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Friday, March 25, 2005

What the Terri fight is all about

Thomas Sowell understands why, in Peggy Noonan's phrase, so many people seem to have fallen half in love with death, why so many liberal commentators, politicians and bioethicists  seem so eager to see Terri Schindler-Schiavo die: 

"Terri Schiavo is being killed because she is inconvenient to her husband and because she is inconvenient to those who do not want the idea of the sanctity of life to be strengthened and become an impediment to abortion. Nor do they want the supremacy of judges to be challenged, when judges are the liberals' last refuge."

You can read regular Terri updates on news and commentary at Sobering Thoughts.

Posted by Paul Tuns on March 25, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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"Terri Schiavo is being killed because she is inconvenient to her husband"

I am not sure exactly how this process has been more convenient for Mr. Schiavo. It would seem to me that it would have been easier to just give guardianship to the Schindler's or even the state of Florida and walk away.

"and because she is inconvenient to those who do not want the idea of the sanctity of life to be strengthened and become an impediment to abortion."

So everyone who objects to the conservative position here favors abortion. Judge Greer is a conservative republican and if he has expressed and view on abortion, it is unlikely to have been favorable. Polls done on what people think should happen next show far wider support for keeping the feeding tube out then there is on the matter of abortion. How can the large number of people who are against abortion but in favor of removing the feeding tube be accounted for?

"Nor do they want the supremacy of judges to be challenged, when judges are the liberals' last refuge."

So no other point of law or procedure or tradition is at stake for Americans here? The only people who question the actions of the government in this are motivated by a desire protect liberal bias in the court system? Every Judge, expert, commentator, legislator, and Doctor who disagrees with Peggy Noonan on this issue has no position in law at all just a desire to protect the liberal judiciary? According to endless pundits, George Bush has the power to end the supremacy of the judiciary right now. I just read a long article by Allan Keyes asserting Jeb Bush's right to grab Ms. Schiavo and have the feeding tube replaced. So their inaction can be traced to a desire to protect the liberals last refuge?

Mont D. Law

Posted by: montdlaw | 2005-03-25 10:48:26 AM


What a thoughtful, intelligent, reasoned post. Yes, that's exactly why Schiavo is being "killed" -- because she's inconvenient. That's the only reason.

It's good to know that Canadian conservatives can be as pompous and dogmatic as their American counterparts.

Posted by: brett | 2005-03-25 10:53:16 AM


> judges are the liberals' last refuge

That's odd. I seem to remember *conservatives* passing a federal statute, applicable to exactly one person, in hopes of obtaining a court order. Seems as if judges were conservatives' last refuge too.

Posted by: brett | 2005-03-25 11:01:29 AM


This is about America’s fascination with the family feud. It’s Hatfield / McCoy 2005.

It’s about reality TV in the real. Should we vote Terri off the island?

This is about politicians kissing babies ( or people in PVS - some say they’re about the same ) while running roughshod over the rule of law, states rights and the separation of powers only to retreat when they find out- to the voter - it’s really not like kissing a baby and might actually lose them ballots ( Jeb Bush, who has sincerely held his view long before she became “ a cause”, excepted).

It’s about religious / conservative zealots nailing Terri to a cross and setting up a pulpit in front of her to sermonize about all manner of things that she very well might not have agreed with.

It’s time to turn off the TV cameras and climb down from the soapbox. It’s time to bow our heads in shame and pray for Terri, her parents and her husband.

Posted by: nBob | 2005-03-25 11:50:23 AM


It does seem odd to me that people have been trying so long (7 years)to kill this woman by stopping her from getting nutrients, when there are so many on death row that many of these same people are trying to keep from being put to death for horrendous crimes(some for 15 to 20 years)...what has she done to be put ahead of all these murderers and child abusers ?

