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March 20, 2005

So if Terri Schiavo is already dead...

Many of those on the "Kill Terri" side are arguing that Terri is basically already dead. "She's an empty shell!" they say. "She died long ago! She's just a husk!" So the question then becomes:

If she's already dead, why are you fighting so hard to starve her to death? What difference does it make to you or to anybody if someone wants to waste the money to pour food and water into a corpse?

March 20, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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Oh VoR, some of us feel that when an individual lays out an advance medical directive, we should respect it. There's this idea that when it comes to the nexus of individual rights, contract rights, and property rights, we should allow people to describe how they will devise their property and, just as much, what sort of medical treatment they would like to receive or like _not_ to receive.

Posted by: Sangammon | Mar 20, 2005 9:54:53 PM

Because scientific facts, seperation of powers, and the dignity of our government are being dragged through the mud to deny that woman the irght to excersise what courts have clearly and repeatedly found to be her will.

It's what she wanted and she has the right to have made that choice. Her parents understandably do not want to accept their daughter is gone, and it's terrible that they have to go through this. But that doesnt excuse this. I, many other people, and Terry Shavio would prefer to be remembered as we were while really alive rather than continue to exist in a cruel mockery of life, leaving people remembering us as a vegetable.

What's been done in the name of scoring political points is unconscionable.

Posted by: evilweasel | Mar 20, 2005 10:15:46 PM

Because, while alive, she expressed the wish not to be kept in a parody of life. Because her legal guardian, after years of expensive and ultimately fruitless rehabilitation, wants to honor her wish. Because simple biological function is meaningless in the absence of any other of the elements of human experience. Because it would be, in the end, the only good and decent thing to do.

Or, hell, because we shouldn't be wasting Congress's time on this shit, or on subpoenaing baseball players. This is by Secular-Humanist-God not a federal issue.

Posted by: dzd | Mar 20, 2005 10:43:39 PM

It's my understanding -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- that Terri left no written instructions about what to do in the event she entered a persistent vegetative state, and the only evidence as to her wishes is the hearsay of her husband, who is hardly disinterested.

Absolutely if it were Terri's wish to be starved to death we should respect it. But the standard of proof that such was indeed her wish ought to be very, very high indeed.

As for her "cruel mockery of life", I maintain as I have always maintained that nobody has the right to decide that somebody else's life is not worth living. Personally, I think life as a filthy homeless bum wouldn't be worth living. I'd probably commit suicide if I faced such a prospect. But I'd never, never dare to go around executing people in that position.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 20, 2005 10:55:02 PM

What difference does it make to you or to anybody if someone wants to waste the money to pour food and water into a corpse?

Oh Voice of Reason, don't you realize that you're the one wasting money on her?

The Malpractice/Trust money has run out, so she's been on Medicare for the past two years unless I am mistaken.

Still feeling so charitable?

Posted by: Mork | Mar 20, 2005 11:36:15 PM

I believe that it costs something like $80,000 for her care annually.

A representative tonight also said that the emergency session cost taxpayers $4-5 Million dollars as well.

This adds up pretty quickly.

Posted by: Mork | Mar 20, 2005 11:42:17 PM

Yep, I'm not a proponent of the state paying for her care. I certainly wouldn't mind a court order that her public funds be cut off. But that's not what we've got; we've got a court order actually forbidding anyone from supplying her with nourishment.

I've got a feeling that if the Schindlers asked for donations, they'd raise enough to keep Terri alive until she died a natural death and then some.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 20, 2005 11:56:58 PM

Ah, the old "nefarious husband conspiracy." Shot down many times, but still kicking.

It was Michaels brother and his sister in law (wife of a different brother than the one who testified I believe) that gave this testimony. Both testified to separate conversations they had with Terri at separate times, and all of those times were based on either funerals or the hospitalization of family members of Terri's. She basically said that she did not want to be kept alive artificially, she didn't want to be hooked up to things keeping her alive, she'd rather be just let go. I have not read the trial transcripts themselves so I am unclear as to exactly what friends testified to in regards to this but the court does make mention of it in their decison.

