As Ms. Schiavo left no will, I think the issue boils down not to who has the legal right to make a decision surrounding the status of her life, but who has the moral right.
How do you figure that?
They want their daughter to live, and she would if the feeding tube, not exactly considered an extraordinary method of sustaining life, were reinserted.
Actually, according to legally accepted medical definitions, it is an extraordinary means.
Your analysis is completely off the mark. There are only two issues:
1) Is Michael Schiavo's claim that his wife would not want to live this way credible? As it has been confirmed by independant testimony in a court of law, in several separate instances, the inescapable conclusion is that it is.
2) Is Terri's case hopeless? Since she possesses literally no brain higher than the brainstem - the remainder having since been replaced by CSF (cerebro-spinal fluid), there's absolutely no hope of recovery, and indeed, she has no capability to be aware of her surroundings, nor feed herself, nor even experience pain. The part of her brain that is capable of being aware of pain simply doesn't exist anymore.
Michael Schiavo has the legal right to have the tube pulled, and as its been established in a court of law that this is Terri's wish, he has the moral right to do so, as well.
Some suggest that he beat or attempted to strangle his wife, which resulted in her state, and that he fears that a fully conscious Ms. Schiavo will confirm such accusations.
That's an absolutely disgusting slander against a man trying only to do his wife's last wish. It's indicative of the moral slime that have glommed onto the poor bereft parents; disgusting opportunists like Randall Terry who will do or say anything to prolong this woman's suffering and cash in - as they just did today when her parents authorized the sale of their donor list to conservative concerns - whenever possible.
As I have noted with Nosyned, I maintain that because Ms. Schiavo did not leave a written will, the question boils down to who has the right to make an end-of-life decision for her.
Well, according to the laws of the United States of America and the state of Florida, the person who has the right to make an end-of-life decision for Terri Schiavo is the person who holds her durable power of attorney for medical matters; that person is her husband.
I mean, who has the right to make this decision for her is the easiest thing about this case. It's open-and-shut; cut and dried. The law is specific and unambiguous.
I feel the parents are in a better position than Mr. Schiavo to make that decision
Based on what legal principle or doctrine? Certainly her parents and their lawyers have been unable to identify one.
In the absence of written instructions, the decision passes to he who holds durable power of attorney; according to the laws of the land, that's Michael, not her parents. You, or anyone else, have yet to establish a convincing legal argument to change that. Your feelings on the matter, and your personal, unprovable, and generally false suspicions about the character or motivations of the husband do not constitute such an argument; mostly, they constitute slanderous defamations against his character.
The questions I asked at the close of my opening post remain unanswered.
Most of them answer themselves, or actually contradict your points. For instance its fairly hard to make the claim that Michael "suddenly remembered her wishes" in 1998 when you yourself pointed out that he placed a "do not resusitate" order in her medical instructions. That sounds like he was attempting to follow her wishes even at that time. As for this:
Why, on October 18, 2003 would Mr. Schiavo's lawyers not even allow Msgr. Malanowski to receive a miniscule peace of communion onto her tongue?
It should be obvious; it's the same reason they feed her paste through a tube in her stomach. Without a functioning brain, there's no guarantee she can swallow anything, certainly not a solid comminion wafer, without choking to death.
Finally why has Mr. Schiavo spent a great bulk of the malpractice award on his lawyer Mr. Felos in an effort to end Ms. Schiavo's life rather than spend it on therapy or rehabilitation programs that may improve her quality of life?
What therapy do you believe exists that can replace a brain? Lets get real, ok?
There. Your useless, irrelevant, leading questions are answered. Happy now? I doubt it. Maybe next time you could try addressing a legal question with some legal reasoning?
I guess they have been, but funnily enough, her parents sued to put a stop to it.
Isn't that funny? All this bitching from their side about "how much pain she's in", and how we wouldn't treat a dog like this, and when they try to ease that pain, their side suddenly has a problem with it?
Also - does anyone honestly think that anybody would give a damn about this if her last name was Mohammed instead fo Schiavo, and she was Iraqi instead of Floridian? I love how when its a white woman with a cranium full of cerebro-spinal soup, the Culture of Life is up in arms, but when its Iraqis - with whole brains - undergoing the exact same, or worse tortures, it's just some "frat boy pranks".