Posted by: Mark | 2005-03-25 11:51:27 AM


COMMENT DELETED: NO PERSONAL ATTACKS PERMITTED

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 12:30:17 PM


I keep hearing this term "disabled" applied to Terri Schiavo, for all the legal and political reasons, as to why she should not die. As a disabled woman myself, with Cerebral Palsy, I truly wonder what is that catagory of person - disabled? Is Schiavo merely a woman who has a brain that has been damaged by a shortage of oxygen caused by a heat attack, so therefore she has been in a state between life and death? Is she a small child, or is she an elderly woman? Or, does she fit into a catagory of a living disabled person of any age who has a limited usage of their faculties as to her physical or mental abilities? All my life I have been analyzed by the so called intellectuals in universities that I have attended as a student as "since you do not act as if you are handicapped, you should really be seeing a psychiatrist." Such confused hysteria we have as Americans about the disabled. The disabled are either supposed to "get up and walk, hear and see", either by the so called miracle of religion, or the disabled are always placed into a sub catagory akin to that of a juvinile delinquent, suspiscious characters unless we prove that we can "do things" to the point of even going skiing or climbing a mountain, let alone going to the grocery store and buying toothpaste and toilet paper, is seen as doing these things "because you are a disabled person proving that you can do things". So, there goes the simple case of being an individual human being - with a disability. Do we treat someone with a twenty pound cast as if they were similiar to a dog sitting in front of the grocery store? Hello, doggy. What is your name? And no wonder our pets, when they figure out humans, think of us as rather inferior but sufficiently helpful in sharing shelter, opening a door that we humans invented and using the can opener, not to mention driving. We have dogs who share a useful companionship as part of the family, and yet there is still a horrible neglectful abuse of dogs because we expect them to act as if they are humans. Disabled people are humans, not a breed of person.

Posted by: Seanne P. | 2005-03-25 12:49:03 PM


Joe-

I am sorry for calling you an a**hole and a whacko. It now seems clear to me that you actually do suffer from some form of impaired contact with reality. Obviously, I have an unfair advantage over you, when it comes to rational discussion, so any further engagement between us would be both cruel on my part and pointless on yours.

Posted by: nBob | 2005-03-25 1:03:57 PM


Joe Green wrote, "This American Republican Judiciary that installed Emperor George Bush II in 2000 after it shamefully decided not to count the votes of America's citizens in deciding who would be their leader."

On today's "Hinterland Who's Who", we have a fine specimen of the Canadian Moonbat. Notice the aluminum headdress and the fur bunched up around the rump. Often, Canadian Moonbats will try to mingle with the Western Red-Necked Non-Idiotarians, but their cry, a cross between a screech and a bark, give them away. Beware, Canadian Moonbats like to fling their feces about.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2005-03-25 1:23:17 PM


COMMENT DELETED: NO PERSONAL ATTACKS PERMITTED

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 1:27:04 PM


Joe:

do the names Sue Rodriguez or Robert Latimer ring a bell?

Your so-called perfect society has had to deal with euthenasia too. It's not pretty.

Before you babble about "Nazi tactics" and the like in the US (which really undermines your little remaining credibility), look at your own land - you might find something different.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 1:46:58 PM


Scott the Western Separtist wrote:

"Before you babble about "Nazi tactics" and the like in the US (which really undermines your little remaining credibility), look at your own land - you might find something different."

Robert Latimer was charged and convicted of murder, as he should have been.

I oppose Euthanasia and there are many reasons for my position. For starters, no doctor should ever be placed in a position where he violates his own oath as a doctor. Doctors swear that "first, they will do no harm". Doctors need the confidence of the public that they are first and foremost, healers and compassionate caregivers.

You cannot reconcile Euthanasia against that standard for the medical and nursing professions.

Secondly, putting down a dog or a cat as a merciful act is not the same as putting down a human being. It is not for us to make this kind of decision over the life of another fellow human being.

What we should be doing, instead, is doing everything we can to keep all people alive, for as long as time is given them on this earth. If Terri was to live for ten more years, or ten more months or ten more days, that was for God and not the American Republican Courts to decide.

With respect to Robert Latimer, his simple form of mercy killing so-called, denied his daughter and his family time with her that has been forever lost. She should have been placed instead in a hospital with a good group of doctors and nurses to care for her, to control the pain and suffering, and to try to keep her alive as best they could.

Latimer said he could not bear to watch his daughter suffer but that raises the actual question as to why medical doctors could not in fact control the pain and suffering. It seems to me, that doctors have the means to actually surpress such suffering with drugs, even if the secondary effects are very bad for the long term outcome for the patient. But in such cases, doctors and nurses have not crossed the ethical divide into mercy killing.

With respect to Sue Rodriguez, hers was a suicide, which in law is a crime on her part. Its also a crime that almost never gets to court however since the "accused" is also the "deceased".

The debate on euthanasia is centered on the single question of who has the right to take human life. My answer is "no-one". The historic commandment "thou shalt not kill" is clear and absolute.

Which then raises the issues of "humane killing" of other animals. Well my answer to that is that a human being is not a cat or a dog. Death for people is not to be "cheated" with murder or suicide. Its to be calmly faced and overcome.

