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    Friday, April 01, 2005

    Schiavo: Autopsy Scheduled to Confirm Cause of Death

    I have an official policy. I do not discuss Terri Schiavo. It makes me angry and disgusted. I do not watch or listen to the news anymore because my home is a 'no Schiavo zone'. I saw a news blurb yesterday, though, that really pushed me over the edge. But before I get to that, let me mention a few things. Any testimony of Mr. Schiavo regarding statements made by Terri are hearsay and are generally inadmissible in court. Florida does not allow wills to be proven by hearsay evidence. Heck, Florida doesn't even recognize holographic wills (wills handwritten by the testator). In Florida, for a will to be valid, there must be witnesses and it must be properly executed. Why should this be different for living wills? Why is the fight between the Schindlers and Mr. Schiavo being treated differently than an ordinary will contest? Or, if this is truly the state of the law, why have we, the people allowed it to become so? Wills are documents that outline the wishes of people who can no longer speak for themselves. That's why we have the term 'living-will' to cover life-support situations. Shouldn't the sauce for the goose rule* apply? In fact, isn't it even more important that a living will be authenticated, since its purpose is to make a life or death decision? That's just something for you to chew on; I haven't researched the situation in depth.

    The news item that was the final straw for me was an announcement that there was to be an autopsy to confirm the cause of Terri Schiavo's death. So. . . what? If she didn't STARVE TO DEATH, but instead was given a lethal dose of morphine, what are you going to do? Find the responsible party and. . . CHARGE THEM WITH MURDER? So, giving her water was enough to get a person arrested, and killing her in a humane way would be homicide, but letting her starve to death, in a manner that would spawn thousands of lawsuits alleging 'cruel and unusual punishment' if MURDERERS and RAPISTS were executed in such a manner is FINE!!???? WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND TRUE IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!??

    You (by you, I include Doctors and other so-called medical experts) only believe that she is unaware of what is going on. You do not know. Don't even try to contradict me on this. The verb 'to know' has a very narrow and specific definition, and by that definition, it is impossible for you to know. All you know is that she doesn't respond to you in the way that you normally classify as 'aware' behavior, so you assume that she is not. In my thinking, you have two, and only two, choices if you have her best interests in mind; and I only believe one of those is humane. If you truly believe that she will never recover, and you have made the choice to euthanize her, she ought to be given a lethal dose of morphine, or something else that will kill her painlessly. You do not know for sure that she is completely unaware, so why take the chance that she will experience suffering as she slowly STARVES TO DEATH!! Honestly, Timothy McVeigh received a more humane execution than this. The other is, if you believe that she won't recover, but do not know absolutely 100% for sure whether or not she could recover, it is best to err on the side of saving human life and keep the feeding tube in. The parents were willing to accept this responsibility. The so-called 'husband' didn't have to have anything to do with it.

    Do you think I'm over-reacting? If so, consider that animals in Terri Schiavo's circumstance would be treated much more humanely. In fact, had Schiavo been an animal, the doctors and other medical staff responsible for letting her starve to death would face lawsuits and jail time. Sauce for the goose, people; sauce for the goose -- perhaps the most important rule for maintaining a lawful society. We have a word for arbitrary applications of a principle: autocracy. Are we an autocracy?

    *Sauce for the Goose Rule: "If the sauce is good for the goose, then it's also good for the gander." In plain language, it means that if something applies one way in one situation, it ought to be applied the same way in like situations.


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    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

    --Samuel Adams

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