that an individual has the right to make a decision about what should happen to them if they are ever in such a state. It's a belief about the right to die with dignitiy, and that maintaining bodily functions through artificial means goes against those beliefs.

Would it be fair to ask the supporters of her parents want to kill Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer? After all, there have been those who have arrested for offering bounties on both. That does not mean that people on the pro-life side of this debate are pro-death as well. What is sad about this whole affair is the discourse surrounding it. And this discourse often shows a complete lack of respect for the moral value of others. And in addition, it is used for political agendas.

One agenda appears to be an attack on the courts. However, this attack is completely illogical. Those who oppose the courts' decision on this matter have screamed that this is more evidence of activist courts making law. Then in the next breath they plead that the court should take into account moral concerns with deciding on this matter. By definition, they are asking the courts to be activist after bashing the courts for being activist. The law allows for an individual to make this decision, without putting it into writing, and the legal guardian to execute this decision. And again, it is being argued by the Schindlers that the courts should take into consideration that this decision is contrary to her religious beliefs, and they should consider the moral ramifications of it, but again that is also asking the courts to make a decision outside of the boundaries of the law concerning this matter. The Florida legislature did not pass the statute that would require these decisions to be placed in writing, so the courts hands are tied.

Let's have a public debate concerning laws that allow for the expression to have let support removed NOT be written down (you still have this misrepresentation in your story). It is possibly immoral to allow for such a situation do to it creating the kind of grief that it is now. In other words, this can cause grief when survivors disagree about matters such as these.

What about the right to die with dignity? The government does have, according to the constitution, the right to take life as long as there is due process. What was debated appellate courts was whether due process was given. The constitution certainly allows for such a situation, should we amend the constitution prohibiting individuals from making such choices, or leave it up to the state or federal government?

On a final note why the feeding tube was removed instead of some form of euthenasia, that is because euthenasia would cosidered medically assisted suicide. There are laws against that. Laws allow for stopping artificial measures, whether it be feeding tubes or respirators, for keeping a body alive. Again, are there moral issues with this, there sure are. However, medical evidence suggests that removing artificial methods from individuals in a persistent vegetative state does not produce the same pains as it would for an individual with normal, or even below normal brain functions.