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[P]
Terri's tube, morals, lies, and justice

By brettd in Op-Ed
Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 09:33:53 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

For weeks, Terri Schiavo has been featured prominently in local, regional and national news. As many of you know, Terri is a woman who has been in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for approximately 15 years. After an early experimental procedure failed and it became clear (at least to her doctors and husband) that she had no chance of recovery, her husband decided it was time to disconnect the feeding tube. Her parents have tied up the US legal system for roughly a decade with at least thirty legal challenges to "save" their daughter, including three denied requests for the US Supreme Court to review the case. Conducted from a variety of approaches, all of these challenges have failed or been rejected from review.

What follows is a refutation of most of the points (in no particular order) Terri's parents' and various members of the public have used to claim the feeding tube should not be removed (or, rather, at this point, re-inserted) in their dozens of legal challenges and press conferences. Since much of the coverage recently has been on current status and not the history of the case, I've included some quick background information.


Background information
Terri collapsed in her house one morning in 1990, shortly after a fertility-related medical procedure. Some believe the collapse was caused by an interaction between a possible eating disorder and the procedure; in her teens, Terri weighed over 200 pounds, but weighed closer to 120 pounds when she collapsed. Her collapse woke her husband Michael, and she was rushed to the hospital with multiple resuscitations en-route. At the hospital, Terri suffered briefly from comas and seizures, and was initially on a ventilator, but these subsided quickly and the ventilator was removed; however, she remained in a PVS. An experimental treatment was attempted, and failed. Total brain death was clearly evident. Shortly thereafter, and almost 5 years after she collapsed, Michael started the process of having her feeding tube removed, and Terri's parents began the crusade to "save" their daughter's life.

The Florida legislature has attempted to intervene twice before, but has since developed cold feet and is unwilling to commit political suicide with Jeb Bush. Many Florida state legislators, and not just Democrats, see the legislative action as a severe intrusion into individual rights. Republican leaders on a federal congressional level demanded members return to Washington to pass specific legislation allowing further review of her parents case, which was delivered well after midnight to President Bush. Still, two appeals to a federal court that followed have been rejected on the grounds court interference would be a violation of Terri's constitutional rights. A federal judge has issued a strongly worded warning to the governor of Florida not to take Terri into state custody. The state legislature has adjourned for Easter holiday. Though the previous three appeals of the case did not approach justices after going through the federal circuit, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will take the case; most of the justices are strong supporters of state's rights. It appears that most, if not all, options of further appeal have finally been exhausted, and there is a strong chance Terri's body will cease to function in a few days.

The tapes show a woman responding to stimuli
Many legislators have viewed less than ten minutes of selectively provided footage of home movies and concluded that Terri is "cognizant of her surroundings" and is "alive". Tom DeLay stooped to an all-time low calling Florida Judge Greer a "murderer and terrorist" and cited such footage as why he believes Terri is not in a PVS. Only a small handful of legislators have any medical training; as Barny Frank put it, "The caption tonight ought to be: 'We're not doctors, we just play them on C-SPAN.'" Among those who do are the two republican lawmakers who sponsored bill S.686 - Dave Weldon (from Florida), a specialist in internal medicine, and Bill Frist, a cardiologist (note, Dave Weldon's site incorrectly refers to bill S626). Yet some medical professionals have indicated that offering a medical opinion based on viewing a few minutes of videotape and intentional use of their credentials to manipulate public opinion amounts to severe medical malpractice, if not outright unethical conduct. In 1996 a CAT scan showed, according to 2nd District Federal Court ruling, "severely abnormal structure" and that her cerebral cortex is "simply gone and replaced with spinal fluid". EEGs were flatline. Federal judges have ruled, after viewing all of the tapes (there are many, not just the 5-10 minutes her parents have chosen to share with legislators or the media) Terri's reactions are only coincidental. Indeed, grunts, screams, grimaces, and random motions "without purpose" are very characteristic of PVS. All court-appointed doctors have concluded responses are reflexive or without purpose. Most of those in support of the opinion Terri is "alive" have not so much as stepped foot inside her room; of those that have, few have attempted to interact with her or examine her. Dr. Hammesfahr, one of the few doctors to have examined her and concluded she was not in a PVS, has an extremely questionable background. Dr. Cheshire, who has also declared Terri is not in a PVS, also has an axe to grind. Neither doctor has addressed the rather clear evidence provided by the CAT scans and EEGs- nor have Weldon or Frist. Laughably, in a transcript of one of Frist's speeches to the Senate floor on March 17th, Frist reveals his ignorance of PVS: "I mentioned that terry's brother told me that terry laughs, smiles, and tries to speak. Doesn't sound like a woman in persistent vegetative state."

In truth, patients in a PVS do show such symptoms: "Patients in VS can demonstrate behaviours that are associated in non-brain injured individuals with emotional experience, such as crying, grimacing, smiling, or laughing (Royal College of Physicians, 2003). When the patient fulfils diagnostic criteria for VS, these behaviours must reflect subcortical functions and are not indicative of subjective distress. Not surprisingly, this can be difficult for relatives to understand, and many families reasonably perceive these behaviours as signs that the patient is intentionally trying to 'wake up' (Jacobs et al., 1986)." (emphasis added).

Terri has a chance of recovery
After 5 years in a persistent vegetative state, the medical community is in nearly universal agreement that any recovery is impossible. It has been 15 years. Clear, indisputable medical evidence proves she is completely braindead; as Dr. Cranford has pointed out in the Times article cited above, "Her CAT scan shows massive shrinkage of the brain [...] Her EEG is flat - flat. There's no electrical activity coming from her brain." The reason she is still is able to breathe and has autonomic/reflexive responses is not because she is "alive", but because her brain stem is still functioning. There is no consciousness or memory in the brain stem. The brain cannot "grow back"; it can 'reroute' and deal with incredible trauma (albeit at reduced capacity) if enough of the brain is undamaged and still active, but total brain death is permanent.

Removing the tube would be painful or unusual
We wrongly infer from our own intense suffering when we are hungry that Terri must feel this hunger. Most doctors will tell you there's little pain involved and many cognizant patients prefer it. Keep in mind we're also not brain-dead. Because Terri has no active brain tissue left, her body is incapable of 'feeling' pain beyond autonomic responses in the brain stem to stimuli.

It's not moral
Morals certainly enter into the decision, but certainly not your morals, and it's not your decision. Nor is it up to a judge, the legislature, the President, or the Pope. Thus far, only the judicial branch has consistently and clearly recognized it has no right to inject itself into the matter. It is purely the decision of the legal guardian; in this case, Michael, her husband. Multiple challenges by Terri's parents asserting he has self-serving financial motives have failed, as have assertions that he abused her, or that his dating another woman (and having two children with her) invalidates his marriage and hence his right as guardian. While it is doubtful as a Catholic that Terri would approve of his affair and fathering two children out of wedlock- as a Catholic, she could also abhor divorce. It could swing both ways, and it's not our decision.

Speaking of the Pope, last year he said, "The evaluation of the probability, founded on scarce hope of recovery after the vegetative state has lasted for more than a year, cannot ethically justify the abandonment or the interruption of minimal care for the patient, including food and water." One notes the mention of "scarce hope" (in Terri's case, there is zero hope- she simply has no brain left) and "one year" (she's been in a PVS for 15 years). To a certain extent, I agree with his statement. I suspect most medical professionals do as well; one year isn't nearly enough time purely from statistical perspectives, and human life is too important to say "oh, we don't want to wait, sorry", yank the plug, and turn out the lights- simply because it was expensive, emotionally difficult, or what have you. As a K5'er pointed out, there hasn't been any specific comment by the Pope on Terri's case, although a Vatican newspaper condemned the tube removal, and some Vatican officials have strongly condemned judicial decisions to block the tube removal as well. Interestingly, not everyone in the Catholic church agrees; for centuries it has been the church's position that extraordinary measures are not obligatory in prolonging someone's life. This could launch a whole other article, but instead, I'll just link to the Chicago Tribune article instead.

The public is outraged!
Most of the surveys, posed in a variety of ways ranging from "if you were Terri, would you want your feeding tube removed" to "do you support the judge's decision to deny the appeal" and so on- show a public mostly in support of the husband's position and against federal legislative/executive intervention. The percentages drop slightly if you pose these questions to people who identify themselves as conservative Christians. Look really hard at a photo of Terri. Place yourself in that bed. Picture yourself being there for a decade and a half, brain-dead, flailing at random like a fish out of water because you have no brain left, being kept alive by a feeding tube. Your face plastered across the newspapers and TV sets of the world. If that isn't enough to make you run out right now and draw up a living will, I don't know what is.

I suspect most people who are aware of the facts are outraged that the parents won't accept that their daughter's brain is completely dead, that her "reactions" are well documented symptoms of PVS, and the government has been able to inject itself numerous times into what is easily the most private matter a family can face. I strongly suspect that public opinion would swing significantly in favor of the husband if most people simply understood the facts behind the situation, or had the conviction to accept that, in the land of the free, their personal or religious beliefs shouldn't have much bearing on such an intimate matter for another individual.

Terri's husband just wants her money
This argument conjures up images of a bank account flush with millions from malpractice suits and whatnot. After her initial collapse, her husband sued for medical malpractice. Yes, he won. The settlement was for approximately one million dollars, $700,000 of which went to a trust fund for Terri's treatment. $300,000 went to her husband. The $700,000 is mostly gone thanks to over a decade of legal challenges brought by her parents and 15 years of medical care; in 2003 Michael's attorneys said there was about $50,000 left. Terri (and her husband) have little to no money left; her medical bills are currently paid for by Medicare, and the hospice covers her room and board. Michael offered to donate the settlement to charity if her parents agreed to remove the tube. Her parents refused. A businessman recently offered $1M to Michael to give up guardianship of his wife. He refused.

Perversions of government
You can thank your lucky stars that our judicial system stepped in to check the other two branches of the federal government, which have clearly gone berserk. No matter whether you feel "the tube" needs to be put back in or not, I am frightened by the vigor with which members of the legislative and executive branches of our government attempted to force themselves so deeply into such an intimately personal decision by one individual and one family. Further, while faced with a variety of issues of critical importance to the future of millions of Americans, our federal legislators went for a week's vacation. However, for the purpose of "saving" one brain-dead woman, they suddenly found time to jump back on planes to DC and work feverishly into the night. What?

Lessons learned
What is the lesson in all of this for us on a personal level? Write a living will, and talk to your family about your wishes. Terri's wishes are at best unclear since her husband did not immediately reveal a conversation he claimed to have had with her on the subject. If Terri had a living will, chances are better that her wishes would have been observed, and she would have lived or died with far more dignity and privacy than she has. If her living will had indicated a desire to terminate care, her parents would have possibly been more easily able to come to terms with the death of their daughter, her family might be able to speak to each other, and she would have died, with far more dignity and peace, over a decade ago. It's not her fault, certainly- facing our own mortality can be extremely difficult, especially if you have a spouse or children. Given the stakes, the effort seems worth it.

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Related Links
o calling Florida Judge Greer a "murderer and terrorist"
o bill S.686
o incorrectl y refers to bill S626
o EEGs
o extremely questionable background
o has an axe to grind
o transcript of one of Frist's speeches to the Senate floor on March 17th
o do show such symptoms
o there's little pain involved and many cognizant patients prefer it
o Chicago Tribune article
o mostly in support of the husband's position and against federal legislative/executive intervention
o Also by brettd


Display: Sort:
Terri's tube, morals, lies, and justice | 433 comments (379 topical, 54 editorial, 0 hidden)
Republicans are hypocrites (2.25 / 12) (#15)
by pHatidic on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 09:39:07 PM EST

They claim they are about strengthening marriage, but then why are they taking the rights away from the family to make end of life decisions? I guess a strong marriage is only important if the married couple are Republican fundamentalists.

Oh puh-lease (1.20 / 5) (#104)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:24:16 PM EST

If you paint in broad enough strokes, any group can be made hypocritical.

Liberals support a right to choose death in many cases except as a punishment of horrific crimes--arguably the only case in which someone does deserve death. So, I guess we can choose for the innocent to die while the guilty get a lifetime of free food.

Now that I think about it though if liberals are against capital punishment because there's always a remote possible doubt about worthiness of its application, shouldn't they be defending Terri's life on the same basis? I'm actually surprised that both liberals and conservatives haven't united a bit better on this one.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
except (none / 1) (#119)
by pHatidic on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:44:30 PM EST

being liberal just means you support a faster rate of change in government whereas Republicans are an actual group who get together to bloc their votes.

[ Parent ]
The irony of today's Political Parties... (none / 0) (#206)
by spectra72 on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:30:32 PM EST

The irony of today's Political Parties is that the people that *actually* get elected usually bear no resemblance to what they are supposed to represent. We get Conservatives (Republicans) who aren't really Conservative and Liberals (Democrats) who aren't really Liberal. The most conservative President of the last 12 years was actually Clinton and the Democratic candidate in the 2004 election only differed from the President in that he'd "do the same, but better". A supposed conservative President and Congress go whole hog with outrageous spending, even on social programs, and they run roughshod over the State vs Federal system of division of power. The supposed liberal party has yet to nominate a Presidential candidate fully in support of Gay Marriage and the full decriminalization of at least soft drugs (weed for example). They haven't nominated a woman, nor a minority for President or Vice-President since 1984.

[ Parent ]
thank you... (none / 0) (#427)
by mikelist on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:13:52 AM EST

"Liberals support a right to choose death in many cases except as a punishment of horrific crimes--arguably the only case in which someone does deserve death. So, I guess we can choose for the innocent to die while the guilty get a lifetime of free food."

We all deserve to die, the manner in which we do so is up to God (presuming his existence), ourselves, and external forces beyond our control (might refer to god on this one, as well). I'm ambivalent about capital punishment, I don't disagree (or strongly agree) with the punishment but I have doubts about the way it is given out.

[ Parent ]

no (none / 0) (#259)
by eraserewind on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:00:46 AM EST

So are they also hypocritical because they don't allow fathers to starve their children either? After all, it's a family decision, and food and childcare is expensive.

Whether you agree with them or not people who oppose letting her starve oppose do it because they consider her to be alive. It's not hypocritical at all.

[ Parent ]

Terri and the Medically Needy Program (none / 0) (#275)
by numike on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 02:16:30 PM EST

terri is in the same medically needy program as i am down here in florida

we are hoping that the attention that terri is receiving will focus on the medically needy program and our fight to save it

thank you

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/0,,SB111162674657988316-jIRA1ASVoX5kjzRV01R cNs5CkvU_20050423,00.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top


[ Parent ]

i will vote against this article, and this is why: (1.14 / 14) (#25)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:56:29 PM EST

to the extent that the right wing can force americans into debating what is fundamentally not our concern, they have made us recognize a certain communal aspect to decisions like this one -- a communal aspect that they have created and has not properly existed before recently. that is to say, the mere act of discussing it is ceding a piece of our independence.

i can understand the daily kos's and other liberal outlets' posture of attempting to make this cost the right as much as it possibly can. i can appreciate that. but i don't think that in an at least nominally non-partisan forum that mere opining has any redeeming value. rather, it falls under the rubric outlined above.

you may think you are opposing the right wing agenda by speaking out on this issue, but any discussion that does not focus solely on how far out of the mainstream these objections are coming from and how out of touch and ghoulish certain politicians have become -- and, of course, what an affront this entire matter is to the dignity of the american public -- is not something to encourage.

one must always remember that in every "no," there is an element of "yes." that is crucial to understanding the tactics of right wing social engineers like the ones we see at work here.


rmg: comments better than yours.

questions (1.50 / 2) (#29)
by brettd on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 11:55:48 PM EST

a)what does your opinion have to do with whether an -opinion- article should be posted?  I know "posting to K5" isn't some god-given right, but how is it fair to reject an opinion article because you don't like the opinion?  It doesn't strike me that the purpose of voting process on an opinion piece is to make sure articles conform to some sort of K5 groupthink.

b)Why did you post this during the edit phase, when it's not finished?

I have counterpoints to some points you've presented, but shucks, it'll have to wait (if the article is posted), since this is the edit phase...

[ Parent ]

if you have counterpoints to what i've suggested, (1.20 / 5) (#30)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 11:58:36 PM EST

i'll have to log into another account and vote against this twice.

quite simply, you are assenting to the idea that this is an issue for public consumption when it is not. anything short of violently rejecting that notion is counterproductive.

i believe this and my previous post completely answer your question.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Reframing the debate (2.00 / 3) (#33)
by curril on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:23:34 AM EST

It sounds like you have been reading Don't Think of an Elephant. While you are correct in pointing out the danger of allowing conservatives to set the topic under discussion, I disagree with your belief that the article should only address the outlandish political aspects of the issue if it addresses it at all. What is important is to reframe the debate using conservative values but towards a different conclusion. Instead of arguing "Right to live" or "Right to die", moral or immoral, argue against Federal intervention in state decisions, smaller government, etc. Conservative values are far more effective in undermining conservative positions than progressive values.

The author's piece does a good job of not focusing on the liberal "right to die" value, but rather on the interventionist and policy-breaking practices of the right. He also does a good job of setting some facts straight, which further weakens the fundamentalist's stance. Thus you should vote for the article if you really think that a K5 article has any relevance in the current political tug-of-war.

[ Parent ]

no, i think lakoff's book is crap. (none / 1) (#35)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:46:30 AM EST

the book on this subject that i like best is called ambiguities of domination by lisa wedeen. i also like discipline and punish, though it has a decidedly different flavor.

it's not about framing the debate. it's about whether you're going to have the debate at all. or more to the point, whether there even is a debate. what you need is a clearer understanding of what power is in this context and how it operates.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Still debating... (none / 1) (#46)
by curril on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:05:53 AM EST

So, in the context of Wedeen's and Foucault's perspectives, you are saying that the current administration is using the debate over Terri's fate to perpetuate the belief that it should have the power to intervene. Arguing that the administration shouldn't intervene in this particular case only reinforces the norm that it can intervene and possibly should intervene in other situations. You oppose any discussion that does not focus strictly on denouncing the administration's perception that it has been granted the authority to intervene if it so chooses.

This is a valid point. But my point still stands. There are many people on the conservative side of the fence who believe that the government should intervene in this case. They are not going to change their minds if you don't engage them, or if you just tell them that they are wrong. Such an approach simply validates or further entrenches their position. But by engaging them, by showing them with their own values why intervention is wrong in this case and in general, you can undermine their willingness to accept the norm that the administration has been granted the power to intervene.

I am not saying that brettd's article is a perfect foil to the conservative power games with this issue. But is close enough for a forum like K5, and I believe that you are mistaken in suggesting that he should not even post it if he truly wishes to oppose the administration on this subject.

[ Parent ]

12%. (3.00 / 3) (#62)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:17:00 AM EST

about 12% of the population believes they have any standing here. they do not need to be convinced. 12% of the population probably also believes the world is flat -- probably the same 12%.

the question is not one of intervention. we already know that the government has no right to intervene. absolutely everyone is aware of that, except perhaps that 12%, including the administration itself. what's on the table is in fact the idea that there is some communal standing in cases like this. it's the very idea that a public discussion about something like this can even exist.

no one, particularly in the government, believes in this crap. they are using it to erode the independent spirit of americans. engaging this as an issue rather than a behavior on the part of the right is assenting to the real proposition at stake here. the republicans know they cannot win this. that is how you know that such is not their goal.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

It's a crazy idea (1.50 / 2) (#53)
by Gruntathon on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 06:07:19 AM EST

But it might just work.

Still, I am sometimes curious as to what the society these right wing social engineers are creating will end up like.

Or what tactics they may start using when we start ignoring them.
__________
If they hadn't been such quality beasts (despite being so young) it would have been a nightmare - good self-starting, capable hands are your finest friend. -- Anonymous CEO
[ Parent ]
living wills (2.72 / 11) (#36)
by horny smurf on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:47:32 AM EST

nice (and sane) article.

Living Wills are overrated though.

  1. They don't cover every imaginable situation
  2. Medical advances after the will is drawn can change expected outcomes (and your opinion of how you would want the situation handled).
  3. A recent study showed that doctors/family ignore them around 60% of the time
Durable power of attorney, though, allows someone else to make an informed (and non ambiguous) decision based on the actual incident, current medical practives, expected prognosis, etc.

how to defeat social conservatives (2.26 / 19) (#37)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:06:06 AM EST

give them some rope, and let them hang themselves

what i love is how social conservatives are alienating themselves from other conservatives in their effort to make a point with this poor braindead woman

how?

they just passed a law, and their own braindead president signed it, rushing back from his vacation to do so, that tramples all over states rights

conservatives in the us are solid federalists: they do NOT like the federal government coming in and stepping on the legal turf they reserve for the states in their mind

to a solid conservative, the power of the federal government should be small, and the states should decide most matters individually, and it's ok for state laws to differ dramatically from one state to the next on social issues

however, with the case of this braindead woman, the social conservatives have just railroaded states rights: they didn't like what the state of florida decided, so they came in and tried to assert federal power to make things go their way

the result?

social conservatives are alienating themselves from other conservatives, and potentially setting up legal precedents that might work against them in the future

stupid morons: shooting themselves in the foot

social conservatives are always whining and moaning about "activist" judges

and so here they are hypocrites on that point in two ways:

  1. they are being the biggest "activists" on a social cause you can imagine, and judicially tweaking the forums more than any "activist" liberal ever could or would (and in such a situation, you can bet the fucking social conservatives would be screaming bloody murder if a liberal ever attempted to pull the kind of activist federal stepping all over states rights bullshit they are pulling now)
  2. they are setting legal precedents so that in the future, about other causes they care about like abortion or stem cell research, they can't say the federal government doesn't have a right to intervene in states rights (unless they wear their transparent hypocrisy on their sleaves... oh who am i kidding, of course they do, they'll complain about it, and this poor braindead woman and the bullshit they tried to pull with her will be long forgotten... stupid assholes)
so let the fucking morons hang themselves

what are we seeing across the usa? an awakening among the general populace about the power grabs asshole social conservatives who wish to have the government intrude upon your personal life are trying to make

people now are going in massive numbers to lawyers and writing living wills making sure the fucking social conservatives who want the us government to decide your personal matters and intrude on them don't mess with their private life should they ever wind up in the awful predicament this braindead woman is

and so people are also awakening to exactly what social conservatives are made of, and reexamining where they stand, and realizing that what these people stand for isn't in line with the general populace

i mean, do you think any social conservatives actually care about this woman the way they treat her like a political football? dignity and respect for life my ass!

so in a social conervative's mind, quantity of life is more important than quality of life?

stupid morons, let them destroy themselves with their own bullshit ;-)

so, again: how do you defeat a social conservative?

give them some rope, they'll hang themselves

(snicker)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

What states right? (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by godix on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:16:05 AM EST

they just passed a law, and their own brain dead president signed it, rushing back from his vacation to do so, that tramples all over states rights

Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution:

"The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish"

A valid argument can be made that Congress is perfectly within it's Constitutional powers to have this type of case sent to the federal courts. Congress actually acted rather cleverly here. A state can not violate someones right of due process and the federal review is on if Terri's due process rights were violated, NOT on the actual issue of who decides the tubes should be pulled on a brain dead person and when. Granted, the end result of this clever legal wrangling is that the federal courts decided her rights haven't been violated so they have no reason to intervene. Not quite the result Congress wanted but regardless of that I haven't seen Congress or the President act unconstitutionally in this case. Besides, states rights has been dead since Lincoln so it's little more than a legal loophole anymore. Compared to some things out there this is a pretty trivial 'trampling' of states right.

Flordias politicians on the other hand have just made themselves a mockery. Trying to call Terri as a witness before a hearing was just a joke, and one in poor taste at that (granted, it was kinda funny to mentally picture that hearing if they succeeded.)

so in a social conervative's mind, quantity of life is more important than quality of life?

Given their typical stance about abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide then I'd have to say yes, that's exactly what goes on in a social conservatives mind.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
i'm not arguing on any of that (3.00 / 4) (#52)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:46:06 AM EST

i'm simply stating that from a CONSERVATIVE'S pov, what the social conservatives have done is in direct contradiction to the conservative's loathing of feds interfering with the states

of course congress is within it's powers

but what congress did with terri is not in the boundaries of what conservatives have stated time and time again that they are comfortable with when it comes to the feds interfering with matters on the state level

so it sucks to be a social conservative: they not only lost their kick-it-to-the-federal-courts gambit, but they also pissed off their other conservative brethren, and alerted the average american joe about the true colors of social conservatives: social conservatives don't respect your personal matters, social conservatives think the government should run your private life: they don't trust you to run your private life as you see fit... you can't be trusted on abortion, you can't be trusted on euthanasia, you can't be trusted on what goes on in the bedroom (homosexuality)

social conservatives are hanging themselves, because they are showing themselves that when it comes to choosing between an intrusive government and letting people decide their own personal lives, they'd rather have an intrusive government

stupid prying assholes


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

However (3.00 / 4) (#235)
by michaelp on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 02:11:45 AM EST

The Constitution applied to federal powers to establish z federal judiciary for deciding matters of federal law. This wouldn't contravene the right of state's judiciary's from dediding on issues within the state, in the early days federal left most all issues of personal law to the states.

The 14th changed this but only in cases where state laws allowed unequal treatment of certain groups or failed to provide the same protections for citizens as federal law.

There is no evidence of that here, hence the federal govt. should have no (legal) authority. In fact, passing a federal law specifically to make a special case for a single person, a law that does not set a precedent for similar people in similar situations, would be about the opposite of the letter and intent of the 14th.
 

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]

You forgot to mention (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by Gruntathon on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 06:19:00 AM EST

How pissed off many politicians must have been about being called back from vacation.

There may be a grudge of huge cumulative proportions built up against them for that.
__________
If they hadn't been such quality beasts (despite being so young) it would have been a nightmare - good self-starting, capable hands are your finest friend. -- Anonymous CEO
[ Parent ]
Getting sick of this whole thing. (1.83 / 12) (#40)
by Kasreyn on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:51:31 AM EST

So fucking sad.

I'm also curious how Mr. DeLay thinks doctors in Florida are "medical terrorists". Who are they terrorising? I'm more inclined to think that someone who bombs an abortion clinic to make Baby Jesus smile is closer to being a "medical terrorist". :P


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Hey, watch it. (none / 0) (#130)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:21:46 AM EST

Make your points but stop sounding like a kid who's still pissed off that mommy and daddy made him go to  Sunday School.

[ Parent ]
I don't think... (none / 0) (#143)
by kcidx on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:09:52 PM EST

...that it was sunday school that was pissing him off. I think it's the blantant hypocracy in Mr. Delay, and indeed, much of the religious right.

[ Parent ]
It's not why he's pissed off (none / 0) (#168)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:14:36 PM EST

that prompted my comment.

[ Parent ]
So I don't have a right to be pissed off (none / 0) (#301)
by Kasreyn on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:33:56 PM EST

that soldiers from my country are busy dying in an illegal occupation I didn't want but am paying for, against *real* terrorists, while pandering gutless moral vacuums like DeLay walk on their backs to make a political buck?

If that's not enough cause to have a little rancor in my tone, I don't know what is.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
You have a right to be pissed off. (none / 0) (#315)
by Harvey Anderson on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 02:28:16 AM EST

But the effectiveness of your being pissed is reduced because you sound like a whiny kid who has hangups from when his parents made him go to Sunday School, which was my original point.

[ Parent ]
Interesting article (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by quincunx on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:07:44 AM EST

You've put together more context for this story than most news outlets have done and presented your ideas well. One improvement I'd suggest is to remove the final paragraph and put it into a comment instead -- the article would hang together better as a piece without it.

On a personal and civic level, I find the issues this case brings up really disturbing. Personally, if I were in Terri Schiavo's situation, I wouldn't want to be kept alive, and if I were her husband, I'd want to put an end to the whole grotesque horror. However, I fail to see the difference between witholding food and water from this helpless person and witholding it from ANY helpless person -- including infants, severely retarded people, people with a major mental illness, etc. The time to have made a choice was when she was first (and subsequently) resuscitated. Resuscitating her committed everyone involved to a certain course of action, and it's a bad decision to try to reverse that course now by witholding the basic necessities of food and water. It's no different from putting a pillow over her face and smothering her -- removing a basic necessity for air, which I think the courts would still call murder -- and it puts us as a society on the slippery slope to euthanizing all kinds of inconvenient people.



before resuscitation? (3.00 / 2) (#58)
by thejeff on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:04:40 AM EST

The problem with that approach is that when you're first faced with that decision you don't know what the prognosis is. I'm no medical expert, but don't many people who've had to be resuscitated recover fully?

It wasn't until well afterwards that it became apparent that she wouldn't recover. The situation changed. The reasonable options changed with it.

