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  1. Talldog's Avatar
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    #181  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    However, all these facts were probably brought out in the numerous trials over the last 8+ years (assuming competent legal representation). I am not saying that Judges will not come to poorly reasoned decisions but after you have exhausted all your appeals, you shouldn't get another 'bite at the apple' by circumventing state law and going through Congress.
    This is where I disagree. They're not letting her die because of her condition, but because her husband is pushing for her death, and Florida law allows it under these circumstances. If he was out of the picture, none of this would be happening. The judges are following the law, and I don't fault them for that, but I think it's a bad law. And as I noted previously, there is precedent for Congress overstepping states' rights to overturn unjust laws, and there are many situations (like abortion and civil rights) where people who are now invoking states' rights would argue exactly the opposite. That's why I don't put any stock in the hypocrisy argument, because we're all hypocrites under the right circumstances.
    Talldog
  2. #182  
    Quote Originally Posted by Talldog
    Based on what I've read, there is not a consensus that Terri Shiavo is PVS. Some doctors like William Hammesfahr and others have testified to the contrary. There are attacks and counterattacks on peoples' credibility and motivations, but the book is certainly not closed on whether or not she is PVS.
    Of course there is not a consensus on whether Terri Schiavo is in a PVS or not. For sure her parents and many religious etc. people deny it. But keep in mind that for years, many, many courts have come to the conclusion she is in PVS. You seem to suggest all those courts are totally incompetent. Maybe they are, but I doubt it.

    Believe it or not, by a very surprising coincidence, there are new claims that Terri is "minimally conscious". According to this source, those "new results" were obtained by standing at her bedside. Obviously, the results of numerous neurologists who have examined Terri properly in the past are certain about her PVS. Each and every court found their findings convincing. Who will you believe, the finding of the courts or the "results" of the interest groups?


    Here's another interesting report on facts vs. fiction in this case:

    Many experts agree the tape is a cruelly misleading trick of biology.
    "Pictures do lie," said Dr. Lawrence Schneiderman, a physician and bioethicist at the University of California, San Diego.
    "Every time they have done a videotaped neurological examination, the courts have reviewed them and said, 'Yes this woman is unconscious.' Those movements of her eyeballs are reflexive and have nothing to do with recognition." ...

    Dr. Timothy Quill of the Center for Palliative Care and Clinical Ethics at the University of Rochester in New York, said reporting about the case had confused people. "Distortion by interest groups, media hyperbole, and manipulative use of videotape have characterized this case and demonstrate what can happen when a patient becomes more a precedent-setting symbol than a unique human being," Quill wrote in a commentary published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #183  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    " many here think its up to the husband to decide the spouse's fate. well, my view here, is that he clearly wants nothing more to do with her. now if there was no other family who wanted to care for terri, then this wish would have to be honored.
    but there ARE other people who want to care for her. they are willing to foot the bill for her medical expenses. more importantly, those people are the ones who brought her into this world. . don't you think the views of these people should be weighed here?
    terri's mom says terri is her life. mr shiavo has moved on. who's side do you feel is more genuine here?
    I have no way of knowing the husbands motives. HOWEVER, it is possible, that he still cares enough about her that he wants to comply with her 'wishes'. By turning the decision over to her parents, who CLEARLY refuse to let her go, he is putting the decision into someones hands who opposes what is supposedly her wishes.

    I don't think it is fair to the husband to assume negatives, as he could very easily just walk away from it, with no repercussions. Why does he keep fighting for her to die if he doesn't care?
    RJuhl
  4. #184  
    Here is an excellent article from the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the leading scientific journals: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/NEJMp058062v1.pdf

    It contains interesting details about the course of events and the medical evidence, about which there does not seem to be any doubt, outside of special interest groups:

    Let us begin with some medical facts. On February
    25, 1990, Terri Schiavo had a cardiac arrest,
    triggered by extreme hypokalemia brought on by an
    eating disorder. As a result, severe hypoxic–ischemic
    encephalopathy developed, and during the subsequent
    months, she exhibited no evidence of higher
    cortical function. Computed tomographic scans
    of her brain eventually showed severe atrophy of
    her cerebral hemispheres, and her electroencephalograms
    have been flat, indicating no functional activity
    of the cerebral cortex. Her neurologic examinations
    have been indicative of a persistent vegetative
    state, which includes periods of wakefulness alternating
    with sleep, some reflexive responses to light
    and noise, and some basic gag and swallowing responses,
    but no signs of emotion, willful activity, or
    cognition. ...

