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April 6, 2005

Most lawmakers want to put Schiavo case behind them

Topics: News

- via email from reader Cherwyn

(USATODAY)Congress returned from a two-week Easter recess with mixed emotions about its intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, the mostly negative public reaction and whether more legislation is warranted.

While a few lawmakers sought to punish the federal judges who rebuffed their hastily passed law aimed at getting Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, most tried to put some distance between their action in March and what's on their plate this month. (Related story: GOP's moral agenda doubted)

"I think we ought to let the rhetoric cool off," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Tuesday.

Nonetheless, Congress returned this week bubbling with the emotional issues and public policy debates raised by Schiavo's plight.

A Senate committee looking at whether the medical treatment of disabled people such as Schiavo should be better defined was warned to tread carefully by a University of Kansas special education professor, who is the father of a retarded son.

Rud Turnbull of Lawrence, Kan., father of 37-year-old Jay Turnbull, worries that efforts to define who gets life-sustaining care and who doesn't may discriminate against the disabled.

"Those debates frighten me, and they should alarm you, too," Turnbull told a Senate Health Committee hearing Wednesday. "The slippery slope is slick and awaits us all."

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is writing legislation that would let federal courts review cases like Schiavo's -- when there is no advance directive and there's a dispute over the person's wishes.

(...) However, other Republicans, chastened by polls showing that a large majority of Americans disapproved of Congress inserting itself into the Schiavo case, said both parties should back off from any efforts to take further action.

(...) "I don't think there's a groundswell up here to take this issue and federalize it," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

(...) Added Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore.: "I'm not for things that go after judges. They're an independent branch of government. We need to respect that."

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Posted by richard at April 6, 2005 4:40 PM

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For those who would like to cool off, I say throw some cold water in your face and WAKE UP.

Legislators will just have to "get over it" and get busy doing the people's work.

I for one intend to see that MY government officers "live for the public rather than off the public" like President Robert F. Kennedy said in, I Remember, I Believe, The Pursuit of Justice (1964).

Posted by: that woman at April 6, 2005 5:08 PM

From what I've been hearing and reading, our Congressman have acquired weak knees. I'm very disappointed in the Republican party and their show of weakness in this. They should have stood by their actions and they should have followed through with the supoenas(sp) and they should be holding the judiciary accountable for their arrogance and utter contempt. Instead, they are backing down because of polls and pressure and don't have a backbone. Bill Frist is one example and I plan to write him.

I don't think they realize that the polls are based on inaccurate questioning and are biased. Or maybe they do and just don't care and only want an excuse to back down from something so controversial. At any rate, we should stay on their backs and let them know they did do the right thing and encourage them to keep standing up for what's right.

Posted by: ep4life at April 6, 2005 5:09 PM

It is my prayer that congress will stay out of this until they know what they are doing.

The subpoena, yes and yes again. That can't be said emphatically enough or done soon enough.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 6, 2005 5:19 PM

USA Today has consistently distorted the facts and issues with regards to Terri. I am not surprised to see them trying to sway opinion the wrong way yet again...They are not impartial and are disgusting in my opinion. I for one am NOT ready to move on and will continue to work with others on this blog to make certain we continue to pursue justice on all accounts and hold the guilty accountable.

Posted by: Crystal Clear at April 6, 2005 5:22 PM

That Woman,

Have you any new ideas? And you didn't say good night to me. Ha!

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 6, 2005 5:23 PM

Check the temperature in Hell. After this show of their true colors, I somewhat agree with what Teddy K. said in the atricle: "Republican leaders abused their positions of power to play politics with Terri Schiavo's life." If those pantywaist Repubs are backing off so soon with nary a whimper then sign me up for the BullMoose party.

Posted by: Tom Spence at April 6, 2005 5:23 PM

The media have been pulling the wool over our eyes for decades, now. The only thing that surprises me is that people keep believing them.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 6, 2005 5:31 PM

Unfortunately, even with this evidence, the majority of the people in the US don't care anymore about Terri.. The pope died.. Monaco's prince died.. Johnny Cochran died.. Terri is being overshadowed..

If people kept the heat on congress then something might happen.. unfortuantely 5K people complaining is not gonna sway a representative with 1million constituents who don't care..