Nor is somehow suffering something that can be entirely avoided because it can't. The only question is, this, if euthanasia is morally permissible, then where is the boundary to this slippery slope?

That question has no answer.

Watching loved ones die is painful and entails its own suffering and anguish. But whatever gave you the idea that somehow life on this earth was somehow ordained to be free of pain and suffering?

Euthanasia, like abortion, has its roots in pagan and atheistic thought, indeed in a kind of moral no man's land.

Ayn Rand and Karl Marx were at home in this place, and inspite of their protestations, both were intellectual killers of the first magnitude. Marx said that individuals don't matter and Rand said that people who die are "nobodies". Both saw the end of life as "oblivion", which is the end for all those without Faith.

But who is to say that their view is the "truth". In a universe with electromagnetic fields that cross millions of miles in seconds, who is to say there is no foundation to Christian, Jewish and Muslim belief in the soul, or in Paradise, or in Heaven?

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 2:42:48 PM


Okay Joe -one last time:

1. I spent 2 years at a institute of technology plus 4 years taking a liberal arts degree prior to 4 years of law ( including articles ) . In addition , my direct ancestors - from my father back for more than 200 years have all been clergy, church builders, wardens or seminary chancellors. But that’s not what gives me an unfair advantage over you.

2. I come here because I maintain a healthy sense of self-doubt. I put my comments out here to subject them to the rigor of multiple perspectives. I do not discount the fact that, despite my considerable education and pedigree, I may very well be proved wrong by a redneck whinger with barley a grade 12 and I will be better off for it. At the same time I hope to offer up any benefits of my education, experience and upbringing to the given topic.

3. I am serious when I say you may have some undiagnosed impaired contact with reality. At the very least your mentality makes you blind to my perspective and offers no test for my ideas. The only result of our continued dialogue here would be to take up more off topic space and provide more fodder for the continuous ridicule you receive here.

It is, as I said before, both pointless and unethical for me to continue - so I will not.

Posted by: nBob | 2005-03-25 3:07:22 PM


*an* institution. Really I did go to skhool !

Posted by: nBob | 2005-03-25 3:13:40 PM


nBob wrote this:

"I am serious when I say you may have some undiagnosed impaired contact with reality."

What a touching expression of concern by a "neocon" for his fellow man!

But you are the one that is having difficulty discerning fantasy from reality which is actually an acute psychological condition that you have, not I.

You were the one to have made the claim that you were a lawyer. You presumably were therefore a member of the Alberta Law Society but you simply would not respond to the criticisms I leveled at the profession you were a member of. Indeed, I made it perfectly clear that as a member of the Alberta bar, you were a bottom feeder, someone that lived off seniors, something that you have already acknowledged in prior postings here until you got tangled in your own deceptive web of lies, deception and deceit.

You never rose to refute the charges I leveled at your profession or your Society of "self governing" lawyers.

Instead you engage in the kind of sniping we see here.

You claim to come from a family with a long history of involvement with the Christian Church and its Good Works, but you cannot square that with the accusations I have leveled at "neocons" in Alberta that use seniors as cannon fodder with the "Dependant Adult Act"; that abuses the human rights of our senior citizens.

You simply refuse to engage in cleaning up your own profession, although you made the bland statement that you spent time working to discipline crooked lawyers related to security matters.

Well, where is the beef at the Alberta Securities Commission?????

You see, I might be inclined to give you more weight if you actually were doing something about cleaning up your own profession, but there is precious little I have seen so far counselor to grant you that at this time.

In the Court of Public Opinion, you are blowing smoke up my ass. Or trying to.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 5:56:44 PM


Finally there is this by nBob:

"The only result of our continued dialogue here would be to take up more off topic space and provide more fodder for the continuous ridicule you receive here."

Nothing is more on topic then a discussion of Terri and others like her who are "dependent adults". Nothing is more on topic then a proper discussion of their rights and freedoms as citizens and nothing is more on topic then how members of the Law Society of Alberta have thwarted those rights by misusing the Dependant Adult Act.

You have quicklaw, go and look up how bottom feeders in the law profession raped the estate in the Stevens estate for example.

Just have a look at how Alberta lawyers regularly present in Court statements about "alzheimers" for example, without even a scintilla of actual medical evidence.

You do it for the money. Together with the "neocons" that operate privatized nursing homes in Alberta, you want to get your hands on the money of our seniors, and instead of doing the good works of your Church, you engage in these vile "for profit" raiding parties.

You should be ashamed of yourself!

