Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Schiavo

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Schiavo

    Someone has to mention this. I was going to post some of this on PWV's hypocrisy thread, but I think this deserved its own.

    Several things bother me philosophically about the bill Congress passed to "allow" federal courts to look into this matter. I'll leave out my own political values as they relate to the issue to concentrate on the legislation. First and foremost is the continued arrogance of this particular Congress and administration. Are they forgetting seperation of powers? Of checks and balances?

    Further, it is disturbing to me that the party that is promoting a "defense of marriage" agenda is trying to erode the power of a husband as a custodian of his wife's wishes, essentially saying that the parents have more custodial rights than he. If the hypocrisy doesn't offend you, the sentiment should. Apparently, everything is justified when you frame it as an issue of life. 8O

    Bush has revealed even more hypocrisy and is showing what a true political mercenary he is. Regarding the issue, he said that "if there is any doubt at all, you should always err on the side of life," yet he presided over executions that sprung from shaky convictions, many with new evidence to contradict original court findings, including some DNA evidence. This is erring on the side of life?

    Further, as Governor of Texas, he signed a bill into law that granted hospitals the right to terminate the care of patients in persitent vegetative states-- even when it was against family wishes.

    I'm appalled.

  • #2
    Doc could you post some links about Bush's Texas 'euthanasia' bill?
    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by devilchicken
      Doc could you post some links about Bush's Texas 'euthanasia' bill?
      Our local television and print news outlets have run stories on it. I'm pretty sure that their online sites will have the details.

      I'll track down some for you, devilchicken.

      Comment


      • #4
        It seems there are at least 2 differences betweeen Schiavo and the Texas cases; Schiavo can still breathe, and she still has the dregs of a trust fund.

        Here are some articles:
        http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory...olitan/3081124
        http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory...olitan/3082156
        http://www.markarkleiman.com/archive...nikolouzos.php
        http://atrios.blogspot.com/2005_03_1...28227932624623

        Comment


        • #5
          This is the type of case that confuses me. I'm sure that it ties in with 'pro-life' hypocrisy - at the same time legalsing euthanasia could open the door to getting rid of people on the grounds that they're 'inconvenient'. There's been a nasty case in the UK recently where a drunken father suffocated his terminally ill son, claiming 'compassionate' grounds.
          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

          Comment


          • #6
            *deep breath*

            The trust fund thing, first, just to get that turd out of the punchbowl. The money's about gone, as this has been going on for over a decade. It was originally $700,000 and is now down to about $50,000. It's not about the money. He's turned down a million in cash, so let's let that go.

            Now, I think it's important that, as Doc suggests, we don't allow the issue of 'euthanasia' to hide the complete rape of the system of checks and balances that is evident here. This new bill, which is of course water under the bridge now, is such a clear example of blatant political manipulation that even an AOL poll (usually massively conservative in its results) shows almost 70% of respondents seeing this move by congress as slimy and underhanded.

            Bush said after signing the bill, "In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life."

            Gah! The hypocrisy is unbridled! He says we need to err on the side of life. That's rich. In addition to Doc's Texas Euthanasia thing, also consider that Texas is accountable for half the executions in this country. Now, unless we are to believe that Texas's criminals are somehow more vicious and deserving of death than all the criminals in all the other states combined, it seems clear that the courts in the Lone Star State aren't exactly erring on the side of life.

            Further, let's not forget that during Bush's term as Governor of Texas 152 people were put to death with clemency being granted in only one case. One.

            We're to believe there were no "serious questions and substantial doubts" in any of those 152 cases. Not even in the case of Paranoid Schizophrenic Larry Keith Robinson. Hmm. Right.

            The signing of the bill was also a very classy affair, from reports. Did you hear about how, according to Press Secretary Scott McClellan, President Bush, "was woken up after [the bill] was passed, when it was ready to be signed" and how he came out of his bedroom and literally signed it standing up in the hall? How nice that he couldn't even be bothered to attend the proceedings.

            Nefarious. Hypocritical. Shameful. Tactless... the list goes on and on.
            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for those links, I.N.

              I know the Texas statutes aren't directly related to this case, but I was (mostly) pointing out the parallels, and the how Bush has, once again, forgotten his own political history. It also raises what I see as a fundamental contradiction in some political views (and political framing of issues): How can you be "for life" and still be pro-death penalty? I guess the only valuable lives are the ones that haven't been convicted of a crime.

              The Shiavo issue really does make us explore some nasty possibilities as a society, as Mikey_C recognizes. I agree that some people can, will, and do kill for many reasons, and simply call it euthanasia.