Posted by: CriticalThinker at April 6, 2005 6:18 PM

And in addition, the time period for mourning seems to have passed as Southpark has come out with a parody of the Shiavo situation last week and is top 5 on the TV show download list.. in addition, parody blogs seem to be popping up too and being forwarded around college campuses as a joke..
http://durrrrr.blogspot.com/ is one of them..

Posted by: CriticalThinker at April 6, 2005 6:34 PM

A large majority of the American people know little or NOTHING about the Schiavo case to even have an informed opinion about it.

If Michael had taken a gun and shot Terri outright, you bet the government and courts would be involved. But because she was disabled, well, killing her was a "private matter."

Something's VERY screwed up here, and I blame the media for telling 24/7 lies about the case.

Posted by: Susan Nunes at April 6, 2005 6:48 PM

How very, very sad that is CriticalThinker. The enemies of Jesus did the very same thing and it has always puzzled me what they got out of it.

You are right, Susan.

I am wondering, do you guys think that human life should be litigated or disputed in any way?

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 6, 2005 6:51 PM

As a Tennessean, I am especially disappointed to read Sen. Frist's backtracking defense of the judges as "fair and independent". (Life News). He's a doctor; he knows what starvation, dehydration does to the human body. He knows it is cruel. He's not going to back up the Congressional actions of last week.
The Specter thing was a warning.

Posted by: abigail at April 6, 2005 7:11 PM


We now make decisions about right and wrong based on polls?? HA!

That sounds like something a teenager says, everyone else is doing it......

If the leaders in our country had always made choices about right and wrong based on (alleged) popular opinion women wouldn't have the right to vote and our schools would still be segregated. How many other things about our society would be different?

Pitiful worms, leadership consists not in vain pomp, but in great virtues!

Posted by: that woman at April 6, 2005 7:23 PM

WOW!! Critical Thinker, if one person can make a difference I can just imagine what five thousand CAN DO!!

Posted by: that woman at April 6, 2005 7:25 PM

With Frist and Spectre (misspelled intentionally) running things, I don't expect much on the judicial appointment front. It seems that all it takes to get these guys to kowtow is to just go boogedy, boogedy boo. Forget the "Constitutional Option" the Dems will just keep up the filibusters and go boo every so often.

On the other hand, since Frist is so easy to intimidate maybe we can do some good and keep up the pressure.

Posted by: Tom Spence at April 6, 2005 7:29 PM

Don't watch the parody videos, don't read the parody blogs, don't pass them along, don't partake. Delete them, ignore the enemies of truth and justice and pray because the Lord can turn even this into good. I believe it!!

Laugh if you can, love one another, and work, work, work.

Posted by: that woman at April 6, 2005 7:30 PM

Crystal Clear, I am glad to see you here - I read and agreed with wholeheartedly your posting at your site of your diagnosis of the situation between Michael and Terri according to Object Relations Theory - I studied that at one point and completely see it. Also his definite abusive pattern and profile.

All - I read a summary blog today at http://www.christmasghost.com/archives/2005/04/index.html#000046

I hope others will continue to remember and not let this go. It was murder, it was outright murder. And Terri won't be forgotten. Yes, imagine what 5000 can do!

Posted by: juleni at April 6, 2005 8:35 PM

That was beautifully said, That Woman.

Posted by: juleni at April 6, 2005 8:38 PM

Brother Paul O'Donnell is on Hannity and Colmes right now, and saying that he is encouraging the Schindlers as their spiritual advisor, not to let this go; to seek justice for Terri. That we have not heard the last of the Schindlers, and most likely that he and they will be seen among Congress again, in the future.

Good going for him, and to The Schindlers! My prayers are with them!

Posted by: juleni at April 6, 2005 8:46 PM

Yes, good for Br. O'Donnell. There are a lot of us who will not be letting go until justice is done.

A groundswell of 5000 is only the start of the Tsunami. Keep getting the word out to people. Keep giving them the real story. Give them the facts. Show them where had how Michael S. had the motive to murder his wife. Make sure you mention that she did not have a heart attack and that her records from Humana hospital show that she did not have a heart attack. Tell them about the report from Bayfront, that the admission doctor said that she is "awake". Let them know that Michael S. committed perjury during those trials, especially when he said that she had made no effort to communicate. Point them in the direction of the videos so that they can see for themselves.

However, most of all, if anyone has thought of any particular angle that needs to be investigated then let us know about it.

