March 24, 2005
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
THIS IS PART 2 OF THE MARCH 24, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
None Of Our Business
Terri might never recover ... but miracles happen and most people want to believe in miracles when a loved one suffers. If the feeding tube is removed Terri might die peacefully with no additional pain or discomfort ... or she could experience hunger and thirst pains like most of us would if we took no nourishment. We don't know.
Terri might have told her husband and some friends that she wouldn't want to be kept alive by artificial methods ... but did she mean to include a feeding tube as an "artificial method"? Of course, there's nothing in writing, and her religious beliefs could be said to suggest she wouldn't have wanted to have any life support removed. What would Terri have wanted? We don't know.
And then there's the husband. He waited many years before asking that the feeding tube be removed. Was this because he was waiting to see if there would be any improvement and finally realized it was time to let her go? Or was it because he had found a new girlfriend and wanted Terri "out of the way"? Is he motivated by financial considerations, considering he would inherit unspent funds from prior legal settlements? That seems possible, but if he's in it for the money, then wouldn't he have taken the $1 million that has been offered if he'd divorce Terri and allow the parents to take responsibility for her? So ... maybe he's not in it for the money. We don't know.
The only people who believe they know the "correct" answers are those on the extreme "pro-life" fringe of this debate who, regrettably, seem to have convinced Congress to do their bidding despite low public support for their position. Other than these fundamentalists, nobody is certain they know what's "right" or "wrong" here - or even what is really in Terri Schiavo's "best interests."
But here's what we do know ... Under Florida law, the spouse acts as guardian absent other instructions or incompetence. As guardian, he has the legal right to make decisions about providing artificial life support (and Florida law considers artificial feeding tubes to be life support). In this case, the patient's parents have failed many times to convince courts (state and federal) that there remain any unresolved questions about the husband's competence to serve as guardian.
We should also know that it doesn't matter what we think about the feeding tube. Imagine for a moment that Michael Schiavo, the legal guardian of Terri, believed that it would be in her best interests to maintain the feeding tube. That he believed it would take a miracle for his wife to recover, but that he valued - and he believed that she valued - the time they spent together. Her parents, however, believed that she was suffering and that the tube should be removed because there was no hope of recovery and she wouldn't want to be kept alive this way.
Does that change your opinion about whether the husband should be allowed to make the decision? It shouldn't, even though it reverses the decision on the feeding tube. That's because, legally (and morally, in my opinion), it's up to the husband - and it's a judgment call, no "right" or "wrong."
The issue is who decides - not what decision is made. This is none of our business ... nor is it the business of Congress, the Florida Legislature or Governor Jeb Bush.
Hopefully, now that the Supreme Court has denied the final appeal by the parents, and Jeb's attempt to take custody of Terri Schiavo was declared illegal, Michael Schiavo will have some peace as he sees his wife's wishes fulfilled. This will be hard on the parents, of course, particularly because they disagree with the husband's decisions. It's sad that none of the elected officials involved had the courage to tell the parents that the non-judicial branches of government had no business getting involved in this family dispute. But as we approach the end, hopefully the parents will take some small comfort in knowing that they did everything they legally could for what they believed to be their daughter's best interests and desires.
Unfortunately, I don't see the politicians (or the media) laying off any time soon. As I read somewhere earlier this week, Terri Schiavo is in a "persistent legislative state." Her death will simply become another opportunity for political grandstanding. It won't surprise me if flags are flying at half-staff at some churches and (perhaps) some public buildings. The funeral could very well be a media circus.
How sad when, instead, it should be a day to reflect on the grief of the Schiavo family, pray for them to find some peace in this ordeal, and pray that our families be free of such conflict if we find ourselves in similar circumstances.
And pray that Congress and the
Bush Brothers now realize they
should stay out of personal family
conflicts. It's none of their
Subject: Accounts of Iraq Raid
Rife With Discrepancies
Subject: Where Were They When
For many years the Republicans
have fought against a National
Health Care system. They have
labeled it "socialized medicine."
Their reasoning asks, "Do
you want the government making
medical decisions for you or your
Subject: my thoughts
last night after watching the endless coverage of the terri schiavo
matter on 'faux' news, it occurred to me how the repugs are 'sliming'
her husband just like they did with john kerry-they give a rats
ass for her-just like they give a rats ass for our military
Subject: NYT got story on US targeting insurgents, but not on insurgents
Subject: Time to bring in the faith healers!
