Saturday, March 26, 2005

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Terri Schiavo

I have avoided writing about this mess all week for numerous reasons. First, I was torn on the thought of a lingering death for anyone. Years ago, we had a friend who was dying of AIDS decide to have his feeding tube removed. I know it isn't an pretty or quick death. Euthanasia seems much kinder; but, it has been repeatedly pointed out to me this week it is illegal. Funny thing is I didn't know I was a proponent of euthanasia before this week. The things we learn, when we are forced by the media to watch someone we don't know die 24 hours a day for eight days straight. Secondly, it seemed to me that although Terri Schiavo's parent's had turned this into a media and blogosphere circus I did not have to participate. I could attempt to turn my head, as much as possible, and give her privacy from my words if nothing else.

But, there is always a but isn't there, as I watched the news last night, again this morning and went to some of my favorite sites Dohiyi Mir, Why Now,and The Yellow Doggerel all are talking about the courts system, activist judges and the legal ranglings of the "Schiavo case". I went to sleep last night grinding my teeth and started up again this morning first thing. The courts worked exactly the way they were built to. Nothing special happened in the courts with the "Schiavo case", nothing at all. The other branches of government may have collectively lost their higher brain functions in sympathy for a women without brain function, confined to a hospital bed in Florida, but the Judiciary has continued to work the way it was intended to, appointed by Republican or Democrat alike.

We can look at our elected officials, those who voted for the decidedly unconstitutional Schiavo Act, and realize that they fear those on the Religious Right far more than they do the large majority of American's who support Michael Schiavo's right as a husband to carry out his wife's wishes. We can also know there is something to be said for an unelected judiciary, for judges ruled only by the rule of law and not responsible to the whim, fancy or fervor of the public. When Terri Schiavo's wishes are carried out and she is allowed to die, it will be because the Judiciary worked, because nothing special happened in those courts this week; sure, they heard a lot of Terri cases but they did not do anything special with them. The Religious Right is blathering about activist judges, but these jurists are anything but activist; they followed the law as it was given to them.

Finally, and on a different note for some families, mine included, Terri Schiavo's impending death has brought home deeply held political and religious differences. If this media circus, for which her parent's should be ashamed, has done nothing else; make certain that your family knows your wishes. If there are deeply held differences make certain there is a plan in place to thwart the religious fanatic in your family who would want you hooked up to a tube for years. My suggestion, to surviving family members, if the religious fanatic goes near a lawyers office tie them bed of fire ants.