Resuscitation is usually done in an emergency situation, before the full details of the case can be known. I would hate to have to choose between throwing away any hope of recovery and condemning someone to life on a feeding tube with no brain function or chance of recovery.

It's not a matter of her being helpless, it's a matter of not having cerebral activity. That's the difference between PVS and an infant.

[ Parent ]

Again, The Center of the Case (3.00 / 2) (#98)
by virg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:38:26 PM EST

> On a personal and civic level, I find the issues this case brings up really disturbing. Personally, if I were in Terri Schiavo's situation, I wouldn't want to be kept alive, and if I were her husband, I'd want to put an end to the whole grotesque horror. However, I fail to see the difference between witholding food and water from this helpless person and witholding it from ANY helpless person -- including infants, severely retarded people, people with a major mental illness, etc.

In the time since she fell into her current state, the court decided, based on testimony from both sides of the current struggle, that she herself would not wish to continue living in her current state. Unlike an infant or a severely retarded person, the court found that she herself would choose to take out the feeding tube, were she able to voice the decision. This is why it's considered a right-to-die case and not euthanasia.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Would you let your dog live like that? (none / 0) (#280)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:01:34 PM EST

Dogs aren't people, but they respond to stimuli and can obviously display some kind of affection or attachment. Would you keep your dog "alive" like Mrs. Shaivo, presuming the gov't was willing to pay for its care forever?

Shaivo doesn't even have that. She's essentially a mindless bag of flesh, lying on a hospital gurney for over a decade. Its an insult to what life is and what life stands for to keep her in this undead state.

The disgusting thing about this case is how the talk-show hosts and politicians have turned it into an abortion morality tale. The item of moral disgust is that the doctors cannot give her a shot and end this circus affair.

[ Parent ]

That's one thing that's stupid. (3.00 / 2) (#323)
by DavidTC on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 09:05:08 AM EST

We can't give her an overdose of sleeping pills or something, we have to starve her.

Granted, at this point, her stomach hasn't worked for 15 years, and there's not a whole lot of 'her' left, but in theory 'she' can feel discomfort, and it seems kind of idiotic the only way she can exit this world is not being feed.

OTOH, it's probably pretty damn uncomfortable anyway.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Yes and no (2.55 / 9) (#42)
by jd on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:11:05 AM EST

Your point about PVS, for example. I believe the current record-holder for recovery pulled out of such a state and made a full recovery after 20-odd years in PVS. So, I seriously doubt the medical community on that point.

Further, the brain's ability to repair is somewhat unknown. We just don't know enough about the ability of the brain to recover from any injury to know what it's limits are on regeneration.

There is a flip-side. PVS is simply a state. It is not a cause, it is an effect. Many things can produce such an effect, some may be more recoverable than others. Terri's brain, by all accounts, was deprived of oxygen well over the lethal time limit and has suffered serious damage.

Based on the little public knowledge that exists, it is extremely likely that Terri's brain is incapable of self-repair on the magnitude required, if indeed there is enough brain for repair to have much meaning. Even if the brain did fully regerate, it is possible that the part that can be identified as Terri has ceased to exist. As such, even a functioning brain would not revive the patient. The patient, as an entity, no longer exists.

PVS are a complex problem, because although very few people do pull out of them after a long time, it does happen. And there simply isn't the understanding to know who is going to recover and who is not, on any general basis. In this case, specific knowledge of the neurology of what is alive and what isn't suggests recovery is impossible. That kind of rational basis seems solid to me, and I think it should be accepted.

In general, I wouldn't be so quick. I don't agree with euthanasia and regard it as a way for doctors and society to legally dispose of more troublesome and expensive citizens. That's not an acceptable basis for a decision.

However, this isn't a euthanasia case, as there's nobody left inside. You can't kill what is basically an inanimate object that merely happens to breath. That, to me, is a critical distinction.

Of course it's a euthanasia case (none / 1) (#45)
by quincunx on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:55:06 AM EST

She's suffered a brain injury, but legally she's still a person, albeit one who needs others to speak for her. Whether she'll ever recover, or how much is left of her brain, are really beside the point. The point in this case is ceasing to provide the necessities of life to a person. If she were an inanimate object, there wouldn't be any problem. It depends on your definition of a person. Like most conflicts, it comes down to a matter of differing definitions. I'd say a person with a brain injury is still a person. Is a baby born with e.g., hydrocephalus not a person?

[ Parent ]
Rectify that.. (2.50 / 2) (#137)
by hangareighteen on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:53:21 AM EST

With the fact,  that as a person,  she may have
already decided that she would not want her life
to be supported in her current state.  Just
because she's a person and you have good in your
heart dosen't mean that you wouldn't be disrespecting
her wishes.

[ Parent ]
what brain injury? (2.50 / 2) (#183)
by skmch on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 02:25:30 PM EST

I'd say a person with a brain injury is still a person.
Teri is not a person with a brain injury. She is a person who literally no longer has a brain. Is a person without a brain still a person?

[ Parent ]
Confusion between PVS and coma. (3.00 / 12) (#93)
by Back Spaced on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:46:49 PM EST

Your point about PVS, for example. I believe the current record-holder for recovery pulled out of such a state and made a full recovery after 20-odd years in PVS. So, I seriously doubt the medical community on that point.

You're thinking about a coma. The medical literature does not have record of anyone coming out of a PVS after more than six months, and that is an isolated case. Even among causes of PVS, generalized anoxic brain injury carries a worse prognosis than most. 15 years is more than enough time to watch her for improvement.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

And I would agree with you (2.85 / 7) (#120)
by jd on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:03:03 AM EST

Certain types of brain injury are unquestionably worse than others, and in this case, 15 years is ample time. If there was no indication of improved brain function, if MRIs gave no indication of further brain repair, then 15 years or 150 would have made no difference.

I do think that medical science does need to invest more in developing technology for studying the brain, but in this case, I think the doctors had all the information they needed, and I think that information showed that no further progress was going to happen.

I am always wary of hard-to-verify decisions. Dr. Shipman was one of Britain's worst serial killers, killing maybe as many as 600 people from the time he entered medical school to the time he was discovered. He found patients who were frail or whose death wouldn't look suspicious and gave them lethal injections. A working system HAS to stop people like him, and as soon as possible.

On the other hand, the situation with Terri is neither hard-to-verify nor is it in any way uncertain. She is dead in every way but name. The case has been examined, re-examined, investigated, analysed and processed in many many ways, and the conclusions are consistant. What you have is a breathing corpse. Using medical resources to keep the body alive is doing nobody any good.

15 people died in an explosion, because necessary money wasn't spent. The money spent on legal fees by both sides, and on getting the Federal Government re-assembled to pass its law, probably eclipses the money needed to have prevented not only this disaster but maybe the next three or four, too. Sure, people are free to waste money on whatever they like. Just don't tell me it's because they value life.

[ Parent ]

The role of brain imaging. (3.00 / 2) (#129)
by Back Spaced on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:20:03 AM EST

An MRI in this case would probably tell us very little on its own, because brain recovery in such cases is not visible on a macroscopic scale. The way that one would assess for recovery would be pretty simple - clinical improvement. After a stroke that damages speech, for example, you simply look to see improvement in speech. The areas of the brain that were dead remain dead, but others step in to take over their functions.

The studies that are likely desired for Teri are functional studies, which would reveal if certain areas of her brain are activated by stimulus. This would differentiate a so-called minimally concious state from a PVS. Again, though, this is really irrelevant. The courts have already determined what Teri would want for herself in her current clinical condition. A change in her diagnosis in this case would not change her prognosis after 15 years.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Again, yes, I agree. (3.00 / 2) (#152)
by jd on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:34:54 PM EST

In the case of Terri, I don't see a minor change in diagnosis as making any difference. I'm more thinking that to avoid this happening in future cases, a lot of pain and suffering can be avoided by those involved if the diagnosis has greater precision and the prognosis is based as much on objective, quantitative studies as possible, rather than relying on subjective, qualitiative studies.

Qualitative studies are harder to verify by repeating and depend a great deal on perspective. The ideal is to be able to have a study that results in a prediction with a range of error that any two neurologists with the right skills but otherwise independent backgounds, could repeat and get to the same results within that range of error.

If quantitative analysis is not possible, then you're stuck with qualitative studies. The margins of error will be larger, as the person doing the studying will affect the results, but the same basic approach as above can be used.

What you'd then want to do is repeat the experiment at some point in the future, again using two independent neurologists. All the results should be within the predicted range from the first time round, and be within each other's margin of error.

Two points make a line, three points make a curve. So, you want to do the whole thing again with two more neurologists at the same time interval again. (I don't know what sort of rate of change the brain goes through under such conditions, but having a four to eight month gap would seem about right.)

What you'll end up with is the upper and lower extreme limits, plus an upper and lower probable limit on change. You'd probably want more than 3x2 points, but that's a good minimum to aim for. If the prognosis from that is terminal, then either the methods of treatment are sucky and need to be fixed, or the injury is untreatable with current knowledge and ability.

If the methods are changed, you'd run the same set of tests again and see if there's an inflection which gives you a positive gradient (ie: the patient is undergoing some recovery). If the results are the same, then it is not the method that is the problem.

After that, you'd run through the tests at various intervals, to ensure that progress wasn't flattening off too soon.

After maybe 1-2 years, you should be able to provide unambiguous, independently verifiable, falsifiable data that showed - once and for all - what was likely and also what was within the realms of possibility. That data would pass any kind of peer-review with flying colors and would likely be very hard to challenge in court.

Sure, I would agree that anyone with a "living will" has the right to dictate terms on what happens when they are incapacitated, but where that information is unavailable, or where the living will specifies well-defined conditions, then it seems only reasonable to obtain the very best data you can to determine what the situation really is.

[ Parent ]

MRI results (3.00 / 2) (#197)
by pyro9 on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:44:41 PM EST

While an MRI can't show that a patient is or will recover, it can show that recovery is out of the question. In this case, CAT scans show that much of her brain is gone, that is, there's nothing there to recover anymore. There's not much point to further scans since the brain won't "grow back".


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
MRI (none / 0) (#392)
by teece on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 04:23:12 AM EST

Terri can't have an MRI, as there is an electrode from the experimental treatment still in her brain.  It makes an MRI impossible, due to the effect it would have on the EM field.

(Yet, the conspiratorial lack of an MRI is one of the reasons Michael is a monster, I have heard it bandied about ...)

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

The real history of the Schiavo case (1.16 / 24) (#44)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:47:21 AM EST

All of this information has been made available on the website terrisfight.org

To understand why her husband should not be the one making this decision all you have to do is listen to his own words.

November 1992, during the medical malpractice trial. M. Schiavo's lawyers' opening statement:

And if she lives a normal life expectancy, fifty-one years, and the cost of that, depending on whether or not in an institution or Mike takes her home is between 12 and 16 million dollars. They say, well, she doesn't have a normal life expectancy. You'll hear if she receives proper treatment, there's no reason why she shouldn't. And she is not just a head on a pillow. She can't respond much but she can respond, and she does respond a little bit, not much. But enough to give him hope.
During the trial, Schiavo gave this testimony (obviously being questioned by his own lawyer)
Q. You're a young man. Your life is ahead of you. When you look up the road, what do you see for yourself?
MS. I see myself hopefully finishing school and taking care of my wife.

Q. Where do you want to take care of your wife? MS. I want to bring her home.

Q. If you had the resources available to you, if you had the equipment and the people, would you do that?
MS. Yes, I would, in a heartbeat.

Q. How do you feel about being married to Terri now.
MS. I feel wonderful. She's my life and I wouldn't trade her for the world. I believe in my marriage vows.

Q. You believe in your wedding vows, what do you mean by that?
MS. I believe in the vows I took with my wife, through sickness, in health, for richer or poor. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'm going to do that.

Reading this there's only one conclusion you can draw: he was after the most amount of money possible. He said he wanted to care for her at home, even went to the trouble of going to nursing school himself, because it costs much, much more. He said he needed 12-16 million for her care.

What happened is that he only got 2.4 million for her care, and after the lawyers got through with it and he'd paid for previous treatment, that wasn't much more than a million dollars. But it was her money, earmarked for her medical care. He got the money in Jan 1993.

So when did he change his tune and say that she would rather die?

Feb. 1993, one month later, he stopped her rehab treatments.

He tried to kill her by leaving a UTI untreated less than six months after this. When the home she was in refused to leave it untreated, he moved her to a different one. He put her cats to sleep, disposed of her jewelry, and cut off her parents from her medical information. He's refused to allow her teeth to be cleaned. He's had a succession of girlfriends and fathered two children with another woman. The same judge who ordered her feeding tube removed has allowed him to spend $500,000 of her medical care money on lawyers to fight her parents.

Whatever you believe, you can't deny that the man is a liar with questionable motives, and he shouldn't be the one to make this decision.

And as an aside, I'm sick of people dismissing the conflict of interest by saying that he's refused to accept money for transfering her guardianship. Well, think about this for five minutes. As soon as he gives it up, the next guardian is free to sue him for mismanaging her care.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt

I am suprised (2.00 / 2) (#55)
by Gruntathon on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 06:28:06 AM EST

I didnt think anyone paid any attention to the bs thats said between a man and his lawyer in a court-room anymore.
__________
If they hadn't been such quality beasts (despite being so young) it would have been a nightmare - good self-starting, capable hands are your finest friend. -- Anonymous CEO
[ Parent ]
Character assassination, yet again (3.00 / 14) (#75)
by nkyad on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:05:28 PM EST

The problem with this article is that it gives yet another opportunity for this kind of nasty behaviour.

So, what is valid in 1992 is valid in 2005? And so there was no medical mal-practice? You don't even care to hide your contempt, do you?

Here is a list of YOUR conclusions, apparently based on your supernatural gift to read other people's motives:

  • "obviously being questioned by his own lawyer" (obviously the doctors/hospital being sued decided they didn't need a lawyer, so only his own lawyer questioned him)
  • "he was after the most amount of money possible" (what should probably be crime - after all, the poor doctors had only rendered his wife incapacitated forever)
  • "because it costs much, much more." (clearly the man is devious - he goes out of his way, abandon his profession, go to a nursing school just to get more money and stay at home treating his wife)
  • "But it was her money, earmarked for her medical care" (and so it was spent, with credible sources saying just a little remains)
  • "He tried to kill her by leaving a UTI untreated less than six months after this" (and this is probably libel)
  • "He put her cats to sleep, disposed of her jewelry" (obviously, a man alone taking care of his incapacitate wife should also take care of her pets and ornate her with jewelry every day - one or two new Parisian party dresses also help to make the vegetative person look as if she's more than a vegetable)
  • "He's had a succession of girlfriends and fathered two children with another woman" (which is another crime - obviously. A man with an incapacitated wife should never have sex again until she dies - we know God wants it just so)
  • "The same judge who ordered her feeding tube removed has allowed him to spend $500,000 of her medical care money on lawyers to fight her parents." (Well, let us cricify this fake judge, right? Since we all know her parents are right, we shouldn't even have judges messing with this issue, much more saying that her money could be used to fight the people on the way of the only medical help remaining for the girl)
  • "you can't deny that the man is a liar with questionable motives" (I am confused, are we now talking about him or about you?)

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Conclusion (1.00 / 9) (#83)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:18:25 PM EST

A conclusion strongly supported by evidence. You've refuted none of it, despite your tone.

"obviously being questioned by his own lawyer" (obviously the doctors/hospital being sued decided they didn't need a lawyer, so only his own lawyer questioned him)

From my experience, the only lawyer who would ask questions like that of the opposing side would be Lionel Hutz.

This isn't just obvious to a layperson; it's obvious to a child. The fact that you dispute this conclusion tends to cast some doubt on your willingness to accept evidence supporting any conclusion but the one you've already made.

"But it was her money, earmarked for her medical care" (and so it was spent, with credible sources saying just a little remains)
More than three quarters of the money awarded for her medical care has gone to lawyers, including $500,000 used to argue in favor of starving her to death.
"He tried to kill her by leaving a UTI untreated less than six months after this" (and this is probably libel)
It's not libel if it's true.

Q. So when you made the decision not to treat Terri's bladder infection you, in effect, were making a decision to allow her to pass on?
MS. I was making a decision on what Terri would want.

"He's had a succession of girlfriends and fathered two children with another woman" (which is another crime - obviously. A man with an incapacitated wife should never have sex again until she dies - we know God wants it just so)
He testified under oath that he was going to spend the rest of his life with Terri, and he lied. Considering that he began acting contrary to his testimony the minute he won the case, I don't see how you could argue that this isn't the case.

In fact, you aren't arguing at all. You're simply stating your opinion as fact without any supporting evidence. This is very poor form, especially accompanied by such an aggressive and obnoxious tone.

"you can't deny that the man is a liar with questionable motives" (I am confused, are we now talking about him or about you?)
Him, you jackass.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Do you really want to do this? (3.00 / 5) (#86)
by nkyad on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:47:00 PM EST

More explanation where it is due:
"obviously being questioned by his own lawyer" (obviously the doctors/hospital being sued decided they didn't need a lawyer, so only his own lawyer questioned him)

What I meant was that this and all other points of his testemony were certainly examined and questioned by the other party's lawyers. That he was obviously cross-examined.

More than three quarters of the money awarded for her medical care has gone to lawyers, including $500,000 used to argue in favor of starving her to death

So the husband is responsible for paying lawyer's fees now? And? As for the $500,000, it was only spent this way because her parents wished so (where is the "greedy man" who is willing to let all money go down the drain just to do what he feels is the right thing?)

Q. So when you made the decision not to treat Terri's bladder infection you, in effect, were making a decision to allow her to pass on?
MS. I was making a decision on what Terri would want.

And you problem with his explanation?

He testified under oath that he was going to spend the rest of his life with Terri, and he lied.

You choose to think he lied based on your own moral and religious beliefs. He never divorced her. You claim she would be sued is absurd for, since his in-laws would probably sign anything his lawyer could think of to protect him if he agreed to give the custody to them.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
yup, libel (3.00 / 3) (#155)
by ceejayoz on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:40:43 PM EST

"He tried to kill her by leaving a UTI untreated less than six months after this" (and this is probably libel)

Yep.

She hasn't had a single bedsore in fifteen years.  To anyone involved in hospice care, that's stunning.

One of the nursing homes attempted to get a restraining order against the husband - because he was too in-your-face about getting her cared for, according to the complaint.

[ Parent ]

The Decision (3.00 / 9) (#97)
by virg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:27:35 PM EST

> Whatever you believe, you can't deny that the man is a liar with questionable motives, and he shouldn't be the one to make this decision.

Then I guess that it's a good thing he's not the one making the decision. Oh, you thought he was? Then maybe terrisfight.org isn't the only source you should be using for information about the case. The rulings themselves might be a good place to start. Go do your homework.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Of course he is (1.16 / 6) (#99)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:58:36 PM EST

Who do you think has the final say on the matter?

It doesn't help that he's the sole source for the court's conclusion that it was her will not to be kept alive in this way.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

He is not the sole source. (3.00 / 3) (#102)
by emaline on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:25:21 PM EST

They had at least one of her friends testify that she said she wouldn't want to be kept alive like this.

So, no, it's not just him.

[ Parent ]

That Solves That (3.00 / 6) (#103)
by virg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:38:42 PM EST

> Who do you think has the final say on the matter?

I think (and the entirety of the Florida system of justice agrees) that Judge Greer had the final say on the matter. This simply proves that you're really not informed enough about the case to comment on it. The law in this case has been pretty clear from the outset, which is why it's stood up to five years of concerted efforts to reverse the decision.

> It doesn't help that he's the sole source for the court's conclusion that it was her will not to be kept alive in this way.

See above. If you'd read the transcripts of the court proceedings in this matter, you'd know that he's not nearly the "only source" and that the finding was so strong that the judge ruled "clear and convincing", which is quite a standard in such proceedings. Again, you need to educate yourself in this matter before to decide you know the law better than everyone involved in this case.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Technically, perhaps (1.50 / 2) (#108)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 06:54:03 PM EST

The judge has ordered the feeding tube removed, but he is doing so on the behalf of Michael Schiavo. Let's put it this way: if Schiavo were to ask that the tube be reinserted it would be done. He does have the final say.

Also, it is you should check your facts. The entirety of the case for it being her will is the testimony of Michael Schiavo, his brother, and his sister-in-law. That's it.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Try again (none / 1) (#135)
by virg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:41:29 AM EST

> The judge has ordered the feeding tube removed, but he is doing so on the behalf of Michael Schiavo.

Incorrect. The ruling states that the judge ordered the tube removed on the behalf of Terri Schiavo.

> Let's put it this way: if Schiavo were to ask that the tube be reinserted it would be done. He does have the final say.

The court findings state the Terri herself would not want the tube. To ask for the tube to be reinserted, Michael Schiavo would need to file with the court asking to reverse the ruling. Sure, he could easily reverse the finding (for example, he could simply state that he perjured himself earlier and that Terri really told him she never wanted to die), but the simple fact is that he has no more power to simply order the tube reinserted than anyone else. He yielded that right to the court in 1998, and the ruling was made and has stood since.

> Also, it is you should check your facts. The entirety of the case for it being her will is the testimony of Michael Schiavo, his brother, and his sister-in-law. That's it.

So, you're saying that the whole case is based on the sworn testimony of three first-stage witnesses? That's extraordinary! Maybe in your world, three witnesses who the Schindler's attorneys did not impeach on cross examination don't count as evidence, but in the real world, that's more than enough to make a ruling. I notice that you fail to mention that there were no credible witnesses on the Schindlers' lists (sorry, the pun was too good to ignore) except them, and they could only present a statement she made when she was twelve. The is the only counter to statements made to three different adults at different times, all when Terri herself was an adult. I have no difficulty seeing why Judge Greer ruled the way he did. Surprisingly only to you, neither has any court of appeals since that time.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Still more fact checking... (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by tordia on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:16:45 PM EST

You said: if Schiavo were to ask that the tube be reinserted it would be done. He does have the final say.

This is wrong. From Abstract Appeal:

Why did Terri's husband get to make the decision about whether she should live or die?

Michael Schiavo did not make the decision to discontinue life-prolonging measures for Terri.

As Terri's husband, Michael has been her guardian and her surrogate decision-maker. By 1998, though -- eight years after the trauma that produced Terri's situation -- Michael and Terri's parents disagreed over the proper course for her.

Rather than make the decision himself, Michael followed a procedure permitted by Florida courts by which a surrogate such as Michael can petition a court, asking the court to act as the ward's surrogate and determine what the ward would decide to do. Michael did this, and based on statements Terri made to him and others, he took the position that Terri would not wish to continue life-prolonging measures. The Schindlers took the position that Terri would continue life-prolonging measures. Under this procedure, the trial court becomes the surrogate decision-maker, and that is what happened in this case.

The trial court in this case held a trial on the dispute. Both sides were given opportunities to present their views and the evidence supporting those views. Afterwards, the trial court determined that, even applying the "clear and convincing evidence" standard -- the highest burden of proof used in civil cases -- the evidence showed that Terri would not wish to continue life-prolonging measures.

and:
Is Michael really just looking for money?

I have no way to know. I know what the Schindlers say to reporters, but then I know that the Second District's first decision in the case used these words to describe Michael's care for Terri:

Theresa has been blessed with loving parents and a loving husband. Many patients in this condition would have been abandoned by friends and family within the first year. Michael has continued to care for her and to visit her all these years. He has never divorced her. He has become a professional respiratory therapist and works in a nearby hospital. As a guardian, he has always attempted to provide optimum treatment for his wife. He has been a diligent watch guard of Theresa's care, never hesitating to annoy the nursing staff in order to assure that she receives the proper treatment.
Recently, Michael received an offer of $1 million, and perhaps a second offer of $10 million, to walk away from this case and permit Terri's parents to care for her. These offers, assuming there were two, were based on a misunderstanding of the situation here. Michael lacks the power to undo the court order determining Terri's wishes and requiring the removal of her feeding tube. He did not make the decision and cannot unmake it. The court made the decision on Terri's behalf. Nonetheless, Michael apparently rejected each offer.
You also wrote that only 3 people gave testimony regarding Terri's will. This is also not true. From page 4 of the February 2000 trial court order:
There are no written declarations by Terri Schiavo as to her intention with regard to this issue. Therefore, the court is left with oral declarations allegedly made to parties and non-parties as to her feelings on this subject. The testimony before this court reveals that she made comments or statements to five (5) persons, including her husband and her mother.


[ Parent ]
Link to court order... (none / 1) (#146)
by tordia on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:19:04 PM EST

Sorry meant to include this in the original post:
PDF of the February 2000 trial court order, see the bottom of page 4.

[ Parent ]
He's acting as I would want my spouse to act (3.00 / 4) (#157)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:46:22 PM EST

If I were in Terri Schiavo's condition ( Braindead, not suffering ), I would want my wife to act just as you portray Micheal Schiavo as acting: Cold and calculating to get the most money.

Because I would be nothing more than a piece of animate dead meat, I would want my wife to jerk the full measure of tears from the court so as to wring the full measure of money out of the Defendant.

Then I would want her end 'treatment' as soon as possible so as to be able to keep the most money for herself. I would be disappointed in my wife if she didn't use my death to the fullest advantage possible.

But MS refused the 1M offer to relinquish custody. This says that MS is not as cold and calculating as you portray him to be. But he SHOULD be. Terri would probably want it that way if she weren't ALREADY DEAD.

[ Parent ]

Listen to yourself for a minute (3.00 / 2) (#202)
by /dev/niall on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:26:08 PM EST

The same judge who ordered her feeding tube removed has allowed him to spend $500,000 of her medical care money on lawyers to fight her parents.

So it's all part of his master plan to spend $1 million on lawyers?

The only person who ever knew what Terri wanted in a situation like this was Terri, and since she never wrote it down we're all wasting our time trying to decide what the right thing to do is. Taking shots at either side isn't helping anything.

It's a shitty situation, and there isn't a good solution. In short, it's life.


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]
Morals (3.00 / 6) (#51)
by Timo Laine on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:06:26 AM EST

Morals certainly enter into the decision, but certainly not your morals, and it's not your decision.
You are making the relativist (or existentialist really) assumption that morals are about just making a decision. I think this unnecessarily weakens your case, since there is also an argument to be made based on science and some commonly accepted moral principles. For starters, jd's comment is useful.

I would say that death in terms of science and death in terms of moral agency are two different things, and this is what confuses many people. From the perspective of morality, Mrs. Schiavo is dead already. Now it is more of a matter of dignity and treating her properly like the dead person she is.

Can you show where that assumption is hidden? (none / 0) (#424)
by onemorechip on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 11:03:44 PM EST

> Morals certainly enter into the decision, but certainly not your morals, and it's not your decision.

You are making the relativist (or existentialist really) assumption that morals are about just making a decision.

Sorry, I don't see that assumption anywhere in the quoted statement. You are right in correcting yourself, that it is not a relativist assumption, but in what way does it support the statement, "Morals certainly enter into the decision, but certainly not your morals" (which is a relativist statement)?
--------------------------------------------------

I did my essay on mushrooms. It's about cats.
[ Parent ]

I think the religious nutballs are so cute (1.36 / 11) (#57)
by Translucent Blue on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:01:34 AM EST

It boils down to this - nutbags think that everyone has a soul and that that soul exists, no matter what. In this way, it's so charming how religious nutbags refuse to join the 21st century :)
Really, what should be done is for them to set the football hooligans loose on the mosques and Muslim ghettos. Rout them all out and drive them into the sea. -beergut
Atheist here. (1.50 / 2) (#66)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:06:35 AM EST

But I still think it's wrong to starve her to death, especially when the exact nature of her condition is in dispute. Certainly the husband acts creepy enough to give some doubt as to his motives.

If your sort of anti-religiousness makes it ok to starve me to death the moment I have trouble speaking for myself, I don't want any part of it.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Conflicted here (1.80 / 5) (#70)
by Benny Cemoli on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:54:03 AM EST

I disagree about the husband. He's been offered a shitload of money to turn custody over to the parents. So if it were only about money, he would have taken it. All the settlement money has been spent. The other theory is that he's trying to kill her to cover some other crime. The smartest way to do that would be to let her fade into obscurity in some care facility. The crap you hear about the husband is just character assassination. We have a lot of people in this country who are pretty good at that.

OTOH, I think starving anything to death is pretty cruel. Yeah, she's running almost entirely on brain stem and she's not feeling any pain, but that's not a reason to kill her.