    In 2002, the Florida trial court judge conducted
    six days of evidentiary hearings on Ms.
    Schiavo’s condition, including evaluations by four
    neurologists, one radiologist, and her attending
    physician. The two neurologists selected by Michael
    Schiavo, a court-appointed “neutral” neurologist,
    and Ms. Schiavo’s attending physician all agreed
    that her condition met the criteria for a persistent
    vegetative state. The neurologist and the radiologist
    chosen by the patient’s parents and siblings,
    the Schindler family, disagreed and suggested that
    Ms. Schiavo’s condition might improve with unproven
    therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen or vasodilators
    — but had no objective data to support
    their assertions. The trial court judge ruled that the
    diagnosis of a persistent vegetative state met the legal
    standard of “clear and convincing” evidence,
    and this decision was reviewed and upheld by the
    Florida Second District Court of Appeal. Subsequent
    appeals to the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S.
    Supreme Court were denied a hearing.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  5. Talldog's Avatar
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    #185  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You seem to suggest all those courts are totally incompetent. Maybe they are, but I doubt it...Each and every court found their findings convincing. Who will you believe, the finding of the courts or the "results" of the interest groups?
    [/I]
    I never said that the courts are incompetent, but I certainly believe that judges' opinions and beliefs get worked into their decisions. I don't consider judges to be any less biased than interest groups. In all of the contentious issues of our time (abortion, affirmative action, gun control, election law, etc.) you can pretty much determine how a judge is going to rule just by looking at his or her background re: liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican. Judges are not supreme beings, they're normal people who rationalize their own prejudices just like anyone else. I doubt that you (or anyone else) always "believe the findings of the courts" when it's a judge on the other side of the political spectrum making a ruling that you disagree with.

    A perfect example of this is the 2000 election. How many Republicans believed the findings of the Florida Supreme Court? And how many Democrats believed the findings of the U.S. Supreme Court? It's all politics, but somehow we have to find a balance.
    Talldog
  6. #186  
    Here are some various ramblings:

    1) As I reflected on this thread, and the snippets of information I hear about this case, it occurred to me that ?? centuries ago, Mrs. Schiavo's life could not have been preserved this long. Are we obligated to preserve her life now because we are technologically able? Do we do her a disservice to withhold/discontinue sustenance? Would it be a disservice to continue the artifical sustenance methods?

    2) I think we each have the right to decide whether we continue to live or not. It should come as no surprise to the regulars that I offer there are post-life implications to how we exercise that right.

    3) We do not have the right to make that choice for someone else

    4) Government should enforce #3 (i.e. ban murder)

    5) #4 becomes difficult when someone cedes their #2 right to a #3 person (spouse, doctor, whomever)

    6) There are religious devotees who would deny medical treatment that has been demonstrated to work effectively (blood transfusion, for example).

    7) There are religious devotees who would say offer every possible alternative (even unproven experimental procedures).
  7.    #187  
    Quote Originally Posted by rjuhl
    I have no way of knowing the husbands motives. HOWEVER, it is possible, that he still cares enough about her that he wants to comply with her 'wishes'. By turning the decision over to her parents, who CLEARLY refuse to let her go, he is putting the decision into someones hands who opposes what is supposedly her wishes.

    I don't think it is fair to the husband to assume negatives, as he could very easily just walk away from it, with no repercussions. Why does he keep fighting for her to die if he doesn't care?
    i have come to believe that it may be in terri`s best wishes that her plight be brought to a close. jruhl, i guess i jumped to that conclusion regarding michael staivo because whenever you hear someone is fighting for someone to die, your first reaction is to question their motives, weighing all that they have at stake in the matter.
    my first reaction was that he was doing so in order to take advantage of the settlement. but now that i have seen more of the footage, it now seems like he is just trying to relieve terri of her current condition.
    this is just an incredibly difficult situation for anyone to have to deal with... on so many levels.
  8. #188  
    Oddly enough...
    I was on the fence leaning toward closure, until I heard that she is conscious. Now I firmly believe they should let her rest. I couldn't imagine spending the last several years staring at the same wall- let alone the next several!

