Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Trial and Death of Terry Schiavo: To Kill a Mockingbird

Socrates died unjustly, but he died in obedience to the law. Five hundred and one citizen jurors decided his fate and he would not flee the consequence of their folly. The judicial murder of Socrates demonstrates that legal injustice is nothing new.

Let’s examine the termination of Terry Schiavo with this thought in mind.

First of all – everything done as this tragedy has unfolded has been legal according to the small “ l ” sort of law; the laws that are made by men and placed on the books of the Florida state and the American federal governments. The state judge acted under the law by declaring Mike Schiavo, Terry’s guardian. According to Florida law, the Guardian does have the power to dictate the fate of a helpless person if that person has not taken the opportunity to let their own will be known in a written document. The Congress of the United States had the duty to pass a law mandating the federal court to review the case. The President of the United States followed the law of the land when he signed the bill passed by the Congress. Once in the federal court the federal judges followed the law when they chose to uphold the original ruling concerning Mike Schiavo’s authority over the life and death of his wife. The Governor of Florida followed the statues of the state when he asked a department of social welfare to intervene. The Florida judge acted legally when he placed an injunction on saving Terry’s life until after he has ruled on its legality. And on and on it goes.

Secondly – many heart-wrenching truths and conjectures make this a challenging situation to the consciences of observers. These include:

1. There is no way of knowing Terry’s true desires in this situation.

2. Mike Schiavo has acted in a way that questions the quality of his guardianship.

3. Terry’s condition is open to interpretation and debate.

Thirdly – The law has neither a heart nor a conscience; its course is not dictated by truth or justice

As I have read and discussed the Trial and Death of Socrates I have often wished I could have been there. I have wondered if I might have saved him. The truth is that I could not have stopped his poisoning any more than he was able to. The law demanded obedience. However, I have long rejoiced in the belief that, had Socrates been accused of “disrespecting the gods of the state”, “teaching false gods”, and “corrupting the youth” in an American court, he would have been acquitted. I believe that centuries of reflection on truth and justice have crafted laws that would have done right by Socrates.

I found myself helpless in my desire to spare the life of Terry Schiavo. I look upon her cruel death with all the disgust I hold for the hemlock that killed the “best of men”. I call for an examination of the small “ l ” law that could force such injustice. We must reexamine this death so that, in future, we might align our legal power with the right. To make this transition I call for two maturing evolutions to our system.

First, we must make a careful examination of the role of the courts in our government. Like the two hundred and fifty one votes that decided every case in ancient Athens, our present judiciary seeks to place itself above all other authority. There must be a reexamination of judicial supremacy. The law is not solely the province of the courts and to pretend it is places the natural rights of citizens in jeopardy to the caprice of an oligarchy of diploma touting tyrants. The separation of powers was originally intended to be between the President (the monarchy) the Senate (the Aristocracy) and the House of Representatives (the people – the democracy). The creation of a court of last resort in the judiciary is an extra Constitutional concoction of the courts themselves. Their elevation from the subordinate role spelled out in the Constitution, to that of equal (even superior) to the elected representatives of the people; is something that needs to be carefully reexamined in the light of this week’s disaster.

Secondly – a careful examination of the unalienable right we call life is demanded. Modern technology and medicine have vastly extended the possibilities of life. Those who crafted our government to defend life did not comprehend the ambiguity that would engulf the term. Like a rising tide, possibilities have swamped the simple “on\off” switch marked life and death. Man’s every evolving abilities have created in our present world a problem of understanding which must be clarified if truth and justice are to be obtained.

I close by asking you to think about the story presented in To Kill a Mockingbird. Remember that the folks of Macomb, GA accepted without too much question the "facts" of the law. Black men could not be trusted, white jurors could not doubt a white man or trust a black one. Are we to be like Jem and Scout, and in a childlike way accept the failings of our legal system, or are we to take the broader lesson of Lee’s warning and reach out for truth and justice. I can’t help but think that most Americans would choose not to live like Boo, but not knowing “Boo’s” will, isn’t it a sin to kill a mockingbird?

31 comments:

Ares said...

Well, Lysis, I only take umbridge on two small matters and they are not my own originals, they have been hashed before, I am just the first on to post them here.


