March 30, 2005

It continues

And will until after Terri breathes her last.

Noted right-wing Christian activist Ralph Nader[/sarcasm] had this to say:

"First of all, it was a series of casual remarks that her husband and her husband's siblings alleged they heard — so they are parties and interested," attorney, consumer activist, and Green-party presidential nominee Ralph Nader recently said. "We have no way of knowing that she wants this done at all, or might have changed her mind from the position that she may — or may not — have articulated as a young woman."

Nader adds: "It's one thing to have consent when the patient is overwhelmed with ventilators, and dialysis, and heart pumps, but it's quite another when there are non-heroic ministrations — in this case simply a feeding and water tube — and not having explicit consent or even credible consent — in ending her life."

Nader calls this situation "court-imposed homicide." He continues: "There are police in her room 24 hours a day, and if her mother would come and dab her parched lips with a moist sponge, her mother would be arrested and taken away. That's how barbaric the local scene has become. And that introduces a coarseness throughout our society that is totally preventable, uncalled for, and inappropriate under the rule of law."

And from Jay Nordlinger:

I am asked — by readers — whether I think the Bushes have done enough. The answer is no. I am further asked whether Governor Jeb should go for the (Bill) Bennett option: Do what it takes to feed Mrs. Schiavo, risk impeachment and jail. Yes. There is more to being an American — and more to being a leader — than following the edicts of judges. At least, that's what I was taught in good ol' pinko Ann Arbor (and I believe it).

Jay also reprints letters from a couple of readers, including this one:

Dear Jay:
We have a granddaughter who was born very prematurely and suffered a brain bleed. At eleven, she's just learned to walk and can say a couple of words. This past Christmas was the first time she looked me in the eye and seemed to really acknowledge me. But every time I've ever said "I love you" to her, she has responded with a fierce hug. We love her so fiercely.

It terrifies me to think that if anything happened to this beautiful young girl, causing her to lose the little mobility and language she has, there could be people who would call her brain-dead and insist that she be killed. (Not her parents, that's for sure. I hate to think what her father would do if anyone tried to harm her.) . . .

That last sentence reminded me of a conversation that I had with my wife recently where I mentioned the little boy who was disconnected from a ventilator over his parents objections. Here was my response:

If anyone ever did that to one of my children, it would be the last thing he or she ever did>

Any threat to my family by someone will be interpreted by me as a request for assisted suicide, which request I will then make every effort fulfill. Questions to be asked much, much later.

Update: Andrea Harris has more:

Your aged and terminally ill relative who voluntarily refused food and nutrition and so died "peacefully" a couple of days later has nothing to do with the Schaivo situation. People dying of terminal diseases reach a point where they can no longer take in nutrition; in fact, it becomes a torment to them. Terri Schiavo was not dying from a terminal disease.

Your dying relative/friend/patient who was hooked up to a heart/lung machine but who showed no signs of brain activity after extensive tests, and who therefore had their "plug pulled" because they were not going to recover, have nothing to do with the Terri Schiavo case. Terri Schiavo's heart and lungs worked just fine.

The many people talking about how awful it would be to live "like that." Since none of these people really have any way of knowing exactly how awful life without much of a brain would be, this sort of speculation comes down on the side of "idle notions" and we should not be basing life and death actions on such twaddle.

Update: Gerard offers some insight into this horrible spectacle being played out before our eyes. Excerpt:

I take up that question and repeat: "What good does it do to kill this woman?"

As all can see, but nobody can stop, the killing of Mrs. Schiavo, for all the legalisms and philosophies blown in to obscure the simple fact of her death by starvation, the stark answer is: "It does no good at all."

"It does no good at all."

The discussion now and in the days to follow until the last stroke of doom will not cancel out one word of that answer.

Update: I decided against mentioning the fact that Jesse Jackson had joined Ralph Nader in opposing the crime being committed against Terri Shiavo due in part to my fear that the Apocalypse was nigh, and the next people I'd being seeing were the Four Horsemen. Misha is not so circumspect:

As a way of introducing yet another member to the Imperial Family, Suspension of Disbelief, we want you to know that we were damn near falling out of our throne when we read that Jesse Hi-Jackson had finally fallen down on the right side of an issue.

We hope it didn't hurt. No, really we do.

Now, if y'all will have His Majesty excused. We need to go check if the seas have turned into blood yet.

Update: As I expected, the 11th Circuit has declined to hear the case. What I did find entertaining was an excerpt from the majority opinion:

"Any further action by our court or the district court would be improper," wrote Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr., who was appointed by former President Bush. "While the members of her family and the members of Congress have acted in a way that is both fervent and sincere, the time has come for dispassionate discharge of duty."

Birch went on to scold President Bush and Congress for their attempts to intervene in the judicial process, by saying: "In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution."

No word on how he feels about the judiciary establishing themselves as beings above reproach or review.

Update: Captain Ed voices his opinion in the matter:

Talk about judicial arrogance! Not only did the Eleventh Circuit openly disregard the law written by Congress, this justice arrogantly tells the other equal branches that the only branch guaranteeing a free people is the one not accountable to the will of the electorate. Bear in mind that none of the courts that reviewed this case after the passage of the emergency legislation found it unconstitutional; that at least would have put the court on record. Instead, the judiciary simply and contemptuously disregarded a law which to this moment remains legal and valid.

If Birch thinks that this law constitutes such a serious threat to the Republic, then the court should have ruled it unconstitutional. However, that would have meant a hearing on its merits, which the 11th Circuit cravenly refused to provide. Birch instead reacted in keeping with the hyperinflated notion of the judiciary in modern times as a superlegislature with veto power over actions taken by the other two branches without any due process whatsoever.

Birch's comment demonstrates that this out-of-control judiciary constitutes the main threat to the Founding Fathers' blueprint. They have set themselves up as a star chamber, an unelected group of secular mullahs determining which laws they choose to observe and which they choose to ignore. The arrogance of this written opinion will resonate through all nominations to the federal court over the next several years. It will motivate us to ensure that judges nominated will start respecting the power of the people's representatives to write and enact laws, and the duty of the judiciary to follow them or to specify their unconstitutional nature in the explicit text of the Constitution itself.

In the meantime, perhaps the Senate may want to read this opinion closely and discuss impeaching Justice Birch for his inability to apply the laws of Congress as required. This statement should provide all the proof necessary.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 03:50 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 I apologize for this lengthy comment, but I wanted to promulgate this parallel to the world: Because I Could Not Stop for Death By Emily Dickinson Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, And I had put away My labour, and my leisure too, For his civility. We passed the school where children played, Their lessons scarcely done; We passed the fields of gazing grain, We passed the setting sun. We paused before a house that seemed A swelling of the ground; The roof was scarcely visible, The cornice but a mound. Since then 'tis centuries; but each Feels shorter than the day I first surmised the horses' heads Were toward eternity.

Posted by: Taylor at March 31, 2005 05:58 PM (bDjM9)

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