Wednesday, March 23, 2005

 

Rick (rhymes with "Dick") Santorum

I've been reluctant to blog on the subject of Terri Schiavo.

In a coldly rational world, Mrs. Schiavo would be given a quick injection and have her brain dead existence ended. To kill her by dehydration is barbaric. To allow her to die by dehydration allows "us" to say that no individual is responsible for her death; she just died "naturally". We put up with this barbarism because (thankfully) we don't live in a coldly rational world. Killing by lethal injection is too close to the method used in the Nazi euthanasia scheme which eliminated the insane and "feeble-minded" because they were "unworthy of life". This was a slippery slope which ended in the horrors of Auschwitz. The American medical profession is rightfully reluctant to even approach this type of "rationality". Thus, we are stuck with "letting nature take its course".

Politicians and interest groups on the Right view this case as a "right-to-life case". Politicians and interest groups on the Left view it as a "right-to-die case". In my view it's neither. Mrs. Schiavo is brain dead. The C.T. scans (available on various web sites) show that the portions of her brain which control thought and "consciousness" have been largely filled with spinal fluid. For all intents and purposes Mrs. Schiavo is dead. It really doesn't matter if her body's functions stop today or twenty years from now--Terri Schiavo is gone and she ain't coming back.

This case fills me with sorrow. Having personally faced the decision (together with my sister) of attaching a "do not resuscitate" order to my father's chart and then explaining our reasoning to his lady friend, I am somewhat familiar with the pain involved.

However, we should never underestimate the ability of American politicians to use tragic events for their own personal political ends. My nomination for the most egregious offender in the Schiavo case is Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. His attempt to explain the Schiavo bill is ludicrous. His press release says:

“The actions on the part of the Florida court are unconscionable. Yesterday in California, Scott Peterson, a convicted murderer, was sentenced to death, yet his constitutional rights were upheld to ensure the he received due process and fair consideration in court. The Florida court has been trying to ultimately end the life of Terri Schiavo, who committed no crime, but is being penalized for not filing a living will."

Gee, so that's what this is all about. Terri Schiavo didn't file a living will, so the Florida Court system has imposed the death penalty. Of course, if she had filed a living will and asked that no extraordinary measures be taken to keep her alive, Santorum would probably have wanted her jailed for attempted suicide.

This is the guy who has such a great devotion to the sanctity of human life that when his wife miscarried after 20 weeks:

The couple took Gabriel's [the fetus] body home to let their three other young children see and hold the baby before burying him, according to Karen Santorum's book of the ordeal, "Letters to Gabriel."

I'm surprised he didn't have it stuffed and use it in campaign ads.

Today, in reaction to U.S. District Judge James Whittemore's denial of a request for a temporary restraining order which would have required Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to be re-inserted pending a trial on the merits, Santorum had this reaction:

"You have judicial tyranny here," Santorum told WABC Radio in New York. "Congress passed a law that said that you had to look at this case. He simply thumbed his nose at Congress."

"What the statute that [Whittemore] was dealing with said was that he shall hold a trial de novo," the Pennsylvania Republican explained. "That means he has to hold a new trial. That's what the statute said."

No, Rick, what you have here is attempted Congressional tyranny. Congress passed a law that said that a federal judge had to hold a trial de novo. It didn't and couldn't dictate that the judge had to issue a t.r.o. and it didn't and couldn't dictate the outcome of the trial. That's why judges get to sit up in the Big Chair. They get to make the decisions. Congress gets to set the jurisdiction and even dictate the procedure for federal trials, but it doesn't get to say who wins.

Comments:
I thought this was a nicely informative article from today's Wash. Post, on the subject of end-stage crash dieting:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58175-2005Mar22.html

The media circus, the politics, its all just too bizarre.

coyote7
 
You are right it's a travesty the way the government has butted in. I think the courts are in the right. I don't have a problem with the manner of her death. I heard she has no pain receptors and it's a quiet shutting down as she is not diseased. I can't figure out what her parents are thinking.....Hope I never have to.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Website Counter