Sunday, March 20, 2005

Terri Update : Palm Sunday

Updates - Sunday March 20

We are heading into the third day of the court-ordered starvation of Terri Schiavo. There is some hope for the Congress performing at least a holding action:

(Kansas City Star)

"Time is not on Terri Schiavo's side," DeLay said. "The few remaining objecting House Democrats have so far cost Mrs. Schiavo two meals already today."

GOP-led Congress poised to pass bill to keep Florida woman alive

(Miami Herald)

President Bush stood ready at the White House, lawyers stood ready at a Florida courthouse and nurses stood ready at Terri Schiavo's bedside as Congress moved Sunday to the brink of approving a bill that could prolong the brain-damaged woman's life.

At press time, though much remained uncertain, it seemed quite possible that Schiavo could be reconnected to life support overnight or by noon today as a case that has galvanized national and worldwide attention opens another new chapter.

''We hope to get you some water,'' family attorney David Gibbs said he told Schiavo. "We hope to get you some dinner later on.''

President prepared to sign measure

Michelle Malkin has a rundown of the last minute action taking place to save Terri, on this Palm Sunday and first day of Spring.

Gramaugus weighs in on the topic, pointing out that doctors first analysis of a patient is sometimes wrong. In addition, he ponders why this is such a polarizing issue :

I've noticed the reactions across the internet to this case and come to a conclusion about hardcore left wingers: regardless of the subject, they will oppose conservatives to the death simply because conservatives feel strongly about it. The fact that there are thousands of people cheering to starve this woman to death on the basis that "It's what she wanted" without even examining the facts of this case sickens me. They won't even look at the shady, negligent, bullshit going on regarding the care (or lack) of this woman. Never mind that she doesn't have a living will, and her husband stands to get a whole lot of money when she dies. Never mind that her parents want to keep her alive and take over care. Ignore the fact that she's shown that she reacts to stimuli, seemed to try to talk (in fact she got so agitated the cops made everyone leave the room: yeah, that sounds like brain dead, sure), and there are doctors who have stated for the record they have had patients recover (at least partially) from
the same conditions. Disregard the fact that it will take up to two weeks for this woman to slowly dehydrate to death, a process that was described by a woman who recovered from a similar case (she started showing signs of activity that sound alot like what Terri Schiavo has and they re-inserted the feeding tube) as excruciatingly painful.

I am in favor of Living Wills, and if there was one available to tell us what Terri wanted, I would not stand in the way of it being followed. But I have to agree with Grau and others - we should err on the side of Life. It will be so hard to undo the damage after her death.

Updates - Saturday March 19

John Donovan notes that under Florida law ...

you do this to a dog, you go to jail and get fined. Under Florida law, you can't do this to a condemned inmate. It would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

But you can do it to Terri. ...

Read the rest here. John proposes that Mr. Schiavo should suffer exactly what he is putting Terri through.

A more interesting variation on that theme was proposed a few days ago by another Castle Denizen, Chief Bill (see the comments of my previous post on Terri's plight) :

Scuzzball Husband adamantly refused to provide a physical therapy regimen for Terri on the grounds that trying to teach her to eat again could cause her to choke to death--the courts bought off on it; therapists have testified that, even in her present condition, Terri has a good chance of learning to eat again, yet SH adamantly insists that she be starved to death--and those same courts have bought off on that, too.

I can think of several candidates I would cheerfully place on a provisionless raft and set adrift in the South Atlantic. On second thought, I'd give them a week's supply of canned food...and no can opener.

I like the way he thinks.

Friday March 18 / 9pm eastern

Beth of SWWBO ponders "How can a woman who has harmed no one be put to death by order of her unfaithful husband?"

Fr. Rob describes the medical 'Exit Protocol' - how the doctors plan to treat someone they are starving to death.

Friday, March 18 / 1:45pm eastern

Terri's feeding tube was removed...

Friday, March 18

There is some good news on the Blogs For Terri site today. Many thanks to Chief Bill from Castle Argghhh! for pointing out this item :


The Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee, Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) has requested Terri Schiavo to testify before his congressional committee, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. In so doing it triggers legal or statutory protections for the witness, among those protections is that nothing can be done to cause harm or death to this individual.

A stroke of genius! This should provide time for the House and Senate bills to be worked out. Information on how to contact key members of Congress is found in this post on the Blogs for Terri site today.

Here are some other sites with interesting takes on the issue ...

Corie at Insane Troll Logic has a New Hero : Sen. Mike Enzi, who deserves recognition for doing the right thing.

Fr. Rob at Thrown Back points out that, in contrast, the senior senator from Massachusetts is leading the charge against a Senate bill.

John at Blogotional writes about the political abuse of the power over life and death.

Tim at Blogicus has several worthy items, start at the top and scan down.

Wednesday, March 16

Update from my post here.

I just read that the Florida Dept. of Children and Families (DCF) will not take any further action to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. The DCF has arrived at the conclusion that "there is insufficient evidence of abuse to proceed."

This is a complete Cop Out - apparently driven by the refusal of the court, specifically Judge Greer, to extend the deadline. Rather than force the issue, they are bowing out, and leaving Terri to her death sentence. Currently the court ordered removal of the feeding tube is planned for Friday, the 18th.

I fail to understand how any agency of the state of Florida can stand by and permit a cold-blooded killing to occur. The concerns of abuse raised by Terri's parents, the incredible denial of all treatment to help Terri herself, and the amount of money that Mr. Schiavo stands to inherit, all add up to foul play. It's happening in slow motion, and we are unwilling witnesses to the action.

From John at Castle Argghhh, here is a list of suggestions for action :

Blog about Terri's plight and these action items. You can join the list of BlogsforTerri here.

Support Florida
House Bill 701 and Senate Bill 2128 by calling your Florida representatives.

Support the Federal Incapacitated Person's Protection Act (
click here) by calling your Federal representatives,

Ask Gov. Jeb Bush to intervene and put Terri in protective custody (
click here)

BlogsforTerri is sponsoring an ongoing campaign to bypass the mainstream media by purchasing advertising (click here).

I don't know how much one more piece of email will help, but I sent one to Governor Bush with my plea ...

Governor Bush,

Please find a way to halt the removal of the feeding tube from Ms. Schiavo this Friday. To permit this helpless woman to starve to death would be a horrible mistake, and would demonstrate a callous disregard for the well-being of individuals with no ability to stand up for themselves.

I beg you to act, to send in some department of the state to take action, and protect this woman from a cruel death. She deserves our protection and treatment, which has been denied to her, to permit her to regain some function. It is apparent from the videos that she is responsive to those around her, and clearly is NOT in a Persistent Vegetative State at all.