1.)
It has been shown that Terry will not recover, if she is suffering, isn't it more humane to let her die. Now, I am not saying that starving her to death is humane in any way, but if that is the case, would that not be best to let her die?

2.)
You stated that this country is in the hands of "diploma touting tyrants." Just because they have a diploma does not make them a tyrant. Many judges uphold the Constitution and in fact, that is what has been done here. The law was attempted to be changed but it failed, how does that constitute a tyrant for holding up the law?

But like I said, in whole I agree with what was said.

A_Shadow said...

Ares,

You are giving credit to the system as it exists on paper, not as it exists in practice. The sole essence of the "judge" and his or her position of arbiter of the law is that they are to have an unbiased ruling based on the facts at hand and not based off of their conscience, gut, or self-righteousness. Most of the time that a court case hits the news (save for maybe some that have more famous defendants - and only a few of those), it is because the judge is leaning one way or the other causing a flaw and ignoring the facts at hand.

What Florida courts have determined in Terri's case is that she suffers from a "persistent vegitative state" (as I said it sounds like the state of Florida itself...) But in essence that doesn't mean she can't recover. It means that none of the "experts" would put odds on her in Vegas. That's why we should err on the side of life. She's not brain dead, otherwise that would be her condition and her family would let her go. No one has even defined what a vegitative state is in this case. Usually the "vegetables" are still relatively conscious, with brain wave activity, they just don't have anything real to do with how they live anymore. It's much like being imprisoned in your own body.

And yeah, having a diploma doesn't make you a tyrant. I have one and I hardly can fit that bill. I haven't become ruler of the world yet. But being a judge doesn't mean that you uphold the constitution, either. There are obviously some gray areas where they have ruled, with or without anyone elses opinions even being considered.

Truthfully, I knew that the federal courts would rule the way they did in my heart of hearts. The family doesn't have a strong case, or don't seem to be presenting it right. It's still tragic... But I guess it takes me back to the question asked here (I'm pretty sure it was DannyBoy): What would you have done to YOU in this situation? Would you want to be on a feeding tube for the rest of your "natural" life? I can't really say. Of course if I were brain dead, it's over. I can't think of a single case where someone has recovered from braindeath. But if there's ever a sliver of an almost maybe, you're damn right I'd want my family there, waiting for me to wake up. I don't want to live until I'm old, broken down, or on a respirator. It's not fun. But I'm not going to just give up because you wouldn't bet on my recovery. Blowhard's wonderful doctors that he puts so much faith in have told too many of my friends and family that they have six months to live when they are still walking and talking years afterwards. So why would I listen to them tell me that my significant other only has a sliver of a maybe to come out of her waking coma? And why the hell would I starve her to death?

Ares said...

Shadow,

Yes, it is true that just because an "Expert" has said that Terri will not recover, it does not mean that she won't. The real question is has she made any steps toward recovery in the past several years since she had her accident (I seem to think it's somewhere around seven, but I'm not sure)? Perhaps what would be even more relevant is: did she make any steps before her feeding tube was pulled? If she was making no steps toward recovery, then perhaps Mr. Schiavo was doing what he thought best. But like it has been said, Terri's wishes are not known to make use of, which makes the whole thing much harder to do.

The main thing that we need to realize here is that the judges have only upheld the "l" law of the land which is that the guardian gets to make the call if there is no will. There is nothing that the courts can do unless the law is changed. They tried to do that, but it failed. I don't think that the judges ruling as they have done is worthy of the title of tyrant. They have no choice, or they would be ignoring the law and that would constitute tyrant-ism. The judges here are not "leaning one way or another causing a flaw and ignoring the facts at hand" as Shadow puts it, but rather they see the facts and that they cannot do anything about it as the law stands. It is not the role of the Judiciary branch to legislate law, only to rule on it.

Let's remember the whole point to the checks and balances sysytem we have here, okay folks?

Apollo said...

