« The Dissent | Main | Questions »

March 23, 2005

Comments

Eileen R

I think it'd be a just and horrible punishment were Michael Schiavo to take up Derbyshire's invitation. Aside from everything else, he doesn't come across as a pleasant drinking buddy.

Donald R.McClarey

This all reminds me of the great movie Judgment at Nuremberg. Spencer Tracy gave a stellar performance as an American judge trying a group of German judges after World War II. Burt Lancaster gave an even better performance as one of the German judges. All of the German judges except the judge portrayed by Burt Lancaster are trying every legal manuevere to save their sorry hides. Burt Lancaster's character is different. He refuses to cooperate in his defense. He believes he is guilty and forthrightly wishes to be punished. By this attitude he gains the respect of the Spencer Tracy character. However, at the end of the film Burt Lancaster's character gives way to the all too human temptation for self- justification. Not seeking to mitigate his punishment, but rather simply out of moral anguish, he tells the Spencer Tracy character that he must believe him that he never thought that what went on his court when he sentenced men he knew to be innocent would ultimately come to the death camps. Spencer Tracy replies that it came to that, the death camps, the first time that the Burt Lancaster character sentenced an innocent man to death. I am afraid that history is thrusting all of us into the role of the Burt Lancaster judge, just before he first knowingly sentences an innocent man to death. Time for us all to choose.

Victor Morton

Since one of the chemical effects of alcohol is dehydration, Michael Schiavo would be the drinking buddy to end all drinking buddies. Or just end it all, as it were.

Charles M. de Nunzio

One question: Do the "Men of the West" exist only in the movies?

Donald R.McClarey

on "in" his court

ml

That's so true. I've been following arguments on one "secular" blog, and many, many people are against the removal of Terri's feeding tube on the grounds that she is being killed by an inhumane method ("I wouldn't starve a cat to death"), but most of them have no qualms about "letting her go." The few who believe she should be allowed to live are taking the side of the parents in this particular situation, but are not arguing that she should be allowed to live on principal. I've also been surprised by one strongly anti-abortion Catholic who believes pulling the feeding tube was the right decision. Catholic Church teaching on the matter of providing food and hydration to a person whose death is not imminent is not even a consideration. There are a few Catholics who argue for continued food and hydration on the grounds of the sacredness of life itself, but they are definitely in the minority.

Why is it that the Schindler's did not prevail when arguing that Terri is a Roman Catholic and would have chosen to follow Church teaching on this matter?

Brandon

"A nation gathers around its television sets, and watches a woman die."
Without an ounce of doubt in God's powers to somehow use this crooked path to set straight our culture of death, it is sickening to go through -- to see so helpless and fragile a human being be slowly put to death while most people stay silent.
And just like with abortion, a lot of people think that if you act real somber and proclaim how serious this issue is, then it is okay to murder another person. That, to me, is the attitude of someone truly chilling.
To say that this whole thing is sad is such an understatement. It drags on so long that I do not know how anyone's conscience could not be worn down to the point of sorrow (at least), if not to the point of being sick.

David R.

Donald

I have been making the same comparison between the way today's judges act and the movie Judgment at Nuremberg. The whole point being that even if judges are following the law of the land they will be called to account for doing what is unjust. In our case it isn't likely that any of these judges will be judged in this life. However, I have no doubt that they will be called to account for their "interpretations" of the law.

By the way, that it is a great movie.

Gerard E.

Resolution will probably come somewhere in the middle. Those alarmed by slippery slope will remain scared. Reminding other communities might stay neutral- until it's at their front doors. Say Gay & Lesbian Community- what about your members with full-blown AIDS? Or African-American Community- what about the women under 45 with AIDS, now their leading cause of death? Or the gunfire rampant in this city, with more than two dozen murders in 8 days- most African-American men. Won't even mention advocacy groups for folks with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries, heart or kidney or liver difficulties. Be afraid, one and all. Be very afraid. Or invest in rubber shoes to negotiate those slippery slopes.

RP Burke

Would anyone feel any differently if there were a living will or other such legally airtight statement by Ms. Schiavo that she refused, a priori, being fed through a tube for an indeterminate period?

Maclin Horton

Just this morning my wife said she feared the line of thought in Amy's "Or, God forbid..." paragraph would be a widespread reaction. I don't expect this but I certainly don't consider it impossible, either.

As for Derbyshire: although he is very engaging on a number of topics (I always enjoy his Straggler column in National Review), he is, to use an old-fashioned term, Not Sound on religion and ethics. When he gets into that territory he comes across as an old-school Religion Is All Very Well In Its Place sort of Anglican. Ramesh Ponnuru took him to school pretty well yesterday, I thought.

David R.

"Would anyone feel any differently if there were a living will or other such legally airtight statement by Ms. Schiavo that she refused, a priori, being fed through a tube for an indeterminate period?"