"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

Yes (3.00 / 6) (#74)
by nkyad on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:44:55 AM EST

Have you noticed how difficult it is to find any information about the husband that is not completely distorted? Most news sources have article upon article about the dying girl's life, but fail to supply anything about the husband. The few pieces of apparently unbiased information I managed to read convinced me that he is a nice person, who has done all he could for her and is now trrying to fullfil her last wishes. I can only feel sorry for him, his partner and his children for the nightmare their lives have become in the hands of the religious freaks.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
I'm not a religous freak. (1.50 / 2) (#77)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:31:07 PM EST

However, even by the words out of his own mouth, her wishes were to "not be kept alive by a machine". Supposing he isn't lying, or misremembering, isn't it slightly suspicious that he and his lawyers have blocked legal attempts for a swallow test?

For those not in the know, this test would give doctors a pretty good idea if she even needs the damned feeding tube. Someone would still have to feed her, but it would be with a spoon, and not a machine. In other words, we'll never know if she needs to die, to fulfill her last wishes.

And is it true that he's catholic, wanting to remarry in the church? If so, his ulterior motives aren't even necessarily tied to money.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Catholic (none / 0) (#80)
by nkyad on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:55:53 PM EST

If he is so Catholic, he would have given up a long ago, wouldn't he? I don't know if you are aware of the Catholic frame of mind (I live in a country where more than 60% of the population is Catholic), but one does not goes lightly against the word of a priest or a bishop. You don't go against the word of the Vatican, never.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Well, maybe... (none / 1) (#82)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:01:06 PM EST

He can just confess on that.

Or maybe he'll insist that it was her choice, and he only fought to allow her to choose.

There are lots of angles on it, if you think about it.

But if his current mistress marries him, she might do well to have it in writing, in someone else's custody, that she doesn't want him making decisions about her own emergency medical care. That is, if she isn't braindead herself.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

American Catholics. (none / 1) (#92)
by Back Spaced on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:44:01 PM EST

Well, you don't go against the word of the Vatican, unless it's about birth control.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Several Points to Note (3.00 / 10) (#94)
by virg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:11:34 PM EST

> However, even by the words out of his own mouth, her wishes were to "not be kept alive by a machine". Supposing he isn't lying, or misremembering, isn't it slightly suspicious that he and his lawyers have blocked legal attempts for a swallow test?

For those not in the know, this test would give doctors a pretty good idea if she even needs the damned feeding tube. Someone would still have to feed her, but it would be with a spoon, and not a machine. In other words, we'll never know if she needs to die, to fulfill her last wishes.


Whether she needs the tube or can be spoon-fed is not at issue, and what Michael Schiavo does isn't part of the basis of the case. The details of the case that don't ever seem to make it out to the news shows is that it's not even Michael Schiavo's call any more, and hasn't been for more than four years. In 1998, he filed a petition to the court to determine her fate, which was essentially a request that a "trial" be held to determine what Terri herself would decide. It took a year and a half of testimony from Michael, her parents, experts and others, but in the end (to quote from this site):
Following trial, Judge Greer rules that clear and convincing evidence shows Terri would chose not to receive life-prolonging medical care under her current circumstances (i.e., that she would chose to have the tube removed)
So, at that point it was the court that decided what Terri herself wanted, and ordered the cessation of feeding and hydration. Everything since then has been appeals by her parents to change that ruling.

The point to note here is that disallowing a swallow test doesn't change the spirit of the ruling. The ruling was that Terri would not want to live in the state she is currently in, whether or not she is fed by a tube or by someone shoveling food into her mouth. In all of their legal efforts, Terri's parents have not presented any credible reason why the court's original ruling was faulty. Because current Florida law does not permit active euthanasia, the decision was to remove the feeding tube that (the court finding states that) Terri would not want and let her die of dehydration. Because strong evidence was presented that she's physically unable to feel thirst or hunger (the portions of her brain that control such feelings are literally gone, as shown by CAT scans), this was not considered inhumane.

> And is it true that he's catholic, wanting to remarry in the church? If so, his ulterior motives aren't even necessarily tied to money.

Whether or not he has an ulterior motive isn't really of any consequence any more. By petitioning to the court in 1998, he handed her fate over to the court, so it's no longer his call. His efforts to block attempts by her parents to do further tests and such are ambiguous to those unfamiliar with the case, but even so they aren't relevant. He's her guardian, but a court determined she would want the feeding tube removed, so it's entirely likely that even if he reversed his stance and requested it be put back the court would deny that request too, since they found that such an action would be counter to Terri's wishes.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Starvation (2.50 / 2) (#142)
by Nimey on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:06:46 PM EST

OTOH, I think starving anything to death is pretty cruel.

Exactly. It would be much more humane if she could be given a lethal injection. We have that much consideration for dogs and criminals.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]

Yeah, (2.50 / 2) (#116)
by ksandstr on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:44:42 PM EST

A good old Brompton cocktail would be far more appropriate, if the body can breathe on its own and the "shut off the respirator" method isn't available. As an alternative to starvation that is. I guess active euthanasia is far too much of a taboo in the 20th and 21st centuries to consider something like this though.

Fin.
[ Parent ]
Even better: german efficiency! (1.00 / 4) (#117)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:24:21 PM EST

We need some sort of gas chamber/crematorium. We can solve nursing home overpopulation in just a few months!

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
IAWTP (none / 0) (#138)
by horny smurf on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:03:02 PM EST

and it would have the side benefit of fixing the social security problem.

[ Parent ]
No need... (none / 0) (#141)
by kcidx on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:05:32 PM EST

We can just keep shuffling our young people off to die in the middle east!

[ Parent ]
Condition: Lack of brain (3.00 / 2) (#150)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:33:29 PM EST

How can you dispute that? A Cat scan is an X-Ray. They X-Rayed her skull and found: Lack of Brain.

And just because some quack that takes advantage of the false hopes of the grieving to bilk them for expensive 'treatments' says she's not in a PVS so as to promote himself, you can bet he wouldn't be so optimistic about a penniless unknown with no family or friends in the same state of brain-lack.

[ Parent ]

Well. (none / 0) (#310)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 12:54:12 AM EST

I once read an article about a 8 yr old with a brain tumor so advanced, that when they removed it, they removed half her brain with it. 3 years later, 100% recovery.

Mind you, I'm aware that no such recovery is possible for Schiavo, I'm only pointing out that it's not so simple where the "person" is in a brain, and that in her case, there might still be enough for something of the person she was to still be there. If there is even one tiny iota of that left, whether or not there is ever any recovery, then killing that is wrong.

Killing that, when it may not even have been her wish, is even more wrong.

Killing that because you are a catholic, and want to remarry in the church, that's damned wrong.

Killing her because you expected a $20 million dollar windfall, but it only turned out to be $2mil which is mostly gone anyway, and you have no problem with killing inconvenient people when you have a legal loophole... that's amazingly lowlifish.

Ask yourself, if you were unable to speak for yourself, and in a questionable medical condition, would you want her husband speaking for you?

She is guilty of no crime, and was given a death sentence based on laughable evidence.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

You are so your brain. (none / 0) (#342)
by Cubics Rube on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 04:37:33 PM EST

You can be mostly normal with much of your brain missing because there is much redundancy built into the brain. But you do need to have some brain to have a mind. MS knew how much money there was from lawsuits before deciding to pull the plug. Since MS had a couple of kids out of wedlock, getting a divorce would seem like small potatos compared with that little 'sin'. He refused 1M to relinquish custody.

[ Parent ]
That's your scientific conclusion? (none / 0) (#346)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 07:08:42 PM EST

That you have to have some brain left, to have a mind? Have you ran a double-blind study?

Also, forgive me if I'm wrong, but if she has absolutely no brain, wouldn't she need more than a feeding tube? A ventilator to make her breath, something to force her heart to beat...

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Re: Mindless (none / 0) (#365)
by Cubics Rube on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 09:31:16 AM EST

The statement that one needs to have a brain to have a mind is not very controversial. Although 'mind' is not a very precise word, we associate certain types of apparently reasoned behavior ( like eg, holding a conversation ) with having a mind. We can also look at cases where the brain has been damaged or parts have been removed and see that many times brain damage seems to cause a marked drop in the behavior one would associate with cognizance. Terri Schiavo's mindless grimaces and random stares into space fit perfectly with the idea that brains are required for having a mind because Terri has no brain and acts mindlessly.

Some lower functions, like breathing and pumping blood can be handled by the brainstem only. They are involuntary. They are no evidence of there being a mind there.

[ Parent ]

Another anti-Jesus bigot, eh? (none / 1) (#386)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 07:34:04 PM EST

Well, I'll agree with you - you have no soul.

You forfeited it when you chose to worship a false god.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

What if we don't worship any deity? [nt] (none / 0) (#405)
by mettaur on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 05:27:23 AM EST


--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
video of subject (1.30 / 13) (#59)
by teacher teacher on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:06:01 AM EST

There are some videos of Terri that seem to show that she is not a complete vegetable.
video 1
video 2
She seems to recognize people and understand some speech. She even seems to laugh when appropriate and seems to try to reply, though her ability to speak is gone. There would be more video of her but her husband has forbidden anyone to take more. While some may argue that she is in a state that many would rather die than endure, she does feel pain. And death by removing food and water is not a very humane way to kill her. It is illegal to kill a pet that way. She seems to be at least as aware as some pets.

Terri's husband is a Catholic and that is the reason he has not divorced her. The only way he can marry his mistress and be a father to his bastard children is if Terri dies. Divorce is forbidden by the Church. He has a motive  to seek her death.

A few things (3.00 / 18) (#63)
by minerboy on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:37:21 AM EST

The video of her is highly edited to show the movements that might be mistaken for a conscious reaction. The fact that this womans image is being constantly displayed for the poublic is repulsive to me, as the news media fills their coffers with cash at her expense. I don't blame her husband one bit for refusing to display her like a barnum freak. I hope my wife would fight as hard to maintain my privacy were I in a similar circumstance.

The fact that Terri's husband is catholic doesn't play a part at all. By Church standards, He is already living in sin with another women, he is defying the vaticans opinion on the issue, he has refused payoff's of over 1 million dollars to turn over legal guardianship of Terri. He has been smeared in the press by some of the best smear merchants around, and he's still standing. There is no bad intent that could stand up to this pressure.



[ Parent ]
Not so fast. (none / 1) (#231)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:35:04 AM EST

There is no bad intent that could stand up to this pressure.

For over a decade he has refused to allow ANY therapy. There is some question about the conditions of her collapse.

It's been posited that he may want her to die to hide his own involvement in her current condition.

There is one bad intention that would stand up to just about any pressure. Having people think you're scum is much better than letting them KNOW that you are.

LK

[ Parent ]

Back at ya. (3.00 / 2) (#233)
by magney on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:56:28 AM EST

For over a decade he has refused to allow ANY therapy.
After five years of making all humanly possible effort to save her.
There is some question about the conditions of her collapse.
But none with the slightest shred of credibility.
It's been posited that he may want her to die to hide his own involvement in her current condition.
And they're lucky Michael Schiavo can't afford to sue them for slander right now, because he'd nail their ass to the wall.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Slander (none / 0) (#291)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:46:25 PM EST

It's only slander if you said things that you knew to be false. Raising a question is never slander. He wouldn't stand a chance of winning such a suit. LK

[ Parent ]
not quite... (3.00 / 2) (#360)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:29:21 AM EST

"It's only slander if you said things that you knew to be false."

Actually, the act of slandering someone does not require one to necessarily be aware that they are false in their statements.
"Slander - Law. Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation."

Assuming what you say is correct (but is really not) is still slander. It may be more accepted, but is no more legal.



[ Parent ]
Strange reasoning (none / 1) (#64)
by nkyad on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:50:31 AM EST

Terri's husband is a Catholic and that is the reason he has not divorced her. The only way he can marry his mistress and be a father to his bastard children is if Terri dies. Divorce is forbidden by the Church. He has a motive  to seek her death.

Do you realize this argument is completely inconsistent? The Church will accept divorce any day of the week if the alternative is euthanasia (and that is what the Vatican thinks is happening). If that was the problem, the Church would probably dissolve the marriage so Terry could live. Obviously it is not so simple.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
There is more of the video. (3.00 / 22) (#67)
by Back Spaced on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:29:46 AM EST

Almost four hours in total, and it has already been thoroughly reviewed in the courts. The excerpts on the web site are exceptional, and taken out of context show what may be responses. In the context of her behavior on the rest of the video, they are more clearly seen as random abberrations. I.e., if you ask Teri to look at you over and over again, odds are that randomly, she will at least once.

While a lot has been made of awareness or lack thereof in this case, it is ultimately irrelevant. Why? People who are completely concious and sensate make the choice, daily, not to have their lives extended by artificial means. Take the example of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gerhig's disease, a condition where the neurons that allow for voluntary movement graduall die off. The end result is that the individual is completely paralyzed, but still concious/sensate, and death from respiratory failure or pneumonia follows. It is theoretically possible to maintain someone indefinitely on a ventilator.

How many people do you think choose to live like that, paralyzed and ventilated artificially?

None that I've heard of. Nor is it controversial when these people, who although fully concious, are allowed to pass without medical intervention.

Things should be less controversial, then, not moreso, when you have a patient that is not only physically incapacitated, but completely mentally incapacitated as well. Her guardian has taken the very sensible position that since recovery is highly improbable, his wife would not want tobe artificially sustained in this state. Makes sense to me. People make that decision for family members are the time when further medical intervention is not likely to result in recovery and may prolong suffering. Usually it's made in more acute settings, such as the ICU, but a great many times, the situation is less pressing.

Odds are that Teri is far from the only anoxic brain injury patient dying in hospice at this moment. However, she is the only one on the news. Not because of her unique medical situation, but becuase of her unique family situation.

Secondly, starvation, while it may be cruel to you or I, is not cruel to most people in hospice, who are ill enough to have lost their apetites. In fact, in most of my experience with the very ill, they find eating distinctly unpleasant, and so you have to use especially high-calorie concentrates of foods. Teri's case is even more clear-cut, in that the regions of her hypothalamus responsible for her perceptions of hunger and thirst have been destroyed. Therefore, it is physically impossible for her to feel either at this moment.

Finally, while many people are impugning Michael Schiavo, I see no reason to do so at this moment. He is making a choice is he legally allowed to make. It is, I feel, the right choice, the one I would pick if I were him, and the one I would want for me if I were Teri (although, strictly, if I were Teri, I would not be capable of choosing). As such, I feel little need to question his motives. Those that do are probably being led by his parents. When you think that someone is out to murder your little girl, there is almost no other crime that you will not think them capable of. Ergo, it is hardly surprising that Teri's parents have been able to demonize her husband in their own minds, attributing his behavior to the most brutish of motives. I would take everything that they say about him with a grain of salt, and then recall that it has no bearing on the legal issues at stake.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 1) (#204)
by Verbophobe on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:51:36 PM EST

How many people do you think choose to live like that, paralyzed and ventilated artificially?

None that I've heard of. Nor is it controversial when these people, who although fully concious, are allowed to pass without medical intervention.

Stephen Hawking has Lou Gerhig's, and he's doing pretty good.

But don't get me wrong -- I whole heartedly agree with your post.

Proud member of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration
[ Parent ]

You're point? (none / 0) (#251)
by ckaminski on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:20:26 AM EST

Stephen Hawking makes a living with his mind, he made a choice, good for him.

I love karate and swimming, and enjoying the outdoors way too much to survive like Stephen Hawking has.  His choices are simply not an option for me.  Why does America feel it has the right to decide for me that I cannot willfully terminate my life if I become so afflicted?

That choice thing... And Teri's case comes down to us not knowing what her choice would have been...

[ Parent ]

Alternative B: (none / 1) (#148)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:29:31 PM EST

He should just buy an indulgence.

[ Parent ]
killing her = fine, divorce = Hell? uh, okay... (none / 0) (#154)
by ceejayoz on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:38:12 PM EST

Terri's husband is a Catholic and that is the reason he has not divorced her. The only way he can marry his mistress and be a father to his bastard children is if Terri dies. Divorce is forbidden by the Church. He has a motive  to seek her death.

So he doesn't wanna get in trouble with God for getting divorced, but he's fine with murder?

Good logic, there.

[ Parent ]

God has nothing to do with it (none / 1) (#385)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 07:31:23 PM EST

These are Catholics. They worship Jesus' mom, not God. And they're humans, meaning they're not too good at the "logic" thing.

He's not afraid of God, probably doesn't really even believe in God. He's afraid of his priest.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

not starvation (none / 1) (#169)
by emaline on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:16:10 PM EST

I can't find the link now, but I have read recently a piece from some nurse who has dealt with removing feeding tubes for years and she stated that it is not the same as starving to death and that Terri in particular is likely not feeling anything at this point resembling pain or hunger.

[ Parent ]
Hello? (none / 1) (#230)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:31:57 AM EST

it is not the same as starving to death

She'll die from a lack of food and water. That IS starving to death you moron.

LK

[ Parent ]

Thank you Dr. Kano /nt (none / 0) (#268)
by tonedevil on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:47:01 PM EST



[ Parent ]
settle down about the semantics, dude (none / 0) (#361)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:33:14 AM EST

The parent (more than likely) meant "It is not the same as maliciously starving [her] to death." In that the parent is correct. Given that the act of starving someone is usually done with ill intent, I think it's fair to assume just that. You're arguing with his choice of words, not his view.

[ Parent ]
WTF are you talking about? (3.00 / 2) (#187)
by sudog on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:13:56 PM EST

The woman looks like a vegetable in those videos too..! If I ever get to that point, I sure hope my wife pulls the fucking feeding tube on me too..!


[ Parent ]
Michael Schaivo is not Catholic (none / 1) (#191)
by proletariat on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:42:41 PM EST

Please see the Schindlers' amended complaint Page 6 item 21. "Schaivo, who is not a Roman Catholic..."

[ Parent ]
Damn (1.33 / 3) (#247)
by Legion303 on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:34:41 AM EST

I'd hit it.

[ Parent ]
unresponsive (none / 0) (#411)
by tgibbs on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:50:22 AM EST

Video can be selected to give random responses the illusion of meaning. But in any kind of "blink once for yes, twice for no" or "squeeze once for yes, twice for no" test, she has failed to respond. If she was actually responsive enough to communicate her wishes, there would be no issue.

[ Parent ]
motive? (none / 0) (#412)
by tgibbs on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:58:53 AM EST

Terri's husband is a Catholic and that is the reason he has not divorced her. The only way he can marry his mistress and be a father to his bastard children is if Terri dies. Divorce is forbidden by the Church. He has a motive to seek her death.

Some people seem to be desperate to find an excuse to impute an evil motive to Terri's husband. As it happens, his girlfriend is herself divorced, so they could not have a Catholic marriage in any case.

I've never met anybody who would want to be maintained for years in the condition of Terri (whether she is completely unaware or "minimally" aware--to me, minimally aware sounds worse). Her husband is doing what I hope that my loved ones would do for me if I was in her position, so it seems reasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt and presume that he is acting out of love and respect for his wife?

I don't think the fact that he has a girlfriend has any bearing at all. I certainly wouldn't expect my spouse to wait for me for 15 years if I was in such a condition with no realistic hope of recovery. And frankly, I'd rather die than put somebody I cared for in such a position. Who wouldn't?

[ Parent ]

One thing bothers me (1.69 / 13) (#60)
by speek on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:35:27 AM EST

It bothers me that the courts are trying to judge who has the greater claim to Terri's life - her husband or her parents. It seems to me that if these two parties can't agree, then nobody should be removing Terri's tube until they do. This opens the door for such bitter family battles that it can't be worth it. You say the courts are keeping out of the private decision, but in fact, they are right there, siding with one side and not the other. In my opinion, the decision to kill her should be unanimous between her husband and her parents.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

Families disagree. (3.00 / 5) (#65)
by Back Spaced on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:56:39 AM EST

It seems to me that if these two parties can't agree, then nobody should be removing Terri's tube until they do.

Which means that if they never agree, the system is defacto siding with the parents. What are doctors to do, then, in situations where the problem is more acute. Say, for example, Teri needed a blood transfusion, and her husband wanted it, but her parents were Jehovah's witnesses and felt it would threaten her immortal soul? Hold off until the husband converts, or the parents de-convert?

Fortunately, there's a clear system for resolving interfamily conflicts over medical decision making (unfortunately, a daily problem withing medicine). The doctor should go with the guardian or health care power of attorney first, followed by the husband, children, parents, siblings...

Now what if there is no husband, and the children disagree? The system could still use some work, that's for sure. However, in Teri's case, the situation is much more clear-cut. As her guardian, her husband has the legal right to refuse treatment for her. End of story.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

families do disagree (1.50 / 2) (#105)
by speek on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:39:38 PM EST

You may be content that the law puts all power into one particular person's hands, but I am not, and that's why I'm bothered. I remain bothered.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Are you discontent... (3.00 / 2) (#107)
by Back Spaced on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 06:37:59 PM EST

...that the power is put into a single person's hands when that person is the patient? Probably not. In medical practice, having multiple decision makers would get too complext too quickly. Every time you had to pop in a central line, you would need to contact two people and get their consent... likewise, to get something as simple as a CT scan with contrast. And what would the physician do if these people disagreed? Having multiple decision makers gets way to complicated in actual practice.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

I'm only talking about euthanasia here (1.00 / 3) (#113)
by speek on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:12:44 PM EST

I'm not offering any solutions either.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Euthenasia. (3.00 / 3) (#118)
by Back Spaced on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:17:05 PM EST

Strictly speaking, this isn't euthenasia. I know, I know. She will die without the feeding tube. But so might someone else without a blood transfusion, or chemotherapy, or being placed on a ventilator. People make the choices to avoid each of these things daily, and by declining therapy, they are not choosing to euthanize themselves. Euthenasia is the intentional application of drugs or procedures to cause death.

This is the withdrawl of artificial life support, and that the courts have already determined that Teri would not want artifical life support. So, technically, this is complying with her wish, as the courts determined it, not to be treated in these circumstances.

As others have pointed out, Michael Schiavo no longer has the legal ability to make choices for Terry in this matter. The courts have made a determination of what Teri would have wanted. The issue that is obscured behind all this is simply - should a person have the right to determine whether or not they recieve therapy? The right of the individual to refuse therapy is, or has been up until this point, sacrosanct in law. This is why the appeals of Teri's parents are hopeless from a judicial standpoint.

Complicating this is a fact that anyone who has worked in the medical field knows - it's always easier not do something in the first place than it is to withdraw care. For example, it's easier to follow a DNR order and not intubate a patient than it is to extubate them and let them pass once they are ventilator dependant. The results are the same, but the latter is just more complex and... morbid.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Euthanasia.... (none / 0) (#252)
by ckaminski on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:28:01 AM EST

By entering into the marriage "contract", I am explicitly giving my wife carte blanche to be my advocate for all medical decisions (in my opinion).  I still have a living will to reinforce that opinion (and directed power of attorney as well).  I just feel that's part and parcel of being married. Assuming she didn't try to murder me and cover it up, I'd just have to hope the police caught her after my death.

[ Parent ]
Living will (3.00 / 2) (#161)
by malfunct on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:01:59 PM EST

The key point here is to have a living will. Then the person that really matters (the patient in care) will be able to have thier wishes fulfilled. If this case gets even a few people to get a living will I think that Terri can die proud that she has managed to change the world in a positive way.

In the end I think the correct action is being taken as far as the law is concerned and I am very pleased that the federal courts have not taken the case.

I do however fully disagree with the method of death. Even if Terri is unable to feel the pain of starvation and dehydration (which we believe to be true based on the condition of her brain but have no way of really knowing) it just seems wrong. I'd be happier at the point when it was decided that Terri should die that they put her down in a humane way as we would a beloved pet. Then again I support euthanasia in a whole number of cases, this being one of them providing that the medical information presented in this K5 article is correct. Its so hard to know given the media mess surrounding this particular case.

[ Parent ]

Tr (3.00 / 2) (#196)
by John Thompson on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:37:53 PM EST

In the absence of a legally designated power of attorney for health care, we have to go to the court to have guardianship assigned. If there are living relatives willing to take on the task, and they can agree on a single person to represent the patient, this makes it easier. In the absence of relatives or family agreement, an uninvloved third party is usually chosen. Even under the best of circumstances this process can take several days. Where there is contention it can drag on indefinitely, and is a PITA for everyone involved.

Moral of the story: get yourself a POA document ASAP, and give copies to your doctor, family, and designated agent. You're only a hearbeat away from becoming the next Terri Schiavo yourself.



[ Parent ]
The Rule of Life (3.00 / 9) (#91)
by virg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:42:30 PM EST

> It bothers me that the courts are trying to judge who has the greater claim to Terri's life - her husband or her parents.

This is simply incorrect. Follow this link to see more about the case from the least biased source I could turn up, and you'll see that what really happened is that Michael Schiavo turned over the matter of whether Terri would want to be kept alive like this to the court. The court heard testimony from him, her parents, experts and others, and in the end rendered the decision that she would not wish to continue living in the state she was in. Therefore, it's no longer a matter of who's got more claim to her life, since neither Michael Schiavo nor her parents "have claim" to her life at all. The matter was decided, and everything since then has been the Schindlers trying to get the court to reverse that decision.

> In my opinion, the decision to kill her should be unanimous between her husband and her parents.

It's not their decision at all. Based on the best case presented by both sides, the court decided that Terri would want the tube removed, and the court so ordered that it be done. It's no longer Michael Schiavo's decision (although he supports the court decision). In fact, it's unlikely that he could do anything legally to get her tube reinserted if he wished it, just as her parents have been unable to convince the court.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
simply incorrect? (1.50 / 4) (#106)
by speek on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:43:40 PM EST

...what really happened is that Michael Schiavo turned over the matter of whether Terri would want to be kept alive like this to the court.

Good for Michael Schiavo. Who gave him the right to turn the matter over to the courts? Maybe the courts are trying to determine if Terri would want the tube removed, but what bothers me is that the decision is essentially a fight between two parties with valid interests in Terri's life, and the choice of death is being made anyway. It seems to me that if a party with such valid interest wants the life to continue, that wish should not be ignored.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Again Incorrect (3.00 / 2) (#124)
by virg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 09:23:41 AM EST

> Good for Michael Schiavo. Who gave him the right to turn the matter over to the courts?

Well, a legitimate argument could be made that Terri gave him that right, by marrying him and then not filing some legal works to prevent his taking control of her care in such a case, which is default behavior in cases where a spouse is incapacitated. Still, this decision isn't relevant because of the ruling of the court. In that ruling, the judge determined that there was presented clear and convincing evidence that Terri herself would choose to remove the feeding tube. What you're saying is that her parents' wishes should trump her own wishes, as determined by the court. This changes the aspect of the case in a very clear way. It's not a fight between Michael and the Schindlers, in the view of the court. It's a fight where the court determined that Terri would not want the support, and her parents are trying to get the court to reverse that finding. Mr. Schiavo's opinion on the matter does not weigh any longer on the court's actions.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
she never made her wishes known about this (none / 0) (#255)
by speek on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:02:09 AM EST

And just because a court decides something based on a law of the US government doesn't necessarily make me feel good about it.

Also, as for making her wishes known - that assumes she is in a persistent vegetative state. If she is merely unable to communicate, but is otherwise enjoying life, then her wishes would be still her own. All the arguments backing law and the courts and Schiavo are assuming their basic assumption is correct. But she has parents who don't believe that. They are suffering, and I feel for them. Even if I don't agree with them.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

She did make her wishes known. (none / 1) (#287)
by ubernostrum on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 07:10:05 PM EST

A number of witnesses other than Michael Schiavo and, ironically, including Terri's mother, Mary Schindler, testified in the original case that Terri had repeatedly made clear statements that she would not want to be kept alive artificially in this condition.

The court documents are full of interesting tidbits like that.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Are you sure about the Mother's testimony? (none / 0) (#332)
by ctid on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 02:22:37 PM EST

A number of witnesses other than Michael Schiavo and, ironically, including Terri's mother, Mary Schindler, testified in the original case that Terri had repeatedly made clear statements that she would not want to be kept alive artificially in this condition.
I don't think that this is accurate, as far as Mary Schindler is concerned. My reading of the 2000 decision suggests that she reported a comment made by a 12-year-old Terri Schindler about a case concerning one Karen Ann Quinlan, whose Father wanted to cut off her life support. Mary Schindler's testimony suggests that Terri said that the child should be left alone, meaning that the Father should not be allowed to cut off life support. The judge decided not to pay attention to this, as it was said when Terri was only a child.
Reality is defined by the maddest person in the room.
[ Parent ]
Uh, WHAT? (2.00 / 2) (#127)
by awgsilyari on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 10:48:25 AM EST

It bothers me that the courts are trying to judge who has the greater claim to Terri's life - her husband or her parents.

The courts are explicitly REFUSING to get involved, other than by reaffirming that Michael Shiavo is her legal guardian. There is no question here. It's Michael's decision to make, and the courts have no fucking business interfering with it.