I would like to open with a complaint to Lysis. While reading your original post I found myself at the bottom and not remebering anything about what was at the top. This is partly my fault true enough but partly yours because you seem to go back and forth from the subject onto new ones. Remember that the quickest path is a sraight one. Anyways, I completely agree with you. I look upon the cruelty of Terrys death with all the despisement that there ever was. I also see Ares point that according to the law (small l) Mike is in his rights. I also say that we are perfectly in our rights to want to alter and abolish that law (small l). Who here has the courage to do so? Obviously none of us because though we succeed in seeing the fault in the government, we sit all day commenting about it on a blog that has little chance to reach the publics ears in time. Plus we live in Utah so we have little or no control over Florida. As with Socrates, there were people that knew he was innocent and that his punishment was unjust but they too did nothing about it.

Speaking of unjust punishment, I see Terrys fate as cruel and unusual punishment. Though what is she being punished for? Being a little different? Which I remind you is not by her choice nor is it under her control. Does this not make us guilty of trying to rise above the law, above murder? "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." Let's not try to be unjust to others, unjust to ourselves. That's what used to seperate the U.S.A. from France. Yes I mean USED TO!

Apollo said...

Sorry for my hypocritical longwindedness!

Apollo

A_Shadow said...

I'm sorry, for a second I had to reread who was posting what... I thought I heard Lysis echoing in these hallowed halls... But I'm glad that there's affirmation of opinions...

Let's back up a step or three there, Ares. Let's hit the topic of checks and balances, just so as to make sure that you're understanding what you're talking about. But (before I forget) it has been FIFTEEN years that she has been in this "persistant vegitative state".

Anyways... The item being checked in this case is Michael's right of power of attorney over his wife. Because she is incappacitated and otherwise not able to voice her opinion, AND is married, her "voice" has been transfered to her husband as legal guardian. For minors it is transfered to the parents, incappacitated or not. The balance to this is that her parents are allowed to contest his right to guardianship if they believe that he is not acting with just intentions on her behalf. Mind you this whole system is originally derived so as to ALLOW medical treatment. Doctors aren't allowed to opperate without permission (last I heard anything about it.)

And since Mike is taking active steps to starve his wife to death, the family feels justified in stepping in (using the checks and balance system) to hault that as they feel he is overstepping his bounds. Regardless of what you're feelings are on the matter, regardless of if you want the plug pulled on you or not (a relativist and romantic argument designed to attack the heart and not the truths), if he acts in a way that is contrary to her continued existence, they have grounds to contest it. If there was a new therapy that he isn't taking advantage of (which I haven't heard anything for, it's a hypothetical to further explain) and his parents felt he wasn't doing enough, again they can step up and contest on her behalf. So don't think that what they are doing is imbalancing the system. They are well within their bounds, it's what the courts are ruling on that is the question. Not the parents right to contest otherwise a suit can be filed against them for filing frivilous lawsuits and costing tax payers money. Not something you ever want to have against you...

As for her making any steps towards recovery, that point is moot. That's far from an actual point for the proactive assassination and murder of a defenseless woman. People who are in comas don't make any steps towards recovery. They simply wake up after months or even years. The biggest difference here is that she's in a sort of waking coma. No progress can be measured in those terms, we still don't know enough about the brain. You can measure brain swelling and other quantities such as that, but with damage of this type, there's no real indicator other than whether or not the subject is conscious or not.

And on to the judges "not having a choice". If the judges didn't have a choice, the trial would never enter court. Judges have plenty of choice. I dare you argue that the Supreme Court has never made a choice. They are supposed to uphold, arguably, the most important law in this land (and likely the most revered law in many others). That is their job, why they exist. They have plenty of choice, the family simply wasn't able to prove to all of those judges that Mike was the wrong thing for Terri. If it were congress that were to oversee the case (a very serious breach in protocol) we should all know how that would go. And everyone should be aware that it would be with support from both of the major parties.

Ares said...

Shadow,

I'm not saying that you are wrong with the points that you brought up, but when I brought up the subject of checks and balances, I was refering to the judicial system not being able to legislate law and thereby, they can only rule on the law given them, contrary to what you had said. The Supreme Court is a special case where they determine if a law is Unconstitutional, but I don't really like the fact that nine people can deciding matters of such importance. What makes then more qualified to do that than any other judge? But that is for another day.