One of the biggest controversies is the fact that these are relatives of Mr Schiavo who testified, so therefore it's being said that these people are in on the conspiracy to kill Terri in order to support Mr Schiavo. What is failed to be mentioned is that neither of these witnesses could be impeached when cross-examined at trial. Their testimony has stood up under very deliberate scrutiny by both the Schindlers attorney's and the courts review of the case and testimony.

If you want to check the court records, up at http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/infopage.html, they'll say this:

"The testimony in this case establishes that Theresa was very young and very healthy when this tragedy struck. Like many young people without children, she had not prepared a will, much less a living will. She had been raised in the Catholic faith, but did not regularly attend mass or have a religious advisor who could assist the court in weighing her religious attitudes about life-support methods. Her statements to her friends and family about the dying process were few and they were oral. Nevertheless, those statements, along with other evidence about Theresa, gave the trial court a sufficient basis to make this decision for her.

In the final analysis, the difficult question that faced the trial court was whether Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo, not after a few weeks in a coma, but after ten years in a persistent vegetative state that has robbed her of most of her cerebrum and all but the most instinctive of neurological functions, with no hope of a medical cure but with sufficient money and strength of body to live indefinitely, would choose to continue the constant nursing care and the supporting tubes in hopes that a miracle would somehow recreate her missing brain tissue, or whether she would wish to permit a natural death process to take its course and for her family members and loved ones to be free to continue their lives. After due consideration, we conclude that the trial judge had clear and convincing evidence to answer this question as he did."

Posted by: Knight | Mar 20, 2005 11:58:55 PM

"Conspiracy" is such an ugly word, and additionally a straw man. I never alleged such a conspiracy. You don't need to conspire to support your brother.

I question whether offhand commands rise to the necessary level of formality to end a person's life. For example, I wouldn't want my earlier comment about life being unworthy of living if one were a homeless bum to be construed as authorizing my execution should I end up in those circumstances. Furthermore, the record before the trial court seems to indicate that Terri had said she wouldn't want to be kept alive "hooked to a machine." The machine is not keeping her alive; her body is quite capable of living without mechanical assistance. All she needs is to be fed.

Furthermore, while Florida law may say so, I find it hard to accept the "clear and convincing" standard in this case. After all, we are talking about starving a woman to death here. Shouldn't we be certain that this is what she wanted beyond a resonable doubt?

And yes, I do find the husband to be a pretty reprehensible character. I want to know if the guardian ad litem has the authority to file for divorce on Terri's behalf, and if so why he hasn't exercised it. Adultery is grounds for divorce, even in Florida.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 21, 2005 3:15:47 AM

"It's my understanding -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- that Terri left no written instructions about what to do in the event she entered a persistent vegetative state, and the only evidence as to her wishes is the hearsay of her husband, who is hardly disinterested."

Yes, you are wrong. The Court that decided what she would have wanted based off more than just the hearsay of the husband. Read up on the case, not only was the judgement of the original trial judge upheld on appeal, the appeals court said they would have decided exactly the same way.

You ought to know better than to comment on the case so much without having read it. If you're curious as to why Terry's wishes have so consistently been interpreted the way they have, perhaps you should read the cases.

Also, if you're curious about the influx of people, it's cause RaindeerF (now Kinky Freeman) posted a link to here in the thread on this case.

Posted by: evilweasel | Mar 21, 2005 6:46:18 AM

Haha, I bet that got him banned for importing drama the poor bastard.

Posted by: Kade | Mar 21, 2005 7:50:16 AM

Yeah, evilweasel... the court didn't just make its ruling based on Michael Schiavo's hearsay, they also had the hearsay of his brother and sister-in-law. How reassuring.

Yes, an appellate court upheld the ruling. Plessy v. Ferguson affirmed the lower court ruling, too.