Terri is dead but her legacy will live on.

"Where there is life, there is hope"

That statement is the will to live according to what is acceptable with the Catholic Faith.

Posted by: Maggie4life at April 6, 2005 9:04 PM

I apologize, mary et. al. good night and hello again.

I have been longing for one more to stand for right. To find there are five thousand is such a blessing!

I wonder if it would honor Terri and her family and this blog if we looked for other unnoticed injustices in America and tried our best to do something to bring them to the light of day and overcome them with all the good we could do.

Could we model good citizenship and good principles, and can help someone else who is suffering and needs help right now?

Francis of Assisi once wrote, “Preach the gospel, if necessary, use words.” There are many models of what to do and how to give practical help. James taught that we are to be doers of the word, not just hearers: For instance, you come upon a friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, ‘Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!’ and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17) Other models of faith in action are: Don’t tell your neighbor to come back tomorrow, if you can help today. (Proverbs 3:28) Surely no one would turn against the needy when they cry for help.” (Job 30:24) If anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help—how can God’s love be in that person? (1John 3:17) Children of God, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. (1John 3:18)

I don't know if anyone here has the desire to look into this possibility, but it came to my mind today and I thought I would post and ask. I don't really know how this would work, but I just think that it's not useful to wait until something has already happened and gotten out of control before we do anything. There is much more hope of changing outcomes at the beginning rather than the end or after. And that is part of the lesson learned here, through Terri's fight, is it not?

Posted by: that woman at April 6, 2005 9:38 PM

They want to forget about it and everything else? Then why did they have their Jobs to begin with? They don't like debating Terri's Case? That is too bad, and being a Congressman, you have to deal with pretty much everything about what goes on in America. Forget it? and sweep it under the Rug? They are showing that Terri is "Nothing" but a small dispute between Families?

It is irony that Spectre has Cancer himself, and he wants to forget it? Some one can please tell him to forget about his own Treatment of Chemotherapy. I am appauled and outraged about what they think about Terri. Nothing? Some day they (the Congressmen) will have Relatives laying in that Bed similar to Terri's. They never know what is going to happen. Like the Forrest Gump's Movie, "You don't know what kind of Chocolates in the Box, you cannot expect to pick out the right one." Exactly what they are doing, they think Terri as not so perfect so they want to pick the next one that is more important to them. Throw out the cocunut that you don't like and eat the Strawberry one? Just EAT IT. In other words, just ACCEPT it and recognize this is a Problem in America.

Turning their heads the other way, is a bad taboo. Pretending nothing happened, and let Micheal murder Terri? It reminds me of the Black Man that was beaten up by Police in California, when there was no body that can step in and stop it, they just turn their heads and pretended nothing happened.

I am just saddened about the whole thing and I don't live in America, but I think they should be ashamed. America is all about Freedom, About their Civil Rights being protected, and about Beauty but turns into an Ugly place to be where their Civil Rights are violated and no Freedom warranted. Sad, sad day indeed.

Posted by: momforGod at April 6, 2005 9:44 PM

5000 is definetely better than 1. I feel really uplifted and ready to get going again. Earlier I was feeling kind of down about this, especially after seeing the case in Georgia(we need to look at that and do what we can to help those people) but now I am thinking wow-5,000!!!!!

Back to the case in Georgia-it looks like they have already started the litigation process-I wonder if "that woman" could give some advice to them about working something else out instead of litigating-maybe????

Posted by: alwayschooselife at April 7, 2005 1:47 AM

Rep. Gordon Smith intones: "I'm not for things that go after judges. They're an independent branch of government. We need to respect that."

I'm sick of hearing this kind of garbage. A big part of the way we got into the Terri Schiavo mess was that Congress and other politicians have TOO MUCH "respect" for judges!

Instead of blathering on about "respect," politicians like Mr. Smith should start doing their jobs and acting like a co-equal branch of government.

We have had 32 YEARS since Roe v. Wade of congressman like Mr. Smith passing the buck on the difficult pro-life issues to the judges over and over again. The politicians say, "Tsk, tsk, isn't it awful?" every time another horrendous court ruling comes down, but do nothing about it.

Nothing, that is, but stick out their hands for more campaign donations -- to "stop the activist judges," of course.

It all stinks.

Posted by: J. at April 7, 2005 1:46 PM