On the point of her being incapacitated for fifteen years, I believe that I said that I didn't remember and I want to thank you for correcting me.

Shadow, I have to disagree with "if judges didn't have a choice, the trial would never enter court" statement. Of course the trial would have entered court because the parents had a complaint. That's what the courts are set up to decide. If someone has a greivance, they can take it to the court and then the judges decide if the plaintiff has legal standing or not. If the plaintiff does not have legal standing, then the judge has no choice but to rule in favor of the defendant. But to say that it would never enter the courtroom is ludicrous.

Also, steps toward recovery are very relevant because if she cannot or will not ever recover, then it is more plausible to end her life, to save her from pain and the family from finacial responsibility. I fail to see how it is moot.

I am not saying that I think that Terri should die, nor am I saying that the family has no right to decide what will happen to her. All I am saying is that according to the small "l" law as it stands now, Mike Schiavo has the power of attorney, and the parents cannot do anything about it unless the courts rule (which so far they have not) that Mike Schaivo is unfit to hold that responsibility. Until that happens, you, me, or anyone else posting in this blog can do nothing about it.

Lysis said...

I have enjoyed reading the ideas all have put forward on this subject. I think Shadow and Ares have zeroed in nicely on the problem. What the law in Florida “now” states is that spouses are minors once they become disabled. [I have noticed that the media has been careful not to call Terry a disabled person. I wonder if that is because such a title would give her back some of the rights that Florida allows her husband to usurp because she cannot speak for herself.] Anyway – I don’t believe Florida law would countenance the abuse of children – even though they are under their parent’s majority. Florida law is either wrong or being misinterpreted by the Florida courts if it allows unfettered control by the guardian over the fate over those under the guardian’s care. This is the very point Ares made above. Perhaps we would have a more just law if it clarified the situation by stating that those with life and death authority over others, be they states, husbands, or parents, must be circumscribed by consideration of the unalienable rights of those over whom they exercise control.

I am sorry if my original post lacked unity. It was my intention to point out - through two rather different references , the execution of Socrates, and the fate of Tom Robinson – that courts are not infallible. When ever the “l law” (man made) comes into conflict with L Law (Devine Reason) we should do all we can to move the laws of men into conformity with the Laws of Nature, or Nature’s God. This terrible tragedy (the death of Terry) gives us ample opportunity to see the failings of our present system of laws and to dream of a day when we might act more justly. There are always those who will fall back on convention. For example; some will maintain that husbands will always act in the best interest of their wives. What I call for above is a clarification of the definition of life and its nature as an unalienable right. I also ask us to consider that our present system of government (which includes courts, legislatures, and executive authority) is not yet fully just. We must not simply accept this injustice – as did the citizens of Athens and Macomb; we must continue to evolve our government toward absolute compliance with the Devine Reason which we share with the gods.

Ares said...

Apollo,

What exactly did you mean when you said that "we are trying to rise above the law, above murder"? I fail to see how anyone posting on this blog, most if not all of whom reside in Utah, are responsible for the death of Terri Schiavo when you yourself said that "we have little or no control over Florida".

Also, in what way are we trying to be unjust to ourselves and to others? I can in no way see how we are being unjust in trying to save Terri's life or by debating the wrongfulness of it. As I recall, it is the state of Florida that is being unjust to Terri, but I suppose we are all Floridians, now aren't we? (Apollo, I was being facetious in case you couldn't tell)

Apollo, if you could explain what you mean, it would be marvelous.

A_Shadow said...

The essence of decision is that there will be a choice made. If there is no decision, there is no choice.

If the facts of the matter compel a judge to rule one way, that is one thing, but often that is ceremony and involve the plaintif just admitting his guilt.

Decisions require choice, if the judges aren't allowed to decide, if the facts dictate something that is irrefutable, it usually never enters the court other than for sentencing because there's no point. That's how it would be moot.

And you did nothing to combat my points on comas. I don't have any evidence that they ever show "signs" of recovery before they do. Yet we never just pull the plug on them within the day... Why is that? Why is it that for them it is ok to live, but when it's a semantical concoction of words: "persistent vegitative state" it is ok to kill because of no signs of recovery. Address please that seeming double standard and we'll have a grounds for discussion.