No. That's the point. Murder (or suicide) are not all of a sudden justified if someone gives you permission ahead of time.

Of course, Schiavo's case is doubly troubling because you don't have a clear statement of intent. I think that is why people are arguing intent so much.

Maclin Horton

Brandon above: a lot of people think that if you act real somber and proclaim how serious this issue is, then it is okay to murder another person.

[sardonic laughter] You hit the nail on the head there, bud. That's basically an emperor-has-no-clothes putdown of the as far as I can see entirely unmerited authority given to "medical ethicists" these days.

anna

maclin -

Loved your description of Derbyshire's Anglicanism! Spot on! I think there is also a bit of "anti-popery" stuff one seems to get w/mother's milk over in England.

What does this say about us? Well, I think it is natural that people recoil from the idea of living as Terri is living, or for their beloved to be living that way. It is normal to feel that way.

I think the big change is that people no longer accept the idea of accepting misfortune as a burden that must be borne. They ask "Why should I?" Why should I have to give up "my life" in order to take care of someone?

Take this attitude, combine it with the natural fear of being in a condition like Terri's, and you get rationalizations. "It is better for her, and conveniently, it is better for me, too."

Compassion will not be needed in the future: strong, happy, independent people don't need compassion. With no old, sick, very young or disabled people around, there will be no need for it.

Eileen R

"Would anyone feel any differently if there were a living will or other such legally airtight statement by Ms. Schiavo that she refused, a priori, being fed through a tube for an indeterminate period?"

I wouldn't feel that it was the right thing to do, but a) if that had been the case, it'd probably never have come to my attention anymore than the deaths of people who do choose this, and b) it wouldn't be so magnificent a miscarriage of justice. The Schiavo case really is a "We've won on the last fight, let's see if we can push it further" offensive from the euthanasia movement.

Maclin, I think you've described Derbyshire to a tee. I've added him to my list of people to pray for. In a lot of things, he seems to be one of those people who is afraid of actually confronting any issue lest they find out something that might shake up their world.

Also, I'd like to make that point that while it may not be a foregone conclusion Americans will react the way Amy has thought out, I'm afraid Canadians already have. I work full-time as an office clerk, so I don't listen to the radio, and spend my spare time for keeping up with events on worthwhile internet sources.

But my mother's been keeping an ear to the radio till she got absolutely sick of it and refuses to listen to anything but the sports channel as of yesterday. She tells me what I'd suspected that the feeling everywhere, from our so-called right wing radio stations to our govt broadcaster is that Terri should "be allowed to die." The only thing is that while our govt broadcaster is going on about how her dehydration is peaceful, our talk shows are full of people saying, "We wouldn't starve a dog to death. We should lethally inject her."

I don't know if this case will push the US towards euthanasia, but I think it's going to help push Canada that way.

al

I think it will go the Netherlands way.

When people are forced to confront a decision like this, and when you argue about this with people you discover this to be true, and they make the wrong decision, the next time they have to make a similar decision, requiring courage, they have against them the rationalization that their previous decision required.

To make the right decision, people have to repudiate their previous concessions, whether they be to their own pecadilloes, or things like removing ventilation. . . and accuse themselves of being wrong.

On top of that, they have to do this in an ennervating cacophony of scandal, sophistry, and cultural bankruptcy which permits little time for reflection or study, and has little patience for prophets.

One of the mistakes many conservatives have made recently, is saying, "well it can't get any worse than this. Surely people will see how bad this is, and come to their senses"

Scripture tells us that the world ends not with the most sanity and faith, but with the least. That there are worse things to come after something so obviously horrible, which will be greeted with similar apathy and scorn is doubtless.

Paul

The side-by-side news coverage of Terri's death sentence and the Pope's acceptance of his sufferings are surreal in these days leading up to our honoring and re-membering Christ's acceptance of death on the cross. I sit in awed silence and ponder and pray.

Christopher Rake

One thing that strikes me relates to comments along the lines of "what does this say about us?." At which point I want to say, "What do you mean us, Kemosabe?"

I agree broadly with warnings about the slippery slope and the march towards euthanasia. I side with Terri's parents and have been posting Fr. Johansen's NRO and Crisis columns all over the place. As an aside, it's always educational to see the kind of abuse that can generate.

But when talking about the reaction of the American public, I think we should look a little more closely at what that reaction is based on. A lot of people are reading the following; this example is from today's Washington Post:

Whatever the mechanism of death [by starvation], experts are virtually unanimous in saying it does not appear to be painful.

I don't believe that's true in an otherwise physically healthy person, and I don't believe "experts are virtually unanimous" in saying that. But that's what is out there.