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 6:13:07 PM


It is clear that there is an axe to grind for both Joe and Bob. Why don't you take up your dialogue elsewhere?

Posted by: Jack | 2005-03-26 12:52:47 AM


Instead of hi-jacking this Blog to spew his impression of Walter Duranty this J.Green guy should fire up his own Blog - it seems pointless to engage this fellow as he clearly adds nothing to any discussion presented here.

Posted by: mr | 2005-03-26 7:27:26 AM


mr wrote:

"Instead of hi-jacking this Blog to spew his impression of Walter Duranty this J.Green guy should fire up his own Blog - it seems pointless to engage this fellow as he clearly adds nothing to any discussion presented here."

If I had wanted to start my own blog, I would have done so. What I intended, is what I did, which is to say, engage the right wing extremists of Canada with facts, figures and arguments that oppose some of their "positions" and demonstrate that a great deal of rhetoric from the right is "nonsense".

You can read, my arguments are cogent and well laid out. Go ahead and mount your arguments, IF YOU CAN.

bBon for example claims to be a lawyer from Alberta with an interest human rights related to the elderly, or at least that is what he has posted. I laid out a cogent postion that illustrated that most Alberta lawyers, (both conservatives and liberals) were in fact living off the elderly and most privatized Alberta nursing homes abused the Dependent Adult Act for private profit and gain at the expense of the elderly and their families.

This was "right on top" since Terri in Florida is suffering from the same kind of abuse by lawyers as takes place every day in "conservative" Alberta.

But instead of ANY rebuttal or argument, what we see from the right is ad hominem attacks and a lot of frothing or, wringing of hands about how in Terri's case, "nothing can be done".

And when I point out the hypocrisy of the right who pretend to be "believing Christians" with examples, instead of cogent argument, we get more of the same shifting and evasion.

As you have seen, a great deal of the Canadian right wing extremists, are not "conservative" in any way, shape or form; rather they are American fifth columnists operating inside Canada.

Now I realize that my words have offended them, and that is too bad because had they been honest and straightforward, then perhaps a different and more "civil" and also more "Canadian" debate could have followed.

So fire away. If you can. Show the world that your ideas are superior to those of your opponents.

Or as you asking Kevin to censor my posts while at the same time you proclaim your support for freedom of expression?

Go ahead, show us where you actually stand in issues.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-26 9:53:01 AM


Turns out Terry Schiavo really is an inconvenience to her husband.

Licia Corbella (Calgary Sun, March 23) points out that Michael Schiavo is currently living with another woman - his common-law wife, and their child.

A spouse living under a new roof with a new family and common-law commitment should not, as Corbella suggests, have authority over whether their incapacitated spouse lives or dies. The U.S. Congress should hastily enshrine this principle into law.

Posted by: Leigh Aslateei | 2005-03-27 1:28:27 AM


Joe, you sound delusional and I don't know whether to be afaid for you or have pity for you. Get off your computer. Go breathe some fresh air. Talk to real people face to face. Visit a conservative lawyer, pastor or a rabbi. Talk to them as a real human being, not as a subversive agent. I am not attacking you when I say this. I genuinely care about you. It is absurd to say that Canada has American "fifth columnists". Canada has Canadians with a great diversity of beliefs, views and opinions. Respect each one. Just because we do not agree with you, does not mean we are American agents.

Posted by: Jack | 2005-03-27 1:47:38 AM


"Turns out Terry Schiavo really is an inconvenience to her husband.

Licia Corbella (Calgary Sun, March 23) points out that Michael Schiavo is currently living with another woman - his common-law wife, and their child."

This argument makes no sense. Mr. Schiavo could divorce his wife tomorrow and walk away. He wouldn't even have to give custody of Ms. Schiavo to her parents. He could, I think transfer her custody to the state of Florida. He could have taken the $300 K he got from the court settlement and never looked back. In fact, it has been a horrifying ordeal for him to pursue this issue as far as he has. He has been accused of spousal abuse, attempted murder, murder for profit and a contract has been offered on his life. His most private business is discussed openly on every TV station in the English speaking world virtually 24 hours a day. I am sure he is spit on in the streets. Please explain to me how persisting in his insistence Ms. Schiavo would not want to live like this has benefited him in any way at all.

Mont D. Law

Posted by: montdlaw | 2005-03-27 2:49:09 AM


Hi Mont,

Take a look at 'Husband's Motives in Question' at the Washington Times Online (March 22). I will quote relevant information here.