Ares said...

Shadow,

You're right, if a case's facts are irrefutable and overwhelming for one side, then the trial almost never actually takes place. But my example was not necessarily based on irrefutable or overwhelming evidence. Perhaps the judges must make a decision based on whether or not the plaintiff has proven all of the elements of the law that they are required to prove. But if the judge has not seen sufficient evidence, it is then that he has no choice but to rule for the defendant.

As to your points on comas and "persistant vegetative state" I have found some information that is quite interesting. Comas are a state of deep unconciousness. During this time, they do not react to any form of stimuli. This state usually lasts for no longer than a few weeks. Sometimes, after a coma has been experienced, the patient will slip into a "persistant vegetative state." In this state, they have lost all cognative function of the brain. In this state, they cannot respond to their environment. This state may last for years or even the lifetime of the patient.

Now, that tells me some interesting things. Like the fact that if you are in a coma, chances are very good that you will wake up. Chances are also good that you will be able to resume your old life with full body functioning. With 'persistant vegetative state' you may never wake up, and if you do, your chances of leading a normal life are significantly less. Like I have said before, I'm not arguing that she should die, only that Mr. Schiavo is within his rights because there is no garauntee that Terri will ever wake up. And if she does, there is no garauntee that she will ever be her old self. Personally, I would be there trying to keep her alive, I just hold that Mike Schaivo has rights as Terri's husband, and just because we don't like what he's doing doesn't mean that we can take them away. It's the same way with people burning flags, we don't like it, but there really is nothing we can do about it unless the law is changed.

-Ares

Lysis said...

People aren’t flags. Sham on you Ares!

Ares said...

Lysis,
You're right, that was a bad example, I apologize. I did not mean to say that Terri's life is as insignificant as a piece of cloth (not that I'm saying that a flag is merely a piece of cloth, it's what it represents that's important).

-Ares

Silver Lining said...

Parents (guardians of minors) have rights too, but there is a lot that can be done if we/the state doesn't like what they are choosing to do. Enter Social Services. Just a thought.

Ares said...

Silver Lining,

Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think that Social Services can go into a situation like this with two adults, can they?

A_Shadow said...

I wrote this in response to Ares last night, but blogspot wouldn't let me post it, so I saved it. It's a tad delayed, but it should still be in context:

I'm sorry to be relentless about this, but I feel that it is a very
important part of your puzzle: In comas they feel no stimuli, as you
said, if that is the case, what is different between that and a
"persistent vegitative state"? You made no points that really seem to
say anything that you haven't already. They don't respond to stimuli.
That's your entire case. I know you're not an expert, but I'm not
the one arguing the difference of the conditions of coma and
"persistent vegitative state".

As for them "waking up". Have you ever seen a picture of Mrs. Shciavo
with her eyes closed? I haven't... Maybe that's the difference?
That it's a waking coma versus a sleeping one? Early on I had seen
footage of her and her interactions with family, etc. She had
responses, they might not have been a cognitive backflip like we seem
to want. But I would say it's a far cry from brain death.

Ares said...

Shadow,

The problem with both a coma and a persistant vegetative state is that the patient cannot decide for themself. I have heard nothing about Terri Schaivo being able to answer her famliy's requests about her will to live. If they had gotten an answer, do you honestly think that we would be in the position we are now?

I argue that it would make no difference whether she was in a coma or a persistant vegetative state, only the fact that under Florida law and reality, Terri cannot decide what will happen to her because she does not have a living will nor has she been able to tell anyone what her wishes are. Without those two things, we cannot be sure what she wanted and under the law, Mike Schaivo has the power of attorney because his wife is legally incappacitated. It seems to me that everyone has agreed that therein lies the problem.

If the family could prove Mike Schaivo was unfit to hold the power of attorney, don't you think that the courts would rule that way? There is no way that a trial and nineteen (or so) appeals could all fail us. I do not have such a lack of faith in the judicial system as to say that.

-Ares

BlackWind said...

Since Shadow wants to know the difference:

A coma is state of unconciousness much like deep sleep. Only you can't react to stimuli. There may or may not be any permanent brain damage though.

a "persistant vegetative state" is like a coma + damage of higher brain functions, like self-awareness, conciousness, personality, etc. It's all back to basics, just breathing, heart rate and the like.

