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March 20, 2005

BlogsForTerri being interviewed on BBC Radio this afternoon

Topics: News

Apparently there is as much or more interest in Europe regarding Terri's plight, as there is in the US. I was interviewed on the phone this morning by BBC Radio and will be interviewed live about 5 PM ET this afternoon. Tim will most likely be interviewed on BBC News later this evening - we are dividing up our time committments. It seems that they sense a world-wide interest in Terri's case, and we were asked this morning what we thought to be the driving force.

My answer was that many felt the need for error to always be on the side of life, that Terri's body is(was) healthy, and to deprive a living person mechanical or artificial life support was one thing, but to deny not only her means of obtaining nutrition through a feeding tube - then go beyond that to deny a person the right to receive food and water by mouth, that was a bridge too far.

The Wannsee conference and the Groningen Protocol together, offer our world fair warning of the consequences of crossing that bridge.

I also spoke of the bi-partisan nature of BlogsForTerri, and how we support any politician, Democratic and Republican alike, that supports life. And, on the contrary, those that don't, Democrats and Republicans alike, upon them we will turn the same effort we have used to save Terri - to end the political career of those that have turned their backs on life.

Posted by richard at March 20, 2005 2:37 PM


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Tracked on March 20, 2005 3:26 PM

Comments

You know, I'm sick of the "state's rights" shibboleth being used in this case. It's patently ridiculous.

If there is any close analogy to the federal-state role in the Terri Schiavo matter, it's that of the civil-rights movement. In the 1950s and '60s, you had PRECISELY the kind of "legal" criminal conspiracy to deny an entire class of citizens (African-Americans) their constitutional rights and protections.

It took extraordinary and ongoing FEDERAL measures to finally break the back of immoral -- and morally illegitimate -- state, county and city governments. It also required extraordinary and ongoing civil disobedience to shame the nation and feds into action.

To say the Terri Schiavo case is one in which the federal government has no right to intervene is to imply that the 1960s terrorist regimes of Mississippi and Alabama (to name two) were absolutely legit in every respect. To criticize the prospective role of massive civil disobedience likewise is to CLEARLY imply that Martin Luther King and all the other "red" and "white" martyrs of the civil-rights movement were wrong and were outlaws.

What the Florida judiciary has done to Terri Schiavo is a legal lynching. If the president were to send infantry and armored divisions down to Florida tomorrow to interdict the criminal actions of a seemingly proto-fascist banana republic, it would be the hand of God moving against the handiwork of Satan.

It also would be well within historical precedent. Anyone remember Little Rock, 1957?

Finally, we must (and not necessarily solely from a faith-based perspective) question the rationality and coherence of a society and legal system which can (and will) commit a able-bodied, suicidal person to a state facility to preserve his or her life, yet will willingly order the death of the disabled person given the scantest of evidence they (hypothetically) would rather be dead.

It just doesn't make sense. Kind of like "seperate but equal" just didn't make sense, either.

Posted by: James Freeman at March 20, 2005 3:11 PM

Now there's something politicians will understand - bad publicity (particularly on an international level) equates to no votes. It's a shame that appealing to their greed for power is the only way to get them to act. One could go as far as to wonder if maybe the lack of ethics or humanity being displayed by certain individuals at present would thus qualify them for euthanasia.. y'know, put them out of their misery, because surely they're brain-dead given their obtuse and inhuman attitudes regarding Terri...

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 20, 2005 3:17 PM

*sigh*
define "person".
and prove that "terri" still is one.
personally, i see no evidence that she is more than a neo-cortical rind, a brainstem and a sack of organs. whoever terri was is long gone.

Is it fair or is it supremely selfish for her parents to want to keep that flesh sack around, comb its hair and put makeup on it, dress it up, maybe teach it to swallow on its own, (yeah, there is prolly enough automous function in the brainstem to "learn" that).

hmm, would i want my parents to fight for that right? hell no! The thing i've learned from terri is, put it in writing. and maybe pack a suicide kit just in case. I don't imagine any of you care about terri at all. She is just a "cause" to you, a symbol. dehydration is not a painful death. And anyways, don't you all believe in heaven? ;)

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 3:21 PM

Hey this is a real surfer who rides waves and has landed on my head and neck once and I was blessed to walk out of that water. So some people who have not been that close can not understand.

Posted by: Real Surfer at March 20, 2005 3:26 PM

"dehydration is not a painful death" - jinnderella.
WTF? ..and you're qualified to make this statement how? Of course it's distressing, surely you're not stupid enough to think death by starvation and thirst is painless and peaceful? Go look up Auschwitz on Google, do you think millions of Jews starving to death was a pleasant way to go? Honestly, I can't believe how damn stupid and unethical people can be.. perhaps you are the one who should be removed from the gene pool jinnderella.