              Having said that, I also know my wife wouldn't want to live as a shell of a body with only spinal fluid in her brain stem and no significant brain activity. I would consider it an act of love to pull her tube, should she ever be in a situation like that. Moreover, I would fight her parents for the right to do it if it came to that.

              Comment


              • #8
                I should have added--

                The federal court who reviewed the case provided more evidence that this case and the new law was political grandstanding, not a legal issue. The court said that, as a legal matter, there was almost no grounds for the husband's decision to be reversed, no matter what people wanted to happen. Seven years in other courts determined that.

                Congress really couldn't believe that a federal court would overturn seven years of rulings that the Supreme Court has already refused to hear. They wanted to be on record trying to do something for their ideology.

                Watch out Americans--

                Tom DeLay will be in your bedroom next.

                Then he'll try to find a way to run the lives of the rest of the world, too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There's a slightly contrarian essay of opinion in today's Counterpunch on the Schiavo case. It's short, but you might find it interesting.

                  http://www.counterpunch.org/lindorff03222005.html

                  I regard the whole thing as cynical opportunistic grandstanding, and the smarmy individuals pushing this agenda make me want to vomit, to use an elegant phrase.

                  I think it's a mistake to try to reduce their motivations to a single "reason." There are a variety of reasons why this case has become such a big deal, and Lindorff's POV is probably accurate in part. The points already made about pandering to the right-wing elements of their political base are also factors. There are a few more, I think.

                  Adlerian's point about the fundamentally ghastly practice of removing the person's feeding tube and just letting them die is something I haven't seen discussed enough. I think it's a strong point, that carries a lot of emotional weight. What is the right thing to do here, now that the situation has reached this point? There's a 20-20 hindsight issue here, too, of course, which asks, after the woman's heart stopped for 10 minutes, and she suffered irreversible brain death (as far as her cerebral cortex is concerned), why was her heart restarted in the first place? And who owns the responsibility now?

                  To argue another line of reasoning, if our foolish, whorish legislative and executive branches are so intent on keeping what remains of this woman alive, are they willing to bear the cost? Will they bear the cost in every comparable case? Will they set up the appropriate infrastructure to handle such things in a humane and dignified way? (To the extent that such adjectives are applicable in these cases.)

                  I throw these issues out just as discussion points.

                  Dry thoughts in a dry season, as the saintly Tom Eliot once wrote.

                  LSN

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                    *deep breath*


                    The trust fund thing, first, just to get that turd out of the punchbowl. The money's about gone, as this has been going on for over a decade. It was originally $700,000 and is now down to about $50,000. It's not about the money. He's turned down a million in cash, so let's let that go.
                    Sorry, I never meant to imply that the husband was after the trust fund, which was a little over 700,000 in 1998, the original settlement was 1 mil in '92 or '93, $300,000 of which was awarded to him for loss of consortium. In fact his first court filing in the case, he stated that he had two conflicts of interest, his standing to inherit the trust fund and he would probably remarry. Judge Greer's finding of fact in that case can be read here http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder02-00.pdf. The state courts appointed a Guardian Ad Litem to represent Terri Schiavo's interest. Judge Greer states in his finding that "Regrettably, money overshadows this entire case and creates the potention of conflict of interest for both sides." I think that Michael's willingness to see this through to the end is a clear indication that he is motivated by love and compassion, this contention is, I think, further supported in Greer's finding that of all the participants, Michael has spent the most time visiting, finding specialist doctors, and generally providing support for Terri.

                    My point was that if one of the Texans had 700k in a trust fund there probably wouldn't have been any hurry to disconnect life support. I am sorry if I didn't make that point very well, I really should learn not to post anything, anywhere after I start yawning.

                    I notice that almost every article I have found so far on today's ruling seems to put "a Clinton nominee" at least 5 paragraphs above any description of the arguments presented in the case, and I can't help but think that a massive PR assault on this judge might be just around the corner, or perhaps even new legislation to curb the "activism" of certain judges. Many of these articles don't even mention that the supreme court already declined to hear this case. The thing that bothers me most about this leg of this case, even more than the hypocrisy and the grandstanding congress critters, is that I am not completely sure that this is just political grandstanding. I fear that this might have been an attempt to establish legal precedent for congress and the executive to force retrial and/or venue change whenever they don't like the final verdict, and if this is the case they are using the media spotlight on a dying woman as a tool to force the courts to act on an unconstitutional law in a situation where without injunctive relief the woman will be dead before the legal issues can be aired. Yes, I am a paranoid cynic.