Also, the longer a person stays in a PVS, the worse the damage will be, and the lower the chance of recovery.

A_Shadow said...

Thanks BlackWind, but you don't happen to have a source for that, do you? I'd give it all the credibility in the world for a source that I could check. Nothing on your honesty, I'm just curious about the conditions as a person of knowledge as well as how pertinent to this matter it is.

As for you Ares, I am in agreeance when you speak of the appeals. Unfortuneately I think the judges have ruled poorly, but I don't know of the evidence they're consulting, merely what I have seen. But I am of the same mind that after so many appeals, they can't win. I don't think there's any judge that would change the dicision now. But that's a far reach, I bet.

Anyways, it doesn't really give us a good definition as to when we should "give up hope", either. If there's not much difference between a coma and a "persistant vegitative state", then what stops someone from pulling the plug after a few weeks, or months? People have recovered from things like that, but where's the line to be drawn? Before I even suggest that, I want to read actual documentation on this "persistent vegitative state". If leading experts say it exists, then someone somewhere has written a paper on that. I guess now it's time to dig into it myself.

A_Shadow said...

"Recovery usually occurs gradually, with patients acquiring more and more ability to respond. Some patients never progress beyond very basic responses, but many recover full awareness. Patients recovering from coma require close medical supervision. A coma rarely lasts more than 2 to 4 weeks. Some patients may regain a degree of awareness after vegetative state. Others may remain in a vegetative state for years or even decades. The most common cause of death for a person in a vegetative state is infection such as pneumonia."

I found enough for me, for now.

It says decades, and to me the way that sentence is phraised there have been recoveries after decades... So where do we draw the line?

theblackwind said...

For any naysayers:

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Coma_vegetative_state?open

And that "decades" quotes is pretty vague. It really sounds a little taken out of context, since it doesn't seem able to decide how likely you are to recover after decades of VGS.

As for how relative the idea is, very. Quality of Life is such a HUGE part of this debate. Differentiating between the two help us see where Quality of Life outweighs the suffering she would go through.

Also, the amount of hypocrisy surrounding this case is AB-SO-LUTELY Mind shattering. And I'm not just talking about Delay's decision to NOT put his father on life support.

A_Shadow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A_Shadow said...

BlackWind, I hardly know you and I'm already a nay-sayer and a hypocrite. Excellent. So, let "he" who is without sin cast the first stone. Why is it that the hypocrisy of this situation is "AB-SO-LUTELY mind blowing"?

I daresay that we've already covered the topic of how pulling out the respirator is infinately more human than starving a person to death. The rule of threes: 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food. Hmmm... Minutes... Days... Choices. I know that most of you wouldn't want to live on a respirator, but that's not what she's doing. Would you want to be starved to death or suffocated. Lysis, I know you'd want neither, but for the sake of argument, which would you prefer?

If the quality of life is what is at issue here, then we have much more to debate than whether or not Mike's actions are appropriate. Quality of life is a broad statement that you should have confined somehow. Should we hop nation-to-nation so that we may alieviate the suffering of their peoples because we wouldn't want their quality of life?

Ares said...

Shadow,

Excuse me, but isn't the issue of quality of life that is giving some credit (albeit not much) to the Mike Schaivo side of things?

Also, the point that you seem toe missing is that Mike Schaivo is within his rights, not because it is a good thing to do, but because the small "l" law lets him. If we are to do anything about that, we must first change that law.

Apollo said...

Ares-
Do you not understand me at all? First you try to enterpret my metaphor, now you question valid arguements of mine? Are you just jealous that I use these before you? Whatever your reasoning I will clue you in. What I meant was: When we contradict our own laws, set by our fathers, we are trying to become imune to the law and dig under the unalienable rights stated in the Declaration of Independance. Honestly man! Was it not you that posted a good portion of it in a previous post? Anyway, when we try to get rid of the right of life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness we are trying to say that we were created better, or not equal, which, if I'm not mistaken, is another phrase in the Declaration. A phrase that you used in that previous post. Now do you see why I didn't put all of that? I would have rivaled Lysis' Original post.
You are the only one who seemed to misunderstand it I might add.