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 20, 2005 3:37 PM

Terri is FAR from a cause. I know for myself, I am not affiliated with any religous group or organization and yet as a CONCERNED CITIZEN I support Terri's right to life. If anyone truly cares about what's happening, they would do their research and find out the truth about this case. And if they did, they'd realize that Terri has been denied the rehabilitation that her husband promised to give her before he received all that money from the malpractice suit (which I believe to be fraudulant in nature anyway). And if you did your research you'd also see that she was an abused wife, and you'd also see that she is not in a vegetative state. More doctors than not are saying she is definitely not in a PVS. This is not a matter of right-to-die, since "her wishes" weren't even DREAMED UP by Michael Schiavo until AFTER he received the money, and when he took on Felos as his attorney (the lovely Dr. Kevorkian of Lawyers).

If people actually took time to familiarize themselves with the facts, instead of easily being naive and saying "let her go", they could easily see this is a case of a man who has been utterly and obscenely neglectful of his wife, even to go as far as become "engaged" for the past 10 years and father 2 children out of wedlock, while still legally married to Terri. And people could see that this is simply a man who has never cared for Terri, who decided to euthanize her cats instead of giving them to her parents to take care of, who denies Terri dental exams, denies anti-biotics when she has infections, denies her the right to cards and flowers, and sunshine, anything that could stimulate her. And he wants to inherit the rest of the money in Terri's rehabilitative account upon her death. He's no better than Scott Peterson, except he's trying to kill Terri under the guise that it's a mercy-killing. GIVE ME A BREAK.

Posted by: Sirena at March 20, 2005 4:03 PM

Well said Mr. Freeman.

Posted by: Ceci at March 20, 2005 4:12 PM

demonsurfer,
re:death by dehydration
herehttp://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/128/7/559
did i mention gene pool? we must know each other from somewhere else. ;D

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 4:55 PM

Couple of things to note, the first being the word "voluntarily". This case is NOT voluntary.

"Evidence indicates that death by terminal dehydration is not painful and that attendant physical discomfort can be adequately alleviated [6-8]. Pain and suffering caused by the underlying disease can be treated by standard palliative measures, including administration of sedation to the level of unconsciousness as a last resort"

Terri is being denied all medications, at Michael's demand.

"Terminal dehydration can be made painless but not swift."

Again, it does not say it is painless, it says it can be -made- painless. This is not the case for Terri.

Very interesting article, thanks for the link, but it doesn't apply here. Terri's death by dehydration is not voluntary, and no meds are being supplied to make it painless.

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 20, 2005 5:09 PM

hmmm, i didn't know that. IMHO, schiavo should allow the fMRI and PET in the interests of science, and certainly allow meds. meds is not life support, there's no reason for that.

I wish someone would answer my question tho, if the fMRI and the PET came back indicative of no cortical activity, then would it be ok to pull the plug?

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 5:14 PM

And here's terri's CAT scan. the dark area in the center is fluid. It is very hard to for me to believe she has ony cortical function left. there is only a rind of neocortex there. :(

http://www.miami.edu/ethics2/schiavo/CT%20scan.png

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 5:17 PM

"IMHO, schiavo should allow the fMRI and PET in the interests of science, and certainly allow meds."

I totally agree. That is the thing though, decisions on the life of Terri are being made without substantiated proof to justify them. There are also allegations that Terri had cranial injuries consistant with physical abuse which may have been responsible for her condition. Of course these are allegations (altho backed up by affidavits), but it certainly would explain why Michael Schiavo would not allow any of those tests, because they would prove conclusively one way or the other many things that are questionable at present, including some rather sinister questions about his involvement in her current condition.

The continous denial of meds or rehab treatment are also highly suspicious, not to say illegal since he was awarded $1.7million to use for this very purpose (much has been used to pay lawyers to lobby for her death instead). He should be forced to return this blood money.

Starting to see things in a different light now?

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 20, 2005 5:38 PM

i may if you will answer my question. if the fed judge gets the nod to review the case, orders the fMRI and the PET scans, and they come back with MORE loss of neo-cortex, and evidence of NO cortical function, then what happens? do they take the tube back out?

Posted by: jinnderella at March 20, 2005 6:00 PM

Jinnderella,

Terry is not on anything requiring a "plug". The only thing she was "on" was an 8 inch rubber tube, that worked by gravity. No electronics or electricity at all.

Actually, it was Michael's own idea that she be fed by tube only. A previous post on this Website (i.e., Blogs for Terry) explains that Terry was able to eat by spoon, and that nurse's assistants were feeding her Jell-O by spoon.

Terry loved the Jell-O, but Michael forbade it, because he only wanted her to be fed by tube.