                    For the record, I think this judge made the right decision both legally and ethically, and I do not think it is appropriate for the media to be labeling him as "a 1999 Clinton nominee" because that suggests that (a) he is relatively inexperienced as a judge, and (b) his decisions are motivated by partisan politics. What's more is this judge is a registered republican, very inconvenient for anyone trying to paint him as a Clintonista activist. Do you think he might be one of the Florida democrats that only registered republican so he could vote in the primaries :?: Here http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&oi=ne...n/11195729.htm is an article that centers on Judge Whittemore (sorry, it looks like this one will require registration to read, or you can get directly to the article from google).

                    [Dismounts soapbox]

                    Here http://thomas.loc.gov/ is a link you can use to search for the bill, click by number and enter s.686 in the search box. I wasn't able to link directly to the text of the bill.

                    For those who, like myself, lack fluency in legalese: http://library.lp.findlaw.com/articl...rocedure_2_771

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Another article that discusses the political pandering aspect of this case.

                      http://www.counterpunch.org/farley03222005.html

                      LSN

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just opened the links LSN provided, but I had to comment first.

                        As a resident of Texas, I feel like I need to combine PWV's ideas about execution and LSN's ideas on bearing cost.

                        Texas continues to cut funding to children's healthcare programs, while funneling less state money to public schools. However, judges are dealing death sentences at a breakneck pace, which means the cases will continue to drain the state's limited coffers. Given a choice between death sentences and children's health and public schools, guess which seems to be winning.

                        Having said that, I don't think people's convictions about "life" are so strong that they would want to pay for the care of someone like Shiavo. Prayer vigils cost nothing. I suspect discourse would change very quickly if that factor was introduced. Of course, the people who control those pursestrings also control discourse. And grandstanding.

                        What's my point? Framing this debate as an issue of life is ridiculous as a political matter. Moreover, I suspect those who frame the debate as an issue of life in their personal lives are themselves being ridiculous at worst, fair-weathered at best.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mikey_C
                          This is the type of case that confuses me. I'm sure that it ties in with 'pro-life' hypocrisy - at the same time legalsing euthanasia could open the door to getting rid of people on the grounds that they're 'inconvenient'. There's been a nasty case in the UK recently where a drunken father suffocated his terminally ill son, claiming 'compassionate' grounds.
                          Maybe our societies will turn out like Sparta? In the end that is.. But i've always been for the "pull the plug" issue. If they aren't mobile at all, and can't do anything at all we should let them go.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by invalid nickname
                            Sorry, I never meant to imply that the husband was after the trust fund...
                            It is I who should apologize. I see I came off sorta hostile-sounding in the way I phrased that. My comments about the trust fund weren't directed at you, invalid nickname. They do, however, come from my irritation with the number of (ignorant) people I've spoken to who think he's after the dough.

                            Originally posted by invalid nickname
                            I fear that this might have been an attempt to establish legal precedent for congress and the executive to force retrial and/or venue change whenever they don't like the final verdict
                            M-hm. At the very least, look for this to be a huge issue during the next presidential election. Watch as the right uses it in an attempt to make the left look cold and inhuman.

                            Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                            ...anyone that knows anything about the brain knows which parts allow a person to be wakeful and bright and which do not. At a certain level of damage there is no hope. In this case the woman’s cortex has been liquefied, so there can be no assumption she will somehow request food or make any gestures. Doctors need to say this and dispense with hope and delusion based on ignorance.
                            THANK YOU!!! *shakes TheAdlerian's hand* Thank you so much. Spot on, that. Thanks. I've nothing to add. That's perfect. Way to go. Well put.

                            Also, has anyone noted the sad irony in this whole thing? At the risk of sounding like a heartless ass: Terri's parents request that she not be allowed to die of starvation without acknowledging that the reason Terri is in this position is because of a heart attack brought on as a direct result of... starving herself. Where were her concerned parents while she was slowly dying of bulimia?

                            Sorry. Had to say it.
                            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe our societies will turn out like Sparta? In the end that is.. But i've always been for the "pull the plug" issue. If they aren't mobile at all, and can't do anything at all we should let them go.
                              The thing is, if the government were to pass clear legislation on euthanasia - allowing doctors to give lethal injections as opposed to letting them die through neglect and starvation I don't think there would be a problem.

                              Of course - the right wing religious neocons would never go for it, and are again dominating the issue with their hypocritical sense of public moral duty.

                              This idea that the husband is somehow after the money seems a little odd to me - I guess because he 'spurned' his former marriage the media has to find some sort of salacious motivation for the guy to continue being in the picture.

                              If I was in that guy's position and my wife catastrophically brain damaged - I'm pretty sure I would stick around and fight for her right to die rather than 'linger on' as a vegetable, even against the parents wishes. Even if I had 'moved on' - I don't think I could wash my hands of any feelings of responsibility towards her.

                              This Schaivo story is just another example of misguided sentimentality overriding common sense.
                              Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                              Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X