And I check my referrer logs frequently.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 21, 2005 7:55:40 AM

I think that if we make Terris husband not eat until terri dies from starvation,,,,,, that you know what will decide to let her have that damn tube. Who is he to have the right to decide whether or not she should be killed? Is this what America is coming to? That once a person can not function the way our husbands "think" we should be able to, that they can just kill us? He could go on with his life, let her parents take care of her and never look back, but then that would mean that if she ever did have a miracle and get healthy, he would have to face her and I think he is a coward who would rather see her dead than to have that ever happen.
No matter what happens, there is a God that is bigger than any of the ones making these very non Christian decisions and they will all stand before Him one day for the judgement of premeditated murder. That is what this is in my opinion. They are planning and putting into action the death of another human being. I pity them on judgement day.

Posted by: barbara floyd | Mar 24, 2005 11:57:21 AM

Teery just died! May she rest in peace!

Posted by: luna | Mar 25, 2005 4:18:53 PM

Wtf, ask yourself, would you want to be a vegitable the rest of your fucking life, just because your family is acting retarded. Her family is filled with crackheads, and I hope her family rots in hell for letting her live such a shitty life as a vegitable. This is fucked up, she can't even wipe her own ass or have sex or do anything. She sits there and she can't do shit. She is like a rotting piece of shit, and its fucked up that her parents treat her like shit. And now they want to save a piece of shit. Yeah, my metaphor is kind of fucked up but thats how her crack addict family is acting. Fucking sick, if i had a child and they went into a coma and I let them live as a fucking vegitable for even 4 years, I'd feel bad about that. And not to mention that all the DOCTOR EXPERTS SAID SHE ISN'T EVER COMING OUT OF THE COMA, AND THAN SOME RETARDED ASS NURSE SAYS THAT TERRI IS ALL OF A FUCKING SUDDEN SHOWING HUMAN EMOTION. FUCKING RETARDED, I HOPE THEY DON'T PUT THE GOD DAMN PLUG BACK IN HER, AND IF THEY DO... FUCK AMERICA I GO LIVE IN SOME OTHER COUNTRY LIKE GERMANY AND THAN I WILL BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN HITLER EVER DID AND I WILL TAKE OVER AMERICA AND THROW THE JEWS AND THE RETARDED NIGGERS IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS. AND THIS TIME, THERE WILL BE NO MISTAKE IN GETTING RID OF THE THREAT.

Posted by: Joseph Felice Wilson | Mar 25, 2005 9:04:50 PM

You are an idiot.!
Ethuansia sounds the best alternative at this very moment, screw the husbadnd, he is a jackass.

Posted by: evy | Mar 27, 2005 9:35:18 PM

Well, I don't know much about this I admit, I haven't done my research and I'm not going to act like I know whats going on...I don't, but...sounds to me like if Terri did leave instructions on what to do we definatly need to respect them, but it sounds like we're drawing this out for our own benefits! Thats really disturbing how were acting! Just to look like a good guy....

Posted by: Just_A_kid | Mar 30, 2005 9:46:27 AM

Kids are starving in many poor countries... people are actually starving in our country... many poor(stress on poor) families do not have necessities to get by... and the government(not Schiavo's family) was paying for life support for many years(somewhere from 1 to 15 years)... thats a lot of tax dollars and resources that could have gone to other people, who are more in need because they have nothing... and what is the point in living artificially without actually living... her brain was defected from an eating disorder that she went through... theres another thing... an eating disorder... she had an eating disorder... she brought the pvs on herself... the starving people all over the world did not bring it on themselves, they were born to poor families (scrath people with eating disorders)

Posted by: consider this | Mar 31, 2005 3:07:35 PM

Thanks for the strawman, "consider this". Where have I advocated spending government money on feeding Terri? I would have no objection to a court order barring public funds being spent on her. But that's not what we got. What we got was a death warrant, ordering that she be starved and dehydrated.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 31, 2005 7:39:33 PM

Posted by: Juan Schoch | Apr 11, 2005 1:32:22 PM

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