"Mr. Schiavo insists his wife told him before the 1990 fall that she did not wish to be kept alive by artificial means, but her family points out that Mr. Schiavo waited seven years before disclosing that information.

In an interview Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition," Bobby Schindler, Mrs. Schiavo's brother, said Mr. Schiavo "did not make Terri's wishes known" until "after Michael announced his engagement to the woman he's with now."

In a court filing, Mrs. Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, argue their son-in-law is trying to rush his wife's death so he can inherit her estate or benefit from her insurance.

But George J. Felos, a Florida lawyer who represents Mr. Schiavo, told The Washington Times in January that "all the money is gone, and there is no insurance."

On CNN Sunday, Bobby Schindler said his brother-in-law stood to gain about $1 million in damages from a malpractice lawsuit he filed and won in late 1992. A jury awarded more than $700,000 for Mrs. Schiavo's care, and Mr. Schiavo received an additional $300,000.

"I don't know the financial situation of Terri's trust fund" today, Mr. Schindler said. He pointed out that Mr. Schiavo promised a jury 13 years ago that the money would be used for his wife's "rehabilitation and therapy."

"The money now has been used to pay Michael's attorneys in an effort to kill her. These financial documents have been sealed by the court," Mr. Schindler said.


Posted by: Leigh Aslateei | 2005-03-27 4:07:47 AM


According to the A/P wire 3/18/05 . . .

Just $40,000 to $50,000 remains of the money won in the malpractice case after Terri's heart stopped in 1990 and left her in what court-appointed doctors say is a persistent vegetative state.

So your argument is Mr. Schiavo is undergoing this horrendous ordeal for $50 k? I hardly think that is likely, when the law suit awarded him $300 k. He had money and a way out years ago, yet he didn't take it.

" Bobby Schindler, Mrs. Schiavo's brother, said Mr. Schiavo "did not make Terri's wishes known" until "after Michael announced his engagement to the woman he's with now."

This does not appear to be true, according to the time line at terrifight.org. The legal wrangling started some years before Mr. Schiavo announced his engagement. But even if it was true, it doesn't really support your point. Mr. Schiavo could divorce his wife anytime he wants and marry whomever he wishes. Nothing is stopping him. What does he gain by staying in this fight?

Mont D Law

Posted by: montdlaw | 2005-03-27 9:02:16 AM


Jack wrote:

"Visit a conservative lawyer, pastor or a rabbi. Talk to them as a real human being, not as a subversive agent."

Jack, I accept that there are many Canadian Conservatives who honestly hold the beliefs that they do. I accept that they think differently than I do, that there is a legitimate difference of opinion. However, these are not the ones that I am after.

"I am not attacking you when I say this. I genuinely care about you."

Thank you Jack, and in civil society like we have in Canada, I will act with "civility" toward you and other Canadians like you.

"It is absurd to say that Canada has American "fifth columnists"."

Sorry, but that is not the case. If you have a really good look at our history of US-Canada relations, you will find the the American Government and the CIA were responsible for sending thugs and criminals into Canada to damage independent trade unions that were competitive against American ones. Hal Banks is only one such example. In case you have forgotten who he was, Don Brittain, the film producer, made a movie about his crime spree in Canada. It was called "Canada's Sweetheart".

This union busting by American agents continues to this very day. In a couple of Walmart stores in Canada that were organized by a Canadian union, the American parent sent in agents to destroy the union and the store. Within weeks, previously successful stores were termed by Wal-Marts and their Communist Chinese partners to be not "economic" and was therefore being "shut down".

Finally you wrote:

"Canada has Canadians with a great diversity of beliefs, views and opinions. Respect each one. Just because we do not agree with you, does not mean we are American agents."

Jack, if you look at Calgary, it is a city filled with American agents. These have all sorts of positions in industry, in society and even in the Alberta Government. Many have direct affiliations with the CIA, just like Ms. Valery, the Ambassador's wife.

Estimates are that over 200,000 people living in Calgary are American citizens that somehow have acquired Canadian resident status, but never intend to become Canadian citizens. These are NOT landed immigrants, and they even abuse the Canadian airwaves with American election campaign advertising, that is how many are actually living in Alberta.

And if you want to know where the Libertarian fascist perversions are coming from, THAT is where they are coming from in Calgary.

Its time to send them home.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-27 9:58:51 AM


A dissident conservative American viewpoint (and lively debate) on the Terri Schiavo case:

http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/cgi-bin/hardright.cgi/Never_Say_Die.writeback

Posted by: anon | 2005-03-28 1:01:34 AM



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