In my opinion, the decision to kill her should be unanimous between her husband and her parents.

Good thing law isn't based on your OPINION.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

you see it as refusing, I don't (1.75 / 4) (#193)
by speek on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:09:59 PM EST

"...reaffirming that Michael Shiavo is her legal guardian" - this is involvement.

Good thing law isn't based on your OPINION.

You seem angry with my opinion. Not sure why. Were I a parent with a child in a coma that I still had hope for, it would be devastating to me if his/her spouse could choose to let them die over my objection. The law be damned, I'm not talking about it - I'm talking about something I consider far more important than mere laws.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

the reason is that you're a fucking idiot. (1.60 / 5) (#203)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:27:45 PM EST

presenting a legal opinion based on something other than the law and the facts of the case places you firmly outside of the set of people who should be commenting on this matter.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
legal opinion? (none / 1) (#257)
by speek on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:06:17 AM EST

The facts of the case beyond that two parents are losing a child against their will are irrelevant to the opinion that I'm expressing - an opinion of sympathy that is an entirely non-legal opinion.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

So. (none / 0) (#286)
by ubernostrum on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 07:05:51 PM EST

Here's a hypothetical. Stipulate the following:

  1. I suffer an unrecoverable brain injury which, in the opinion of my doctors, will permanently render me a vegetable and unabel to survive without artifical support.
  2. I have a signed, notarized living will on file stating that I would not wish to be kept alive artificially in such a state.
  3. My spouse presents my living will to the doctors, indicating that my wish would be to refuse treatment.
  4. My parents do not want me to die.

What right, legal, moral or otherwise, do my parents have, in such a case, to override my spouse's guardianship and my wishes?

Now, change a couple of the facts. Stipulate the following replacements for points 2 and 3 above:

  1. I live in a state which does not require a written living will as proof of my wishes, and I have repeatedly made clear, unambiguous statements to a number of family members regarding my wish not to be kept alive artificially.
  2. My spouse, knowing of my wishes, has had a state court investigate the matter on my behalf and the state court has found that my wishes on this matter were clearly and unambiguously asserted.

Again: what right, legal, moral or otherwise, do my parents have to override my spouse's guardianship and my wishes?




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Hey moron (none / 1) (#288)
by kitten on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 07:26:45 PM EST

Your entire diatribe falls apart right about here:

I suffer an unrecoverable brain injury which, in the opinion of my doctors, will permanently render me a vegetable and unabel to survive without artifical support.

I saw a video where she was bellowing incoherently at an empty spot on the wall, which pretty much proves that she is not a vegetable, but a conscious, thinking human, fully aware of her environment. Also I heard on Fox that she could probably survive without support if someone would just give her food, but her cruel, heartless husband wants to usurp her Wall Street portfolio and myriad Swiss bank accounts, so he wouldn't let her have food except through a tube.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
to me, it's not about Terri anymore (none / 0) (#300)
by speek on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:12:01 PM EST

Terri's gone. The parents are suffering, and I feel for them. I don't agree with them. I think they're very troubled people who need help, but I still feel for them that their daughter is being taken away from them against their will. No amount of legal documents is going to make me feel just fine about it. Those parents need help, not legal explanations.

Are the parents disrespecting Terri's wishes? Quite possibly, but, if we're right in our belief that Terri is already dead anyway, she is gone, and we have live people to consider. And if we're wrong, well, then who knows what her current wishes are?

It seems to me, an implication of your argument is that even if her husband, her parents, and her children wanted her kept alive, the government should step in and enforce her death because those were her documented wishes. What right, legal, moral or otherwise would her spouse have to keep her alive when she herself chose to die?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

This is just the thing. (none / 1) (#314)
by ubernostrum on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:54:00 AM EST

To me, this is a question of an individual's rights: I have an absolute and inalienable right to accept or refuse medical treatment as I see fit. My family may disagree with that, or want me to make different choices, but ultimately the choice is mine, not theirs.

Even if I'm in a vegetative state I can leave instructions regarding what treatment I would and would not want. And if, knowing my choices and wishes, my family choose to put their own selfish wants and desires first, then I think my family aren't worth very much. And if, knowing my choices and wishes, my family choose to take a different course, I think it is entirely appropriate for the government to step in and enforce my right of self-determination: the sole and entire purpose of the government of the United States is to protect my rights as an individual.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
perfectly valid (none / 0) (#324)
by speek on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 09:23:31 AM EST

I can respect that. But I don't agree is all. I don't agree with such extreme individual rights.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Well, then, (none / 0) (#325)
by MrMikey on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 09:33:41 AM EST

who gets to decide what an individual's rights are when it comes to <u>themselves</u>. What qualifies as an "extreme individual right" ?

[ Parent ]
extreme enough that (none / 0) (#352)
by speek on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 09:28:44 PM EST

When a person is no longer able to communicate their desires, the government assumes the responsibility of interpretation, at variance with the interpretations of the person's closest living relative(s), that seems to me an extreme interpretation of individual rights, or extreme governmental involvement, or something extreme.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Extreme? (none / 0) (#350)
by ubernostrum on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 09:14:27 PM EST

Since when is "I should have the final authority to make decisions about my own medical care" an extreme position?

So long as I am of sound mind at the time of my decision, what possible grounds could you find for denying the right of self-determination of treatment? Who has more of a right to make my decisions than me?




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
uncompromising, then? (none / 0) (#351)
by speek on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 09:25:32 PM EST

At the time of your incapacity, you are unable to verify that you expressed a desire and that the present situation matches the conditions to trigger your supposedly expressed desire. This interpretation is necessarily left to those alive and able. If the members of your family do not think the current situation and your expressed wishes match, but the government barges in and determines it will unplug your life support anyway, I think that's a problem. Death is usually a clear enough phenomenon that we rarely encounter such difficulty, but it is not always so clear. Obviously, the parents of Terri do not think she is dead, and do not think her previously expressed desires are relevant to the current situation.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

I don't think it's a problem. (none / 0) (#377)
by ubernostrum on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:28:39 PM EST

If I clearly express my wish not to be kept alive artifically in such a state, and there's disagreement about whether I'm in such a state that's one thing. But if my doctors all agree I am in such a state, and ten years' worth of litigation in multiple courts results in the same finding of fact each and every time, then I think my parents ned to respect my wishes and let me go.

Also, in case you hadn't noticed one of the nuances of this case is that certain people have hinted that since Terri is Catholic she might have an enforceable moral obligation to continue receiving treatment so long as that treatment can keep her alive. In other words, one of the issues was that people wanted to force a religious belief on her which she might or might not accept (in fact, which she probably didn't accept, given her wishes not to be kept alive in this state).

My treatment, my choice.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
I don't get it. (2.20 / 5) (#71)
by Ward57 on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:11:29 AM EST

Are they really tring to tell me that her brain has disappeared?


Encephalomalacia. (3.00 / 9) (#72)
by Back Spaced on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:33:28 AM EST

In a sense, yes. A large volume of her brain, about 3/4, has died and been consumed by the body. The resultant space in her skull is now occupied by cerebrospinal fluid. It's not all gone, though.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

yep (3.00 / 2) (#73)
by Benny Cemoli on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:39:31 AM EST

As I understand it, when the blood supply to the cells in the brain is cut off, the cells die, the tissue necrotizes, and the area fills with fluid.

She's gone. Has been for a long while.


"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

Well... (2.50 / 2) (#128)
by Dogun on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:13:23 AM EST

I've seen a CAT scane. Google around, you'll find it. As people have been saying, the majority of her cerebral cortex is ex-brain, now cerebral spinal fluid. The oxygen deprivation caused tissue to die, releasing various protiens and whatnot, triggering nearby cells to die as well. The tissue has long since decayed, and fluid has filled the space created. Which is to say, she's got an outer shell of brain holding a sac of liquid. That outer shell isn't as small as people have been saying, but its still pretty clear she's missing a heck of a lot of important hardware.

[ Parent ]
here's the CT (none / 1) (#153)
by ceejayoz on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:36:30 PM EST

http://www.miami.edu/ethics/schiavo/CT%20scan.png

[ Parent ]
Fascist (2.50 / 2) (#164)
by duffbeer703 on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:08:20 PM EST

You obviously have no respect for Terri and her faith. All of the people praying for poor Terri will regenerate her brain.

[ Parent ]
I've seen the scan too. Note the shunt for fluid. (none / 1) (#241)
by mc6809e on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:13:20 AM EST

The CT scan is here.

Note the shunt.

Those voids look like "ex-brain" as much as they do ventricles swollen because they could not drain fluid. Hence the shunt.

In people with ventricles that don't drain, the brain is pushed aside and crushed against the inside of the skull. This does brain damage of course.

What bothers me about the CT scan is how accuratly it suggests a problem with her ventricles draining rather than oxygen deprivation.

Of course, the men in white coats must be right, so who am I to question them.

I just shock whoever they want me to shock.

[ Parent ]

shunt doesn't prove hydrocephalus (none / 0) (#410)
by tgibbs on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:46:01 AM EST

If her ventricles are enlarged in the presence of a shunt, then it argues against hydrocephalus as a possibility, since if that was the case the shunt would have worked and the ventricles wouldn't be massively enlarged. So it looks like it is loss of brain tissue, not compression due to internal pressure

[ Parent ]
What the Ex-Texas Governor said: (2.84 / 25) (#90)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:39:29 PM EST

You know, the one who put more prisoners to death than any governor in history?

"This is a complex case with serious issues. But in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to err on the side of life."
-- George W. "Shock and Awe" Bush

Try a Google Search to see what people have to say.

Considering that he burned and dismembered tens of thousands in a brazen bombing campaign that can hardly be distinguished from the worst act of terrorism, I find it astounding that he can say such a thing without expecting to be summarily expelled from his position of power.

This is the mindset we're deal with folks, in our struggle to restore the Constitution of the United States.


-- Noted Link Whore to Pay For Traffic - Renounces Errant Ways As Launches Ad Blitz


How does Clinton fit into this? (1.25 / 4) (#109)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 07:06:50 PM EST

"Considering that he burned and dismembered tens of thousands in a brazen bombing campaign that can hardly be distinguished from the worst act of terrorism."

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

Extraordinary circumstances (2.83 / 6) (#136)
by kamera on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:49:21 AM EST

As any somewhat suave politician would, Bush managed to insert a qualifier into his statement: "in extraordinary circumstances like this." What exactly he means by extraordinary is important. Executing individuals that are are proven innocent before or after their deaths, is not extraordinary. In fact, it is frightningly ordinary that innocent people are executed. Nor is it extraordinary that a US bombing campaign kills thousands. That's what bombing campaigns do, and we do it rather often. But a case that is this politically ripe, that's extraordinary.

Sometimes political cartoons hit it right on the nail:Matt Davies

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." -- Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

also the one (2.60 / 5) (#214)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:09:11 PM EST

who passed a bill in 1999, calling it  "good law" that allowed Doctors in the state of texas to remove life support on babies they deem a lost cause.

hmm.....

and then he is saying that a woman who is a lost cause should be saved?

[ Parent ]

We all know (3.00 / 2) (#260)
by Deagol on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:05:03 AM EST

that this asshat will continue to keep the religious right all fired up until the '08 election. He's gotta secure more repulican seats in congress, you know.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 1) (#384)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 07:30:18 PM EST

This is the guy who swore there were WMDs in Iraq, and then when none were found said we really didn't go to war over WMDs we went to war over... uh... DEMOCRACY! Yeah, that's the ticket, we went to war to free the Iraqis!

You place credence in anything that psycopath says?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

-1 dying vegetable news-of-the-day dogshit (1.07 / 14) (#96)
by Nosf3ratu on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:17:44 PM EST




Woo!
read the FAQ on story voting, please. (2.33 / 6) (#101)
by brettd on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:16:47 PM EST

Call me when you've read the K5 FAQ on voting on stories. Specifically:

It is important to remember that, just because an article might not be about a topic you are interested in, it is not a reason to vote -1. Vote 0 if you are not sure. Likewise, if this article has "been seen before", or "I saw it on the other site", or any such similar thing, that is not a reason in and of itself to vote a story -1. Vote it 0 if you do not really care.

[ Parent ]

Read this FAQ please: (2.25 / 12) (#111)
by antizeus on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:50:50 PM EST

Q: Can I vote as I please?
A: Yes.

Q: What if I don't like how someone else votes?
A: Then you can go fuck yourself.
-- $SIGNATURE
[ Parent ]

The woman's been flatlining for 15 years! (2.42 / 19) (#114)
by ksandstr on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:23:33 PM EST

In the civilized world, where medical care facilities don't get paid by the number of braindead de facto corpses they keep around, the woman's respirator would have been shut off long ago. What's cruel and unusual about the case is that the parents and the husband have been kept hanging on this whole thing without closure of any sort, wasting 15 years of everyone's time and tying up valuable hospital resources.

Is this sort of thing on the part of the parents really anything more than a manifestation of their inability to accept the fact that their precious daughter died a decade and a half ago as far as anyone except her autonomous brainstem are concerned? Jesus tap-dancing christ, this is next to their claiming the dead body, having it stuffed, propping it up on a chair in front of the dinner table and tucking it into bed for the night!

Fin.

She's not on a respirator (none / 1) (#139)
by Sharrow on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:03:55 PM EST

In the civilized world, where medical care facilities don't get paid by the number of braindead de facto corpses they keep around, the woman's respirator would have been shut off long ago.

She's not on a respirator. She's able to breathe on her own. What the court has ordered is that her feeding tube be removed. Due to her condition, feeding by mouth is extremely difficult, so she will die from lack of food and water.


I've got green eyes, red hair, and I'm left handed. A hundred years ago, I'd have been considered in league with the Devil.
[ Parent ]
That's what nursing homes are for (3.00 / 6) (#147)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:27:47 PM EST

They exist to render the profoundly disabled and extremely elderly, sick and the dying into cash money. They LOVE a Terri Schiavo who lives years and years costing Medicare millions without complaining when the stoned CNA doesn't change your diaper for two shifts in a row. Terri Schiavo's corpse has been kept uselessly alive for 15 years costing Millions, a poor but gainfully employed person somewhere was denied Medicare benefits, and was therefore was financially afraid to go to the doctor to check on a wierd growth until it had become malignant. Now the growth is terminal cancer and the person sits in yet another nursing home developing bed sores while their doomed and screaming carcass is also rendered into cash.

[ Parent ]
You fucking moron. (none / 1) (#229)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:29:41 AM EST

In the civilized world, where medical care facilities don't get paid by the number of braindead de facto corpses they keep around, the woman's respirator would have been shut off long ago.

She's not on a respirator you fucktard. She can breathe on her own.

If you had any concern with accuracy, you could see for yourself

LK

[ Parent ]

stickler for details, eh? (none / 0) (#362)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:37:23 AM EST

She's not on a respirator you fucktard. She can breathe on her own.

His point stands regardless; here, how about we substitute "respirator" in his comment for "life support system?" Jeez. Settle down before you debase someone based on something that really isn't important in the grand scheme of the topic.

That said, I don't agree with him, given that I believe this is more a quality of life issue than it is a brain-dead/vegetative-state issue.



[ Parent ]
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (1.05 / 18) (#115)
by communistpoet on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:29:54 PM EST

STOP POSTING THIS SHIT MOVE ON!

We must become better men to make a better world.
huh? (2.50 / 2) (#121)
by brettd on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 02:05:54 AM EST

This is the only article I've submitted on the subject. I submitted my article well before that "Terri for President" submission.

What are you talking about? Be nice if you put something in the comment field. While you're at it, read the section of the FAQ about the editing queue:

It is important to remember that, just because an article might not be about a topic you are interested in, it is not a reason to vote -1. Vote 0 if you are not sure. Likewise, if this article has "been seen before", or "I saw it on the other site", or any such similar thing, that is not a reason in and of itself to vote a story -1. Vote it 0 if you do not really care.

[ Parent ]

STOP THE INSANITY (1.13 / 15) (#122)
by Mrs Terri Schiavo on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:11:10 AM EST

I CAN PROJECT MY THOUGHTS INTO CYBERSPACE USING A NEARBY COMPUTER.

The real story here (1.10 / 10) (#125)
by eclectro on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 09:59:53 AM EST

What amazes me is everybody on here thinks they can play neurologist and make judgements about this case. The fact is Michael Shiavo is trying to off his wife;

Don't fall for Michael Schiavo's story From the article;

In the course of my conversation with Dr. Morin, he made reference to the standard use of MRI and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans to diagnose the extent of brain injuries. He seemed to assume that these had been done for Terri. I stopped him and told him that these tests have never been done for her; that Michael had refused them.

There was a moment of dead silence.

"That's criminal," he said

this (1.00 / 2) (#132)
by shokk on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:33:22 AM EST

is Michael Schiavo's play at a "Right to Kill". But can you be surprised at the lack of respect for life in a country where eggs are on sale 5 cartons for $5 so that we can color them and throw them out a few days later? At 60 beings a pop, that's friggin great deal!
"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
[ Parent ]
What Country are you from? (none / 0) (#200)
by thesk8ingtoad on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:16:38 PM EST

If you respect life as much as you imply, you must be really upset in regards to birth control- just think of all of those wasted eggs. Not to mention male masturbation ( the human male can create upwards of 1 billion 'beings' in a month.) We don't even color our sperm before disposing of them (I don't anyway) Talk about disrespecting a being !!!.

If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day. If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
[ Parent ]
What about... (none / 1) (#222)
by Eccles on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 09:33:25 PM EST

...people who use yogurt as a facial cream. They're killing billions for just cleaning their pores!

[ Parent ]
Supermarket eggs are unfertilized (none / 0) (#364)
by Pelorat on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 08:39:12 AM EST

There's nothing in the carton to disrespect.

[ Parent ]
No there there. (none / 0) (#179)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:49:39 PM EST

No PET or MRI. That's because there's no brain there to LOOK AT. You won't see blood pumping into an area of her brain ( brain activity ) because there's no brain there to look at.

[ Parent ]
who is playing? (none / 0) (#213)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:03:52 PM EST

I read the reports which say "SHE HAS NO CORETX"

[ Parent ]
Abortion proxy (3.00 / 6) (#126)
by redelm on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 10:10:15 AM EST

I see this case as a proxy for an abortion fight. The protagonists sure look and sound the same "The sanctity of human life." What an odd argument in a nation that prohibits the establishment of any state religion, hence the state sanctifying anything.

There's interesting leverage on the public's ambivalence about euthanasia. Personally, I like the Netherlands approach where doctors make the decision, not the family who are too involved and would be burdened with guilt (either way). The same rationale as behind the medical prohibition on self/family treatment. But that would never fly in the US where all authorities are deeply distrusted.



Cultural Climate is Dangerous (3.00 / 2) (#131)
by JosephK on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:26:51 AM EST

I agree. Completely. I'd go further to say that this is just another pillar in an overall cultural monument to evangelical, American Christianity that is being erected. Just consider the recent noise about museums conveying the message that the universe is billions of years old and so forth. And then IMAX stops showing that sweet film where the scope zooms in and out to the smallest and largest extremes. The situation is exhasterbated by the media, who, in pandering blatantly to this demographic, have just continued to feed people this story. Which in turn fuels their sense of crusade and self-importance. If our current trajectory accelerated, and I'm not saying it will, unhindered, then we would be in a new dark ages in 25 years.
HTML is Dead.
[ Parent ]
Distrusted = good. (none / 1) (#186)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:00:02 PM EST

You won't fly to the US where the public (rightly) distrusts the authorities, but you'll stay where you are ( whereever that is ) where the authorities ARE (wrongly) trusted.

Let me clue you in: Authorities anywhere any time are NEVER to be trusted. And the more trusted they are the more they know it, and the worse the crap they'll try to get away with. And if the authorities are trusted and they take a dump on you, then nobody will believe your story while the authority who did the dirty deed sits back and laughs it up.

Trusted authorities is a sign of authorities who are getting away with it. Untrusted authorities are getting caught regularly, and so are on the whole more honest.

[ Parent ]

People live down to your expectations (3.00 / 2) (#270)
by redelm on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:49:16 PM EST

I'm currently living in the US by choice. I have lived and could live elsewhere, but I dislike their restrictions on individual rights (too democratic).

Authorities outside the US usually have a much greater sense of civic service than inside the US. And are held accountable for same. Of course there are some abuses everywhere. Sells lots of ink and photons, but abuses don't change the underlying character of the systems.



[ Parent ]

+1 'too democratic' n/t (none / 0) (#398)
by m a r c on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 10:29:55 AM EST


I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]
My problem with the "R.T. Lifers"... (none / 0) (#383)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 07:28:24 PM EST

Nearly all of them are in favor of Capital punishment. Sorry, folks, but my set of morals says it's wrong to kill humans. It also says I don't know jack about when a zygote or a blastocyst or a fetus becomes human, so unless it's my zygote I should stay the hell out. AFIC it's between the zygote's parents, their doctor, and God. God's probably optional in this scenario.

My logic tells me that life does not start at conception, or at the blastocyst stage, or the zygote stage, or the fetus stage, or even at birth. Life doesn't start, period. Life only continues.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I noticed that you omitted a key point (1.10 / 10) (#133)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:39:24 AM EST

that Michael Schiavo actually moved to Florida in order to find a court willing to let him stop Terri's treatment. His home state refused to let him do it.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
Source? (2.50 / 2) (#158)
by Bryan Bytehead on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:47:24 PM EST

I'd like to know the source of this information. Like when did he move, and from what state did they move from?
Visit my blog.
[ Parent ]
I fail it. (none / 1) (#189)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:15:27 PM EST

I had heard this and repeated it without checking - which means, of course, I screwed it up.

AFAIK, she's been in florida the whole time.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

What point does that make? (none / 0) (#159)
by thudfactor on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:49:02 PM EST

I'm not sure what your point is -- if I had custody of someone who expressed to me a wish to die if ever in a hopeless medical situation like that, I would certainly cross state lines to find some way to fulfil that wish.
-- Don't make me come over there.
[ Parent ]
F-1ction (3.00 / 6) (#181)
by fluxrad on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:55:35 PM EST

What in the sweet baby crucified christ are you talking about? The Schiavo's lived in Florida from 1986 on.

Did you even get the conservative talking points? You're not on message today and I, for one, believe you're going to be getting a stern warning from Tom Delay shortly.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
You're right. I was wrong. (3.00 / 3) (#188)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:14:09 PM EST

I had heard that argument, and I should have verified it before re-posting the claim.

My bad.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Don't feel too bad about it (none / 0) (#218)
by forgotten on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:41:00 PM EST

The whole country is repeating these kind of anecdotal "facts" without verification.

--

[ Parent ]

The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said it best (none / 0) (#428)
by Pxtl on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:57:09 AM EST

"You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

This axiom is being violated increasingly in modern politics.

[ Parent ]

Two quick points (1.22 / 9) (#134)
by michaelmalak on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:39:31 AM EST

  1. The point hopefully everyone can agree on is that Michael Schiavo has a conflict of interest. An AP story reports nurse Carla Iyer witnessing Schiavo stating, "When is that bitch going to die?". The same story describes his new girlfriend and children by her. Michael Schiavo quite possibly is pulling a King Henry VIII here -- murdering a wife in order to remarry in the Catholic Church.
  2. The more controversial point is whether it is ever permissible to deny a person food and water. The Catholic Church says "no" regardless of a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state. Whether to deny food and water is as morally clear (to Catholics) as whether to allow armed robbery. When a ventilator is involved (which of course it is not in this case), that is where other circumstances come into play, and where (as in other cases) there are a lot of unknowns, and where even morally well-grounded people may disagree given the same information.
Notice my two points do not depend upon whether Terri is in a persistent vegetative state.

I have heard -- and I would readily assume to be true at this late date -- that her parents simply want custody and would be willing to take her into their home and feed her themselves. Are you in favor of preventing Terri's parents from caring for their own daughter?

As I discuss in my blog, this is not a "right-to-die" case. In that same AP story, we find out that the Hemlock Society won't even touch this case for reasons including #1 above. It's really scary how a large segment of the U.S. has become more kevorkian than right-to-die organizations.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver

non-credible witness (3.00 / 2) (#151)
by ceejayoz on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:33:30 PM EST

An AP story reports nurse Carla Iyer witnessing Schiavo stating, "When is that bitch going to die?".

Her story was judged too incredible.  Hell, even Schiavo's parents wouldn't touch it in their court cases.  Plus, she claims the husband was injecting her with insulin to kill her, but she never reported it to the hospice - there's no note in the chart.  She's not the least bit credible.

Are you in favor of preventing Terri's parents from caring for their own daughter?

When doing so violates her wishes, yes, yes I am.

[ Parent ]

Let me rephrase that (none / 1) (#160)
by michaelmalak on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:00:59 PM EST

And given his adultery, Michael Schiavo is not a credible witness. We do not know Terri's wishes.

Let me rephrase my previous question: Are you in favor of preventing Terri's parents from feeding their own daughter with a spoon?

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

That's why... (3.00 / 4) (#163)
by hangareighteen on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:08:06 PM EST

The court appointed a guardian ad litem,  specifically
to cover the "conflict of interest."  The court,  as
an independant organization,  decided based upon testiomy
what Terri's wishes probably were.  It's not perfect,
and we will never know what they actually were,  but
we have to come to something of a solution to give
closure to the situation.

And yes,  if I asked that I not be kept alive using
these types of measures -- I would be pretty pissed
if the state allowed my family to go against those
wishes simply because they wanted to keep my body
alive.  I believe it's my right to decide these things,
regardless of the "moral" questions it leaves for
those have to care for me and my estate.

[ Parent ]

except that (3.00 / 2) (#167)
by emaline on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:12:30 PM EST

1. He has remained married so that he could fight for Terri's wishes.  He has sacrificed years of his life for her.

2.  If they feed her with a spoon, she'll die.  Her brain isn't able to tell her throat to move to the food side and the food will end up in her lungs.  

Are you in favor of her parents feeding her with a spoon?

[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#171)
by michaelmalak on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:18:20 PM EST

Given her reported success in the mid-90's of spoon-feeding, it would have been worth a shot. In these waning hours, even a person with full mental capacity would need an IV for rehydration.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]
Her nurses claim (none / 0) (#177)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:34:43 PM EST

that they have successfully fed her jello on many occasions, and that they even gave her ice chips, or a wet rag soaked in OJ, which they claim she enjoyed.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Man... (3.00 / 2) (#221)
by Eccles on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 09:27:47 PM EST

or a wet rag soaked in OJ

Man, that guy is going everywhere searching for the real killers...

[ Parent ]
She has no brain but for the brain stem (none / 0) (#212)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:01:57 PM EST

so basically no.

[ Parent ]
Incorrect. CT scan actually shows cortex remaining (none / 0) (#239)
by mc6809e on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:01:24 AM EST

The University of Miami has a CT scan of her brain.



[ Parent ]

wow... (none / 0) (#242)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:33:28 AM EST

and I guess all the stuff in the middle was not important or anything.

[ Parent ]
The CT scan shows she has more than just a stem (none / 0) (#244)
by mc6809e on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:44:15 AM EST

You were wrong.

Try not to take it too hard next time.

[ Parent ]

and you are wrong if you think taht means anything (none / 1) (#253)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:59:40 AM EST

because her EEG is still flat... meaning no cortical activity.

[ Parent ]
Again, Yes (3.00 / 5) (#170)
by virg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:16:32 PM EST

> And given his adultery, Michael Schiavo is not a credible witness. We do not know Terri's wishes.

According the the transcripts from the actual case, which I find strangely absent from all the "Save Terri" sites, Michael was one of three witnesses who described Terri saying she would not want to live in such a state. Even if you impugn Michael entirely (which nobody has any credible evidence for doing, but for our example we'll give you that), there are two other witnesses. Therefore, we do still know Terri's wishes, as much as is possible.

> Let me rephrase my previous question: Are you in favor of preventing Terri's parents from feeding their own daughter with a spoon?

Yes. The decision reached is that Terri herself would not wish to continue living in the state she's in. That doesn't relate to the mechanics of how she's fed. Her parent's wishes do not trump hers.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Well, it depends (none / 1) (#173)
by jolly st nick on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:26:24 PM EST

on you opinion whether she is alive. In my opinion, she's gone, so technically speaking we'd be talking fornication here.

For that matter, the marriage ceremony theologically only solemnifies a sacrament exchanged between two people. This covers the case common throughout most of christian history where a couple did not have access to a state official or clergyman. So in the eyes of God, it may be that Mr. Schiavo's "girlfriend" is his wife.

When friends or relatives would pass on, my mother, a devout Christian woman, would sigh and say "life is for the living.". What this means is that life is a precious gift and it's a sin to be a cling to the past. You have your cry, then you buck up and make the most of the rest of your limited time on Earth.