Most people don't know how tenuous is the evidence that Terri told Michael she wouldn't want to live this way. Most believe that multiple courts have examined the facts of the case, when only one has. Most don't know that for long stretches, the single judge responsible for the fact-finding has also acted as Terri's guardian ad litem, and why that would be a problem. Most are unaware of how long it's been since Terri had any reparative therapy. Most don't know about Michael's attempt to deny antibiotics to Terri during the perilous urinary tract infection. Most people have no idea about the extent to which Terri may be responsive to her parents, to music, to human interaction; and the extent to which Michael has apparently barred all of the above.

Et cetera, it's a long list.

In short, most people view this as a he-said she-said dispute that courts adjudicate all the time, though with profoundly sad dimensions. Sweeping conclusions about "our" view of the disposability of life are questionable (I'm paraphrasing a common sentiment, not quoting anyone in particular.)


Chris-2-4

On another note,

I keep hearing people talk about going to prepare their living will now. Some people are actually advising people to do so because of this case.

I don't know about you all, but I think it is downright sinister. I can't help think that if there is any divine lesson here, if anything God wants to tell us, or that we should learn from this situation it is NOT that we should go out and prepare a living will.

Eileen R

Living wills can demand basic things like nutrition and hydration, which I suppose would be better than not, but giving power of attorney to someone capable, principled, and Catholic is a better thing.

I do feel a rather wicked desire when trolls show up on pro-Terri blogs saying this has inspired them to write their living wills so Congress can't interfere, to say, "Yes, go away and starve yourself and quit going after Terri's blood." This is a temptation, and not something I feel particularly proud of, but it's really annoying how these people are acting as if letting Terri live will stop them from killing themselves down the line, and therefore she must die, regardless of the issues.

Christine

I just keep thinking over and over, how many people really have a thorough concept of end of life decisions at age 26? I sure didn't. So even if Terri casually stated she didn't want to be hooked up to a machine, did she necessarily mean a feeding tube?

Hearing her husband mouth pious platitudes about Terri going to "be with the Lord" makes my skin crawl, this coming from a guy who didn't take "for better or for worse" too seriously in his marriage as he set up a parallel household while still married to his lawful wife.

Makes me wonder, if by some miracle Terri could speak again she would give out information her husband doesn't want anyone to hear.

What a depressing week. So much sad news.

Eileen R

Christine, I completely agree with that. I know so very few people who understand end-of-life decisions outside of friends I've made through working for various pro-life organizations. Even there, the lovely old ladies who come in to volunteer to get out the word about Terri Schiavo via our local group's newsletter, I can't guarantee they understand all the issues, despite the fact that they want to do what's right in their own lives.

I've seen people worry overly much about the state of the person's soul who chooses to have the feeding tube removed. While a person who chooses this with full knowledge is choosing suicide, I doubt this holds in most cases.

Someone like Michael Schiavo, who has been presented with the truth for years from a variety of sources, is very culpable, but the ordinary family who had this presented to them as removing extraordinary treatment and very likely might have had a chaplain saying it was all right, they are not objectively committing a mortal sin, though I think that there are probably a number of lesser sins of lukewarmness in faith when it comes to discovering God's will in the Church's teaching that often lead up to such a decision.

In the case of a random statement by a 26 year old (whether or not Terri actually said such a thing is of course debatable), I can't see that there'd be much blame at all.

Also, reminds me of nothing more than my classmates shooting off their mouths randomly on the topic when we were all 17 or 18 and discussing euthanasia in our 'Theory of Knowledge' Class. I can't imagine any court taking my evidence that my ex-classmate Felicia expressed a wish "not to live like that" as reason to kill her. (I think I'd get a kick out of testifying that ex-classmate Peter insisted that he wanted his family to keep his body going, even if he was a brain dead, and he'd come back and haunt them if they didn't.)

Cranky Lawyer

I'm afraid al might be right about going the Netherlands route.

One reason I have for saying that is that as a young physician, I had a patient starve himself to death while under my care. He didn't want to live and had failed in at least one suicide attempt. So, he refused to eat anything we put before him and refused any intervention of any kind.

He lasted about 3 weeks, as I recall. I can't say he was in excruciating pain, but he was clearly uncomfortable. His death was horrible to watch.

But what was equally horrifying was to watch the effects of his decision and death on me and others who cared for him. The experience coarsened each of us and made it easier to think about letting our obligation to "do no harm, cure sometimes, and care always."

I worry that the same process will take place among those in charge of Terri's care and in our nation generally.

ajb

I have to say that I was initially sympathetic to the parents' position.

However, once I read the pleadings and the evidence, I saw that they're arguments are gosamer thin and (at times) just thinly veiled lies.

I'm sympathetic to having lost in court, as I've had it happen to me. But reading these pleadings and evidence just make me shake my head that there's even still any legal argument on the parent's side.

I too wish the public knew more about the history of this case. But I don't think it would make them more sympathetic to the parents' position.

Although I accept the Church's teaching on why food and hydration should not be removed, it's tough to side with the cast of characters arrayed against the husband in this case.

