March 23, 2005
Europeans Reflect on Schiavo Case: Where Florida went wrong for even euthanasia supportersTopics: General
This is a further commentary on a previous BFT post.
(...) The legislative and judicial battle over a Florida man's right to end his comatose wife's life has drawn some surprise reaction in Europe, where legal sympathy for euthanasia is widespread.
(...) Fifteen years ago, Holland had a case similar to Terri Schiavo's, A judge allowed the husband of Ineke Stinissen, who had been in a coma for several years, to remove her feeding tube. She died of starvation, and her case paved the way for Holland's pro-euthanasia legislation. But there is a very big difference between the Florida law that allows a husband to murder his wife(that he may have abused) and the European laws under which this could not have occured. What's the difference?
(...) European countries like the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium allow physician-assisted death in various incarnations. In Holland alone, about 2,000 people die through assistance from their doctor each year. But Schiavo wouldn't be one of them.
(...) Dutch laws, like those in Switzerland and Belgium, require that the patient clearly and insistently request death. Schiavo, had she ever requested death should she fall into a vegetative state, did not insist on it. For this reason, even relatively socially liberal groups, like the Union of Protestant Churches in Germany, or the German Medical Association, have not recommended removing Schiavo's feeding tube.
(...) there have been cases "of people who lived for 20 years in a 'waking coma' and then later came back to consciousness. The patient is certainly not dead."
(...) "The patient's doctors are required to continue to treat her and to feed her, because it's not clear what will happen next with her illness," said Jörg-Dietrich Hoppe, the head of the German Medical Association.
Although I am personally opposed to euthanasia in any form and at any time(I am not opposed to removing someone from totally-dependent mechanical life support if brain dead - properly diagnosed"), opposing sides here in the United States would not be very far apart had the U.S. enacted the laws that Europe has in effect to protect it's citizens. So here in Florida, in the United States of America, the law that has failed Terri Schiavo is now being used to murder her.
(...) In Germany, Schiavo's case would have gone to court much in the same way it did in the US. German law forbids doctors to actively assist in a patient's suicide but allows them to passively allow death if the patient clearly wills it. But Ruth Mattheis, the former head of the medical association and a doctor for more than 50 years said she could not remember such a case every making it to trial.
Terri Schiavo is dying, and if she dies, I hope that Bob and Mary Schindler sue Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and Judge Greer for wrongful death, and in the ensuing civil trial, Michael Schiavo's savage abuse of the law and Terri is brought out and made public. I am confident that BlogsForTerri, Hyscience, ProLifeBlogs, Blogicus and most if not all of Terri Schiavo's supporters will not let Terri's terror be forgotten.
But as much as I wish Michael to get his due reward, and it may be unlikely here on earth, my most fervant wish is that those of us who care about life rail to force our legislators to protect us like the Europeans have protected their citizens. Euthanasia should not ever again be used for personal benefit as with Michael Schiavo, and it should never again be used by the guardianship crowd of Pinellas County, Florida, to try to murder an innocent man or woman.
This should have never happened in the first place, and we can't ever let it happen again.
Contents cross posted at Hyscience
Posted by richard at March 23, 2005 1:18 PM
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