I have no patience with the people who want to set themselve up in the seat of judgement over this man.

[ Parent ]

Sorry, but not in present day in U.S. (none / 1) (#174)
by michaelmalak on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:32:17 PM EST

Unfortunately for you and Michael Schiavo, there are an abundance of available Catholic priests (acting on behalf of bishops) to condone a second marriage, if they thought he was available for marriage, which of course they do not think.

Unlike in China, where the Church is underground, bishops in the U.S. have complete authority over marriages.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

You have a talent (3.00 / 2) (#180)
by jolly st nick on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:51:20 PM EST

for missing the point. Which is that Mr. Schiavo did the right thing by carrying on in his life after his first wife died.

If you absolutely insist on being legalistic, marriages not solemnified by the church are under canon law still valid. Marriage is not a sacrament given by the church to a couple; it is a sacrament exchanged between two people and in some cases solemnified by the church.

Otherwise, Marriages between non-Catholics would be invalid. You could, for example, marry a divorced Protestant.

[ Parent ]

Ummm... (none / 0) (#176)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:33:22 PM EST

Actually, she's on record claiming that she made lots and lots of notes in Schiavo's record, only to find that someone was removing them.

I don't find her entirely credible, but when you're talking about someone's life I think it's best to err on the side of life.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

when you are talkign about some one who (none / 0) (#211)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:58:43 PM EST

can recover.. yes... all you are advocating is the care and feeding of a woman who has no brain left except the brain stem... which if you look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_stem

should give you the BASIC understanding that you seem to lack regarding it.

[ Parent ]

We're talking about Catholics here.... (3.00 / 4) (#162)
by shambles on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:04:04 PM EST

...any religion that bans abortion but then also bans contraception does not have a firm grounding in ethics.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 1) (#311)
by valeko on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:26:05 AM EST

Maybe they just want to ban abortion, contraception, and recreational sex ("recreational" used to mean had with a purpose other than to conceive)?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

elaborate (none / 0) (#368)
by SoTuA on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 11:06:03 AM EST

why do you think that banning abortion and contraception is "not having firm grounding in ethics". BTW, the Catholic Church does permit contraception. It just doesn't approve of the methods you would like to use for it. (IIRC, condoms are out but the pill isn't). FYI, the Catholic Church permits the use of the only 100% safe contraception method... abstinence ;)

[ Parent ]
The Catholic Church's stance is immoral, IMO. (none / 1) (#379)
by MrMikey on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:38:07 PM EST

The outcome of their banning abortion and almost all methods of contraception is that women are having more babies than they can afford to support, and doing so in lieu of being able to control their lives in such a way as to be able to get the education they need to be financially independent. Anywhere in the world you have women gaining control over their own fertility, you have increased prosperity and increased personal freedom. The Church's stance results in increased human misery, and I consider it to be immoral, if not evil. The banning of condoms just feeds into the "if you have sex, you deserve to be punished (especially if you're a woman)" mindset. Sure, abstinence works... if it's used. Turning a blind eye towards the fact that it isn't, and the consequences of that, isn't "respecting life"... it's the opposite. Tie in objections to factual, accurate, complete sex education, and you go from "maybe evil" to "blackly evil."

[ Parent ]
Catholics don't need ethics (none / 0) (#382)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 07:25:03 PM EST

They have morals. If you had morals, you wouldn't need ethics, either.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Which is better (none / 0) (#407)
by mettaur on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 05:48:22 AM EST

  1. Being scared of some git up in the sky who will get grumpy if you do anything he doesn't like.
  2. Actually sitting down and thinking about this issue and deciding what would be the best course of action to be fair to everybody without regard for any supernatural entities.

--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
maybe had this case not gone on for 15 years (3.00 / 4) (#210)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:54:36 PM EST

he would not have moved on with his life yet... but you can only wait so long for morons like her parents... and most of the conservative movement...  to give up and let the woman's BODY die.

the CAT scan and EEG show that she has no brain left.. period.!!!!!!!!!!!

I think we need to send all conservatives back to high school biology so they can learn where the personhood exists in the brain.

oh, I forgot... they are looking at this as her SOLE... well great... apparently god wanted it to return 15 years ago.

here is a fact.. 60 years ago God would have had this woman back in a week... but because humans have messed with his planning because they "know what god wants" they have kept God's will from being expressed.

[ Parent ]

the LIEberals are (1.33 / 3) (#226)
by sellison on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:34:38 PM EST

"in favor of preventing Terri's parents from caring for their own daughter?"

They would see Terri and a thousand like her if it advanced their culture of death adgenda: abortion and stem cell research.

This case sets a precendent for protecting a living person who doesn't currently have brain functions, that she may again someday is of no concern to the Liberals, any more than the fact that fetuses and embryos may someday develop a brain--the want to preserve the right of "Nearest kin" to decide life and death.

What the LIEberals fear most of all is that this case may serve as a precedent for a father or relative to deny a woman the "right" to kill her unborn child simply because she is the "legal" gaurdian.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Cute. (none / 1) (#284)
by abulafia on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:42:42 PM EST

See, you made the word 'liberal' look bad by inserting a letter and capitalizing it to call attention to it. That's funny, like when you make fun of a nerdy kid named Arty by adding an 'f'.

Please call back when you enter the sixth grade.

Maybe then you can explain how the "culture of death" is not being furthered by those pious, honorable conservatives like Bush and Delay (who passed a law do allow exactly the sort of choice made here, and in the past has written about the favorability of exactly this sort of choice, respectively.)

[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 1) (#396)
by kcidx on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 09:44:05 AM EST

...Bush passed a law in Texas making this kind of decision MANDATORY if the family can't afford the hospital bills anymore...so figure that one out.

[ Parent ]
You Crazy Wabbit (none / 0) (#387)
by nkyad on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 11:48:54 PM EST

Michael Schiavo quite possibly is pulling a King Henry VIII here -- murdering a wife in order to remarry in the Catholic Church.

You contradict yourself without even noticing. Or you notice but don't want to tell. Whatever. Pray tell, why such a pious Catholic, who can't stand not being properly married by his Church, won't listen to the same Church screaming at his ears to let his wife live? Dozens of priests, bishops, cardinals, the Vatican itself (and Pope probably hasn't spoken only because he can't speak anymore) have pleaded for her life, but the crazy Catholic Michael Schiavo must have his first wife dead in order to marry the mother of his children. Is that what you want us to believe? Man, the Vatican would not only dissolve his marriage, they'd give him the Archbishoppry of Cantenbury and a golden plaque in the Sistine Chapel if he agreed to deny his wife's wishes.

As for your second point, the said person is already dead - whatever is left of her brain has flatlined a long time ago. So, no one is denying food and water to a person.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Axlotl tank (2.62 / 8) (#140)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:05:21 PM EST

Firstly: I think she should have her wishes respected and the feeding tube removed. There is no dignity in flailing around like a chicken with it's head cut off which is exactly her situation. See this: http://home.nycap.rr.com/useless/headless_chicken/

But neither is there indignity. Nobody expects one to be dignified without a brain. Someone might not mind their braindead body hanging around for years and years if it could do some good. Some motorcyclist's organs, for instance, survive years longer than they do.

If the mind is the seat of the soul, then the body is just meat when the mind is gone, although it may or may not have some sentimental value to someone.

But of the economic value a dead, but living body might have: There's the organs that can be sold, but an intact body would have other uses than just chopping it up for parts:

  • Axlotl 'Tank' - Terri had fertility problems, so we don't know if her womb was in working order - perhaps only her fallopian tubes were narrow, but her womb might still be capable of carrying someone else's test tube baby - for a large fee of course. Feeding tubes and CNA care isn't cheap you know, and we still want to make a profit. And she could be used to grow clones - maybe even gholas...
  • Medical experiments - It would be completely ethical to use her vacant body to help save live human beings. Terri's skull ( and other parts ) could be fistulated to provide researchers with easy access for their probes. She still has a brainstem, maybe a cerebellum? It's function could be probed and much could be learned from such a working model of a live human being.
  • Flesh Automaton research - A replacement brain might be installed. The wiring for movement is still there; instead of her moving in response to the random short circuits that occur from at the severed ends of the nerve cables that once connected her body to her brain, why not attach them to a laptop? She could be a flesh-Asimo, paving the way for food powered robot workers.


lol (1.00 / 4) (#156)
by bakuretsu on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:45:30 PM EST

I fully support your suggestions on the basis that I value not the emotional attachments of her family, but science above all.

Hitler was the only one who understood the value of human experimentation.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]

Absolute brialliance! [n/t] (none / 0) (#395)
by kcidx on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 09:41:25 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Face the Facts (1.14 / 14) (#144)
by freddie on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:13:50 PM EST

If someone can show emotion and communicate in the way Terri does it on the videos, it is absurd to call them a vegetable.  The more authoritative the source, the worse it makes them look.  If a judge or a doctor calls her a vegetable, and they say that she has no brain activity, all it really does is cast them and their methods in a bad light.

Doctors and judges speak authoritatively, and know their jargon.  If I could speak like them I could probably argue that brettd has been a vegetable all of his life, and have people believe me.  

Actually I'm not convinced that brettd is a conscious being at all. He is not capable of exercising his own judgement (probably because he doesn't have any), so an authority tells him something, he believes it.  He is completly lacking in empathy, which is a characteristic of higher forms of lives, such as birds and mammals.   brettd's severe brain damage has reduced him to the level of a reptile.  But then a reptile wouldn't deny the obvious, so brettd must be a vegetable.

It could be talked about whether Terri has serious brain damage.  But then,  some people have lived perfectly normal lives with no detectable brain at all.

Letting terri starve to death is murder.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

highly edited videos, remember (3.00 / 3) (#149)
by ceejayoz on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:30:44 PM EST

According to the testimony of her nurses, she expresses the same emotion and communication when observed from outside the room.  The highly edited video from the family looks great, but when she's reacting the same way to empty air...

"Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! Terri, look at me! OMG! SHE LOOKED AT ME! DID SOMEONE GET THAT ON TAPE?!"

[ Parent ]

so you've examined her, then? (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by emaline on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:09:02 PM EST

Because surely you aren't simply going on what you are told a video means, a video that has been edited to create reactions where there are simple motor responses?

You must have examined her.  You must know more about the brain than the doctors who have talked about how she has simply a brain stem.  You must have spent enough time around her to see her reactions.

Oh, you haven't.  You're going on the arguments of doctors who have never examined her and a video that is propaganda for her parents' agenda to keep their daughter alive.

It's interesting that you see it fit to condemn others for listening to experts who have examined her and yet... you are doing the same.

[ Parent ]

that means you can survive w/o your front lobes (none / 0) (#166)
by lukme on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:09:51 PM EST

better yet, have most of you brain removed to show that your hypothesis is correct. Do it now, so that you can tell us how much your mathematical intuition has improved without you brain.


-----------------------------------
It's awfully hard to fly with eagles when you're a turkey.
[ Parent ]
The answer to life, the universe and everything (none / 0) (#175)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:32:26 PM EST

The answer - to life, the universe and everything is 42. Don't need much of a brain to remember that!

[ Parent ]
Little Brain (none / 1) (#172)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:25:21 PM EST

Our brain learns mostly by deleting connections. Unused brain cells are no longer needed and so atrophy and die. It could be that these people have developed a very efficient brain that serves them so well that they have no need for the parts of the brain that have atrophied away. Maybe these people are merely 'extremely self actualized'.

Consider: A vacuum tube computer filled a room in the 1950s. It is a tiny fraction as powerful as a pda or cell phone computer is today. A room full of vacuum tubes or a game boy - which is better?

Of course the above is just speculation...

[ Parent ]

Your analogy is stupid (none / 1) (#381)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 07:24:14 PM EST

Brains are nothing like computers, and computers are nothing like brains.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I'm familiar with this case (3.00 / 3) (#178)
by jolly st nick on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:46:29 PM EST

I'd read about it years ago in school. The article paints an inaccurate picture of a brain stem covered with a tiny lump of gray matter. If I recall, the situation was actually one where he had massive voids in his brain filled with CSF. Note that geometrically, the outer portions of his brain would have had the same surface area as a normal person's, and at least the same number of cells (if not more to adapt to his unusual condition). We do know that brains can continue to function with various bits of connective wiring missing. Examples are the corpus callosum, which is severed in an operation called a corpus callosotomy to relieve epilepsy; and of course the lobotomy, in which nerves connecting the prefontal lobes to the rest of the brain are severed. In these cases, we know that many cognitive functions appear normal (arguably enhanced -- which is the purpose of psychosurgery), but that there are subtle deficits. If, however the cortex is removed, the deficits are not going to be subtle.

In any case the parts of his brain that he had (again if I recall correctly) would include precisely those that Ms. Schiavo's remains do not have.

To be honest, it's been many years since I read a write up of this case. However the impression I get of the article you linked is that it has distorted the details of the case to suit its agenda. It reflects poorly on the right to life position.

[ Parent ]

Her CT scan show voids, surrounded by her brain. (3.00 / 2) (#238)
by mc6809e on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 03:58:56 AM EST

If I recall, the situation was actually one where he had massive voids in his brain filled with CSF. Note that geometrically, the outer portions of his brain would have had the same surface area as a normal person's, and at least the same number of cells (if not more to adapt to his unusual condition).

[snip]

In any case the parts of his brain that he had (again if I recall correctly) would include precisely those that Ms. Schiavo's remains do not have.

She has them. In fact, her brain seems to resemble the man in the story.

Take a look at her CT scan at the University of Miami.

She has similar voids filled with CSF with brain surrounding them.

[ Parent ]

Well, WRT to the cat scan (none / 1) (#256)
by jolly st nick on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:04:38 AM EST

I am not trained in reading cat scans, so I won't presume to interpret this image.

My recollection of the other case in question, which is admittedly many years old now, is that anatomically speaking the ventricles in the gentleman's brain were unusually (read grotesquely) large. Ventricles are fluid filled voids hich are a normal part of every brain. However, this man had at least a superficially normal cortex. If this is so, then this gentleman's case cannot be used to support the original poster's assertion that human consciousness can exist without a cortex.

Now,there's a lot of assertions flying around. If it is true, as the linked article says, that this man had a tiny knob of a cortex covering the brain stem, then I'll admit that this is proof that conscious existence doesn't require a brain.

If it is true, as you say, that Mrs. Schiavo has a brain which resembles this person's, then I will admit this as evidence that rehabilitation is a possiblity. It doesn't rise to the level of proof, but it alters the ethical factors that have to be weighed.

However, I don't think either of these is true. Which in my opinion is unfortunate. I gain no ego gratification from wallowing in the unfortunate situation of this family for my ideological ends.

In any case, the linked article, it seems to me, is highly inaccurate. Your unprofessional interpretation of the cat scan doesn't match mine -- although this doesn't mean anything since my knowledge of brain anatomy is decades old and neither of us (I presume) know anything about read ct scans.

[ Parent ]

How many stones make a heap-o-stones? (2.71 / 7) (#184)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 02:27:54 PM EST

This Schiavo debate and the abortion controversy are between the those who live by an arbitrary set of absolute and inflexible moral axioms ( when it is someone else that has to pay ) which disallow 'killing' a-priori, and those who do not live by such an arbitrary and inflexible anti-killing rule.

How many stones make a heap? 1 stone is not a heap. 2 stones is not a heap. 3 stones is not a heap . . . 9 stones is not a heap 100 stones IS a heap. 50 stones IS a heap. 20 stones IS a heap. 15 stones is a heap. 12 stones is a small heap. If 10 stones is a heap, then why isn't 9 stones a heap? if 10 stones is not a heap then is 11 stones a heap? if 11 is a heap, then why not 10?

2 gametes are not a baby. 1 fertilized egg is not a baby. A few stem cells is not a baby, a gram of cells is not a baby. 2 grams of cells is not a baby. 2 oz of cells is not a baby ... 5 pounds of cells IS a baby, 3 pounds of cells IS a baby 1 pound of cells is a baby 15 oz of cells is a baby... is 8 oz of cells a baby? if so, then why not 7? If not, then what is so different about 9 oz of cells? How about 8 oz 1 gram? Wherever you draw the line, if you do choose an arbitrary line and draw it, you are wrong, because things close to the line on either side of the arbitrarily chosen divide are more the same than different.

1:2 odds of waking up warrants continued care. 1:4 odds warrants continued care. 1:16 odds warrants continued care. 1:1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 odds does not warrant continued care 1:1,000,000,000,000 does not require continued care, 1:1,000,000,000 odds does not warrant continued care - the resources required could save more lives elsewhere - for instance some intersections have stop signs instead of stop lights because they are cheaper. If we spent all our money on stoplights then there would be nothing left for medical care. 1:10,000,000 odds of waking up do not warrant continued feeding/care 1:2,000,000 odds = not worth it, 1:1,000,000 =(maybe) worth it 1:1,500,000 = worth it 1:1,600,000 = not worth it. Are you going to pick a ratio: say 1:1,500,001 and say that that is the point where the odds of someone waking up are not worth continued feeding but that when the odds are 1:1,500,000 then we keep them alive? Can you even calculate odds that accurately?

That is why her wishes to die need to be respected - because even the people who say babies are people at conception and that PVS people should never be allowed to die are being just as arbitrary as the person that says a fetus is a person when it weighs 1.237464 grams but not when it weighs 1.237463 grams, or that you should feed a PVS person when the odds of waking up are 1:999,999 but not if they are 1:1,000,000. Staking yourself out at one extreme or the other doesn't avoid the existance of the continuum - a fertilized egg cell is not substantially different than one of the millions of skin cells that I slough off every day. A person with 1 brain cell still there is not substantially different than someone with no brain cells whatsoever.

If you believe that there IS a substantial difference, that there is some magic ghost in there that leaves when the last brain cell dies, or that inhabits a single egg cell, then you can choose to never have an abortion and to be kept warm and beating as long as there's anything in your skull at all or even longer if possible. But when you try to force your arbitrary morals on people who have clearly stated that they have different values and wishes than you then you are no better than someone who decides to 'abort' your baby for you after live delivery just as you start your fourth trimester, or the person that would shoot you if you hit your head and were just temporarily dazed thinking it was more humane than letting you suffer.

And sometimes there IS no right thing to do. Sometimes there is only compromise that is possible. We live in an inherently fuzzy world. It's all just shades of grey. You get to choose how light a shade of grey to call white and how dark a shade of grey to call black on a case by case basis, and because it's actually grey you are both right and wrong. But at least you are free.

[ Parent ]

Nothing to do with the right to die or abortion (none / 0) (#271)
by freddie on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:51:17 PM EST

After seeing the videos it is absurd to state that Terri is in a vegetative state.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
"I saw it on television..." (none / 0) (#282)
by abulafia on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:19:13 PM EST

"... it must be true."

[ Parent ]
No it isn't. (none / 0) (#340)
by Cubics Rube on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 04:28:53 PM EST

A chicken can walk around with it's head cut off. Walking is a coodinated set of motions much like a facial expression. And like Terri, a chicken with it's head cut off has no purpose to it's motions.

[ Parent ]
Your last link ... (none / 0) (#190)
by moeffju on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:40:58 PM EST

Memory is not a recording process in which a medium is altered to store records, but a journey that the mind makes into the past via the process of morphic resonance.

Thereby proving that some people really do get by without a detectable brain.

I call bullshit.

JREF


[ Parent ]

One interesting thing about this last link (none / 0) (#265)
by jolly st nick on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:59:38 AM EST

OK, I think the link misreprsents some cases that were in the literature, and I've dealt with that elsewhere.

What's really interesting is how the idea that memory and consciousness don't reside in the brain suits the purposes of a particular religious viewpoint.

[ Parent ]

I'm not religious. But you are. (none / 0) (#269)
by freddie on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:48:44 PM EST

You're accepting dogma based on faith.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
Eh? (none / 0) (#272)
by jolly st nick on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:51:55 PM EST

well, you certainly have a mystical ability to read minds.

[ Parent ]
Brain death (2.28 / 7) (#185)
by yet another coward on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 02:55:24 PM EST

"Total brain death was clearly evident." This statement is incorrect.

"Clear, indisputable medical evidence proves she is completely braindead..." This one reveals some major misunderstandings.

She mostly certainly has not experienced brain death. She respires, and she has some reflexes.

I presume that the author is unfamiliar with the term. The article needs editing.



you silly kid you (none / 0) (#194)
by possibilitybox on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:10:03 PM EST

from the definition you cited: "A brain-dead individual has no electrical activity". Much appreciated if you RTFA next time.

[ Parent ]
Get a clue. (2.00 / 3) (#199)
by yet another coward on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:10:31 PM EST

How does she breathe? What are those reflexive behaviors she exhibits?

"A brain-dead individual has no electrical activity <b>and</b> no clinical evidence of brain function (no response to pain, no cranial nerve reflexes (pupillary response (fixed pupils), oculocephalic reflex, corneal reflexes), and no spontaneous respirations)."

In logic, there is this operation called "and." Another one is called "or." They are different. Get the straight. If you had read the whole statement you quoted instead of one piece, you could read "and."

(I won't confuse you with "not" right now, but you should look into it once you catch on to "and" and "or.")

Much appreciated if you remove your head from its usual place before responding.

[ Parent ]

How about you do the same... (3.00 / 2) (#216)
by topynate on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:09:34 PM EST

It is important to distinguish between brain death and states that mimic brain death (eg. ... chronic vegetative states). Her brain is almost, but not completely destroyed. The brain stem functions, so she can still breath. In other words, she's anencephalic, but that's not commonly regarded as 'brain death'.


"...identifying authors with their works is a feckless game. Simply to go by their books, Agatha Christie is a mass murderess, while William Buckley is a practicing Christian." --Gore Vidal
[ Parent ]
What I find frustrating... (3.00 / 6) (#192)
by John Thompson on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:51:46 PM EST

is that every year, all across the United States, thousands of similar decisions are made by familes without all the political grandstanding this case has engendered. I have been personally involved in at least three such cases in just the last month.

Who can seriously doubt that the dramatic Presidential return from Crawford was anything but a photo-op like the "Mission Accomplished" carrier landing? As has been noted elsewhere, this is the same President who couldn't be bothered to cut short his Crawford vacation in the summer of 2001 when presented with a security briefing entitled "Bin Laden determined to stike in the US." And having that paragon of virtue and principle, Tom Delay, lecture on values is enough to make me ill.



Yes, but none of those cases (none / 1) (#198)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:04:05 PM EST

raise enough legal issues to allow one side to keep the issue in dispute.

My own grandmother lingered in a coma six months before passing away - but even in her case it was struggle to get everyone to agree to the DNR order. To actively deny care would have been another matter entirely, and I doubt my grandfather, aunts and uncles would ever have agreed to it.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Beg to differ (none / 1) (#201)
by John Thompson on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:22:46 PM EST

Several years ago, one of my patients was a 32 year old man who had been found on the kitchen floor of his apartment by his sister. Apparently he had gone into diabetic ketoacidosis two days before (the last time he was seen) and had been lying in a coma until his sister became concerned about him not answering phone calls and came to check. By the time he got to us, he was essentially where Terri is -- flat EEG and unresponsive except for autonomic reflexes. Neuro workup showed little hope for meaningful recovery. The only reason he was still alive is that he had become so dehydrated that there was not enough cerebral edema to produce a brainstem herniation that would have stopped his respirations. He had no power of attorney designated, but after several days the courts assigned his sister to this role and she elected not to have a feeding tube placed.

This really only differs from the Schiavo case in details. If a feeding tube had been placed, his body may well have been alive even now.



[ Parent ]
I don't understand your point. (none / 1) (#208)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:41:32 PM EST

Did he have other relatives that opposed his sister's decision?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Clarification (none / 1) (#341)
by John Thompson on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 04:30:37 PM EST

No; but in the Schiavo case, her husband *IS* the legally designated power of attorney -- this has been upheld *EVERY* time the case has been heard in court. The Florida legislature, Gov. Jeb Bush, Congress, the saintly Tom DeLay, and President Bush have *NO LEGAL RIGHT* to intervene. They may not like Mike Schiavo's decision, but the decision is his and his alone to make. Anything else is a perversion of justice.

[ Parent ]
I see. (none / 0) (#344)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 05:54:47 PM EST

I notice you didn't actually include Schiavo's parents, who are the ones actually fighting this in court, not the legislatures, nor the governor.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#394)
by kcidx on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 09:35:10 AM EST

...it doesn't matter really, because they have no legal right to intervene either.

[ Parent ]
'scuse me? (1.28 / 7) (#228)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:24:58 AM EST

Who can seriously doubt that the dramatic Presidential return from Crawford was anything but a photo-op like the "Mission Accomplished" carrier landing?

To what end? He's a lame duck president. He can't run again. Who do you think he's trying to impress?

I guess the concept of principles is so alien to you that you can't fathom the possibility that he did that because he wanted to save her life.

LK

[ Parent ]

dumbest...post....EVER! (none / 1) (#273)
by fluxrad on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:32:14 PM EST

To what end? He's a lame duck president. He can't run again. Who do you think he's trying to impress?

Um, it's not like it's the "Democrats' turn" after he's done in the west wing. He's the leader of the Republican party and they'll probably try to stick around as an entity after he's done. But you're right, what could Bush possibly hope to accomplish with this type of political pandering. I mean he's only got three and a half more years left in the White House.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
You do know, (none / 0) (#391)
by baseball on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 01:37:00 AM EST

don't you, that while he was governor of Texas, Bush signed a law allowing a hospital to remove life support, even over the family's objection, if the patient had no hope of recovery, the patient couldn't pay his or her bills, and the family couldn't find another place to treat the patient within ten days? Principles? I don't think so.

* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]
Campaigning. (none / 0) (#425)
by FieryTaco on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 12:09:25 AM EST

Bush has been campaigning for the last five years and will continue to do so. It's how his administration operates. They do not communicate with anyone, they don't consult with anyone outside of their circle.

[ Parent ]
The country protests its own death. (3.00 / 4) (#195)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:18:28 PM EST

See them gasp, watch them flail, society has nothing left to offer but distractions from reality. For it is written end times are upon us when we become players in a theatre of the absurd.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.

You meant to post this (none / 0) (#371)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:19:01 PM EST

in the Michael Jackson thread.

The issues surrounding this Schiavo deal should be discussed among everyone who cares about law, the social order, death, etc etc.

[ Parent ]

You can call intervention discussion if you want (none / 1) (#373)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:49:18 PM EST

I don't understand what point you think you're making about discussion. I'm pretty sure "everyone who cares about law, the social order, death, etc., etc., etc" were discussing those subjects when someone got the bright idea to intervene in a private family matter and turn into morbid political theatre of the absurd. It's kind of what people do, discuss social issues; but the people who want to intervene in Terri's case don't seem very interested in discussing social issues, because I haven't heard them dispute principles such as the rule of law, individual liberties and separation of power. Indeed, to a fault they hold those principles to be uncontroversial. They simply disagree with the verdict. Why do they disagree? Do they think death, loss and tragedy, which everyone must experience, diminish us as human beings? Are they protesting against a system that discriminates against disabled people, denying them rights of due process, opportunity, and social assistance? I wish they were but they are not, and anyway Terri is not "disabled." Terri is a theatrical prop for these people, a means to a political end. I don't understand what point you think you're making about discussion. I'm pretty sure "everyone who cares about law, the social order, death, etc., etc., etc" were discussing those subjects when someone got the bright idea to intervene in a private family matter and turn into morbid political theatre of the absurd. It's kind of what people do, discuss social issues; but the people who want to intervene in Terri's case don't seem very interested in discussing social issues, because I haven't heard them dispute principles such as the rule of law, individual liberties and separation of power. Indeed, to a fault they hold those principles to be uncontroversial. They simply disagree with the verdict. Why do they disagree? Do they think death, loss and tragedy, which everyone must experience, diminish us as human beings? Are they protesting against a system that discriminates against disabled people, denying them rights of due process, opportunity, and social assistance? I wish they were but they are not, and anyway Terri is not "disabled." Terri is a theatrical prop for these people, a means to a political end.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

whoah, how'd that happen? (none / 0) (#374)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:50:43 PM EST


--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

Ok. (none / 0) (#376)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:03:55 PM EST

From your original post:

society has nothing left to offer but distractions from reality.

If you are retargetting that remark now then my objection is moot.

[ Parent ]

The good doctor (none / 0) (#205)
by yem on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:03:59 PM EST

Happened to have this on file..

lc,schiavo-2005-03-24.mp3

Interview with Dr. Bill Hammesfahr, yesterday on NZ public radio. I hadn't heard of they guy before then.

Immediately followed by an interview with Dr Jim Howe (sp?) who was a consultant in the case of Anthony Bland. Bland was trampled in an English football stadium stampede and ended up in a PVS for three years. He was eventually disconnected by court order, but this was supported by the parents rather than contested.

