February 18, 2015

"Then there is Bush’s sense of how far to push, and that he was entitled to do so."

"In August, 2003, he wrote to one of the many judges involved, 'I normally would not address a letter to the judge in a pending legal proceeding…. However, my office has received over 27,000 emails reflecting understandable concern for the well-being of Terri Schiavo.' A Times report published last weekend, about Jeb’s many notes and requests to the White House on other matters when his father worked there, suggests that he 'normally' wasn’t shy at all about asserting influence inappropriately. At the very end, after the autopsy confirmed that Terri’s brain really was too damaged for the sort of consciousness that her parents imagined, Bush wrote to a state prosecutor asking him to investigate Michael Schiavo, suggesting that there had been a sinister gap between when Schiavo found his wife collapsed and when he called 911. 'I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome,' Bush wrote. The prosecutor found nothing."

The last paragraph of Amy Davidson's "The Punisher: Jeb Bush and the Schiavos."

131 comments:

MadisonMan said...

The Schiavo affair is toxic for the Republican Party. Deservedly.

I hope all you blog readers have advanced directives. Learn from History.

traditionalguy said...

Bush worries me. It seems he will do whatever he can get away with to maintain the Bush Family's political power.

He watched his brother W invade Iraq to protect the Bush family's interests.

The Bush Family way too easily identifies the USA's interests with their interests. It's like the old saying about General Motors that whatever is good for the Bush Family is good for the America.

Michael K said...

"The Schiavo affair is toxic for the Republican Party. Deservedly."

It became so but the media helped a lot plus a few grandstanding politicians. I have seen patients in "vigilant coma" and was not sure of the medical facts.

Secondly, this was a fight within the family. The husband wanted to remarry and the parents wanted to keep her alive. She, as I recall, was not on a respirator and all that was going on was tube feeding.

I may have forgotten some facts but this was closer to euthanasia than ending "life support."

There was no "good side" to that dispute.

William said...

You'd never know from his bland exterior that he's one of the most evil men who ever lived. When he found out that his kids were part Hispanic, he made them do yard work and did not allow them to eat at the family table.

Hagar said...

William, please.
Some folks do not undestand sarcasm.

YoungHegelian said...

The family was Catholic, and their religious beliefs were taken as an irrefutable license to levy such attacks.

More than a little whiff of anti-Catholicism in that article, I think. And thanks for publishing it on Ash Wednesday, just to put the stick in.

Why is it so difficult to understand that hard cases make bad law? When you have a family clash that involves differing views on end care between the parents & the husband, you've got a Greek tragedy in the making. Didn't you guys read Sophocles' Antigone in school?

For a party that invited a fake-rapee who carries a mattress around on her back to the SOTU address, Democrats sure seem to have little understanding of how other people get wrapped up in the occasional frenzy, too.

n.n said...

So, the question was of legal jurisdiction. Whether a husband or mother and father would decide her fate. It's a twist on pro-choice or selective abortion, where the mother decides the fate of their children.

As for "really was too damaged", that is a subjective call, given the understanding that a human brain can regenerate and reroute to adapt and mitigate damaged areas.

Carol said...

Jeb's father Geo Herbert Walker Bush worked at the WH during the Schiavo mess?

Wait, I'm obviously confused.

Nonapod said...

Maybe my brain is broken today but that article seemed to have a lot of difficult to parse run-ons. Is that a thing common to the New Yorker's style?

Michael said...

Ah, a debate that Amy wishes on the Republicans, a debate that Amy is suggesting, urging, on the Republicans and on Jeb Bush. Because that is what most of us were thinking about on the run-up to 2016, the T. Schiavo issue. It is a burning issue and one that we should spend a lot of time on, more than on any other issue burning or otherwise.

There will be a lot more of these needed debates urged upon us by the Amy's of the writing class.

YoungHegelian said...