Terry is not a "cause" for me, and I am no ideologue for either the right or the left. I feel that, basically, the right and the left both have a lot of bologna, but they also both have some truth, too.

Terry is a healthy, young, disabled woman. I am disabled myself, and I have a son who is disabled. I am a disability rights activist here in Wisconsin, trying to put an end to the horrible practice of forced "treatment" for those who have been given the label of "mental illness".

Here is our Website:

http://repeal_51.tripod.com

(don't use "www" or it won't work, I have no idea why)

I have demonstrated, marched and collected signatures for many liberal or leftist causes. But, when I started my organization to speak for the rights of psychiatric survivors, the entire world seemed to turn its back on me.

I did volunteer work for the "International Socialist Organization", against the death penalty, again the KKK, and on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

One day, I bumped into some people from ISO, and gave them some of my flyers regarding the rights of those who have been abused, raped or killed whle in forced "treatment" for "mental illness".

These people all just stood there and stared at me, with their jaws dropped onto their chests. I mean, I wasn't asking them to do anything. I was just giving them the flyers.

A few weeks later, another volunteer from ISO was standing about a block from a hospital where electroshock "therapy" is routinely done without proper consent. (Actually, it's never done with proper consent.) This volunteer said to me, "Well, at least electroshock is illegal in the United States."

I began to realize that the left's entire nonsense about being on the side of the underdog is just that------nonsense. Once I went to a class in "Marxism". On our lunch break, another person from the class went into a deli and cursed the deli clerk out because the Perrier water was so expensive.

So, that was when I realized I'd just have to strike out on my own. Disabled folks really have to just depend upon each other, not the right or the left.

Terry is a young, healthy, disabled woman. (Yet, she is certainly more physically able than Professor Stephen Hawking.) She is disabled, not terminally ill, diseased, or "brain dead". Actually, the fact that she breathes on her own rules out the possibility of persistent vegetative state, by definition.

God bless.

Posted by: Diana Goodavage at March 20, 2005 6:10 PM

Hard to say to be honest. From the video footage available it would appear there is definite cognitive interaction taking place, so it would seem safe to say that conclusive tests would serve only to help Terri rather than condemn her. There certainly appear to be plenty of affidavits backing this up that Judge Greer will apparently not consider for some reason, yet he considered two medical professionals opinions favoring Michael's legal standpoint.

She is able to live without mechanical life-sustaining assistance (there are sworn affidavits that she has also taken sustainence by mouth on a number of occasions, but Michael would not allow any rehab in this direction and insisted on the feeding tube, presumably because he would have no right to make this decision otherwise).

Ultimately this decision should be a mutual one. If there is no concrete proof that Terri wished to die in this situation (and there isn't, even Michael himself slipped up and admitted on a Larry King interview that she never said she wanted to die - see http://www.theempirejournal.com/03200544_michael_admits_he_didn.htm ), and if the parents are willing and able to care for her (which they are), there is no reason on earth that Michael should not get a divorce and carry on with his new life.. of course there's the question of the $1.7million that was supposed to go towards her treatment which he has been spending trying to kill her, and the question of possible head injuries being the cause of Terri's condition.. but yeah, IF tests show conclusively her condition is a non-recoverable vegetative state (and not just one opinion but many) and there is no proof to show otherwise (which there actually is), then the case would take a different dimension. At this stage there seems no liklihood of this being the case though. Does that answer your question sufficiently?

Posted by: demonsurfer at March 20, 2005 6:28 PM

This so called guardian/ husband needs to be removed from his duties! He obviously has a big time conflict of interest with his COMMON LAW FAMILY!

Michael! divorce Terri and marry your COMMON LAW WIFE, so your COMMON LAW CHILDREN don't have to be little bastards!

Posted by: Linda at March 20, 2005 8:25 PM

They already are bastards. Look who their father is.

Posted by: Cao at March 20, 2005 9:39 PM

This creep Michael is a murderer, plain and simple. How he can profess to love Terri and claim to be her husband is beyond description. Considering that he is living with another woman, has fathered two bastard children (imagine having a father like him!), collected hundreds' of thousands of dollars and is still not satisfied to leave Terri in peace is beyond comprehension to any civilized person or society. How dare this pig express what Terri wants or doesn't want. All he is interested in is money. There are no words to describe the contempt I feel for him and the Judge who is playing GOD. Only GOD has the right to give and take life, not this pig Michael. Would he make the same request if this was one of his bastard children? Terri breathes and reacts on her own, not through a ventilator. Taking substance from here is murder, plain and simple. For this alone, someone should expose Michael for the degenerate disgusting excuse for a human being that he is.

Posted by: Annette Samuelson at March 22, 2005 3:40 PM