Pretty interesting anyway.



fantastic article (2.60 / 5) (#207)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:39:26 PM EST

unfortunately no one on the "christian" right will care about the facts.

listen to CSPAN or Rush or Hannity... Rush and Hannity are spreading lies and the morons who listen call CSPAN and spread them some more!!!

today I heard Rush say that "the courts have no checks and balances on the other two branches at all"

the right wing mouth pieces are basically fomenting a fundamentalist movement that will culminate is violence!!!

2 days ago, an 50 year old man from Illinois was arrested in florida after trying to rob a gun store and get a firearm. He said he needed to get the gun so he could "save" Terri.

this case is stiring the hornets nest... much talk on teh radio centers around "judicial tyrany" and alludes to action needing to be taken.

I hope to god that the congress changes hands  next year.... otherwise we will see some crazy amendment that will basically remove the courts from having arbitration powers if the legislature wishes to pass a law.


The whole point (none / 0) (#281)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:04:04 PM EST

The whole point of this exercise in idiocy is to rally the troops to the banner of "judicial reform". The conservatives want more judges in so they can end abortion.

Listen to the trolls and political shills on talk radio. Challenging the authority of the courts is the real objective.

[ Parent ]

um (1.50 / 10) (#215)
by trhurler on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:50:07 PM EST

You got your facts really, really wrong. You may make fun of the right wing as unthinking, but you're just as bad.

First of all, the federal courts made NO determination regarding this woman's rights. They dismissed or refused to hear every appeal that has been brought on purely procedural grounds having nothing to do with the facts of the situation.

Second, while most of them are nuts, you left out a lot of allegations that have been made by both sides.

Third, you outright failed to explain why the general public ought to regard a man who has two children by another woman and obviously wants his wife out of the way as a good legal guardian.

I think the husband is in the right and she should be allowed to die - but unlike you, I've actually got the facts right and my argument(which I won't go into here,) makes sense. You are just a reactionary left wing nutball. Take a hike.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Oh don't be such a tease. (2.50 / 2) (#217)
by skyknight on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:32:31 PM EST

Let's have your argument, damn it. :-)

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Well, ok (3.00 / 3) (#219)
by trhurler on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:48:04 PM EST

The law says the husband is the proper legal guardian. The facts as established by the courts over and over again over a FIFTEEN YEAR PERIOD are that he has done nothing that would take this status away from him. Therefore, he gets to make the decision. If you don't like it, try to have the law changed. Short of that, the proper legal outcome is for this woman to die, period. The rule of law as a principle is more important than anyone's mental problems, and at root, this case is about a family living in denial of the basic medical fact that their daughter is gone.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yeah, pretty much... (2.50 / 2) (#220)
by skyknight on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:52:06 PM EST

My gut feeling on all of this hullabaloo is that some people are just too emotionally immature to let a dead person go. That her lungs are still contracting, her heart still beating, and her intestines passing food do not make her a person. A scan of her skull shows that her brain is gone. What more do they want? How exactly they can rationalize their behavior is beyond me.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
The important thing is her Soul (1.00 / 4) (#225)
by sellison on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:22:15 PM EST

which never has registered on instrements invented by Man.

This reveals this as an attempt by the left to further legitimize abortion and stem cell research: after all if Terri has no brain activity so it's ok to kill her, it's also ok to kill early babies and embryos.

But this ignores the fact of the Soul, which may be present from the first joining of the DNA until a time we can't measure. So we need to err on the side of safty, and both protect embryos and babies, and protect poor Terri, since we can't be sure with our limited senses when life begins or ends!

In both cases, we risk endorsing Murder, which since we are a democratic people, if we allow it puts us all at risk of being judged murderors by the only Judge who really matters...

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#232)
by trhurler on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:35:12 AM EST

Can you provide any evidence whatsoever for the existence of this "soul" of which you speak, and for your particular beliefs about the times of its arrival and departure?

I didn't think so.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Of course not (none / 1) (#236)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 02:30:26 AM EST

a human being is nothing but a an odd collection of electrical and chemical reactions without a soul. Without a soul there is no reason to give a human being more protection than a dog or a cat.

Is that what you want? Because that is the adgenda of the anti-life forces: to convince us via the cult of evolution that we are nothing but animals, that there is no such thing as a soul, so that we can be killed or enslaved it it so suits the betterment of some mythical "majority".

Thus they would have us passivly accept abortion and stem cell research because there is no soul, there is not reason to kill humans who cannot defend themselves.

But our entire civilization is based on the idea of a soul, the idea that all humans have one, that we are different from animals and that all humans have an equal chance of redemption and so all humans need to be treated equally.

Without the soul, all you have left is nihilism, 'do as you will', get away with whatever you can.

A perfect example of the 'husband' in this case.

So of course there is no 'scientific' evidence of a soul, there is no scientific evidence that "all men are created equal or endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, you want to give that up too?

The thing is, there are no new things under the sun, science just discovers what our Creator has put there for science to find, and there are some things science can never explain, and they are the basis for our humanity. Without them we are just organic robots, and have no reason claim to a right to life & liberty.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

The invisible and the non-existent look the same. (none / 0) (#237)
by MrMikey on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 03:25:26 AM EST

"a human being is nothing but a an odd collection of electrical and chemical reactions without a soul."

I've yet to see any evidence that there is any such thing as a soul. When asked if you could provide evidence, you said "Of course not." Given that, why should we believe that anything like a soul exists?

"Without a soul there is no reason to give a human being more protection than a dog or a cat."

I don't believe in souls, yet you don't see me making an assertion like that. All life is worthy of respect, IMO, especially sentient life.

"Is that what you want?"

No. But I don't need to assume a soul exists in order for me to value human life. Apparently, you do (and that's rather disturbing). Why? Are you also one of those people who's convinced they'd be a gang-raping sociopath were it not for their fear of eternal damnation and/or desire for eternal paradise?

"Because that is the adgenda of the anti-life forces: to convince us via the cult of evolution that we are nothing but animals, that there is no such thing as a soul, so that we can be killed or enslaved it it so suits the betterment of some mythical "majority"."

That's quite the conspiracy theory, you have there... and yet, I see no evidence to support the existence of souls, I see evolutionary theory as the best explanation of how life changes over time, and I value human life. That kind of blows your theory out of the water, doesn't it?

"Thus they would have us passivly accept abortion and stem cell research because there is no soul, there is not reason to kill humans who cannot defend themselves."

I don't passively accept abortion, stell cell research, or killing. More evidence of your errors, it seems.

"But our entire civilization is based on the idea of a soul, the idea that all humans have one, that we are different from animals and that all humans have an equal chance of redemption and so all humans need to be treated equally."

Oh? What evidence do you have to support these assertions?

"Without the soul, all you have left is nihilism, 'do as you will', get away with whatever you can."

Nope, as I've illustrated.

"A perfect example of the 'husband' in this case."

How so?

"So of course there is no 'scientific' evidence of a soul,..."

As you've said. So, do you actually believe that souls exist, or are you merely saying that we need to believe souls exist, otherwise we'd all be sociopaths?

"... there is no scientific evidence that "all men are created equal ..."

No, there sure isn't... that's an assertion that we uphold for the sake of fairness, justice, and social cohesion.

"... or endowed by their Creator ..."

No evidence for a Creator, either.

"... with certain unalienable Rights, you want to give that up too?"

I've no use for the Creator part, but the unalienable Rights idea has merit, so let's keep that.

"The thing is, there are no new things under the sun,..."

Are you kidding? New things are learned every day.

"... science just discovers what our Creator has put there for science to find, ..."

Oh!! You worship one of the trickster gods, say Loki or Coyote. Well, that explains things...

"... and there are some things science can never explain,..."

Never is an awfully long time. You sure about that?

"... and they are the basis for our humanity. ..."

Ignorance is a poor basis for anything.

"Without them we are just organic robots, and have no reason claim to a right to life & liberty."

I can claim whatever I damned well please... you certainly don't seem to have any problem making arbitrary claims.

[ Parent ]

Which (none / 0) (#240)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:11:28 AM EST

"assertion that we uphold for the sake of fairness, justice, and social cohesion"

Is based on the concept of a soul, which is the root and original source of the ideas.

So what evidence do you have that "fairness, justice, can social cohesion" is woth upholding?

None, societies without these concepts lasted much longer than there is any evidence America will last.

So 'evidence' is a limited test, it can't tell us whether an idea "exists". Which is the problem, we can't tell if Terri still has a soul, so to avoid being murderors, we must do everything we can to avoid letter her die.

This is based on the same 'evidence' that the worth of any of our laws are, and to deny it is to deny the worth of all of our laws, which is why we folks on the 'right' side of things are fighting so hard for this.

Without us 'believers' you nihilists would mostly be in a very bad position in life, it would do well for you to remember that fact, what life was like for people before the Founders made their case for the equality of all human beings, based on the fact that we were all Created, Endowed with an Immortal Soul...

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

a few comments (none / 0) (#246)
by SwingGeek on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:26:52 AM EST

"Which is the problem, we can't tell if Terri still has a soul, so to avoid being murderors, we must do everything we can to avoid letter her die." This sounds like Pascal's wager, and it is subject to similar criticism ("many wagers", etc.). The Declaration of Independence states that all men are endowed with rights, it doesn't mention a soul. Many of the founding fathers were Deists, not Christians. Not all Deists believe in immortal souls. "Without us 'believers' you nihilists..." You seem to be implying that everyone falls into one of these two categories. It seems that you are using 'believers' to mean Christians in the first part of this statement, and secondly, to mean 'the opposite of nihilists'. But Christianity is not the opposite of nihilism. It is but one of many faiths.

[ Parent ]
The Declaration of Independence draws (none / 0) (#293)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 09:02:06 PM EST

a very clear line between sanity and insanity by proclaiming the existence of certain self-evident truths that all rational men should recognize: "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."

A self-evident truth is, by definition, evident to anyone who is sane.  Persons who do not accept that all human beings are endowed with an inalienable right to life--for example, the 82 percent of Americans who think abortion should be legal--are, by this definition, insane.

The right to life is inalienable because it is not of human, but of divine origin.  Because man does not create himself, he cannot deprive himself of the primary goods that are inherent to human existence: life, freedom and happiness.  Just as no government can deny its citizens these inalienable rights, neither can a man deprive himself of these rights.  The "inalienable" right to life thus precludes abortion as well as suicide.

It certainly precludes forced starvation by activist judges of the state of Fl. It is well known that before Jeb Bush became Governor, Chiles put a sucession of anti-Christian activists on the bench, thus all the problems we have with the state judiciary in Fl. now and the reason the Federal Govt. has to keep stepping in to set the state 'judges' straight.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Er, no (none / 0) (#297)
by trhurler on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:03:57 PM EST

Actually, a great many of the founders considered the Declaration to be what it is: a work of rhetoric, rather than of philosophical/religious fact. Jefferson among others exhorted people to decide for themselves whether they believe in any sort of God, which would be unnecessary if it was a self evident fact. You're just spewing ignorant nonsense at this point.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
All you can do is repeat falsehoods (none / 0) (#302)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:48:05 PM EST

since you cannot begin to debate my points.

Jefferson most certainly did believe in God, indeed he "adored" Him.

"I can never join Calvin in addressing his God.  He was indeed an atheist,
which I can never be, or rather his religion was demonism.  If ever a man
worshipped a false God, he did.  The Being described in his five points, is
not the God whom you and I acknowledge and adore, the Creator and benevolent
Governor of the world; but a demon of malignant spirit.  It would be more
pardonable to believe in no God at all, than to blaspheme Him by the
atrocious attributes of Calvin."

Thomas Jefferson April 11, 1823 in a letter to John Adams

This is why we call you atheists, LIEberals, you you cannot speak the truth to save yourselves...

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#305)
by trhurler on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:54:42 PM EST

This is amusing. Liberals call me a conservative, conservatives call me a liberal, and moderates simply cannot stand me. :)

In any case, you're the one who's attempting a deception here. I did not say Jefferson was not a religious man. What I said is, he told others that they should think about it and make up their own minds, which would not be necessary were the existence of God self evident. Seeing as he was a very bright man, the only reasonable conclusion was that Jefferson did not intend the Declaration to be a statement of pedantic exactness - it was a work of rhetoric, as is obvious to anyone who actually reads it instead of just whacking off while reciting portions of it as you do. It is you who is attempting to avoid the argument here: you are attempting to sidestep the details of whether or not the existence of God is "self evident."

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You don't know Jefferson (none / 0) (#307)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 12:07:02 AM EST

you should read more than what you are spoonfed by your atheist newsletters.

Thomas Jefferson, on his memorial: "God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that the liberties are the gift of God?"

You might think the Declaration mere "rhetoric", however the men (not just ol'TJ) who wrote it most certainly saw it as a profound expression of their beliefs, one they risked their lives to utter.

It's easy for you atheists in America now because we Christians are a kind and forgiving people. It was much harder for the Founders in the Colonies, where the British Monarchists were neither. It is pretty lame of you to impunge the Founder's character by reducing the brave act of the Declaration to a trick of rhetoric, as if they were lawyers arguing in court with no risk of life!

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

BWAHAHA (none / 0) (#309)
by trhurler on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 12:14:24 AM EST

Kind and forgiving people? Christians have been the most brutal force in history. The only reason they haven't outnumbered the kill count of the communists is because they never acquired the military advantage needed to do it.

In any case, you seem unable to distinguish basic facts. Jefferson was a believer in God. This is true. He did not explicitly say he was a Christian anywhere I'm aware of, but he did believe in God very fervently. However, his exact beliefs don't matter here. What matters is, he did not ask others to simply believe as he did without reason. He said they should think about it and make up their minds. You keep trying to deny this basic fact without actually having to say so in as many words, because you know that as soon as you do, I will pounce on you like the lying weasel you are. It amuses me.

By the way, I don't read newsletters. I'm sure you enjoy your John Birch society newsletters, but personally, I find that newsletters are generally boring. I read magazines. Mostly news magazines, but occasionally car magazines also. Unlike most so-called Christians, I've also read most of the Bible. It is the worst compilation of fables I have ever seen. Did you know that it says in there that rabbits have hooves? (I bet you didn't know that Jesus' famous claim to be THE son of God was actually mistranslated, and that the original text said "I am A son of God", right before saying that everyone else is too. Hehe... silly fundies.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Your cultish fantasies (none / 0) (#330)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:32:05 PM EST

would be scary if there were more than a few thousand like you in our great land.

Fortunatly, we, the Right thinking Americans of the Christian movement, have taken back much of what you  stole from us during the dark times of the last few decades.

By the end of this decade, abortion will once again be illegal, we will have prayer back in the public (which means 90% Christian) funded schools, and we will have the 10 commandments proudly posted in all government buildings.

The socialist welfare state will be a thing of the past, and instead tax (more than 90% Christians b/c so many atheists refuse to work)$ will be sent to Churchs and Faith Based organizations who know what the poor need.

But like I said, because we are kind, generous and  fair minded Christians, you atheists, and other harmless cults, will be allowed to practice your silly rituals in peace.

Just remember salvation and eternal life await you if you can get over your ego-trip...

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Go study Matthew 6:5-8. (NT) (none / 0) (#331)
by Another Scott on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:45:35 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#333)
by trhurler on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 02:39:24 PM EST

Have you ever read a part of the Bible which says "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's"? Just curious. :)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
That was in a totalitarian regime (none / 0) (#334)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:02:55 PM EST

the responsibilities of Christians are very different in a democratic, Christian nation.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]
Ah (none / 0) (#335)
by trhurler on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:04:47 PM EST

So what about Jesus throwing out the moneylenders?

Christianity is NOT supposed to be a worldly affair. Period. People like you are heretics.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Don't be silly (none / 0) (#339)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:36:36 PM EST

the moneylenders were usurers. There is nothing preventing Good Christians from engaging in fair commerce and charging fair rates of interest.

It was the church more than any other agency that put in place the preconditions of capitalism: the rule of law and a bureaucracy for resolving disputes rationally; a specialized and mobile labor force; the institutional permanence that allows for transgenerational investment and sustained intellectual and physical efforts, together with the accumulation of long-term capital; and a zest for discovery, enterprise, wealth creation, and new undertakings.

Modern Capitalism is a logical (and spiritual) outgrowth of Christianity. Of course it must be tempered by Good Christians with good Christian laws, the myth that the government should not turn to the scriptures for a source of law is one that has caused much of the troubles we see as of late...

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

You don't get it (none / 0) (#354)
by trhurler on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:16:47 AM EST

Usury was not the problem Jesus had. The problem was moneylending in the temple. The whole idea was that such worldly activities are beneath Christianity as a religion. Have you even READ the Bible?:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
No the problem was the location (none / 0) (#356)
by sellison on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:35:57 AM EST

and the reasons(which had nothing to do with modern capitalism).

And the message was certainly not that commerce is below Christians, it was that it doesn't belong in Church and more importantly, that the specific action at issue didn't actually benefit Jehovah, but rather His name was used to benefit a certain group--who were really more like the IRS than a modern company engaged in modern commerce.

The word "moneylender" means money-banker or money-broker. They would make large profits at the expense of the pilgrims. Every Israelite, rich or poor, who had reached the age of twenty was obligated to pay a half shekel as an offering to Jehovah into the sacred treasury. This tribute was in every case to be paid in the exact Hebrew half shekel. At Passover everyone in the world who was an adult male and wished to worship at the Temple would bring his "offering" or purchase a sacrificial animal at the Temple. Since there was no acceptance of foreign money with any foreign image the money changers would sell "Temple coinage" at a very high rate of exchange and assess a fixed charge for their services.

The judges, who sat to inspect the offerings that were brought by the pilgrims, were quick to detect any blemish in them. This was expensive for the wealthy pilgrims, not to say how ruinous this was for the poor who could only offer their turtle-doves and pigeons. There was no defense for them or court of appeal, seeing that the priestly authorities took a large percentage on every transactions.

This obviously had nothing to do with modern capitalism, though it is somewhate like the way modern Christians are taxed by the state to pay for blasphemies like the teaching of evolution, sex 'education', and so on.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Respectful Suggestion (none / 0) (#358)
by locallunatic on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:10:54 AM EST

I would like to respectfully suggest that you go back and reread trhurler's post that you are replying to as you seem to be arguing against him and agreeing at the same time as he pointed out that Jesus's problem with the moneychangers was that it was in the temple as you yourself also said.
--- I'm not stupid OR crazy, I'm stupid AND crazy
[ Parent ]
mr hurler's mistake (none / 0) (#367)
by sellison on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 10:46:55 AM EST

was in assuming that this meant that Christ had something against commerce. The location is important because Christ was against the moneychangers practice--actually not commerce but forced taxation as I pointed out-- in the temple, and specifically in the manner it was being practiced.

The level of detail I used was needed to show hurler's error--Christ never said nor implied that commerce was "beneath" Christians as hurler oddly claimed from the example of the moneychangers.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

I didn't say that (none / 0) (#389)
by trhurler on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 01:23:05 AM EST

I didn't say Christians are above commerce. I said Christianity is above commerce. Jesus was quite clear in numerous cases that Christianity is a religion oriented towards achieving something in the next life, and that it only very peripherally has anything to do with this one.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Minor quibble. (none / 0) (#366)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 10:16:58 AM EST

The whole idea was that such worldly activities are beneath Christianity as a religion.

It wasn't the debasement of Christianity that had Jesus so pissed off...

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Atheist newsletters? You bet. (none / 0) (#327)
by pwhysall on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 12:13:44 PM EST

Just only the other day, in the Atheist Triumph Herald & Tribune, I was reading how you're not a REAL atheist unless you've harboured thoughts of becoming a party member and sending your neighbours to the gulag.

I personally read a chapter of The Little Grey Book Of Atheism every night. As I think you'll find all right-thinking atheists do.

Tonight's chapter is: "Babies and how to oppress or indoctrinate them."
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

oh yeah? (none / 0) (#248)
by El Hober on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:42:49 AM EST

"Without us 'believers' you nihilists would mostly be in a very bad position in life" And what bad position would that be? I find that all I get out of you damn people is frustration. You make me unhappy and angry, because you are ignorant and proud of it. If I didn't have to deal with you I think my life would actually be better.
---
"Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality."
-Salvadore Dali
[ Parent ]
What you are saying simply isn't true. (none / 0) (#254)
by MrMikey on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 09:41:20 AM EST

"assertion that we uphold for the sake of fairness, justice, and social cohesion"

"Is based on the concept of a soul, which is the root and original source of the ideas."

You may be assuming a soul exists, but I'm not... and yet, the assertion works for me, too.

"So what evidence do you have that "fairness, justice, can social cohesion" is woth upholding?"

Because I've seen what happens to people when those assertions aren't held, and I don't like it... it doesn't result in a world I want to live in.

"None, societies without these concepts lasted much longer than there is any evidence America will last."

My point is that a belief in a soul isn't required to have those concepts, and I offer myself up as an example of someone who (1) doesn't believe in souls, and (2) upholds those concepts. What do you have to say to that?

"So 'evidence' is a limited test, it can't tell us whether an idea "exists"."

Whether an idea exists? We're talking about it, aren't we? Therefore, that concept exists in our minds.

"Which is the problem, we can't tell if Terri still has a soul, so to avoid being murderors, we must do everything we can to avoid letter her die."

If she had left a written DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, would you feel the same way? In any case, I don't think Terri ever had a soul, so the question is moot. If "have a soul" is your way of saying "is sentient", that's another question.

"This is based on the same 'evidence' that the worth of any of our laws are, and to deny it is to deny the worth of all of our laws, which is why we folks on the 'right' side of things are fighting so hard for this."

Rubbish. As I've said several times already, I don't believe in souls and I believe in laws, and the worth of life in general, and humans in particular.

"Without us 'believers' you nihilists would mostly be in a very bad position in life,..."

Bullshit. You "believers" have been responsible for a lot more pain and suffering than mankind's handful of true nihilists ever were. In any case, you can be neither a believer, nor a nihilist. I am such a person, proving that your implied dichotomy (one must be a believer or a nihilist) is, in fact a False Dichotomy, a logical fallacy.

"...it would do well for you to remember that fact, what life was like for people before the Founders made their case for the equality of all human beings, based on the fact that we were all Created, Endowed with an Immortal Soul..."

See above.

[ Parent ]

You may be the abberation that proves (none / 0) (#276)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 02:31:08 PM EST

the rule.

However, history is clear: Christian states evolve into democracies where human rights, like the right to life, are protected.

God denying states, like the USSR, Red China, Nazi Germany, etc. devolve into places where there are no human rights.

Eventually these nihilist, atheist 'paradises' fall apart in dramatic and often violent disintegrations.

We Christians on the Right side of things will keep fighting to protect America from your God-denying cult with our last bit of hope and energy. If Terri is sacrificed here, it will at least provide the impetus for an Amendment to Protect Life, from the moment of conception until the last spark of the dying, so that all Americans will be forever protected from the selfish actions of you nihilists, ironically you will be protected as well.

Unless you decide to follow your faith and move to  the last major bastions of the atheist cult: red China or N. Korea...

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

The USA is not a Christian nation. (none / 0) (#277)
by Another Scott on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 03:57:17 PM EST

Proof? Consider the Treaty of Tripoli from 1797:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Big deal? Well here's Pres. John Adams' proclamation about it:

"Now be it known, That I John Adams, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the said Treaty do, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, accept, ratify, and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof. And to the End that the said Treaty may be observed and performed with good Faith on the part of the United States, I have ordered the premises to be made public; And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all other citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof."

HTH!

Cheers,
Scott.

[ Parent ]

This is all you got (none / 0) (#290)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:26:03 PM EST

an expeditious treaty made when our nation was weak and Tripoli was strong.

Big deal. It proves nothing, the US is a Christian nation, founded on the principle that our rights are endowed by our Creator, a much more central work in our history than some treaty signed to protect our merchantment when we had no navy to speak of.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Let's see some evidence from you then. (none / 0) (#294)
by Another Scott on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 09:41:57 PM EST

Funny that I haven't seen the words "Christian" or "Christian nation" in the Declaration of Independence or Constitution. Perhaps I've missed it. Care to point it out to me?

Hint: Washington, like many of the founders, was a deist and believed in Providence. Not Christianity. He was not alone. References to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" should be read in that light.

In other words, you've made lots of claims but haven't presented any evidence that the USA is a Christian nation. Care to try again?

Cheers,
Scott.

[ Parent ]

You may convert now.. (none / 0) (#303)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:51:15 PM EST

The name of American, belongs to you...[and] with slight shades of difference, you have the same religion."
--George Washington in his Farewell Address to the American people, Paragraph 10; September 17, 1796 | photo of farewell address

"What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ."
--George Washington in a speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible."

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors."

George Washinton.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Let's see... (none / 0) (#313)
by Another Scott on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:45:24 AM EST

1. Washington's Farewell Address:

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

He's saying that it's more important to see one's self as an American than any "local discrimination." He's not saying that all Americans have the same religtion (by your implication Christianity), contrary to your butchered quote.

I also note that neither "Christian" nor "Jesus Christ" appear in his address but "Providence" does.

#2. Washington's Speech to the Delaware Chiefs:

Brothers: I am glad you have brought three of the Children of your principal Chiefs to be educated with us. I am sure Congress will open the Arms of love to them, and will look upon them as their own Children, and will have them educated accordingly. This is a great mark of your confidence and of your desire to preserve the friendship between the Two Nations to the end of time, and to become One people with your Brethen of the United States. My ears hear with pleasure the other matters you mention. Congress will be glad to hear them too. You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do every thing they can to assist you in this wise intention; and to tie the knot of friendship and union so fast, that nothing shall ever be able to loose it.

So three children of Delaware chiefs were to be educated in the US. This was part of Lady Huntington's plan to "civilize" the Indians. Washington supported that plan, but, to 'hear' him talk about it, it's as if he's more interested in supporting her than the plan itself. But that's neither here nor there...

I'm sorry, but what does this have to do with the USA being a Christian nation or Washington being a Christian?

Etc.

None of what you've posted supports your claim that the USA is a Christian nation nor does it dispute my claim that Washington was a deist.

Incidently, the Delaware Chiefs speech is the only writing of Washington with the word "Jesus" in it according to a search of 39 volumes of Washington's writing collected by Fitzpatrick.

Another view of Washington's religion is here.

I've noticed that you can't cite anything in the Declaration of Independence or Constitution to support your claim. As these are the nation's founding documents, it seems to indicate you are wrong. I get the impression, though, that I can't convince you that the USA was not founded as a Christian nation, so rather than continue to post links for you I'll bow out now.

Cheers,
Scott.

[ Parent ]

The commander-in-chief directs (none / 0) (#338)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:30:12 PM EST

that divine service be performed every Sunday at eleven o'clock in those brigades [in] which there are chaplains; those which have none [are] to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that officers of all ranks will by their attendance set an example to their men. While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian. The signal instances of providential goodness which we have experienced, and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all good.
    --George Washington, General Orders, Fitzpatrick 11:342. (May 2, 1778.)

We obviously need to re-write much of the 'history' book published in the last 30 years, while the socialists held power in academia, to restore to this nation our knowledge of our Christian past.

I don't know whether you are just ignorant or one of the usupers of America's source of power, but you are a good example of the problem: we have lost a good (a Good) part of our history to the atheists, and we need a Good deal more work on the part of the true Americans, to restore our stolen past.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Since you continue to ignore the DoI and C (none / 0) (#347)
by Another Scott on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 07:10:05 PM EST

Washington was a fan of religion - few dispute that. Your quote doesn't say, however, that he was a Christian. You can't change the fact that contemporary ministers said he was a deist.

Let's return to the Declaration of Independence - one of our nation's founding documents. Its principal author was Thomas Jefferson. What about his religion?:

Jefferson did not merely "have" a Bible. He made his own version of the Life and Morals of Jesus by cutting and pasting extracts from the Gospels.

But not even that necessarily proves he believed in God. Jefferson made numerous statements referring to God that he would hardly make if he did not believe in God.

Jefferson did not think that Jesus WAS God, and considered the idea of the Trinity an absurdity. He did not believe in the miracles recorded in the New Testament, and for that reason omitted them from his "Jefferson Bible." He DID believe in the after life, and probably would not qualify as a deist.

Jefferson was something like a Unitarian. It's hard to be a Christian if you don't believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Jefferson was not a Christian.

Many of the founders were not Christians. Many of the founders from Virginia were members of the Episcopal church because it was the state religion until 1786.

I'll close with this quote from Jefferson from a letter dated February 10, 1814:

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

Cheers,
Scott.

