March 25, 2005

Schiavo Rules

I was personally thrust into the Schiavo case by my wife who saw the recent Nightline show on it and insisted that I sit in with her and I was hooked all over again. It's gut wrenching, horrible, and as I look closer and closer, I'm finding lies being thrown out on both sides. At this point (Supreme Court just declining to hear it) it's pretty well decided what's going to happen and no doubt Terri Schiavo is going to have major organ failure and die in the next few days.

I'm told that dying by starvation/dehydration for the terminally ill is not like it is for a healthy person, that there is no pain or feeling of want. I'd really like to know what the border condition is for that. I'd think that the desire for sustenance is something evolution put into brain construction very early in the process and you wouldn't lose that if all that was wrong with you is that you had lost your higher functions.

At the same time, the case for life has been tremendously damaged by the emotionally overwrought presentations of Terri Schiavo's parents and their supporters. They may think that Michael Schiavo is an attempted murderer who is finally going to be able to complete his deed with state sanction but they lost that fight long ago and double jeapordy is there for a reason. All they can do at this point is to look hard at the state of the law and to try to work to improve it.

As for me, I'm incredibly sad that the guardian ad litem rules are so lax in Florida, and perhaps elsewhere, that a man that is openly sleeping around and keeping a 2nd family is viewed as the appropriate guardian over his incapacitated wife when the parents are there and wish to take over the role. No matter what you believe about Terri Schiavo's state of life the past decade and a half, could we at least eliminate that travesty? A husband who acts in clear betrayal of his marriage should not be the preferred guardian. If that simple improvement had been in Florida law two decades ago, we would never have heard of the Schiavo case nationally, much less obsessed about it.

Posted by TMLutas at March 25, 2005 02:44 PM