Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Poor terri Schiavo...

Here is the latest development on his heart wrenching case:
Judge doesn't order Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted

A federal judge on Tuesday refused to order the reinsertion of a feeding tube for Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman who is the center of a national legal battle over her life.

Attorneys for Schiavo's parents will file an appeal at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.

UPDATE 3/23/05 AM: Appeals panel won't order Schiavo fed
UPDATE 3/23/05 PM: Court denies request to rehear Schiavo case
I did not write about this because it was - and still is - a subject that I haven't made-up my mind about. On the one hand, I can feel amd understand the parents' wish to keep their "little girl" alive, even in these poor conditions. It is their daughter, and it will always be hard for them to accept that there is no hope for her, until she actually ceases to breathe, and her heart stops beating. And the videos, to the layman eye, do seem to show some reaction. But I also understand and feel the position of the husband, who believes he owes it to his wife to let her go, as he said she wished. And he has on his behalf a battery of doctors confirming that there is no further hope for Terri...

I have been ambivalent, not because I believe that he parents have a legal case - they don't, but because starving and dehydrating Terri seems quite an inhumane wa of "letting" someone die. But then again, many people do die in that fashion evey week. What I am certainly not ambivalent about, is the fact that the Federal government had no place in this matter, and that it overstepped its bounds. It is yet another example of the ideological bend of this congress' Republican majority, which has decided to use this case to please their pro-life constituency. I believe that's at best misguided, but that's just me.


Ingrid said...

Hello Ali, thanks for linking to the amazing Konono. I have put them in my sidebar. If you find any more news on them, please blog it and I will link to it. These guys need all the publicity they can get.

A while back I linked to a blog campaign that aimed at making noise for Terri in the blogosphere. I do not know all the details of her case, but as far as I am aware she did not have a "Living Will" so nobody can be 100% sure of her wishes. In the absence of a Living Will I do not believe it is up to anybody to take the decision to end someone's life, no matter how useless society thinks they have become. I do not believe in capital punishment or euthenasia because it is the slippery slope to all sorts of other things that are too long to go into here.

There are people with all sorts of conditions that affect their brain and mental health and faculties: Brain injured people from car accidents ... and Alzheimer's for instance. When do we start bumping off brain injured people and Alzheimer patients? May then we could move along to withdrawing food from those who are newly diagnosed with AIDS ... and then the Christopher Reeves of this world or those who have been in a coma for years and come out of it. The list of examples is endless. The point I am making is, where will it all end? People are starting to live to 120 - and it may become commonplace within the next generation or so to live to 1,200. Will people have to start volunteering to die or not have children ...

Life as we know it means we are on this planet only for a short time and then we are dead forever, so it doesn't seem too long of a time to put up with the way things are on this Earth, no matter what is inflicted upon us or what we have to endure. Some people have more time on Earth than others. I believe there is a time for us to be born and a time for us to die and, just like in nature, if you chop things down in the garden too soon the whole rhythmn of the eco system will change. Everything has its reason. To evolve successfully, like what happens in the animal kingdom, there are the strong and the weak. As human beings with a conscience we must foster love and compassion for all living things and protect those who cannot fend for themselves even when they grow old and grey and appear to some as being of use to society.

Having said all of that, a friend recently told me about a tribe of eskimos who, when one of them gets too old or infirm to function in the community, have a hole cut in the ice with steps and the person voluntarily steps into the ice water and sits there until they lose all feeling and within a matter of an hour or so, die.

I guess it all depends on what sort of society we want to evolve and, if we have faith in a religion what its teachings are. I believe in God. And believe God is love. Love is the number one thing that makes this world go around. Even my cat and plants respond to love. Terri's family love her and don't want to let her go. So be it. She did not make a Living Will.

TheMalau said...

Thank you for your comment Ingrid. I am almost ashamed to reply to you, because it seems like I am going to sound inhumane.

I do not have a strict opinion about this case. I also do respect the pain and strife of the biological family who wants to kep their Terri. However, I would hope that should I have told my wife something about my wishes, that our marriage confidences would also be honored. I mean, that's why in law, the first next of kin is the spouse, not the parents, right?

I also do believe in God, and in God's love. I also am against the death penalty. I have my own take about Euthanasia that would take too long to write. But I believe that using this case as a religious wedge is not helpful, because it is mainly a legal matter, which I personally see as a secular matter.

The family, on both sides, could not resolve their differences, and asked the judiciary to get involved. From that point on, they should abide by their decision - especially when it was not one, but several judges who concurred.

If every time I do not like a decision that a judge made, I could go to Congress, and ask them to clean the slate, ignore the facts in previous hearings, and start fresh with new hearings, at the Federal level, then where are we going? I can guarantee you that if this was a Black, Arab, or even Latino woman, no such fuss would be made. If it was not an imperative for the Conservatives in Congress to pander to their 'pro-life' base, no such fuss would be made. The republicans did not like the rulings of the courts, and now they are "venue-fishing" for a court that will give them the outcome they want. And that's what bothers me.

123 said...

I'm very sad about the fact that Terry is deteriorating little by little. I knoe this might sound a bit terrible, but I believe they should let her "rest in peace."
I know what it feels to see a love one die little by little, but I think it's better to let them go than to keep them alive in a vegetable stage.
The more horrible thing about this case is the legal issues. They have turned this poor woman's life into an ugly legal battle.
I feel sorry for Terry and her bilogical family, but I do believe she should rest in peace if there's no hope of returning her to her full, complete life.
I really hope I don't offend anybody here. It's just my way of thinking about this particular case and I want to make clear I am not a PRO-KILLING person.

Bye bye ;)

Donate to The Salon

Help us continue to do this important work of promoting freedom of expression about the Congo.


Explore The Salon