    I am definately against inducing death, but not against peoples rights to choose which methods should be used in an attempt to preserve life.
  9. #189  
    You know I am sick of this whole issue. I can't stand to hear another thing about this.
    This woman has no hope of recovery. She doesn't have two brain cells to rub together to feel, pain, hunger, thirst, emotions, feelings, stimulus, or anything else that is the semblance of life.
    She suffered a tragic accident, and I am so sorry for her and her family.
    Countless court's and doctors have insisted that she is in PVS.
    Her husband says it is not her wish to live in this way, and who are we to question it. Everyone is up the religious ladder about this but fail to remember that when man and woman marry they cleave into one flesh. Her husband has the right to make this decision, on her behalf. If not him then WHO? Her parents have the right to go to court to challange it. However Congress has NO RIGHT to step into this. All of these religious right to life folks trying to smuggle water to her, that would probably kill her as she CAN'T SWALLOW. How ironic would that be to actually smuggle water to her and kill her in the process. I resent the fact that we haven't come to terms on social security, and the war on terror, but Congress can come back at midnight to pass the Terri Schiavo law. Why doesn't congress work all night fixing social security, or making the country safer, debating gun control legislation. No, congress, Florida State Legislature, and everyone else wants to keep a women alive who most likely wished to be sent home to glory. In keeping her alive, if that isn't cruel and unusual punishment, then I don't know what is.
    When the dark clouds gather on the horizon, when thunder and lightning fills the sky, When fate is but a glint in the eye of a fallen Rattler, And hopes are lost friends, When the sinew of the chest grows weary from those hard-charging linebackers, And the muscles in the legs grow tired from those hard-charging running backs ... You must remember that the Rattlers will... Strike, Strike, and Strike again.
  10.    #190  
    which is why most of us here think I is time to let her go,.
  11. #191  
    Quote Originally Posted by Talldog
    This is where I disagree. They're not letting her die because of her condition, but because her husband is pushing for her death, and Florida law allows it under these circumstances. If he was out of the picture, none of this would be happening. The judges are following the law, and I don't fault them for that, but I think it's a bad law. And as I noted previously, there is precedent for Congress overstepping states' rights to overturn unjust laws, and there are many situations (like abortion and civil rights) where people who are now invoking states' rights would argue exactly the opposite. That's why I don't put any stock in the hypocrisy argument, because we're all hypocrites under the right circumstances.
    I think its a combination of the fact that 'clear and convincing evidence' has been put forth that supports two things:

    1. She is in a PVS.
    2. She conveyed to her husband that she did not want to be kept alive in this condition.

    If you would have taken the husband out of the picture, there probably would have been a court appointed attorney that may have presented evidence that she wished not to be kept alive in this condition (assuming there would be w/o the husbands testimony). (Or the parents would have been more successful getting legal custody of her - assuming she wasnt married). My point is that if you take Michael out of the equation, the judge would still have to consider what Terry wanted.

    Also, why do you think this is 'bad law'. Are you not in favor of personal autonomy? Or are you against suicide? (Not judging, just asking for clarification.)

    You are correct that "there is precedent for Congress overstepping states' rights to overturn unjust laws". My argument is that it should be done in very confined, equal way. The federal government should only be able to overturn state law if it violates the U.S. Constitution. Remember, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. That lists the powers of the federal government. All rights not given expressly given to the federal government, belong to the states. You listed some precedents where it was a 'good thing' (I know its a value statement ) to have the federal government come in and trump state law but almost every single time that it has, it has been on a Constitutional Violation argument. In Terry's case, no argument has been successfully made that her constitutional rights have been violated (thus the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously refused to hear the case.)