Chris-2-4

Why do you all keep spelling "Neanderthal" as "Netherlands"?

Oops. That's probably mean spirited... towards neanderthals.

{Sorry, low hanging fruit}

chris K

ml

Because the court is laying any denial of religious liberties on the husband and the Hospice facility. Then the Hospice only follows guardian orders and guardian is ruthless.

Now that the whole country is focused on death through "living" wills, people are believing that facilities such as this Hospice would actually follow such written statements. We've already read about one nurse in this Hospice around whom several patients quickly died with her casual remarks that they were old and suffering. Now this is Hospice that denies it commits euthanasia and is forbidden to do so, so far, by Florida law. Supervision is pretty lousy in most nursing homes today with a good portion of the care being done by persons who do not understand the English language very well. Do you think they are going to be aware of differences of care for particular patients who might happen to have a Catholic guided living will? Do you think these different shifts of help are even aware of such things? Today one better have influential family members who check in every day and bring errors in care often to the nursing administrator (or physicians there and in hospitals) to let them know you are watching. A Catholic, pro-life attorney in a family would be best, so the institution will know that they are not beyond litigation. I would be wary of ever entering a relative into an already defined "terminal" institution like this Hospice. There was a very good Hospice nurse interviewed yesterday on Relevant Radio and she condemned what this Hospice is doing and could not understand how Terri was even admitted.

Jay Anderson

Perhaps not very profound (and perhaps this isn't even the time for humor), but for some reason, I keep thinking about Drew Carey's stand up routine he used to do on the issue of "pulling the plug" (I think there also may have even been an episode about it on The Drew Carey Show).

Taking issue with those who say "I wouldn't want to live like that," Carey's answer was "How do you know? What if it's the best f***ing thing that ever happened to you?".

Again, not very profound, and certainly not the most compelling of all the arguments against euthanasia. But I take his point (although I'm not sure his point was anything other than to be funny). We simply are not in the position to decide which lives are worth living and which are not - to decide what kind of existence qualifies us as worthy of "humanity".

How many of us would want to "live like that" when "that" is any severe disability. But surely we still live in a society that would recoil in horror at the thought of ridding ourselves of the severely disabled. Don't we? [sound of crickets chirping] Saying we wouldn't want to live like Terri is just the first step along a process that ends in saying we wouldn't want to live having to use a wheelchair like the late Christopher Reeve or like Charles Krauthammer.

Eileen R

ajb, if you're referring to the medical evidence offered by Dr. Hammesfahr, I'd agree it's incredibly lousy. That's one of the tragic points of the case, I think, that the Schindlers at that time couldn't find a better witness to tesify about the condition and examine Terri. It's extremely tragic because now they do have such people willing to do exactly that, and they'll never get a chance.

While I'm extremely critical of Hammesfahr's odd ideas, his stretches of the truth, and his self-boosterism, it remains that he actually bothered to examine Terri over a while, something the court-appointed physicians did not. The thing is that while Hammesfahr's evidence was bad, Cranford et al's evidence was equally bad, just not is such a spectacular way. You should not be diagnosing PVS from 15 minutes with the patient and a CAT scan. It's this sort of bad medical practice that has contributed to the high rate of PVS misdiagnosis, as documented in an interesting study the British Journal of Medicine a few years back, which you've probably seen a zillion times already in these discussions.

That's not a legal matter, since none of this came up in court, but it's at the heart of the story, and was what a de novo review was meant to look at by the people pushing for it.

I confess I know much more now about PVS than Florida law (a layman's passing knowledge of the former gained from reading mainstream papers and studies in our campus med library, not Hammeshfar-type internet articles), but I also think there are a number of legal issues that have to be looked at. O Carter Snead outlined them over at National Review, IIRC. But again, this isn't something I'd declare on.

chris K

One thing for sure in this long and drawn out sadistic murder process, is that just about everyone is being polled or asked or have privately considered just where they stand. Even during the "play by play" reports of Terri failing, now having a swollen tongue and other statements that should make decent people cringe, God is watching. The pro-choice cover-up is being placed on the platter for all to fully ingest or decide against. The world watches just how we, who have a special mission by God to lead and influence the other poorer nations of the world, choose to act against the weak. We are given a highly charged period to decide our nation's future, with the black robed judges going on record and steering the country onto a path of death. This is the small crack in the dam that could be repaired, but if not, the flood will come upon us - for sure.

The Schindler family is appealing to the full membership of 11th circuit court of appeals in Atlanta before going before the SC. Again, everyone is being polled.

Peggy

What do I think? How do I feel?

This is incomprehensible. I feel anguish for her family. I cannot imagine her physical pain and emotional distress at being abandoned by those who care. [I am assuming that her family's contact w/her is now controlled in some way from some news reports. Of course, she may be aware that she's hungry and not being fed. She reportedly has responsiveness to her family, so she must be missing them on some level.]

