STOP
TERROR
STOP
TORTURE
OUT
OF IRAQ
 
 

Friday, March 25, 2005

At This Point, I Would Just Like To Say That What This Committee Is Doing In Theory Is Highly Commendable -- However, In Practice, It Sucks

Just in case you ever thought Ralph Nader was on your side... well, this oughta scotch that:
Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith, author of the award winning book "Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America" call upon the Florida Courts, Governor Jeb Bush and concerned citizens to take any legal action available to let Terri Schiavo live.

"A profound injustice is being inflicted on Terri Schiavo," Nader and Smith asserted today. "Worse, this slow death by dehydration is being imposed upon her under the color of law, in proceedings in which every benefit of the doubt-and there are many doubts in this case-has been given to her death, rather than her continued life."

Among the many injustices in this case, Nader and Smith point to the following:

The courts not only are refusing her tube feeding, but have ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. "This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, it has ordered her to be made dead," Nader and Smith assert.

The medical and rehabilitation experts are split on whether Terri is in a persistent vegetative state or whether Terri can be improved with therapy. There is only one way to know for sure- permit the therapy. That is the only way to resolve all doubts.

The court is imposing process over justice. After the first trial in this case, much evidence has been produced that should allow for a new trial-which was the point of the hasty federal legislation. If this were a death penalty case, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent disabled woman is receiving less justice.

The federal and state governments are spending billions on what we are told will become miracle medical cures for people with all sorts of degenerative conditions, including brain damage. If this is so, why not permit Terri's parents and siblings who want to care for her do so in the hope that such cures are discovered?

Benefits of doubts should be given to life, not hastened death. This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live.

From the fuckin' top:

This is a private matter. It is not the business of anyone except Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers.

Numerous doctors have examined Terri Schiavo. She cannot and will not "get better". She is brain-dead. There is no "better" to get. She cannot grow back her cerebral cortex.

Because of the dispute between her husband and her parents, this case has been taken to numerous state courts, all of whom have ruled that Terri Schiavo should be removed from life support and allowed to die. There are no doubts in the case, except those false doubts spurred on by those with political agendas.

She is not in agony. Nor is she swallowing her own saliva -- she can't swallow. And, frankly, that's one hell of a place to set the bar for "life".

This isn't a last-minute desperation ploy. This woman's case has been in the courts for fifteen years. Rather than receiving "less justice" than a death-penalty case, Ms. Schiavo's barely-functioning physical form is dragged in front of judges over and over again.

They've tried therapy. They've tried everything medical science has. They cannot do anything because the woman's brain has been destroyed.

And Ralph Nader, who has virtually negated his own deserved reputation as a crusading consumer advocate, is now reduced to a novelty act. He comes out every four years to tell us all how we all suck, and our two parties are exactly the same. He has no actual plans, mind you, and no way (and certainly no persuasion skills) to get anything done if he's elected, but, dammit, you should elect him because he's right. Oh, and after getting spanked publicly for being an asshole, he doesn't come out for or against anything for months -- not the Social Security debacle, not the ongoing war in Iraq, not the faltering economy, not increases in mercury levels, not drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, nothing. But he does say that Jeb Bush should violate the separation of powers and override numerous state (and now federal) court orders.

Oh, and, Ralph? Fifteen years is not "hastened death". That is drawn-out to the point of hideousness. May you and your family never have to see someone linger fifteen days.

Let Terri go. And, Ralph, just go.

Many thanks to commenter Ba'al at Atrios for the original link.

Comments:
Well, since she was in that state for 15 years, if they put the tube back in her, how much longer would she exist in that state? 15 more years? She won't get better. She can't do anything. Since there is no hope for her getting better, I have no problem with the tube removal.
 
The other thing to consider with this case is that Michael Schiavo waited eight years between the date of her heart attack and his first filing with the court. Eight damn years. He tried, in those eight years, everything that could be tried.

Where does Ralph Nader get off, making these pronouncements? When did he study medical science? When did he personally examine Ms. Schiavo?

As a lawyer -- he used to be a lawyer, didn't he? -- Ralph Nader should be especially concerned that the hysteria over this case is undermining the judicial system. And by taking the stand he is taking, he is adding fuel to the fire. He is helping to destroy the American system of government.

I am ashamed of him, and glad I never was even tempted to vote for him, not in 2000, not in 2004. He can keep his pronouncements
 
Why is it many people get angry that Ralph Nader speaks out (and he does continue to do so after the election in weekly columns- see In the Public Interest), after all this is a democracy and a democracy is about public debate not public persuasion. I think Nader's point is being missed, that is the courts have made this a closed issue - Schiavo will die. And when dealing with life or death issues - the court, nor the media, nor the public should simply close the book on a person's life. As for Nader's run at the presidency, I hope he does it again. Are we not tired of choosing between coke and pepsi? Where is the choice, where are the alternatives? A democracy is suppossed to allow anyone to run for president. Why then did the democrats try to block Nader from getting on state ballots? How democratic is that? To deny that that is not a flagrant violation of democratic values, then we have strayed far off from the path.
 
I just pray your family dont ever go through something like this with YOU!,She is someones child, we need to PRAY for one another, RESPECT one another & LOVE one another! I WILL be PRAYING for all
of you; including Terri, her family & her husband.
 
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