Hey, Amy, I've got an idea how we can punish Jeb Bush for his evil behavior: support Scott Walker for the Republican nomination!

That'll do it! So, you get on it right now & write those articles about how SW is untainted by the Schiavo mess & deserves the nomination.

I can just imagine the sounds of the crickets.....

Levi Starks said...

If you read past the line which included "Bush inappropriately " you wasted time. In the same sense that Im wasting time commenting on it.

Ann Althouse said...

The question is: judgment.

The Schiavo case is important in the assessment of Jeb Bush's judgment.

n.n said...

Michael:

Actually, the Schiavo case, along with other elective abortions, set a precedent. They need to apologize for principles that favor premeditated death. It's a fiscal issue that has greater relevance with the perceived increase of affordable health care divorced from economic development; and a new initiative for progressive debt... to the moon and beyond. Reducing the problem set and securing taxable assets is imperative.

traditionalguy said...

Remember Bush is no conservative any more than he is pro-life.

When a Bush says to conservatives , "Come up on this hill and fight" he means go up there yourself sucker and get shot and killed, and I will be over in the mega-donors club smoking cigars and arranging the Grand Amnesty for Hispanics that I was just paid for.

holdfast said...

The Schiavo case was a mess, legally and ethically speaking, but I will admit that my instinct was not to trust the husband. He had way too much to gain by pulling the plug, which is why I didn't think that the decision to do so should have been left entirely in his hands - he was just too conflicted.

Gahrie said...

The Schiavo affair is toxic for the Republican Party. Deservedly.

I would much rather be identified with the party who goes to excesses trying to save innocent lives, rather than the party known for going to excesses trying to end innocent lives.

Gahrie said...

He had way too much to gain by pulling the plug,

But that is just it. he didn't pull the plug. there was no plug. Her heart was beating and her lungs were working. The only assistance she was receiving was a feeding tube to keep her nourished. When he won, he pulled her feeding tube and she starved to death.

90% of those Leftys who support what happened to Schiavo would froth at the mouth and demand a prosecution if someone did the same thing to a dog.

Gabriel said...

Jeb Bush seems like the type to play Augustus to Obama's Julius.

Two Presidents in a row who choose to enforce only the laws they agree with are going to leave us with the illusion of a republic.

The Roman Empire continued to appoint consuls all the way up the 9th century, though by that time the Empire had long outlasted the Republic.

Gabriel said...

Incidentally, one can condemn Bush's meddling in the Schiavo case without agreeing with the eventual outcome.

I oppose euthanasia, it is the slipperiest of slopes. It should not be enshrined in law and precedent; there are too many vested interests in removing "useless mouths".

If someone desperately wishes to die, and a disinterested close relative chooses to help do that, then it may be compassionately overlooked, but it cannot become part of law or policy or we'll end up offing sick children in short order. It took Europe less than ten years to get to that point.

Bob Ellison said...

Jeb Bush is probably 6'3".

Scott Walker is maybe 6'3".

Jeb married a Latina; Walker married an older woman.

This could be a clash of titans!

m stone said...


Michael K: "...this was a fight within the family. The husband wanted to remarry and the parents wanted to keep her alive. She, as I recall, was not on a respirator and all that was going on was tube feeding.

I may have forgotten some facts but this was closer to euthanasia than ending "life support."

True, as I recall. A lot of the elements of the story somehow "got lost" in the media coverage. Like husband Michael at the time already with the woman he would eventually marry 10 months later after bearing his child.



Meade said...

Bob Ellison said...
Jeb Bush is probably 6'3".
Scott Walker is maybe 6'3".


Everyone who knows knows that Walker is not 6'3".

Rather, he stands "ten feet tall, from Ashland to Monroefrom Ashland to Monroe".

Thorley Winston said...

I oppose euthanasia, it is the slipperiest of slopes. It should not be enshrined in law and precedent; there are too many vested interests in removing "useless mouths".