I feel disgust toward our "robed masters" and annoyance at the apparent helplessness of the executive and legislative branches of both the FL state and federal governments.

I fear where this will take us as a society. Indeed, if it is agreed that starvation and dehydration are barbaric, let's just slip them a little something with a needle. Sure, it's not hard to wonder what will be done to me if such a situation arose.

I feel helpless. I keep scanning the web newssites hoping for some miracle. Alas, nothing.

May God have mercy on us this Holiest of Weeks.

Mark Shea

I'm running out of words. (Amazing, I know.) I think our nation is being given a huge sign and I think something deeply mysterious in the purposes of God is taking place. This may be a time of either repentance and new life or else a time in which we commit ourselves as a people to way of Satan more deeply than ever.

Fasting and prayer are the recommended tools for seeing that good comes out of this evil.

Tom Kelty

Remember that in speaking of these situations not many years ago (not exactly parallel to Terri's) Rome opined that "Life was not an absolute norm " and that under certain circumstances, people could "let go" and be allowed to die. Obviously Terri's case is different. My point is that the faithful have reasons to be confused. This is a great teaching moment but there is not much teaching planned or being done. Too many robed figures getting in front of the cameras...Why?

Eileen

Amy, I'm very sad to report that the "that's so cruel, why don't they just shoot her?" perspective is one that I have encountered frequently in the past week.

May God have mercy on this country...Lord knows we're not having any mercy on each other.

Eileen

Amy, I'm very sad to report that the "that's so cruel, why don't they just shoot her?" perspective is one that I have encountered frequently in the past week.

May God have mercy on this country...Lord knows we're not having any mercy on each other.

ml


About five years ago, I heard a priest say that decades ago, a colostomy was considered extraordinary and disproportionate treatment, and could be refused without committing a mortal sin even if the choice was between a fairly normal life with a colostomy and a swiftly hastened death without it; however, today a colostomy is considered ordinary and proportionate treatment, and a Catholic living today who is faced with a choice between a colostomy or a swiftly hastened death must choose the cholostomy or commit a mortal sin. I thought of that as I was considering the Schindlers’ claim that John Paul II had announced “new teachings” or something like that when he made a public statement about Terri’s situation. But were JPII’s remarks that feeding and hydrating Terri are ordinary and proportionate and the obligation of those caring for her truly a new teaching of the Church?

I agree that the best choice would be to give power of attorney to someone who is “capable, principled, and Catholic” rather than to craft our own advance directives. But I am curious: Do I understand correctly that if I were in an accident that left me alive but permanently comatose and utterly, irreversibly brain dead except for involuntary functions (let’s assume this is a certainty), I would be committing suicide and a mortal sin if I left an advance directive to refuse food and water in that situation? I know Amy posted a link to an organization that offers pamphlets explaining Church teaching, but they are not freely available, and I have not ordered one yet.

I understand Michael Schiavo is not Catholic so he had to get a special dispensation to marry Terri in the Catholic Church after they both attended pre-nuptual classes. I read that he made very disparaging remarks over the years when she would go to Mass with her parents or participate in some Catholic activity. Her parents say she used to go to the Saturday Vigil with them when Michael was at work as a restaurant manager, which might explain why he later said she never went to Mass except for every few months. Her parents claim she went to Mass with them hours before her accident in 1990. Maybe she did go frequently with her parents and never told Michael. This an example of the dangers of a marriage between people with incompatible religious beliefs who do not respect the other for holding those beliefs. I've read of other situations in which a non-Catholic spouse converted after many years of marriage, etc., so I won't condemn it outright, but poor Terri must have had some sense of his lack of respect for Catholicism and her practice of it before they were married.

Christine

"I've read of other situations in which a non-Catholic spouse converted after many years of marriage, etc., so I won't condemn it outright, but poor Terri must have had some sense of his lack of respect for Catholicism and her practice of it before they were married."

ml, maybe, maybe not. Most Christians in this country were for long periods of time notoriously ill-informed about what each tradition believes. I read somewhere that Michael Schiavo attended a Lutheran church growing up, the tradition in which I was raised before converting to Catholicism. As a Catholic my views of end of life and other life issues have changed dramatically from my Lutheran days. But I agree with you, it's so much easier when both spouses share the same tradition. I know that now I would want someone making those complex decisions for me who is well-informed and respectful of my Catholic beliefs.

I've also heard that Michael Schiavo wants to have Terri cremated. Someone should press the case for her that as a Catholic she has a right to burial and he should show her at least that much respect. Makes me wonder, again, why he's in such a hurry to get her out of sight, out of mind. And if an autopsy might reveal things he doesn't want revealed.

SouthCoast

"I've also heard that Michael Schiavo wants to have Terri cremated. Someone should press the case for her that as a Catholic she has a right to burial and he should show her at least that much respect. Makes me wonder, again, why he's in such a hurry to get her out of sight, out of mind. And if an autopsy might reveal things he doesn't want revealed."