Subject: Brain Dead
Subject: Terri And Michael Schiavo Dead In Texas
Terri Schiavo collapsed in Texas and has been in a persistent vegetative state for ten days. Her husband, Michael Schiavo attempted to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Michael claimed Terry collapsed because her doctor failed to diagnose her bulimia. Terry Schiavo weighed 200 pounds in high school. She lost sixty five pounds before meeting Michael, and struggled constantly to keep her weight off. According to friends, they suspected bulimia, as Terri would eat dinner and then retreat to the bathroom. Other claims were that Terri was persisting on liquids, drinking ten to fifteen glasses of iced tea a day for her nutrition in an attempt to lose weight. Terri went to the doctor because she had stopped menstruating, but the doctor failed to take a complete medical history, and later Terri collapsed due to low potassium and a heart attack.
Texas tort reform laws, supported by Bush and enacted by Perry, made it impossible for Michael Schiavo to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The maximum he could recover in non-economic damages would be $250,000 due to the new law in Texas. Attorneys told Michael it would cost that much just to file the case and prepare discovery. Ten days later, Michael Schiavo was broke and the hospital decided to remove Terri's feeding tube. They cited the 1999 Bush law that gave institutions in Texas the rights to discontinue life sustaining treatment, even over a spouse or parent's wishes to keep their loved one alive. The hospital legally removed the feeding tube and Terri died.
Prior to her death, Terri's family members called in forensic pathologist expert, Michael Baden, to determine the true cause of Terri's collapse. Baden ordered bone scans and asserted that Terry was a victim of abuse and neglect, citing unhealed broken bones and head trauma. Michael Schiavo was arrested and charged with attempting to kill his wife for insurance money. Because Terri died after her feeding tube was removed, Michael was charged with capital murder in the first degree, convicted by a jury of his peers and sentenced to death.
Later, while Michael remained on death row, DNA tests were requested to determine if another person may have been in the home the night that Terri collapsed. Michael, by then, had turned to God and became born again. Appeals were filed, but Bush's counsel, Alberto Gonzales, advised Bush to go ahead with the execution. Alberto Gonzales frequently advised Bush to proceed with executions, even when evidence of innocence was presented.
Michael Schiavo was executed in Texas, the 153rd person executed
under Governor Bush's watch. Bush poked fun of Michael's pleas for
life and mimicked him in a subsequent interview. He then flashed
his "one-finger" victory salute to the cheering crowd.
Under normal circumstances, the Fourth Estate would be reporting
ad nauseam, Bush's reign of death and the utter hypocrisy involved
in the Schiavo case. Under current circumstances, these facts are
ignored while the media focuses on the book, The Purpose Driven
Subject: Terri Schiavo
As Terri Schiavo lies in a hospital bed awaiting her meeting with God, Congress, by getting involved, shows just how far they will go to interfere and try to score political points. What would be the outcome if the Democrats were accused of trying to usurp the courts? Yep, you betcha, there would be screaming, ranting and raving coming from Republicans saying Democrats would be intervening where it didn't belong.
This is a heartbreaking story. Terri, Michael and the parents are
caught in a whirlwind of stupidity. The media, Republicans and the
president are making a bad situation even worse. Terri Schiavo should
die with dignity, what we have seen is a sorry series of events
that will make it anything but dignified.
Subject: Was Terri Schiavo A Diversion? Aircraft Carriers Converge
On Middle East
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Now Back To Iraq! "Liberation Is Not Deliverance!" -- Victor Hugo
We have heard little about Iraq lately! Our soldiers' deaths are at 1525 or more! The media has not focused on Iraq, but their minimal reporting does not mean the situation there is better! Out of sight is NOT out of mind to alert Americans!
Security is still a major problem in Iraq. We are continuously throwing money at Iraq, while U.S. services are being cut. The promise of Iraq oil taking care of their expenses has not only NOT taken place, but the future of that happening anytime soon is dim! Bush claims Iraq elections have opened the door to democracy. Many Arabs claim otherwise. They do not give Bush credit for changes and do not want or need American interference! Despite the Anti Syrian protests in Lebanon, at least 500,000 came out to voice their Pro Syrian stance. The change is credited not to Bush, but to the assassination of Rafiq Hariri! You can’t claim success when you change the facts to fit your illusion! We are also back to shifting justifications, as it is well known Bush did not invade a Sovereign Nation to spread Democracy!
Restraint is not Liberty! Illusion is not the real thing! As time goes by new reasons for the changing times are promoted by the Bush/Rove political machine! The world and most of us by now are aware that the elections were brought about to begin with, not by Bush, but the Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, who has been more influential than all the American covert or overt pressure. Bush was pushing for a secular Iraq, his favorite, Allawi, came in a WEAK third with the Fundamentalists winning! The government is having more then a few difficulties getting off the ground, only time will tell the REAL outcome of the election.
Franklin Roosevelt said, “In the truest sense freedom cannot be
bestowed, it must be achieved!” Victor Hugo also saw the reality
of things when he claimed, “Liberation is not Deliverance!”
|back to top|