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
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.From the fuckin' top:
"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.
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.
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
of you; including Terri, her family & her husband.