This reminds me of a case that happened a few decades ago (I can't remember the names of the parties involved). The husband claimed his wife died as a result of being thrown from her horse. He also wanted her immediately cremated, stating that that was her spoken wish. Her parents, who were suspicious of the circumstances, went to court and argued that their daughter, who was Catholic, would not have wanted to be cremated. The wise, wise, learned judge sided with the husband. The wife was cremated. Years later, thanks to the persistence of the parents, the grieving widower was arrested in another country, extradited, and convicted of murdering his wife with a veterinary anesthetic that is notoriously difficult to detect.

Victor Morton

Slightly OT for this thread, but on this day, nothing else matters. From the AP account of Pontius Bush:


WACO, Texas - President Bush suggested Wednesday that he and Congress had done their best to help Terri Schiavo's parents prolong her life, and the White House said it has no further legal options.
"We felt like the actions taken with Congress was the best course of action," Bush said.
He spoke during a news conference with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan later said, "There really are not other legal options available to us."
"We have explored all our options previously," McClellan said.
Asked what avenues might remain, Bush said, "Now we'll watch the courts make (their) decisions. But we looked at all options from the executive branch perspective."
"This is an extraordinary and sad case," he added.


For historical perspective, here's some leads from previous historical news stories:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - President Eisenhower suggested Wednesday that he and Congress had done their best to help black students attend public schools here, and the White House said it has no further legal options.
WASHINGTON - President Jackson said the White House had no further legal options in the dispute over Cherokee settlement, because "Justice Marshall had made his decision."
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Gov. George Wallace vowed "segregation forever" in the door of a University of Alabama auditorium, protected by the Alabama National Guard.

chris K

Wow! this is news...from Hyscience:

Fl Senate Update: Gov. Bush Poised To Act
The Senate in Tallahassee is convening today at 1 PM for the last time before easter recess. No one has any idea as to how long they'll take...Gov Bush has agreed that if the Senate can come to an agreement in Terri Schiavo's favor....that he will go in by force and take her and give her food and water.

People, really pray.

Jeff

This isn't a slippery slope any more. . .we're looking at a vertical drop into an abyss.

Personally, modern medical circumstances call for a Living Will to maintain almost any medical care at almost any age, and public calls to make such a will are not in and of themselves harmful: it's the assumption that most will make clear their desire in them to be extinguished when no longer fully functional. Christians need to talk to each other and the world about what kind of Living Will we owe each other, and why we want what we do.

Victor Morton

YES!!!!!

A politician acting toward the courts as something other than a castrated poodle that's been whipped once too often.

How is this possible in this day and age?

chris k

I've been trying to call the Florida legislators for the last couple of hours. All numbers are busy - except for one with the message that their voice mailbox is full.

Dear Lord, through this governor of good will and his family's devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, please help us act to save Your daughter before our chance to do Your will disappears through our own sin.

Mark Windsor

Amy,
You ask how I feel, and I can barely say the words. I feel like my sister is dying and I’m utterly helpless to do anything. I’ve followed this for two years and was deeply involved in the blog response last time. Now I feel like my hands are tied and my mouth taped shut.

I feel ashamed that my country has come to this. I’m stunned that we’ve sunk so low. My grandparents, God grant them peace, would not recognize this place anymore.

I prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Terri yesterday. Now I have a certain peace about what’s happening to her. There’s something bigger here, something beyond Terri. God’s will be done, but if this cross can be lifted from Terri, the please, Lord, lift it. But should she pass, we need to think about what this expression of God’s will means for us. We can’t embrace this. We just can’t. We can’t allow ourselves to fall into complacency and forget, in six months, that this evil has happened in our midst.

How do I feel? Sick at heart, but hopeful that Terri’s Passion will waken resistance to the culture of death.

Jesus, we trust in you.

chris k

Jeb Bush is going to make a statement at.....3:00. From FOX news.

Sydney Carton

This case has, for me, sealed the deal on the morality and also the rule of the jucidiary in American life. There is no way I can look at this and conclude anything other than the fact that the judiciary is wholly in league with Evil.

I've been around long enough and read enough cases to see judges twist the meaning of words far enough to suit their own personal desires. Justice Brennan was the best at doing that, for his own elitist, antidemocratic ends. And as much as I hate that its done, I was hoping for a little "judicial activism" here, or at least at a minumim, a fair reading of Terri's appeals so that her case truly is looked at with fairness for the first time. But they won't even do that. After bending words and twisting reason to impose a "right to privacy," a "right to an abortion," a "right to sodomy," and now a "right to die," the judges in this case won't even favorably write to give Terri's case a new look.

I have no faith in the courts at all. None. After going through gymnastic leaps of reason to impose a culture of death... for them to just starve a woman to death is beyond extreme. It is outrageous. If men were more strongly committed to their own sovereignty, as they were in earlier ages, these judicial acts of callousness would inspire a Revolution.