Secondly, while we live in the Utah we still live in the U.S. and last time I checked Florida was a part of this nation. What about in the Civil War? We did not let the state boundaries govern the right to own slaves! What if we had? Do you honestly think it makes a difference? It seems it is now your turn for an explaination (heaven forbid!).

Thirdly and lastly; Why do you insist on giving Mike a say? Good heck! He's a lowly Bastard! Forgive the language any of you that are offended. Anyway, look at his track record. Terry has been in this condition for 15 years, Mike is now married to another woman and their oldest child that they had together is 14 years old! That means he would have been "back in business" (do I need to spell that one out for you too?) just about 3 MONTHS after! Another thing, the hospital records of Terry when she first came in 15 years ago says that if she were to die, there should be a murder investigation! Their first and only suspect: good old Mike Schiavo! I think it is about time to rule Mike out! Or rather in, into an investigation of assault, battery, attempted murder, murder, harassment, sexual harassment, abuse, disturbing the peace, and even MURDER! Chew on that! I don't doubt you can for your mouth is so big but I don't think you'll be able to swallow it! Once again, your BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG.... mouth is getting you in trouble! You dare talk about his rights? To me as with these education, I believe the are, and I quote " You have the right to remain silent! Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of Law." End quote, End comments, hopefully the End of Mike Schiavo!

Apollo

A_Shadow said...

Well I suppose it's only fair for me to ask the same of you, Apollo, as I asked of blackwind: do you have proof of that? I hardly want to defend the guy, but I think that's a mighty big and important accusation that she wanted a murder investigation if she should die. And for the record: he's not married to this new woman. He won't divorce his "wife", but he'll live in the arms of another. I suppose the question then would be: is it really Mike making the decision? Suddenly after 15 years he wants to kill her?

All speculation and heresay. I don't have anymore proof than you've shown me. So what's the point?

I don't suppose, Ares, that you'd like to explain how it would give credit to him? But of course, it would, depending on who's the judge of "standard of living". Which was the point of my rebuttle. Who decides? There are plenty of starving children in the world who's "standard of living" isn't as wonderful as yours. Yeah, it's a cliche that your mom would use to get you to eat dinner, but give me a break. The point that I'm making is what the hell does standard of living have to do with right to live? No document on Earth lists a "good" standard of living as an unalienable right, merely the persuit thereof.

Ares said...

Let me first deal with the headstrong Apollo.

First of all, it is not I who am giving Mike Schaivo the right to decide, it is the state of Florida that gave him that right when he married Terri. Also, I have to agree with Shadow, where is your proof of the 'murder investigation' that ought to take place? Do you honestly think that if there were grounds for a murder investigation that it would stop them just because she hasn't died? If you really think that, then you are a fool. If there was any sign of foul play or abuse or anything, don't you think that it would have been pursued in the 15 years she has been in this state?
And perhaps Mike Schiavo is a "lowly bastard" but I don't recall any part in the Declaration of Independence that said that only good people who love their wives and have good track records get rights. I believe that it says that "...all men are created equal..."
Now, because Florida is not Utah, it makes a very big difference (and I believe it was you who said that we have "little or no control over Florida"). I don't recall any time that one state declared war on another state in the Civil War, just the Federal Government. Just like the Federal Government tried to do something about this case but it failed here, not there.

So are you saying that by not doing anything that we (that is me, you, Shadow, Lysis, and everyone else on this blog) are guilty of murder? We have no control over the State of Florida. You said that yourself. And I also don't recall you even mentioning the Declaration of Independence in your first post.

Now, Shadow,
What I meant by giving credit to him (and perhaps I worded that poorly) is that it gives some understading as to why he might be doing this. Like I have said many times, I do not agree with him, it is just that we can't stop him as the law stands. And to your point about starving children, Mikd Schaivo does not have the power of attorney over them, so it is not up to him if they are to be allowed to live or not. Nor is it anyone's here.

Now, let's just try to remember that because Mike Schaivo has the power of attorney, he gets to decide. Don't take your anger out on me, take a road trip to Florida. I hear the weather is great this time of year.