If someone desperately wishes to die, and a disinterested close relative chooses to help do that, then it may be compassionately overlooked, but it cannot become part of law or policy or we'll end up offing sick children in short order. It took Europe less than ten years to get to that point.


Agreed, the other risk is that you put physicians in the position where they begin to think it is “compassionate” to kill a terminally ill patient or a patient who may have a lower quality of life on their own and don’t consult the family (or the patient) to “spare them the pain and anguish” of having to make that decision.

Ann Althouse said...

"I oppose euthanasia, it is the slipperiest of slopes."

I know — you're skiing on it right now.

David said...

Speaking of fresh looks, it might be useful to subject Hillary to the same scrutiny.

How about a close look at her pandering on (say) vaccinations.

Or the amazing income stream she and Bill have generated.

Or just why those missing Whitewater tax files were found in her pantry in the White House.

That kind of stuff.

Freder Frederson said...

As for "really was too damaged", that is a subjective call, given the understanding that a human brain can regenerate and reroute to adapt and mitigate damaged areas.

Umm, no it wasn't. Yes, damaged brains can and do repair themselves. But Schiavo's brain was profoundly damage. There was no chance of recovery. Even her advocates admit that much.

I Callahan said...

The Schiavo case is important in the assessment of Jeb Bush's judgment.

Yes, it is. We had someone who really believed that a judge shouldn't kill someone based on someone else's second-hand testimony. So Bush doggedly pursued.

I'm not a fan of Jeb Bush, but looking at this logically, I can only conclude that you trying to get me to vote for Jeb.

I Callahan said...

I hope all you blog readers have advanced directives. Learn from History.

I do, and I'm glad I have on paper that I don't want the government ending my life based on second hand testimony. They have my first hand testimony telling them not to.

I Callahan said...

But Schiavo's brain was profoundly damage. There was no chance of recovery. Even her advocates admit that much.

You're sure of this exactly how? That aside, it's not the point. The point is that the government should not be taking a side AGAINST life in a situation where it's not 100% set in stone that the person in question wanted their life to end.

Tank said...

If you think that Bush's extralegal, improper an likely unconstitutional actions were OK because he believed he was doing "the right thing," then you have to accept that Zero's extralegal, improper an likely unconstitutional actions are also OK as relates to O'Care and Immigration because he believes he is "doing the right thing."

Do we want to follow eight years of lawlessness with more of the same disrespect for the constitution and law?

n.n said...

no chance of recovery

Recovery to what state? The issue is two-fold: Schiavo's life, Schiavo's welfare. She may well remain intellectually disabled, but that issue is separable from whether she is permitted to live or ordered to die. The traditional standard of medical care is to favor the first and second in that order. The contemporary standard reverses these priorities.

Since she did not possess a pre-negotiated testimony of her will, and since her present state did not permit credible testimony, that left her fate in the hands of the State (a proxy for society), husband, and parents. The legal jurisdiction over her life is the issue. Her husband had a conflict of interest and unresolved intent, which invited the intervention of the other two parties. So, the final question was of standing. Both the State and her parents were excluded from acting as her surrogates.

Michael K said...

"But Schiavo's brain was profoundly damage. "

That wasn't really the issue. I understand the left is heavily into utilitarian thinking,

You might read this book although I doubt you are interested in ideas that might disagree.

Had she been on a respirator or required other care that was costly or was "keeping her alive," I would be inclined to agree with you.

The husband wanted to starve her to death and the parents wanted to care for her.

n.n said...

Tank:

Marginal "universal" health care is one thing. Preserving progressive costs, ignoring availability, overlooking local conditions are another. Obamacare is first and foremost a revenue policy. Second, it is a political ploy.

The issue with illegal aliens is two-fold. First, DRAT or Displace, Replace, Abort, and Tax policy in America. Second, the unacknowledged and unresolved causes that motivate millions of people annually to emigrate from second and third-world nations.