It's bad enough that I'm sad over what's happening to Terri. But compounding that is the fact that I now consider 1/3rd of our government, the unlelected, permenant system of the courts, to be hostile to the good and actively engaged in Evil. I'm leaning toward a policy of abolishing the court systems entirely, getting rid of Article 3 of the US Constitution. There's got to be a better way than this. Institutionalized Evil is not what the Founders had in mind.

The worst thing is, I'm a lawyer and I'm supposed to belive in the judiciary. But if anything, exposure to it has shown what a farce it is. It's made up of men who scoff at the idea of impartial judgment, and who actively promote their wicked alliance with destructive agents in society, and are wholly engaged in the pursuit of institutional, unquestioned, lifetime power. Politicians at least are crass enough to cater to the people. Not judges. Not the judiciary. They can murder with impugnity.

And the rest of the public will never realize it, because they'be been sold a lie about "judicial independence" for far too long. Even if they do wake up to the reality, the magnitude of the problem is so big I'm afraid it's unsolvable.

SouthCoast

If American judges had been on the bench in Sodom, they would have forced Lot to send out the angels to the crowd to sodomize.

ml

"I've also heard that Michael Schiavo wants to have Terri cremated. Someone should press the case for her that as a Catholic she has a right to burial and he should show her at least that much respect. Makes me wonder, again, why he's in such a hurry to get her out of sight, out of mind. And if an autopsy might reveal things he doesn't want revealed."

That reminds me . . . I read that Michael Schiavo has never allowed the Schindlers to see the ER admission or hospital records following Terri's collapse in 1990. I wonder if that is the reason, not money (and certainly not his "pledge" to her), why he has refused to divorce her and hasn't given up on trying to kill her. If guardianship is transferred to Terri's parents, they'll have access to all her medical records.

Victor Morton

Sydney:

I reached your exact conclusion a little bit earlier (the Romer decision, striking down Colorado's state constitutional amendment against gay-discrimination laws). But welcome aboard. The courts are wholly illegitimate and in league with evil.

chris K

FOX just said that the Florida legislature has rejected Gov. Bush's request for the reinsertion of feeding tube. Pray that he acts on his own executive powers.

Victor Morton

From Reuters:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - The Florida Senate voted 21-18 Wednesday against a bill to intervene to prolong the life of a brain-damaged woman, Terri Schiavo, dealing a fresh blow to her parents' efforts to keep her alive.

Tom Kelty

5pm news...Florida Senate could not agree on a rescue measure.
Tighten your seat belts as we begin open season on the judiciary nomination process and the power of the courts. We are polarized and this will easily surpass the dirty tricks of previous elections.
Very few of you seem inclined to question the motives of those elected officials who whipped up this frenzy knowing that it had to fail for legal and constitutional reasons.

Kate

My concern is that many who are watching this horrible process will find assisted suicide and lethal injection the next logical step. Polls indicate that many people feel that they, too, would want to die if they were like Terri. I'll bet these same folks would prefer not to starve to death.

Eileen R

Very few of you seem inclined to question the motives of those elected officials who whipped up this frenzy knowing that it had to fail for legal and constitutional reasons.

Tom, it's more that very few of us *care* about their motives.

Donald R.McClarey

"Very few of you seem inclined to question the motives of those elected officials who whipped up this frenzy knowing that it had to fail for legal and constitutional reasons."

Actually Tom, based on your prior postings you were afraid that it would succeed and Terri would not die of dehydration. Now rejoice, be happy! In all likelihood you and Mr. Schiavo will get your way and Terri will die. For those of us who are disturbed by the courts starving a woman to death while her parents look on and are physically restrained from helping her, I think this Holy Week is teaching us a very valuable lesson about the society in which we live, and the very dark forces at work among us. Enjoy your victory Tom, such as it is. I am sure Annas and Caiaphas threw a victory celebration after the first Holy Week, perhaps you can do the same.

Tom Kelty

Donald,

Like most of us , you are not good at listening. My point has been that the evil empire foisted this last minute charade on all of us, KNOWING THAT IT HAD TO FAIL BUT WOULD SCORE MANY POINTS FOR THEM TO GET THEIR WAY IN THE NEXT ELECTIONS. I, a non lawyer have also pointed out that Judge Greer was following the law in this case. This case proves something that did not need proof. Dissension about end of life care is a mine field. I take no joy in this unhappy stand-off. It reminds me too much of struggles I witnessed in my working years. And it disturbs me because similar situations are festering as we speak in every corner of our land. Finally, it is puzzling that so many give the evil empire a free pass in waging a war that has killed so many of our soldiers and 200,000 Iraqui civilians, tortures helpless prisoners and you know the rest of the story. How could such sordid politicians be expected to be concerned about one life. Recall that W executed 152 people in Texas, one of whom was a young female who was demented. Sleep well Donald and take a course in listening.