-Ares

theblackwind said...

Oh boy, away we go...

First off, let me apologize to Shadow, we seemed to think I was accusing HIM of being hypocritical. I meant the people surrounding the case (protestors, parents, Delay) and you seem to have taken that as an attack. I apologize for any negative connotations you got there.

Regarding HOW she dies, I fail to see how it makes a difference. She feels no pain or any other kind of stimuli. I know I wouldn't care, particularly if I had asked not to be kept alive.

Whether or not we should help other nations with a lower standard of living is a moot point. We already do that. From Going to war to bring democracy to the world (that's the current reason we are sticking to, right? I can never keep up with its changing) to delivering food, we do it.

And Holy misinformation batman! 14 year old kids? MARRIED?! I don't think so. Jodi is his live-in girlfriend. They have had 2 children, one aged 1, one aged 2 and 1/2.

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/03/26/Tampabay/She_s_the_other_woman.shtml

Also, Shadow, if you look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schiavo

Under Medical opinions: It says experts agree over 50% of her brain is irreversibly destroyed.

and under Controversy: It says this is not the first time he has tried to cut her off (1998)

This is not a sudden "My girlfriend wants to get married so kill her" thing.

Lastly, the first paragraph of that says the believed cause of this is her bulimia, not Michael Schiavo being some horrible man.

Knowledge is power.

-The Black Wind

A_Shadow said...

And brilliantly executed, too. I love it when someone takes the approaches that I would to crush the competition. And so masterfully done.

I guess this is time to remind everyone that I've known little about the case from the get go... That's why I put forth the fact that the last so many posts were mostly speculation on everyone's part, save blackwind.

Blackwind, I didn't necessarily point it out that you were attacking any of the members of this blog, but the statement was rather unclarified, and still is. It was just as easy to assume it was directed here as out against the real world. I'd like to know about the hypocracy you speak of. I'm familiar with the father not being put on life support, but that topics been covered and can be again. Most of us feel that starving to death is far more inhumane than suffocating. I'm sure I've said that too many times lately.

But we go back to the quality of life that you feel is so important here. No one has touched any further (rebuttle wise) on why it's so important, and why her quality of life should dicate whether she lives or dies. That's why the argument about starving children. Should we just let them die? Their quality of life isn't what we have or would expect, after all. Or what about those that are without homes and wandering the streets?

I think it's a very pointless and vain topic to bring up on subjects of life and death. As it stands now it smacks of elitism and could very well paint you as a modern Hitler. It tells me now that it's ok to kill Terri because of her "low" quality of life. I don't buy that, and you haven't given me any incentive to.

And Ares, I know that you are arguing for Mike's rights based off of the powers that the law give him in this land. I don't think any of us question what the current law tells us that he can do. We are questioning the morality of such an act, and the justness of that law. You've entered on the side of that, and I thank you, I might be seen on the same side of that argument. I have been before. Not agreeing with the laws, but defending the citizens that use them. It's a hard line to draw.

I don't believe that he is right. And I don't believe that the law is right. I don't even think that in a million years Terri's parents would win a battle with the system how it is now. It just shows us potential judges and politicians what we need to see: a potential gap in the system that needs to be looked at. But I can already see the counter arguments, utilizing as their sword power of attourney. It's a tough call for sure. But I think I might side with leaving it how it is. That's the point of having power of attourney after all: deciding what the incappacitated person can't. I would hope that it's almost always used for the betterment of the disabled. But in this case it is not. I can't see taking away rights like that for one mans poor choices. He will be judged at some future time, an all knowing judge (and a little bit different judging than we or the courts have been doing). I just don't see any further parries that we can make, and doctors feel she will die by week's end.

The only thing left to do now, that would ultimately change the law forever, is pray that Terri gets out of her bed and finds the nurses, asking them why she's so damn hungry. I've felt that was the only recourse for a while.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or did I just hear Shadow giving up?

A_Shadow said...

I don't see how any of that attributed to me giving up. The immovable object meets the unstoppable force. Why bother?

It's a fact that all of their appeals have failed, why would that have changed in time to save her? Was it not worth trying, certainly not. But was the outcome going to be any different? Certainly not.