[ Parent ]

This merely reveals the problem (none / 0) (#353)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 09:49:44 PM EST

with a state Church, the Episcopals which Virginia had established as a state Church, didn't like the fact that Washington wasn't an Episcopalian and accused him of that terrible crime of having no religion, in other words being a Deist, calling someone an atheist back then was beyond the ability of polite company.

He was of course of Christian. Many of the 'evidences' you atheists like to point out result from the debate between various Christian Churchs and the Episcopals who lobbied very hard to be established as the US State Church, which rhetoric you desperatly seize on to make claims that men where "Deists" who never themselves claimed such.

George Washington's Christianity was well attested to by those who knew him best.

Is it necessary that any one should certify, "General Washington avowed himself to me a believer in Christianity?" As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic, disinterested devotion to his country. His mottos were, "Deeds, not Words"; and, "For God and my Country."

With sentiments of esteem,

I am, Nelly Custis-Lewis

You probably don't know who Nelly Custis-Lewis was in Washington's life, so I'll let you claim that she wouldn't know before telling you who she was.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

so what if he was a christian (none / 0) (#393)
by Cackmobile on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 09:20:28 AM EST

things change. slavery was ok back then.

[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#299)
by trhurler on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:11:07 PM EST

Christian states evolve into democracies? BWAHAHAHA. Tell that to all those people living in African hellholes. Or maybe to the people of the poorer part of eastern Europe - Catholicism is virtually a state religion there, and yet they've got nothing but some dictator's cock up their asses. The US's founders were mostly deists rather than Christians, and for many of them deism was a thinly veiled athiesm(it would have been political suicide to admit athiesm, of course.) About the only place where "Christian states" became democracies was Europe, and in so doing, they ceased to BE Christian states. (If you don't believe it, visit Germany, France, the UK, or whatever. They are secular to their core - far moreso than the US, for instance.) Not only that, but typically there was a period of violent upheavals and revolutions between Christian statehood and democracy(see France, Germany, etc.) About the only peaceful such case is the UK, and the UK is about as Christian today as I am(which is to say, it isn't.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You mean like (none / 0) (#306)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 12:00:28 AM EST

Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, East Germany, etc? They've sure come along way toward democracy in the few years since being freed from the cruel heel of atheism.

The US was a Christian state, the founders were Christians, and the US is now a Christian state*.

You atheists are a tiny minority, and you should thank whatever it is you thank (random chance?) that you are living in a Christian nation, for if you were a minotity opposed to the dominant belief in an atheist nation, you would be in prison or worse.

Here we let you live normal lives, you should be grateful. But of course grace is never a quality one expects from an atheist, as what passes for your beliefs are 'if you can get away for it, go for it and gloat about how lucky you are..'

*the United States of America is a Christian nation. A nation is an aggregation of people bound together "by common ideals and a common purpose. A rich inheritance of memories and the desire to preserve those memories ... a nation is a spiritual entity brought into existence by complex historical conditions, by similar traditions and a similar imagination."

A nation is not produced by a common language, race, religion or geographical outline, but these things may contribute to the unity of a people - a nation. Several different "nations" make up the Yugoslavia of today. The Jewish people were a "nation" during the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness but they had no land of their own.

Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are based on Judeo-Christian teachings. The textbook of these teachings in the Holy Bible. It is the "Owners Manual" or "The Book of Instructions" for our nation. The Founding Fathers and many others in position of authority ever since have recertified that fact. "America is a Christian nation." This does not mean that all the people were or are Christian. It merely means that there was a Christian consensus and all our founding documents, laws, moral codes and institutions are based on Christian principles from the Bible.

In broad sense Buddhism and Confucianism made China what it is. Shintoism made Japan what it is. Hinduism made India what it is. Islam made the middle east and North Africa what it is. Communism made 30 nations what they became.

Reformation Christianity made America what it is - and this is the country we choose - and so would millions of others if they could.

In an Arabian country a few years ago, a princess, daughter of a Sheik, had an affair with her boyfriend. She was taken to the village square and beheaded. This was legal, moral, and proper according to their laws based upon the Koran. This is not to say that there is nothing good in other religions. There are good teachings in most religions, and certainly many evil things have been done in the name of Christianity. But don't blame Jesus and His teachings for man's aberrations.

To know the Christian basis of our country is to learn what every schoolboy and girl learned two generations ago about the writings and early documents executed by those who built the greatest nation in all history.

  1. - The Mayflower Compact written by the Pilgrims before they got off the Mayflower said: "In the presence of God, Amen. We ... do by these presents solemnly and mutually in ye presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves into a civil body politic."
  2. - The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (often called the first American Constitution) said, We "enter into a combination and confederation together to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ which we now profess." It also stated for the first time that men's rights come from God, as later stated in the Declaration of Independence.
The Great Law of Pennsylvania Colony said, "Whereas the glory of Almighty God and the good of mankind is the reason and the end of government and therefore government itself is a venerable ordinance of God..."
  1. - Samuel Adams: "The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty ... The rights of the colonists as Christians may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament."
  2. - The First Continental Congress appropriated funds to import for the people 20,000 Holy Bibles as "the great political textbook of the patriots."
  3. - The Declaration of Independence says: "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 - That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men ... "
There you have some profound statements:
  • There is such a thing as Truth, and Truth can be known by man.
  • Men are "created" and their rights come from God, their Creator.
  • Governments exist to protect these God-given rights.
This is the very essence of our Americanism!
  1. - The Constitution was written to "secure the Blessings of Liberty."
  2. - George Washington said regarding the Constitution: "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the event is in the hand of God."
Thomas Jefferson, on his memorial: "God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that the liberties are the gift of God?"
  1. Corinthians 3:17: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty."
  2. - At an impasse of several weeks at the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin rose and sai:, "I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can arise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this." He then moved they resort to prayer.
  3. - Washington's Inaugural Address: "The propitious smiles of heaven cannot be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained." All inaugural addresses and state constitutions refer to Almighty God, the author and sustainer of our liberty.
  4. - Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation: "Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor..."
  5. - Washington's Farewell Address: "And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion."
Patrick Henry: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ."

John Quincy Adams: "The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention if the Bible." The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: "It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

  1. -1795 - John Jay, first chief justice of the United States: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
  2. - Emma Willard, educator and historian: "The government of the United States is acknowledged by the wise and good of other nations, to be the most free, impartial and righteous government of the world; but all agree that for such a government to be sustained many years, the principles of truth and righteousness, taught in the Holy Scriptures, must be practiced. The rulers must govern in the fear of God, and the people obey the laws ... A nation cannot exist without religion. France tried that and failed. We were born a Protestant Christian nation, and, as such, baptized in blood. Our position ought to be defined as that."
  3. - Abraham Lincoln: "It is the duty of all nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."
  4. - Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "That we here highly resolve ... that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
  5. - The Supreme Court of the United States after citing 87 precedents decided: "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise: and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian ... This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation ... we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth. These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation."
  6. - Oct. 4, 1982, Joint Resolution of Congress: "Whereas the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation of people. Whereas Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of The United States ... Whereas that renewing our knowledge of, and faith in God through Holy Scriptures can strengthen us as a nation and a people. Now therefore be it resolved ... that the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national "Year of the Bible" in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures."
February 3, 1983 - President Ronald Reagan issued the above requested proclamation. President George Bush declared 1990 to be the international year of Bible reading.

Considering the small sampling of evidence presented, it is no wonder that our motto: "In God We Trust" is found on all our coinage, engraved on walls of both houses of Congress, and that every session begins with a prayer by its chaplain, that a prayer room is in the Capitol with a glass window depicting Washington in prayer surrounded by a quotation of Psalm 16:1. The Ten Commandments are emblazoned on the wall in the Supreme Court just over the head of the Chief Justice as a symbol of the source of all our laws. Biblical quotations are etched on and in the Washington Monument, the Lincoln memorial, the Library of Congress and many other official buildings. Our Pledge of allegiance is to the flag of "One Nation under God."

Surely, with even these few stated facts, no intellectually honest person can deny that our nation exists on the bedrock of biblical Christianity and has so prospered. But strangely, and in spite of our strong spiritual heritage, as so often happens when man becomes prosperous and feels self-sufficient, he ignores his early teachings and begins to create for his own pleasure, an immoral society. He turns his back on God. And thus it is that we find ourselves living in the presently decadent, pornographic, licentious, violent and often godless society in fear for our own safety. If you doubt this, just read through your daily newspaper. There are always evil forces willing to contribute to the expedition of the downturn in spiritual and moral values. America is no exception.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Look nutball (none / 0) (#308)
by trhurler on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 12:07:36 AM EST

I don't have nearly enough time to read that much selectively quoted history. That said, it doesn't matter. The fact of most of the founders being deists is well documented. Deism is not Christianity. Furthermore, the US is not a "Christian nation" in any sense. Your average American never goes to church except for weddings and funerals. A huge percentage of the population are Muslims, Jews, athiests, and people who "believe in God", but who profess no explicitly Christian belief whatsoever. That last category is probably the numerical majority. Even the so-called Baptist friends of mine go to church maybe a few times a year IF THAT.

Equating atheism with communism or fascism may appeal to you, but that doesn't make it true anymore than it is true that Christianity is capitalism. Your inability to distinguish basic things like economics and religion suggests that you are probably not even worth talking to. There have been fascist nations that embraced religions; does that mean that religion is fascism?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Diesm is "well docuemented" (none / 0) (#337)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:15:02 PM EST

by socialists who took over our school systems and colleges in the 60s, re-writing the history books in the process. Before that and now as we emerge from the socialist/atheist dominion of our intellectual life,  we knew that America was and is a Christian nation, founded by Christians, to serve and spread the Gospels of Jesus Christ.

Statesman Daniel Webster warned of political disaster. He stated, "If we and our posterity neglect religious instruction and authority . . . no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us." Webster said on December 22,1820, observing the 200th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts, "Let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers brought hither their high veneration of the Christian religion."

French historian Alex de Tocqueville, author of "Democracy in America" in 1835, wrote, "There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America."

Noah Webster, who literally wrote the English dictionary claimed, "The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all civil Constitutions and laws."

Patrick Henry, a Christian patriot, golden tongued orator of the Revolutionary period, and the only U.S. Governor to be elected and reelected five times said in a celebrated speech before the Revolutionary War, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" Henry also said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospels of Jesus Christ."



"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#355)
by trhurler on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:18:08 AM EST

Actually, most of the sources I've seen cited on deism date from the 1800s, but go on deluding yourself. Whatever. You would believe what you believe even if a face appeared in the clouds above you and said Allah was the one true God, so obviously you're not worth talking to.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
That would be the work of the devil (none / 0) (#357)
by sellison on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:38:06 AM EST

if you've seen that, you have been deluded.

Be careful with your immortal soul, Satan is very tricky.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Okay, that settles it. (none / 0) (#429)
by Pxtl on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:38:35 AM EST

Sellison is a troll.  Suspected it earlier on in this thread, but now I'm done.  File that for future reference.

[ Parent ]
We are a secular nation, (none / 0) (#312)
by MrMikey on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:36:03 AM EST

with a secular government. One of the principles guiding or government is the idea of a Separation of Church and State. This keeps our nation free for believers of all faiths... including no faith at all.

[ Parent ]
Separtion of Church and state (none / 0) (#336)
by sellison on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:06:38 PM EST

is not mentioned anywhere in our Constitution.

All it talks about is the establishment of a state Church, a Church of America.

There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the states or the Federal Govt. from cooperating with various churches and faiths, so long as no one single one is elevated as the official Church.

This was to prevent the establishment of a "Church of England" style single state Church, something the Christians who founded this nation were fleeing from.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

"last spark of the dying" (none / 0) (#322)
by shinshin on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 06:07:19 AM EST

to Protect Life, from the moment of conception until the last spark of the dying

Out of curiosity, does that mean that you are opposed to the death penalty?

I expect that you aren't, but I'll be interested to hear how you explain it away.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Two things (none / 0) (#298)
by trhurler on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:05:51 PM EST

First of all, I'm not a nihilist. Your notion that all people are nihilists or believers is merely a lack of imagination on your part.

Second, the concepts of justice, equality before the law, and so on were more or less born of the very secular and decidedly faith-ambivalent Enlightenment movement. If you want to know what religion brought us, study a period of European history known as "the Dark Ages."

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Hm. (none / 0) (#249)
by skyknight on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:58:46 AM EST

a human being is nothing but a an odd collection of electrical and chemical reactions without a soul. Without a soul there is no reason to give a human being more protection than a dog or a cat.

I dislike your choice of words. Yes, a human being is a collection of physical processes. However, you are injecting bias into this statement with "nothing but" and "odd".

There is certainly reason to provide more protection to a human than to lower life forms. The reason is that our brain machinery provides for a more rich life than that of simpler organisms. Assume for the moment, if just to humor me, that we as sentient beings are naught more than the physical processes running on our brains... Can you not see that a more complex brain would result in a more complex entity? Why do we need a soul as defined by you? Is this a requisite for differentiating myself from an amoeba?



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Hey now (none / 0) (#296)
by trhurler on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:00:54 PM EST

Don't go talking sense to the fundie! :)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yeah, I suppose... (none / 0) (#329)
by skyknight on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:26:21 PM EST

that I may just as well scream at the sky when it is raining. It would be similarly effective.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
sellison is a troll (none / 0) (#370)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:10:27 PM EST

.

[ Parent ]
Nonsense (none / 1) (#295)
by trhurler on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:00:15 PM EST

There is a very good reason to treat people differently from dogs: because we're here, and we're people. A sort of mutual support pact of sorts.

In any case, "I don't like the consequences of X, so therefore X is false" is not a valid argument.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Which sort of Soul? (none / 0) (#279)
by pyro9 on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:37:44 PM EST

But this ignores the fact of the Soul, which may be present from the first joining of the DNA until a time we can't measure. So we need to err on the side of safty, and both protect embryos and babies, and protect poor Terri, since we can't be sure with our limited senses when life begins or ends!

Arguments based on a soul can work both ways in any of your examples.

For example, in the case of Terri, some would say that with her brain destroyed, her soul or true self cannot express itself in this world. At the same time with her useless physical body still 'alive', her soul is unable to get free of it to continue into her afterlife. She is stuck in a hellish limbo. Since we can't repair her brain, the only decent thing to do is destroy her physical form immediatly so she can finally be free of it.

As for embryos, many religeins believe that the soul enters the body and animates it with the first breath after birth. Until that happens it is part of the mother rather than being a life of it's own. Some cultures through history believed that it was the midwife's duty to prevent that first breath if the baby was deformed so the soul could be freed to choose a more suitable body for it's life.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Law & Religion (none / 0) (#417)
by andr0meda on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 06:37:21 AM EST

<i>
In both cases, we risk endorsing Murder, which since we are a democratic people, if we allow it puts us all at risk of being judged murderors by the only Judge who really matters...
</i>

This implies that you no longer keep law and religion separated, which is even worse imho.  I have no need in a juridical and social model that rules out attheists, or are we truely the subjects of 'Brave New World' without us knowing..

Murder means ending one`s life without his/her approval.  In Terri`s case, there is no possible way to get her (dis)approval, because she is already gone.  If they truely Murdered her, then it happened years ago, not now when all there was left was a plant on a tube with some muscular contraction relfexes.

If we need to 'err on the side of safty' - and I know where those words come from, which doesn`t make them any better - suddenly, then let`s not err in someone else`s backyard to start with (and yes there`s a double meaning in this on purpouse).  If medical staff says she`s gone, then she`s gone.  No president, no pope and no court order will ever change that.  We have medical staff to be the witness of your health status in every situation where your health is compormised or death is imminent.  Why is that judgement suddenly not sufficient enough?

Cheers.


Do not be afraid of the void my friend, is it not merely the logical next step?
[ Parent ]

Why should we believe you? (none / 0) (#418)
by MrMikey on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 10:33:22 AM EST

"The important thing is her Soul, which never has registered on instrements invented by Man."

If we can't detect it, then why should we believe you when you say it exists?

"This reveals this as an attempt by the left to further legitimize abortion and stem cell research: after all if Terri has no brain activity so it's ok to kill her, it's also ok to kill early babies and embryos."

There are ethical considerations, but, yes, in essence, it is OK... assuming you are using "early babies" as a euphemism for "pre-third-trimester fetuses."

"But this ignores the fact of the Soul,..."

Until you provide evidence that these "Soul" things exist, you can't base your argument on them.

"... which may be present from the first joining of the DNA until a time we can't measure."

The Invisible and the Non-Existent look exactly alike.

"So we need to err on the side of safty, and both protect embryos and babies, and protect poor Terri, since we can't be sure with our limited senses when life begins or ends!"

Life begins and ends where we define life to begin and end, and the significance of life is what we define it to be. Have you considered that, by maintaining her body in its current state, you are trapping her "Soul", and standing in the way of God's will?

"In both cases, we risk endorsing Murder, which since we are a democratic people, if we allow it puts us all at risk of being judged murderors by the only Judge who really matters..."

You haven't shown that said "Judge" exists, either.

So, again, why should we take your word for the existence of things for which you can provide no evidence. If I say it is the Great Unicorn's Commandment that she be allowed to die, will you just drop your objections and agree? If you won't, then what makes you think that we will?

[ Parent ]

I thought (none / 0) (#390)
by baseball on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 01:29:36 AM EST

your initial post on this issue was lame. But your analysis of the real issue is both lucid and correct.

* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]
Retard (2.66 / 6) (#245)
by Legion303 on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:05:29 AM EST

If I didn't know any better, I'd say you didn't read the goddamned post, you fuckwit. The one I read (it's at the top of the page; you may want to glance at it) mentions nothing about right-wing anything.

"Third, you outright failed to explain why the general public ought to regard a man who has two children by another woman and obviously wants his wife out of the way as a good legal guardian."

He explained it quite adequately in the writeup (it's still there! Go look!). The general public's opinion means jack shit. Thanks for playing.

[ Parent ]

The facts have been evaluated at least twice. (3.00 / 4) (#258)
by Another Scott on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 10:56:41 AM EST

Hey,

trhurler writes:

First of all, the federal courts made NO determination regarding this woman's rights. They dismissed or refused to hear every appeal that has been brought on purely procedural grounds having nothing to do with the facts of the situation.

Incorrect, at least in the details.

First, you are correct that up until the past week or so the Federal courts have not reexamined the evidence in the case. It was not in their purview to do so. However, there have been two separate Florida trials to evaluate the evidence of her position and her wishes. The decisions were released in February 2000 and November 2002. The second trial was a result of the appeals court ordering examination of new claims by the Schindlers. The Federal courts rejected, before this week, claims that the state court erred. Other parts of the case ("Terri's Law") were appealed to the US Supreme Court and rejected. I have not seen the Federal court rulings as to why the claims were rejected - it might have been for procedural grounds, or it might have been for other reasons. (Abstract Appeal does not give links for those rulings.) If you have links to those orders from the Federal courts, I'd like to see them.

Second, the recent Florida and Federal rulings have addressed whether the Schindlers would win on the merits of the case - not on procedural grounds. E.g. Whittemore's ruling of March 25:

Once again, the critical issue is whether Plaintiffs have established a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of any one of Counts Six through Ten. [...] On careful consideration of each count, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have not shown a substantial case on the merits.

I've come to believe that it's likely that Dr. Cranford is correct about the Schindlers:

In any case of a severely brain damaged patient involving extensive, prolonged, and heated litigation, especially when the major disputants are the immediate family, the question always arises, who really suffers the most? Not the patient in the vegetative state, who is unconscious and thus incapable of any suffering. Perhaps the husband whose wishes are being seriously undermined and who almost certainly does know what his wife would want, or what most of us would want for ourselves, in this situation. But, even though I disagree with their views, a strong case can be made that the ones suffering the most are Terri's parents and other family members. Outside doctors and medical advisors have cruelly deceived them into believing that Terri will improve, or has a chance for improvement with various treatments advocated by these individual doctors. So this family, cruelly misled by blatant distortions of fact and thoroughly unprofessional advice, believes that letting Terri die now takes away any opportunity, any slim chance, that she will receive "appropriate" treatment in order to recover. They feel like they are the last chance that Terri will ever have, and they are acting according to these strong (but unfortunately terribly mistaken and ill informed) beliefs.

That link gives a lot of details about her condition, the examinations done over the years, and the trials.

David Brooks has an interesting OpEd in the NY Times today. I disagree with his position that recognizing that there isn't a bright line between life and death leads to a "vapid mush", but there does seem to be - at least among the noisiest advocates - the simplistic life/death versus legality/quality-of-life camps with little recognition of the concerns of the other side.

My personal view is that she died on 2/25/1990 and as "clear and convincing" evidence was presented at the trials that she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means (and as Florida law states that a feeding and hydration tube is an artificial means), then her body should have been permitted to die long ago.

FWIW.

Cheers,
Scott.

[ Parent ]

Another linky - Wolfson's report. (none / 1) (#266)
by Another Scott on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:00:03 PM EST

Wolfson's Report is a good, dispassionate, and objective report (from December 1, 2003) on the Schiavo case by Jay Wolfson, a guardian ad litem for Terri.

It's an interesting read.

Cheers,
Scott.

[ Parent ]

Well (3.00 / 2) (#264)
by jolly st nick on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:54:52 AM EST

I see where you're coming from, but unfortunately you're missing some of the history. The reason the federal court is restricting itself to procedural matters is that the factual matters have already been handled by the Florida District Court of Appeals, which heard testimony from five physicians, four of whom were neurologists or neurosurgeon, one of whom was a specialist in radiology and hyperbaric medicine.

So legally speaking, the facts have already been determined. The only basis for overturning the DCA decision would be if the procedure they used to determine the facts was improper, whether there was new evidence, or whether the legal principles used to arrive at their decision were incorrect. In other words, the challenge to the DCA has to be procedural; if it fails, naturally it will be on procedural grounds.

[ Parent ]

Just a small nitpick (none / 1) (#316)
by nanobug on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 02:34:42 AM EST

Third, you outright failed to explain why the general public ought to regard a man who has two children by another woman and obviously wants his wife out of the way as a good legal guardian.

Terri's parents encouraged their son-in-law to begin dating again well before all this happened.  They had no problem with his legal guardianship up until the point that he decided all reasonable attempts to  help his wife recover had been exhausted.  Now that they don't agree with his decision, they're trying to use the very behavior they encouraged against him.

[ Parent ]

Not exactly (none / 1) (#388)
by baseball on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 01:22:39 AM EST

"First of all, the federal courts made NO determination regarding this woman's rights. They dismissed or refused to hear every appeal that has been brought on purely procedural grounds having nothing to do with the facts of the situation."

Actually, the federal courts did look at "this woman's rights." To obtain a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, the party seeking that relief must show (a) a likelihood of success on the merits (here, a likelihood that Ms. Schiavo's parents could prove her rights had been violated), and (b) irreparable injury if the injunctive relief is not granted. The federal courts found the obvious: there would be irreparable injury (death) to Ms. Schiavo if the injunctive relief were not granted. They still denied the requested relief (an injunction requiring reinsertion of the feeding tube) because they found that her parents had no prospect of success on the merits; that is, no prospect of proving that Terri Schiavo's rights had been denied.

Your assertion that "the federal courts made NO determination regarding this woman's rights" is itself "really, really wrong."

* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]
A Pokkuri Moment (2.25 / 4) (#223)
by danbloom on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 10:43:48 PM EST

When my time comes, I hope I will just ''pop off'' When you get ready to meet your maker, do you want to die a long slow, painful, costly death -- or do you just want to "pop off"? I ask this question because there's a unique Buddhist temple in Japan where people go to pray that they will just "pop off" when they die and not be a burden on their families during their final days. They ask the gods to let them "pop off" --"pokkuri" in Japanese -- and die a sudden death, preferably on a quiet night in their sleep, or via a sudden heart attack, without spending a long time in a sickbed at home or in a nursing home or hospital. I read about this temple in the newspapers the other day and was immediately drawn to the subject. I want to ''pop off'', too, when I go. What about you? An elderly Japanese housewife was quoted in the article as saying, "I want to pop off (''pokkuri''). I think more and more people feel the same way in a graying society." She had gone to the temple to pray for a quick end when the time comes. And she knows, as we all do, that the time will come someday. This Buddhist temple was set up over a thousand years ago in Japan by a monk whose mother had passed away peacefully after she wore clothes that he had prayed over. A tradition was born, and ever since then, pilgrims across Japan have been coming to the Kichi-denji Temple to pray for a discreet, quick, popping-off kind of death. "Let me pokkuri," they say. Maybe that's a good word we ought to borrow from the Japanese -- as we have done with sushi and sashimi and wasabi -- and make part of our postmodern American vocabulary. "God, grant me a good life, a useful (and meaningful) life, and when it's time, let me 'pokkuri' in a dignified, discreet way. Amen." That's my prayer. What's yours? The Buddhist priest at this temple in Japan told a reporter that the pokkuri prayers offered there represent "a simple desire for people to hope to die a peaceful death." "It's natural that children should wish that their parents have a long life," he said. "However, seeing aged parents anguishing in bed or too senile to recognize their own children makes many people, especially daughters here in Japan, come to hope that their parents will die quiet, quick, discreet deaths." Well, I'm paraphrasing, since I can't read Japanese very well. But I think I know what that priest was getting at. According to news reports, around 10,000 people come to this temple in northern Japan every year to pray the Pokkuri Prayer. They pray that they will not be a burden to their families when they meet their maker. A 76-year-old woman interviewed for the news story said that her husband of 40 years died suddenly a few years ago from a heart attack, after repeating telling her that he wanted to "pop off" -- and pop off he did." His prayer was answered," she said. "I want to follow suit some day." I can relate to that. Life's been good, I've had a great ride, and at 55, I still have a few more years to go, I hope. But like those pilgrims at the Kichi-denji Temple, I hope that when I go, I can just"pop off" in a quick, quiet way. Give me pokkuri, O Lord, when you give me death, yes! Nowadays, many Americans are debating such issues as assisted death and assisted suicide. Oregon's Death With Dignity Act has some people up in arms, and others quite satisfied. Meanwhile, the US federal government's Controlled Substances Act has other people up in arms, and the debate about doctors using certain medications to help some patients die continues to heat up. One of my neighbor's father is almost 90. He's in a good health, except that he doesn'treally know what he did yesterday, he's more or less blind, he can't hear too well and well, you know, he's getting ready to meet his maker. I pray that he will have a "pokkuri moment" and leave this Earth in a quick, quiet way -- preferably in his sleep, in a dreamstate, headed back to the stars. And when my time comes, as come it must, I'd like to "pop off", too. What about you? Do you want a long, drawn-out death or a pokkuri moment of release?
Global writer, global thinker
Pop off yourself (none / 1) (#345)
by AxelBoldt on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 06:14:09 PM EST

Obviously no one wants to languish in a nursing home for years before death. So rather than to hope for "pokkuri", the correct approach is to kill yourself when the time is right and the body starts to deterioate.

For your last party, invite all your friends, order music and good food, maybe prostitutes if that's your thing, and then kill yourself with some nice drug such as heroin. That way, the last minute of your life will be your best minute.

Oh, and charge everything on the credit card of course.

[ Parent ]

use one with skymiles (none / 0) (#422)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 09:32:14 PM EST

so they can dump you over the ocean at sunset. fucking poetic.

[ Parent ]
But the Doctors don't KNOW (1.11 / 9) (#224)
by sellison on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:14:33 PM EST

what Terri feels. Thus it is better to let her live,   the alternative, that she is there and just unable to respond or move a needle on the doc's limited instrements than it is to let her starve to death while there is a possibility that she may be suffering.

And there is, 100 years ago people were assumed dead who with 'modern' techniques wake up days, weeks, months, years after collapsing. In a 100 more years, docs may know even more. It is criminally arrogant to think that we know enough now to risk starving a poor woman to death just because some docs and activist judges assume she won't recover!

This is the core of the Culture of Life: First, do no HARM. Err on the side of life! Our darwinist culut of nihilism and randomness culture is all to eager to err on the side of death and end the life of a baby or a sick person because we can't tell they are alive with our limited senses.

This is why we have such drug and murder problems, we devalue human life casually and randomly every day, we worship the cold creed of Survival of the Fittest in our Schools and then wonder (for Goodness Sake!) why our children succumb to drugs, early sex, and so easily turn into uncaring killers!

Promote the Culture of Life and Save Terri! Even if Jeb has to send the National Gaurd to that hospital, and take that poor excuse for a 'husband' (who should be the very last person to let her feeding tube be removed!) to Guantanmo with the other evildoers, it would be a far better thing for this Nation to save her life than to sit around wringing our hands over fine points of legalese while a poor woman Suffers and Dies!