Julia

Southcoast:

Thank God, it was only his daughters that Lot was willing to send out to the crowd instead of the angels the judges would have made him send out!!!

Richard

Hello TK,

"200,000 Iraqui civilians"

Good heavens. Are you getting your numbers from Noam Chomsky?

"evil empire"

It is certainly possible - and consistent with Catholic teaching - to hold with conviction that the war was wrong, and I have high respect for many that hold that position.

But I think terms like these are laying it on a little thick. Iraq may be a mistake. It is not the Sudetenland or Manchuria.

Mike Petrik

Tom,
When you say that Judge Greer followed the law do you mean like the Supremes did in Roe? For a self-described non lawyer you sure seem pretty confident of that assertion.
And your irrelevant case re Iraq is not helped by your laughable data.

Colleen

Oh Tom....

Terri Schiavo's slow death of starvation and dehydration goes beyond politics. None of us like seeing the federal gov. get involved, least of all the conservatives (who are bitterly divided on this issue so it is not an election winner at all.

The question here is whether it is moral to starve a human being to death when there are large questions as to whether this is what she wanted - and as you know as a Catholic, we do not starve people to death.

Can't you drop the political cynicism and accord those of us, political and non political, the dignity and benefit of the doubt? I would kiss Bill Clinton himself if he stepped in to stop the murder of this woman. Lanny Davis thinks the state enforced starvation of Terri Schiavo is wrong and he is supportive of the actions of the federal government. I give him a lot of credit for putting aside partisan politics - because as he said, that is not what this is about. This is a moral question that reflects our American soul.

Donald R. McClarey

"I would kiss Bill Clinton himself if he stepped in to stop the murder of this woman."

I would too Colleen, and I can't tell you on how many levels that would bother me! This should not be a left vs. right fight, but rather a right vs. wrong fight.

SouthCoast

"Thank God, it was only his daughters that Lot was willing to send out to the crowd instead of the angels the judges would have made him send out!!!"

Julia,
Did you ever think that the offer of his daughters might have been a shrewd ploy on Lot's part? The crowd was demanding sexual access to what they believed to be *men*. No indication that the crowd was bi...

Tom Kelty

Would that this were simply a matter of right and wrong. My point is that the spin-meisters have everyone confused. It is not possible to disentangle this very unique case from all the decision making required to run a government. There has never been an adminisrration like thsi one for controlling communication. They buy their news releases wholesale. I insist that their latest caper was political exploitation pure and simple. If Congress wants to prove they are consistently prolife, let tham send their own children into harm's way in Iraq. Let them stand up for what they say they believe in. Then go to work to develop a consistent and logical pro-life platform we can all support.

nedda

"If American judges had been on the bench in Sodom, they would have forced Lot to send out the angels to the crowd to sodomize."

Southcoast,
and the "polls" would favor it by 80%.

Colleen

Tom, no one can confuse when you know the Truth. Your hatred for Bush is clouding your relationship with your Creator.

Christine

Tom is simply clear evidence of the split in the American Church. Our Sunday Visitor has a good article this week about the conflicts between Diocesan social justice departments vs. pro-life departments.

Tom, I wish you could spend some time with my husband, ex-Marine, was in Viet Nam and then spent 20 years as a city Police Officer. No one likes war. But the one-sided reporting that went on fueled by the liberal media absolutely made him sick when he was in Viet Nam. He said he wouldn't want anyone to see what he saw the Viet Cong doing to their own people.

Those of us who are baptized into Christ have the awesome privilege of announcing the Kingdom and following him as his disciples, bearing the Good News. But please show me in the teachings of Scripture, Tradition, the Church or of Christ himself where it was ever promised that the world would be perfect before the end of time?

Trying to connect what is happening to Terri Schiavo with the problems in Iraq is sorry.

Christine

Tom is simply clear evidence of the split in the American Church. Our Sunday Visitor has a good article this week about the conflicts between Diocesan social justice departments vs. pro-life departments.

Tom, I wish you could spend some time with my husband, ex-Marine, was in Viet Nam and then spent 20 years as a city Police Officer. No one likes war. But the one-sided reporting that went on fueled by the liberal media absolutely made him sick when he was in Viet Nam. He said he wouldn't want anyone to see what he saw the Viet Cong doing to their own people.

Those of us who are baptized into Christ have the awesome privilege of announcing the Kingdom and following him as his disciples, bearing the Good News. But please show me in the teachings of Scripture, Tradition, the Church or of Christ himself where it was ever promised that the world would be perfect before the end of time?

Trying to connect what is happening to Terri Schiavo with the problems in Iraq is sorry.

PW

I have to say i find it sad the way people demonize Terri's husband. It's not charitable in the least. It only makes people who do it look foolish and immature. But as John Lennon said, "whatever gets you through the night".

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)