Schiavo roundup

March 23, 2005 5 Comments »

While Jeremy has some interesting articles on the Schiavo case on keaimato, I didn’t want to take over his comments section (plus I’m not sure how to post actual links there) with some opposing views. Here, then, is a roundup of articles covering this deplorable situation in Florida:

  • Sharp political divisions in U.S. right-to-die case – International Herald Tribune. Sum up quote:

    The vote caused distress among some conservatives who say that lawmakers violated a cornerstone of their philosophy by intervening in the ruling of a state court.

    David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a conservative research organization, said he felt that due process had been overlooked. “When a case like this has been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it’s been appealed to the Supreme Court three times, the process has worked – even if it hasn’t given the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in really is a violation of federalism,” he said.

    Some conservatives, who generally applauded the goal of trying to keep Schiavo alive, said they were concerned about what precedent had been set.

    “My party is demonstrating that they are for states’ rights unless they don’t like what states are doing,” said U.S. Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut, one of five House Republicans who voted against the bill.

  • Bush Role in Schiavo Case Bothers ‘Right’ – ABC News. Sum quote:

    Allan Lichtman, who chairs the history department at American University in Washington, said the intervention of Congress and Bush to try to overturn the decision by Schiavo’s husband not to prolong her life is the antithesis of several conservative principles.

    “It contradicts a lot of what those behind it say they believe: the sanctity of the family, the sacred bond between husband and wife, the ability of all of us to make private decisions without the hand of government intervening, deference to states and localities as opposed to the centralized government,” said Lichtman.

  • Bad blood spilled in public – Chicago Tribune. Sum quote:

    Videos of his wife, in which she seemed to interact with her environment, spurred public pressure for legislators to intervene. But the tide may be turning, coinciding with the emergence of Michael Schiavo for high-profile TV interviews.

    A recent ABC News poll indicates that two-thirds of Americans want President Bush and Congress to butt out of the fight. The poll also found that a majority of evangelical Protestants–55 percent–say a spouse, and not parents, should have the final say on life support.

  • Terri Schiavo: the heart of the question – The Seattle Times. Sum quote:

    The questions raised in the case of Terri Schiavo are not those best answered by politicians. That is the most down-to-earth reason why Congress should have stayed out of the controversy.

  • 70% in poll to Congress: Hands off feeding tubes – AZ Sum quote:

    About two-thirds in an ABC News poll said the political leaders who are trying to keep Schiavo alive are more concerned with using her case for political advantage than with her or the principles involved in keeping her alive.

  • A very bad civics lesson – Denver Post. Sum quote:

    Some elements of the media continue to picture the current dispute as nothing more than a battle between the husband and the woman’s parents. That is both incorrect and incomplete. The battle is solely over the validity of a Florida judge’s ruling.

    The rule of law is useless if it is unreliable. Congress and the president have sought to make the law unreliable. For that, they should – and very likely will – pay a price.

  • The Right to Die Is a Personal Matter – The Los Angeles Times. Sum quote:

    The Schiavo case stands as a reminder to get my own living will in order. If I can’t tell the difference between my baby daughter and a bag of groceries, God forbid, and if my only movements and expressions are random and involuntary, I’d rather not hang around, thank you.

  • A fearful power – Arizona Republic. Sum quote:

    A government big enough, powerful enough, intrusive enough to butt into this affair is fully capable of butting into your affairs should it disagree with whatever agonizing choice you might someday be forced to make.

  • Temptation tops the Constitution – USA Today. Sum quote:

    In intervening in Florida, the only thing that legislators had to give up was any claim to principle. The sponsors admitted that their intervention was a flagrant violation of federalism, but insisted that they simply could not let principle stand in the way of “doing the right thing.” Of course, the test of principle is the ability to remain faithful regardless of personal preference. If you comply with principle only when it is convenient or popular, it is a pretense of principle.

  • Schiavo’s husband rejects $1 million to bow out – MSNBC. Sum quote:

    Thursday?s offer, which the husband?s attorney labeled ?offensive,? came hours after a judge refused to let the state?s social services agency intervene ? a move that would have delayed next week?s scheduled removal of the tube.

    Other such offers, including one for $10 million, had already been made and rejected by Michael Schiavo, said his attorney, George Felos.

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  1. Jeremy March 23, 2005 at 1:19 pm -

    Here’s the problem with the ABC poll – it wasn’t honest. It said that Terri was on lifesupport and had no hope of recovery. It’s only surprising that given those two assertions the numbers aren’t higher.

    Plus, congress wasn’t deciding anything, only trying to ensure that the case received proper review.

  2. Ian March 23, 2005 at 1:46 pm -

    There are other polls that say the same thing… besides – it is life support and numerous neurologists have testified that she does not have any hope of recovery. I fail to see how that is misleading.

  3. Jeremy March 23, 2005 at 1:56 pm -

    And here’s the Charles K quote that sums it up:

    For Congress and the president to then step in and try to override that by shifting the venue to a federal court was a legal travesty, a flagrant violation of federalism and the separation of powers. The federal judge who refused to reverse the Florida court was certainly true to the law.

    But the law, while scrupulous, has been merciless, and its conclusion very troubling morally. We ended up having to choose between a legal travesty on the one hand and human tragedy on the other.

  4. Ian March 23, 2005 at 2:22 pm -

    What human tragedy? Is it a tragedy when I throw out bad produce from my fridge? Because that’s the level of cognition we are talking about here…

  5. Jeremy March 25, 2005 at 7:51 am -

    That’s a cold and disparaging way to talk about another human being.