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

Exactly - do no harm (none / 1) (#250)
by gordonjcp on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:19:57 AM EST

And how much harm do you suppose it is doing, if she is in some way conscious but utterly unable to move, express herself, or show any signs of life?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
She's about as responsive as a newborn (1.50 / 4) (#267)
by sellison on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:31:18 PM EST

for some reason few but the most extreme nihilist would condone starving a newborn to death.

The point is we don't KNOW what she feels or what she wants, so we should keep feeding her until a miracle of science or faith revives, or she expires naturally (not by being starved).

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

You keep using that word... (3.00 / 2) (#274)
by gordonjcp on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:39:33 PM EST

... I do not think you know what it means.

She's not as responsive as a newborn. She has no responses to any stimuli, beyond reflexes (and there's some question over those). She is just not there any more.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Issues of fact involved here (none / 1) (#263)
by jolly st nick on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:36:36 AM EST

Whether your post is insightful or not depends largely on issues of fact that are, apprently, in dispute. Is there evidence that Terri can feel anything?

Now before your sling some links at me, note that there's all kinds of contradictory information flying around on the Internet and in certain media sources. If you lend credence to the reports that Terri does all kinds of things that only a conscious person is capable of doing,then this changes the nature of the situation and we're having a different kind of conversation (see gordonjcp's comment).

However, I simply do not find this purported information credible. Nor have the courts, who have been through this multiple times. The Guardian Ad Litem's report is objective and informative and I commend it to you. In my weighing of the evidence, all this fuss is over Terri's remains.

We love to debate an issue like this, but really there is some boring spade work to be done first: what sort of information sources should we trust?

[ Parent ]

She's not brain dead, yet. (1.44 / 9) (#227)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:23:06 AM EST

Most of the surveys, posed in a variety of ways ranging from "if you were Terri, would you want your feeding tube removed" to "do you support the judge's decision to deny the appeal" and so on- show a public mostly in support of the husband's position and against federal legislative/executive intervention.

Because before the past week, most people have heard very little about the case. Inaccurate reports about that "brain dead Florida woman" have skewed public perception. Besides, since when are right and wrong dictated by public opinion polls?

It takes brain activity to track a moving object.

That's one of the developmental tests that people use to rate a child's progress. If a 2 year old child can't track a moving object, he or she is impaired. Terri is obviously severely brain damaged, but she's not brain dead. She can track moving objects.

It's insanity. We're not talking about someone who can't breathe on her own. We're not talking about someone whose heart isn't beating on its own. She is breating and her heart is beating. There is no excuse for starving someone to death. That's what her husband is doing. He's starving his wife to death.

If I were in her father's position, I'd have long since killed my son in law.

Better me in jail and my daughter alive.

LK

For all practical purposes she is. (3.00 / 2) (#234)
by magney on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 02:09:40 AM EST

That's one of the developmental tests that people use to rate a child's progress. If a 2 year old child can't track a moving object, he or she is impaired. Terri is obviously severely brain damaged, but she's not brain dead. She can track moving objects.
The last sentence of this paragraph is simply false, invalidating the remainder of your post.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Yes, it's unfortunate (none / 0) (#262)
by jolly st nick on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:17:36 AM EST

there are so many assertions flying around. What people choose to believe depends on what their predisposition is.

The court appointed Guardian At Litem's report is on the internet - you can find it through Google. This is a primary source from what appears to be an objective source. I've chosen to base most of my opinions on that.

[ Parent ]

You're technically correct (3.00 / 2) (#261)
by jolly st nick on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:14:29 AM EST

The consensus on the term "brain death" does not include Mrs. Schiavo's condition. "Anencehphaly" might be a better term. The question is whether this condition is a form of death or not.

What makes this case fascinating is that it hinges on a number of big, central questions about the nature of human existence that we don't often face. Our normal day to day ways of thinking are challenged by the advance of technology.

Simply calling something by a name doesn't alter it's nature. Is brain death "death" becuase we call it so? Or is there some feature that makes it "death"? If so does a case like Mrs. Schiavo's share that feature, or not?

To ask this question is to also ask its converse -- what is the essential nature of human life?

It seems to me that reading your post, what constitutes existence as a human are things like being able to breathe or to have the body be able to react to outside stimuli. If so then Mrs. Schiavo is "alive", and we are talking about a euthanasia -- which leads to a different set of ethical dilemmas.

In any case, we are talking profound, subtle questions that most of us never are forced to confront in our daily lives. It is only natural that there should be differences of opinion. It would be more gracious to acknowledge the root of this disagreement as simply being misguided or wrong than labelling peopel who disagree with you "insane". I acknowledge you have strong and deep feelings on this issue, that come from a admirable respect for life. However name calling people with a different opinion does not do honor to this important principle. It suggests you may not have devoted the kind of thought to this issue that it deserves.

[ Parent ]

So, lets see....... (2.50 / 2) (#292)
by tlewis615 on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:59:19 PM EST

"If I were in her father's position, I'd have long since killed my son in law." So, you would take a life to save a life. Not sure of the logic there if you really believe in "the culture of life". But then I guess that is the same culture that allows the death penalty and pre-emptive war. Must make sense to you then.

[ Parent ]
Attributing quotes to me? (none / 1) (#304)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:51:48 PM EST

So, you would take a life to save a life. Not sure of the logic there if you really believe in "the culture of life".

Yes. I'd take a life to save a life.

I never said anything about the culture of life.

You're attributing quotes to me that I never daid.

LK

[ Parent ]

...if you want to be a prick about it... (none / 0) (#363)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:10:13 AM EST

First off, quotation marks (") can be used when not quoting someone; the parent did NOT quote anything you said/typed. I believe that "culture of life" was placed in quotes because it was a phrase of importance.

Second, if you want to be anal about it, 'quote' isn't even a noun. Informally, it's a short form of quotation, but your whole argument rests on a formal quoting of something you claimed to not have said. Before you get all semantic on someone's ass, figure out what exactly it is you are writing.



[ Parent ]
You are a moron (3.00 / 2) (#328)
by Roman on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 01:13:16 PM EST

she is not going to starve to death in 2 weeks, she is going to dehydrate. Sheesh. I am fasting right now (I am an atheist, I like to do it for health related reasons,) I can go on without any food for 15 days easily. Now, without water I will be dead in the first week, because I for the first 2 days I use Glauber's salt (Na2SO410H2O) and only drink orange juice, this actually can dehydrate anyone, if you don't drink enough afterwards. Then I drink distilled water for as many days as I want (my maximum was 15 days, my father went to 40 days once,) so if I have enough water, I am sure I can survive for 2 weeks and maybe even for 2 months. Schiavo's body is going to die from dehydration and in her non-existant state of mind she will not feel any pain, she will not know she is dying because Schiavo is already dead even though her corps goes on. You are also a moron because you are asking this question: why does her body have to be destroyed this way? Well duh! Assissted euthanasia is illegal in Florida. There is no legal way to finish her off otherwise. In her case there are extrordinary measures that needed to be taken to prolong her current state (the feeding tube is inserted through a hole in her stomach - an unlikely event in natural environment.) Now it's simple enough. Take out the tube, and since she is not actually asleep, wait for her to ask for water/food. But she is not going to ask. It's also stupid that some compare her state to a state of a small child - a small child will 'tell' you it is hungry. It will cry. Schiavo will not. There is no human spark left in that brainless body, let the body go. And the most moronic suggestion on your part is to say that you would have killed your son in law if you were her parent. That's just so stupid, the guy has been there for quite a while and all he wants to do is grant the dead woman's wish. Obviously her parents live in the past and associate this mostly brain-dead corps with their daughter. They just can't let go of her like they wouldn't let go of her pictures from years ago. Not for her sake, for their own sake. Grow up.

[ Parent ]
Wow, I wish I had seen this post sooner (none / 0) (#434)
by The Real Lord Kano on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:05:45 PM EST

Assissted euthanasia is illegal in Florida. There is no legal way to finish her off otherwise.

Now that it's all over and done with, Terri's husband killed her.

Be honest with yourself, you're not talking about euthanasia, you're takling about murder.

LK

[ Parent ]

You're half right (3.00 / 3) (#349)
by forgotten on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 08:13:48 PM EST

Better you in jail.

--

[ Parent ]

non sequitur, mon ami (3.00 / 2) (#359)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:22:44 AM EST

Ha! Your blather is wonderfully confusing to digest with regards to a fairly serious situation as this.
As you quoted in the beginning of your comment, this isn't an issue of getting rid of a brain-dead individual; it's ending the suffering of an individual.

Giving the husband the benefit of the doubt, he's trying valiantly to end a life his wife would not wish to live, had she the capacity to articulate her wants and needs (which is she not able to do).

Her parents, however, are acting as many parents would; finding it numbingly difficult to be rid of their living/breathing offspring. Obviously her husband does not want her gone... but his attachment is wildly less basic than what parents experience. In this instance, however, their view is flawed by the premise that this woman is suffering. The parents are probably conflicted; they no more want her suffering than they wish her dead... doesn't mean they should be fighting for a useless cause, though.

That you'd kill your son-in-law to keep your daughter is sweet (in a paternal sense); it's also rather sad and more than a little deluded. Better you in jail and your daughter suffering against her wishes for a long life you were so kind to force her into? If I were your son-in-law, I'd have long since killed you.

Better me in jail and another slightly crazy fellow off the street.



[ Parent ]
I disagree (none / 1) (#375)
by The Real Lord Kano on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:57:03 PM EST

Obviously her husband does not want her gone...

His question of when is "that bitch" going to die, indicates otherwise.

Better you in jail and your daughter suffering against her wishes for a long life you were so kind to force her into?

That assessment is only accurate if you believe the husband's claims about what his wife told him. It only took him 7 years to remember that she told him that.

If I were your son-in-law, I'd have long since killed you.

Anyone who wishes me dead is welcomed to try.

LK


[ Parent ]

Off me, please (none / 0) (#378)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:35:41 PM EST

That assessment is only accurate if you believe the husband's claims about what his wife told him.

Not at all; anyone with a normal sense of quality of life can understand the wish to 'end it all' in such a situation. Not that I'm condoning suicide, but it can be understandable.

If I were your son-in-law, I'd have long since killed you.
Anyone who wishes me dead is welcomed to try.

Did something go over your head, my friend? ;)



[ Parent ]
The man in the white coat says she's brain dead (1.10 / 10) (#243)
by mc6809e on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:41:47 AM EST

This reminds me of Milgram's experiment.

The man in the white coat says we must shock the learner.

Who are we to question his authority?

And if the man in the white coat says she's brain-dead and unaware, well...

Don't forget the men in Black Robes /nt (none / 1) (#320)
by tonedevil on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:44:42 AM EST



[ Parent ]
If this reminds you of Milgram (2.50 / 6) (#348)
by forgotten on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 08:12:50 PM EST

you didnt understand it properly.

--

[ Parent ]

The Human Body (none / 1) (#278)
by cronian on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 04:09:19 PM EST

Humans are made out of matter, which comes from our ecosystem. We are born, we grow, we live, and we die. People should live their life, and have try to have a good life. If they are ill, we should try to cure them.

However, once people can no longer communicate with the world, it is their time to die. Humans are not immortal. The ancient Egyptian pharaohs had their bodies embalmed after they died, holding the bodies flesh to be sacred. If we are to respect human life as more than flesh and blood, we need to allow the human flesh to go when the time comes.

I am not a Christian. However, I wonder whether the social conservative Christians believe everyone is going to hell, including themselves. Otherwise, why would they be so worried about death?

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
How does this affect SIGNOR SPAGHETTI? (2.94 / 18) (#283)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 05:27:02 PM EST

I'm running through all the possible outcomes in this case and I fail to see why it should be my business what happens to Terri Schiavo. Lets say she lives. Yeah, AND?? Approximately 9 billion people around the world will live at about the same time, for example medical staff profiteering handsomely from maintaining artificially the bodily functions of braid dead corpses. What of it?

(But I don't mean to be callous. If her loving parents and stark raving "culture of life" nutters want to mount her on a pillow like a stuffed trophy and pet her, or sit and watch her make like a tomato plant for hours, days, weeks, months and years, who am I to gainsay their infantile idolatry? I myself have written up a living will so that if ever I die I want to be kept alive forever, eventually put into a cryogenic state when friends and family expire. In addition, I have included specific instructions a buxom nurse should twice a day stick a cucumber where my penis used to stir and say, "Oh, SIGNOR SPAGHETTI, it's so big. Mind if I remove my bra?" Boom chika-chika boom. But that's just me.)

Let's say she dies. Yeah, AND?? Approximately 20,000 otherwise healthy children will die from starvation alone today, every day. Pinch me if I'm dreaming but I don't see no media circus clamoring for feeding tubes to be stuck up their little asses (why the fuck not??) so forgive me if I don't shed crocodile tears in public solidarity with Christian funeral jackals and Top Gun politicians who it seems are never quite so happy as when they're bombing "terrorists." Yeah, well, I'd rather be a terrorist than a fucking vegetable, so forgive me if don't trust a politician who has shown less compassion for the would-be likes of me than he's showing for a plant.

Live or die, Terri Schiavo's fate is a private matter. I think it is an interesting fact about fascist societies that the public should feel entitled to enforce their sentimental opinions on matters that are none of their fucking business, yet this very same public is content to let government decide in secret public matters like, oh I don't know, the decision to go to war? I'm just saying.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.

Amen (3.00 / 2) (#285)
by SkullOne on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 06:33:33 PM EST

Amen, Signor Spaghetti, amen. Fuck the fundies who make it their agenda to force-feed their politics on people. And fuck Bush for that idiotic easter message. (totaly unrelated) My living will now includes that cucumber part! BTW, where the hell did you come up with your name?

[ Parent ]
When I was 10 (none / 0) (#369)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:01:01 PM EST

I saw this kid shit his pants and throw it at the chalkboard.  I thought he was the coolest guy ever and I wanted to be his friend.

[ Parent ]
It's hard to watch one's child die (2.66 / 3) (#289)
by nlscb on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:00:05 PM EST

The nutters don't get any sympathy from me, but I'm not sure how strong I would be if someone asked me to let my child die.

/don't have a kid

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

She's gonna die someday.... (none / 1) (#317)
by danbloom on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 02:46:20 AM EST

Look, the entire thing is silly. She is going to die someday, like the rest of us. Whether it's this week, or next year or in 15 years or when she might have been 83, Teri was fated to die the moment she was conceived..... It's her husband's decision. She married him. Parents cannot control what their kids do after they marry......This is like a kindergarten story here.........Let the dear woman die peacefully in her coma sleep.... there is no God, no gods, no messiah, nothing. ......we are just animals, humans, plants, on Planet Earth.......no extraterrestial life, no Jesus afterlife, get over it everyone...... get real, for once!
Global writer, global thinker
Let her go back to the OldGod who does not exist.. (2.66 / 3) (#318)
by danbloom on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:12:42 AM EST

QUOTE: "Is it possible that the soul of Terri Schiavo has been floating -- held in some prolonged and excruciating limbo -- waiting for doctors to stop interfering with the process of her death? I believe that this is so, and that is why I have supported her husband's desires to have her feeding tube removed. Terri Schiavo isn't being murdered. She is being allowed to die. Death will not be an end for Terri Schiavo, it will be a beginning. She will finally be allowed to claim the reward that ultimately we all seek, a reward she's earned and deserves."
Global writer, global thinker
Hippocrates (none / 1) (#319)
by Roman on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 03:20:07 AM EST

So removing the feeding tube and let her dehydrate is playing god, but making a hole in her stomach and inserting the tube in there is what? not playing god? If people didn't play god this woman's body would have been in its grave 15 years ago.

She is not brain-dead, she is partially brain-dead, that's more than some people we all know from real life.

evidence (none / 0) (#321)
by Rojareyn on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 05:33:04 AM EST

She is not brain-dead, she is partially brain-dead, that's more than some people we all know from real life.
Please provide evidence that supports this conclusion.

[ Parent ]
I should correct myself (none / 0) (#326)
by Roman on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 10:36:15 AM EST

what I meant is that she is partially brain-dead and even that way she still has more brains than some of the walking, talking corpses around us.

[ Parent ]
Terminology (none / 1) (#372)
by jolly st nick on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 12:33:12 PM EST

Not to be a usage nazi or anything, but IMO part of what fuels this controversy is imprecision in terminology. For example, when we talk about what is lying in that hospital bed, it is always in a way the presumes an answer to the question "Is Terri Schiavo alive?"

So, I think it's important to note that so far as I know, there is no such thing as "partial brain death". Brain death is a specific set of criteria which is sufficient to pronounce a person dead. In essence, the debate of this case boils down to two questions:

(1) While brain death is sufficient, is it a necessary condition for death.

(2) (If brain death is necessary to death) What are there conditions under which removing artificial nutrition from person is acceptable?

[ Parent ]

She is partially brain dead (none / 1) (#397)
by Roman on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 10:03:14 AM EST

Her brain stem is still active, but the rest has no active signature. How do you call that?

[ Parent ]
I call this (none / 1) (#399)
by jolly st nick on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 01:34:48 PM EST

brain damaged. Not because it's in inherently better term than "partially brain dead", just because it's the correct terminology.

[ Parent ]
Living wills. (3.00 / 2) (#343)
by cburke on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 05:31:39 PM EST

Make sure you live somewhere where they are legally binding.  Regardless of whether you would want to live or die, I wouldn't want to have this kind of media circus going on for years over the question of what I wanted, only to have them end up making the wrong choice.

On a different note, I personally believe pulling the feeding tube is bullshit.  That's not "nature taking its course" any more than leaving a puppy to starve is "nature".  Ceasing to feed her is choosing to kill her, so fucking making a choice and kill her.  They're acting like if they just stop feeding her, it's just God's will if she doesn't miraculously wake up before she starves.  Lethal injection, now.

active v passive euthanasia (2.50 / 2) (#380)
by black orchidness on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 06:56:14 PM EST

But you do know that Americans hate active euthanasia, don't you?

Let a patient die of dehydration, sure, but actually inject an innocent person with a lethal substance? Nu uh. We put people in jail for that mister.

[ Parent ]

Then it's the state that is full of crap. (none / 1) (#400)
by cburke on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 03:05:44 PM EST

Whichever.

Say what you will about Dr. Kevorkian, he at least had the balls to put his freedom on the line for what he believed in.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 0) (#403)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 09:43:40 PM EST

That's the worst part about this. I don't believe in euthanasia, but it's still better than cutting off food and water and waiting for the problem to solve itself. That's complete moral cowardice.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
on the subject of nature (none / 1) (#401)
by syukton on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 08:22:26 PM EST

Inserting the tube in the first place is when nature was deviated from. The woman can't chew or swallow on her own; she's been turned into a cyborg against her will and now we're working to undo that damage and let her die a natural death instead of unnaturally prolonging her existence. Removing the feeding tube isn't natural because the tube ITSELF is unnatural. Your puppy analogy is flawed. Feeding a puppy who can chew and swallow is very different from making an incision in somebody's stomach and sliding a tube into it so that food may be directly injected into the digestive tract. The puppy's basic method of ingestion and digestion is natural. Terri Schiavo's method is artificial and only made possible with technology. 100 years ago this situation wouldn't exist because she'd have starved to death long ago. By removing the artificiality of the feeding tube, we are indeed permitting nature to take its course. I agree though about the lethal injection. Dragging this on and on like this is bullshit, just let the woman find peace.

[ Parent ]
Exactly, more or less. (none / 0) (#402)
by cburke on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 09:00:01 PM EST

Feeding a puppy who can chew and swallow is very different from making an incision in somebody's stomach and sliding a tube into it so that food may be directly injected into the digestive tract.

Not in the sense that without some caregiver's continued attention that puppy will die.  That was the point I was getting at -- when someone is utterly dependent on you for their survival, whether it is an infant or an invalid, ceasing to provide them the necessary care is killing them.

I can see your point about inserting the feeding tube not being natural, but that doesn't make removing the feeding tube a return to nature, because that is impossible at this point; it's a deliberate decision to kill.

[ Parent ]

But she has zero chance... (none / 1) (#415)
by syukton on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:53:50 PM EST

This woman has zero chance. Not even a shadow of a chance.

A puppy can survive on its own. Sure, a given group of 1000 puppies released in the wild might only result in a dozen survivors, but that's still way better odds than Terri Schiavo has of waking up and saying "Hi mom, thanks for keeping me on the feeding tube."

Without the tube, necessarily, Terri will die. Without a caregiver, MOST LIKELY, a puppy will die. A puppy however, has a fighting chance, while Terri simply does not.

[ Parent ]

Umm... okay. (none / 0) (#416)
by cburke on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 03:05:26 AM EST

A puppy can survive on its own

Well, okay.  The intent of the analogy was to convey something completely helpless that the average human would feel some compassion for.  A young enough puppy has a zero percent chance of surviving.  Not that I think "fighting chance" makes a difference as to whether or not it is a deliberate killing.  Do you think that changes the intent of leaving a puppy to its own defenses?  "Well, it has a fighting chance..."?    It doesn't seem like we actually disagree, except the analogy is catching you up.  Please don't disect the analogy, because it is just an analogy, and consider it as it was intended.

[ Parent ]

Strange thing is that ... (none / 1) (#404)
by jope on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 03:23:51 AM EST

in most other countries, at least here in Europe, this would not be possible and clearly be regarded active euthanasia. In all countries in Europe I know, patients with apallic syndrome are treated until they either die or recover. All doctors I heard on the subject agree on that 1) there is no scientific method to prove for a specific individual that recovery is not possible. and 2) removing the feeding tube is an act that is in this case equivalent with actively killing a patient. I am not a doctor, but it strikes me as odd that practices in treating apallic patients are so different between the US and Europe. Surely, the fact that treatment usually needs to go over years or decades and is extremely costly hasn't got anything to do with it?

Ssshhh... Don't shatter the myth. (none / 0) (#409)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 08:28:10 AM EST

Liberal Americans are convinced they are living in a theocracy. Don't confuse them with reality.

But, the Netherlands are the exception to your rule, right? Aren't they currently discussing whether or not doctors can pull the plug even in cases where the patient has not given consent and is not physically suffering?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Prokchop, we've been over this. (none / 0) (#419)
by jandev on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 02:00:04 PM EST

Please read this again. I put a lot of work in that :)

So please stop lying. Or at least putting things 'you thought you heared' forth as the truth, because it's the second time you're doing that in a single story.

Bad clown.


"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

Errr... Wrong fight. (none / 0) (#423)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 10:54:42 PM EST

Actually, I wasn't referring to children.

I was referring to Critics of the Dutch law have raised alarms over a new drive by Dutch medical authorities to authorize euthanasia in cases in which a patient hasn't given his consent, and in cases of mental suffering not based on physical ailments.

If you read the article, it points out that the government has not agreed to go along with this - which is why I asked the question - I was hoping for an informed answer, not an accusation of lying.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

PSA: Porkchop is not a liar (none / 1) (#426)
by jandev on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:43:36 PM EST

Um yeah, I may have been a little bit too quick at the draw. Apologies for that. Some points though:
  • You didn't really make it clear what the hell you were talking about, yet you did resort to quasi-slanderous 'aren't those dutchies quite the little butchers' rhetoric.
  • I'd like to know who those 'Dutch medical authorities' are who are '[driving] to authorize euthanasia in cases in which a patient hasn't given his consent, and in cases of mental suffering not based on physical ailments.' Because I can't identify them. And for sure they're not the main Dutch organization of medical professionals KNMG, since they haven't published anything of the sort, and have not even reacted to anything of the sort. So I suspect we may be talking about a fringe group.


"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

Cost isn't the issue... (none / 1) (#413)
by jwdb on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 02:10:45 PM EST

The fact is, if what brettd told is accurate, there isn't any Terri there any more. Indeed doctors cannot usually say if something is truly unrecoverable, but we know for a fact that the brain does not regrow by itself. I suppose it might be possible to allow it to grow back with stem cells or the like (a technology that won't be here for many years), but you're talking about regrowing an entire brain here - it'll be a child in the body of a grown woman with no memory of the previous inhabitant.

Personally, I hope to be able to die with dignity. When I can no longer control myself, I hope my family loves me enough to pull my plug.

Jw

[ Parent ]

You are guilty of spreading bullshit! (none / 1) (#431)
by CaptainZapp on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:55:07 AM EST

... In all countries in Europe I know ...

Then you're either ignorant or you're lying.

Switzerland even permits passive Suicide aid, which turns into a problem due to tourism from other countries, which prohibit this.

In any case written, notarized wills not to undergo live supporting measures in case of "brain-deadedness" is certainly respected and in the case of my father - who was in coma - it didn't even require a written wiil. The assurance from the immediate family to the doctors - who decided not to operate - was enough for them not to undertake such measures. They gave him Morphium to ease potential pain and he peacefully died after a couple of days.

Cost has nothing to do with it. It's about human dignity and last I looked it up Switzerland was still part of Europe.

Get your facts straight!

[ Parent ]

The meaning of marriage. (3.00 / 3) (#406)
by CorporateAlien on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 05:46:13 AM EST

Conservatives are biting themselves in the ass by saying that Michael Shiavo doesn't have the say-so to pull the plug. Legally, he's the husband and has every right to say whether his wife will continue to live in this situation. Homosexuals aren't a threat to the meaning of marriage. Conservatives are.

Interesting. (1.00 / 2) (#408)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 08:25:40 AM EST

I assume you also believe that in a marriage, the man should control all money and so on, so that the little woman doesn't have to worry herself about such things?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
That's a pretty far fetched assumption (3.00 / 2) (#414)
by Morning Star on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 04:56:51 PM EST

given the facts of the case. Or maybe your not familiar with Terri Schiavo's situation. Basically, she's been braindead for the last 15 years. She is incapable of making decisions for herself and more notably surviving on her own. See above text for more information.

In such cases, the husband (or wife) is given the power to make medical decisions for the spouse. CorporateAlien was merely stating a fact that some people are ignoring.

Ardente veritate incendite tenebras mundi
[ Parent ]
terri passed a few hour ago (none / 1) (#420)
by hebertrich on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 08:15:46 PM EST

for those who dont live here in Fl the news might take time to come .. Terri died this morning. Whatever the position you might have had.. it's just time to embrace the reality , be with both sides the family and say , it's over , not for us or either side , but for her. Time to let the selfishness and just pray whatever god one's got if any and ask him to take her and her voyage in the unknown be as pleasant as our best dreams. Bon voyage Terri .. and may you find true peace and love in the arms of your creator .. To all of her family and friends on both side the fence , our deepest sympathies. Richard

We will remember! (none / 1) (#433)
by cpghost on Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 01:19:19 PM EST

Terri's ordeal has been aired on all televisions, worldwide. Looking at this premeditated slow death by dehydration has been heart-breaking to people in all parts of the world, regardless of political or religious beliefs. It doesn't matter either wether she percieved the pain every cell in her body was enduring while dying, or not. That was gruesome and an awful way to deal with her. She didn't deserve this kind of treatment. Nobody deserves this!

May Terri's last weeks remind us of our ways of dealing with incapacitated and helpless people.

On a personal note: I'm deeply disgusted by this whole inhumane judicial system which allowed this to happen in the first place by putting laws and regulations above humanity and compassion. There's no reliance on such cold systems when it comes to acting decently towards people who can't speak for themselves. As Nietzsche put it: there's no coldest monster than the State. This proved true once more.

Good bye Terri, be glad that you've finally left this cold-hearted cruel world!


cpghost at Cordula's Web
[ Parent ]
Watch (none / 0) (#421)
by Armada on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 09:05:06 PM EST

This is a turning point in the US political landscape. "South Park" hit the nail on the head. No one really cares about the issue itself save her husband and family. Conservatives fear socialized medicine and liberals fear wasteful spending.

Even a scant five years ago, this would have never happened. The party platforms are shifting ala FDR and the New Deal. If you're a non-USian, you'll notice it far sooner than us USians will.

How much do you have to hate her parents.... (none / 1) (#430)
by dflux2140 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:12:36 AM EST

How much do you have to hate her parents to do what Michael did. If you even cared an ounce for her family you would sign over rights to her family let them assume all care for her yet make it very clear that from your understanding Terri did not want to be kept alive in this state. If Terri was alive would she want this whole ordeal done to her parents or just be kept alive for their sad hope that she might someday wakeup?

If my wife tells me... (3.00 / 3) (#432)
by MrMikey on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:47:37 PM EST

that she doesn't want to be maintained by artificial means if she were to descend into a persistant vegitative state, it is my responsibility, my duty to see to it that her wishes are carried out. If her parents object, I have to remember that my first responsibility is to my wife... my responsibilities to her parents are secondary at best. This isn't an act of hate, but an act of love and respect for my wife and her wishes.

To do otherwise would be immoral, in my estimation.

[ Parent ]

Terri's tube, morals, lies, and justice | 433 comments (379 topical, 54 editorial, 0 hidden)
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