Still think that her parents are on the moral upside, K? Especially now that they just made a pretty penny selling the list of people who have donated to their cause to other fringe right-wing concerns? Personally I knew that this whole thing had jumped the shark the minute I learned that Randall Terry had signed on, and now that the Rev. Jesse Jackson is on board, too, the end is near.
The judge is not bound by rigid laws, but is able to take these principles which include "changing circumstances which fulfill the purpose of these explicit laws, namely, to have a guardian who can fulfill his fiduciary relationaship without being conflisted to his ward."
And there's been no convincing legal argument put forth that this isn't the case; that Michael has failed his fiduciary relationship with his ward.
Given that Mr. Schiavo has decided to move on in his life and start a new family he should have transferred the guardian status back to the parents.
He's under no moral or legal obligation to do so. He's under considerable moral obligation to not hand over guardianship to individuals who do not have his wife's wishes in mind.
That he did not, that he has not filed for divorce, is what fuels some suspicions.
He's under a moral obligation not to hand over guardianship of Terri to individuals who are not going to follow her wishes. That's not obvious?
It was a miniscule piece of communion that was refused, not an entire wafer or a substantial portion of food.
And it might still be dangerous. At any rate, is Terri Catholic? Is this a sacrament that she would have wanted? The clear indication is that it would not be. So, medically risky, against the Terri's wishes. Answers that question.
But as we cannot objectively determine them
You say that, but in fact, they were objectively determined by 19 judges and six courts of law. Michael's claim is credible; it has been objectively comfirmed.
Alleged comments that are attributed to Ms. Schiavo, remembered eight whole years after she went into cardiac arrest, does not constitute as clear and convincing evidence.
Oh? Maybe you could post an image of your law degree and give references to cases you've argued, briefs you've written. Until then I'm much more likely to go with the finding of six courts of law than your personal, uneducated opinion of what constitutes "clear and convining evidence." Clearly, 19 judges were convinced.
You are so willing to take the word of a man with questionable motives over no other evidence of her wishes.
No other evidence? Hardly - two other individuals have given sworn testimony that corroborates Michael's statements of her wishes. This was sufficient evidence to convince 6 courts of law and 19 judges.
A man claims to know my daughter in only a few years in comparison to the 30 years I knew her and he wished to kill her without allowing me to take care of her. This is not right.
If it's not what she wants, then its not what she wants. Maybe it doesn't feel right to you, but don't adults have the right to do things that their parents don't approve of? I certainly hope so.
This message has been edited by crashfrog, 03-31-2005 01:31 AM
The point is, if she's totally unconcious, what happens to her isn't really going to concern her much;
You don't think that, as an adult, she's earned the right to have her wishes in this manner respected?
I don't understand why her lack of consciousness constitutes a basis to disregard her earlier decisions about her own medical care. By your reasoning you invalidate all wills, both living and the other kind.
Since her husband is not negatively affected by her continued existance, why can't he humor her parents?
Because that's not what Terri would have wanted, and as her husband he has a moral duty to carry out her wishes in her stead. I presume that his failure to carry out his late wife's wishes would be something that would negatively affect him. We should consider him heartless if it did not.
Given that Mr. Schiavo had entered into a new relationship with a woman he called his fiance, even while his wife was alive, and had two children by this new women, I felt that he had forfeitted the right to make such a decision.
Do you think maybe that was Terri's parents' plan all along, when they suggested to Michael that he should date other women?
Not so for even left leaning individuals such as Jesse Jackson, and Ralph Nader had come to the defense of Ms. Schiavo.
Bah, opportunists. You'll notice that they only came to her "defense" well after the opportunity to actually do anything had passed.
Leave it to the lawmakers, who I suspect will be busy.
I would have preferred Terri Shiavo not appear alert in the least, before cutting off her life support.
Well, she wasn't "alert" in any way, she was just awake.
You know how when you touch something hot, you feel the burn, but your body has already snatched your hand away? Before you told it to? That's the situation Terri was in - just a body doing reflex things. The part of the brain that controls wakefulness was very much present in Terri - the part of the brain that controls alertness and awareness were totally gone.
Conclusive EEG and CT tests; the consensus of all reputable medical professionals familiar with the entire case; and, most likely, the information from the autopsy which we'll eventually get to know about.
AND excluded other known contrary testimony.
There were no reputable contradictions of the medical consensus. The only doctor I'm aware of who disagreed was man who had been repeatedly sanctioned by the Florida medical board and who repeatedly made the false claim to be a "Nobel Prize nominee."