    Like I said, you make some great analogies but unless there is a consitutional violation, we should defer to state law. (My other problem with the Terry law passed by Congress is that it was written to only affect her. This seems clearly unconstitutional because the 14th Amendment requires equal protection under the law. By writing a law to allow just Terry to circumvent state courts and to not afford the same opportunity to everyone else appears to violate that amendment. Obviously this will probably not be challenged and ruled upon because Terry will soon pass and the point would be moot.

    And once again, I agree with you here: "That's why I don't put any stock in the hypocrisy argument, because we're all hypocrites under the right circumstances." If I was Terry's parents, I would probably be fighting like hell to keep her alive.
  12. Talldog's Avatar
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    #192  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I think its a combination of the fact that 'clear and convincing evidence' has been put forth that supports two things:

    1. She is in a PVS.
    2. She conveyed to her husband that she did not want to be kept alive in this condition.

    If you would have taken the husband out of the picture, there probably would have been a court appointed attorney that may have presented evidence that she wished not to be kept alive in this condition (assuming there would be w/o the husbands testimony). (Or the parents would have been more successful getting legal custody of her - assuming she wasnt married). My point is that if you take Michael out of the equation, the judge would still have to consider what Terry wanted.

    Also, why do you think this is 'bad law'. Are you not in favor of personal autonomy? Or are you against suicide? (Not judging, just asking for clarification.)
    When I said "bad law", I wasn't referring to the right of people to have a living will or something like that, I was talking about the putting the life or death decision in the hands of someone who might have an ulterior motive. You say there is clear and convincing evidence that she told her husband she wouldn't want to live. What do you base that on, the husband's word? She apparently never mentioned it to anyone else. Also, don't you find it the least bit odd that while he was fighting for that $1.2M judgement, he was telling the jury that all he wanted to do was take care of Terri and help her get well? It wasn't until after he got the money that he remembered she wanted to die.

    I don't have a problem with the personal autonomy thing, or even assisted suicide, under the right (and extremely strict) conditions. However, I do have a problem with the circumstances of this particular case. Specifically, I think there's a possibility that her husband wants her dead for reasons that have nothing to do with compassion. I could very well be wrong, but there's enough ambiguity that I don't think the government should be sanctioning her death.

    Of course, now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, it's probably a done deal.
    Talldog
  13. #193  
    Quote Originally Posted by Talldog
    When I said "bad law", I wasn't referring to the right of people to have a living will or something like that, I was talking about the putting the life or death decision in the hands of someone who might have an ulterior motive. You say there is clear and convincing evidence that she told her husband she wouldn't want to live. What do you base that on, the husband's word? She apparently never mentioned it to anyone else. Also, don't you find it the least bit odd that while he was fighting for that $1.2M judgement, he was telling the jury that all he wanted to do was take care of Terri and help her get well? It wasn't until after he got the money that he remembered she wanted to die.

    I don't have a problem with the personal autonomy thing, or even assisted suicide, under the right (and extremely strict) conditions. However, I do have a problem with the circumstances of this particular case. Specifically, I think there's a possibility that her husband wants her dead for reasons that have nothing to do with compassion. I could very well be wrong, but there's enough ambiguity that I don't think the government should be sanctioning her death.

    Of course, now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, it's probably a done deal.
    You're way off sir. The husband supervised the spending of 700,000 on the wife strongly advocating for rehabilitation, took nursing classes to assist in her care even. It was only after 6+ years AND continued degeneration of the cerebrial cortex (sp?) that he realized it was useless.

    Stopped being suckered by Karl Rove' s Machiavellan (sp?) attempts to get Busg Judge appointees past congress.
  14. #194  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    You're way off sir. The husband supervised the spending of 700,000 on the wife strongly advocating for rehabilitation, took nursing classes to assist in her care even. It was only after 6+ years AND continued degeneration of the cerebrial cortex (sp?) that he realized it was useless.

    Stopped being suckered by Karl Rove' s Machiavellan (sp?) attempts to get Busg Judge appointees past congress.
    Funny, the points talldog mentioned were brought up long before the govt got involved.

