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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Of Course I Know This--UPDATED|
Last night I wrote at some length about the nature of Terri Schiavo's death, and noted that this, surely, would qualify as cruel and unusual, and therefore be in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Of course, the Eighth Amendment speaks to Cruel and Unusual PUNISHMENT; Terri Schiavo's court-mandated, state trooper-enforced starvation is not, I suppose, punishment. No, what she is suffering through is laughably called "treatment", referred to in medical terms as an "exit protocol", and not, in strictest terms, a punishment. Therefore, the logic goes, the Eight Amendment does not apply to this case.
And here, I hate say it, is where a morally bankrupt argument finally arrives. That a person being dealt a PUNISHMENT is afforded more civility, more protection, and more consideration by our laws than a person being administered a TREATMENT is wrong. Pure and simply, wrong.
But what would Terri want? Of course, the whole case hinges on that one question. And, again, the system affords more protections to a murder defendant than to a victim of a brain trauma. On what grounds have the courts based their decisions regarding Terri's wishes? On the hearsay evidence presented by Michael Schiavo. Hearsay evidence that would not be allowed in court in a murder trial; evidence presented by a witness who is, at best, of suspect credibility; and evidence for which there is simply no corroborating evidence. In the meantime, negatory evidence was not allowed into court in the original trial, and, with medical technology being so much more advanced than it was fifteen years ago, new evidence has also not been allowed into court.
I am willing to allow for the possibility that Terri Schiavo would have wanted for her life to be ended. But it seems that for that to happen, firm and convincing evidence would have to presented. Absent that--and I believe this case IS absent that--I should hope that the courts would act with a presumption of life. Unfortunately, the case for removing Terri's nourishment proceeds from a predisposition towards death, and that seems to be carrying the day.
And I am losing hope, at this point. Given that the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta did not issue a preliminary injunction ordering her feeding to be reinstated pending review, I suspect that the 11 C.C. will side with Judge Wittemoore.
UPDATE As I suspected, the 11th Circuit Court rejected the Schindler's appeal last night right before I went to bed, setting up a final showdown before the United States Supreme Court. I'm fairly certain that this appeal will also be rejected.
I can only hope that Michael Schiavo is right--that Terri's sould has left her body, and is unaware of the horrors her body is suffering through right now. Of course, that does nothing for the family, who seem to be leaning very heavily on their faith right now. Pray for them.