    If there is proof that terri said she wanted to die, provide it please.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  15. #195  
    Quote Originally Posted by Talldog
    When I said "bad law", I wasn't referring to the right of people to have a living will or something like that, I was talking about the putting the life or death decision in the hands of someone who might have an ulterior motive. You say there is clear and convincing evidence that she told her husband she wouldn't want to live. What do you base that on, the husband's word? She apparently never mentioned it to anyone else. Also, don't you find it the least bit odd that while he was fighting for that $1.2M judgement, he was telling the jury that all he wanted to do was take care of Terri and help her get well? It wasn't until after he got the money that he remembered she wanted to die.

    I don't have a problem with the personal autonomy thing, or even assisted suicide, under the right (and extremely strict) conditions. However, I do have a problem with the circumstances of this particular case. Specifically, I think there's a possibility that her husband wants her dead for reasons that have nothing to do with compassion. I could very well be wrong, but there's enough ambiguity that I don't think the government should be sanctioning her death.

    Of course, now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, it's probably a done deal.
    "You say there is clear and convincing evidence that she told her husband she wouldn't want to live. What do you base that on, the husband's word?"

    I base this on the fact that the trial courts have looked at the testimony for both sides over a series of trials. The courts decision in FL indicates that when all the testimony has been presented, there is clear and convincing proof that Terry did not want to continue living this way. (That proof may have come from Michael or from other sources, I dont know.) For Michael to have won during the FL trials, either he had a strong case or the parents had a weak case (evidence-wise).

    "don't you find it the least bit odd that while he was fighting for that $1.2M judgement, he was telling the jury that all he wanted to do was take care of Terri and help her get well? It wasn't until after he got the money that he remembered she wanted to die."

    Assume for a second that Terry told him "If I am ever in a PVS, please let me die". Maybe at first he did want her to live and get better. When he realized that she wouldnt, he wanted to honor her wishes. It was probably many years after the accident that he got the money. If this happened to my wife and she had already told me to pull the plug, I would not do it right away (maybe after a year or so ). I just know I couldnt let go of her right away (which I think is how the parents feel---they cant let go of her now. )

    Your right also to question the husbands motives. It does appear odd as you put it but that just bolsters my argument: If he acted like this and the parents attorny's focused on it and still lost, then Michaels case for letting her die is that much stronger (and conversly, the parents case must have been much weaker).

    Finally, on your last point: "but there's enough ambiguity that I don't think the government should be sanctioning her death." I don't think there is that much ambiguity. There may appear to be but most of us did not sit through all the evidence presented in the FL trials. At some point a Judge sat through testimony from both sides and came down to a ruling. I guarantee he did not say "What does Michael want and what do the parents want". This is what I think he thought: "What did Terry want." Is it a judgement call? Sure, but at some point it had to be done.

    I think a lot people are focusing on Michael and his motivations. I am more concerned about how this works out and if this is what Terry wants (I pray it is.)

    It appears this issue is coming to a close. I hope we learn from it (concerning living wills and communicating our wishes to more than one source) and I appreciate all the great commentary.
  16. #196  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    Funny, the points talldog mentioned were brought up long before the govt got involved.

    If there is proof that terri said she wanted to die, provide it please.
    As said in the above post, courts have had testimony from the husband and friends that Terri had expressed no desire to be kept alive in the manner in which she is now.
  17. #197  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    As said in the above post, courts have had testimony from the husband and friends that Terri had expressed no desire to be kept alive in the manner in which she is now.
    And we should believe what they say why? If you were suddenly unable to speak for yourself and your friends said you were a child molester would you want us to believe them?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  18. #198  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    And we should believe what they say why? If you were suddenly unable to speak for yourself and your friends said you were a child molester would you want us to believe them?
    Well, you are free to choose what you believe. But obviously there was enough convincing evidence for several judges to believe the evidence.
    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

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  19. Talldog's Avatar
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    #199  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Stopped being suckered by Karl Rove' s Machiavellan (sp?) attempts to get Busg Judge appointees past congress.
    Whatever.
    Talldog
  20. #200  
    Quote Originally Posted by Talldog
    Whatever.
    Insightful. Although, I believe the correct pronunciation now is "what-evs".
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