Bush did not act improperly. There were three interested parties. One, her husband, who had an obvious conflict of interest that would burden his acting in good faith. The other two were the State (a proxy for society) and parents. The issue was arbitrarily resolved to favor her husband.

jr565 said...

If you have a directive and it says "In the event of my going into a coma please terminate all life support post haste" and a governor interceded and said NO, then I would agree with the outrage.
But in this case, there was no directive. And the very guy who suddenly said she had intent got money for her care, presuming that it wasn't in fact the case. And had decided to date and have kids while she was still in that coma. And the woman had loving family perfectly willing to assume the responsibility.
In that case, I have no problem if the governor intercedes.

Revenant said...

I see most of our local Republicans are still determined to go Full Retard on the Schiavo case.

Good call on the Democrats' part to bring it up again.

jr565 said...

Rev, there is no issue if there was a directive. Not having one you have to look at the person who is caring for the deceased. DOes he have ulterior motives.

If he immediately said, when told she was in a coma that, she didn't want to be kept alive, then that would suggest he was acting according to her express wishes.
But he had a big court case where he won money for the express purpose of taking care of her. You'd think at some point he might have mentioned her desires before getting that nice fat check.
Further, he is not acting as her husband when he is dating and having kids. Is that person then trustworthy to be the executor of her will.
I'm not opposed to hospitals carrying out your wishes. I just don't buy that those were here wishes.

Revenant said...

Rev, there is no issue if there was a directive. Not having one you have to look at the person who is caring for the deceased. DOes he have ulterior motives.

I'm sorry -- apparently, when I described you folks as "going Full Retard", it came out sounding like "I'm interested in hearing you repeat yourselves for the Nth time".

I'll try to write more clearly next time.

hombre said...

Why would anyone be troubled by judicial intervention leading to Terri Shiavo being starved to death?

It's a mystery!

MadisonMan said...

As I said first, this is a toxic topic for Republicans. By all means, keep demonstrating how you want the Government to Intrude -- just before you complain about the "Affordable" Care Act.

Gabriel said...

Actually I am interested in what Revenant has to say about it.

Does withdrawing food from someone incapable of feeding themselves violate the non-aggression principle?

I think if Revenant thinks this through, he will find that this is more complex than Team Red/Team Blue signalling.

Gabriel said...

@Madison Man:keep demonstrating how you want the Government to Intrude

If a woman chose to starve her infant, I would want the government to intrude, and so would you.

There is really no argument on that issue.

The argument is, why was Teri Schiavo like/not like an infant, also incapable of feeding itself and also unable to make its wishes known or give meaningful consent.

Which is a highly non-stupid discussion that can't be settle dby bumper stickers.

Gabriel said...

@Ann:I know — you're skiing on it right now.

Eight hours a day, 50 weeks a year: I work for an HMO. To force the analogy, I'm the one operating the ski lift and charging admission to this slippery slope.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is that person then trustworthy to be the executor of her will.

No. But he is still legally the executor of her will. By her choice when she married him. Maybe she chose poorly. Or maybe she chose well, and he was actually doing what she would have wanted. 99.99% of the people commenting on the case, or proposing legislation inspired by the case, are in no position to know.

I have no problem if people want to change the law going forward, but the law as it stood gave him the power to decide.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

hombre said...

Why would anyone be troubled by judicial intervention leading to Terri Shiavo being starved to death?

Maybe I'm misremembering, but was there judicial intervention leading to her being starved to death? I thought the judicial intervention was by the parents, attempting to prevent the will of the husband, who (the law presumes) gets to make decisions regarding his wife's care?

tim in vermont said...

Extremism in the defense of innocent human life is no vice.

MadisonMan said...

If a woman chose to starve her infant, I would want the government to intrude, and so would you.

Keep on digging!

tim in vermont said...

If a payment to a person who pays no taxes can be called a tax cut, and if letting somebody else who does pay taxes keep part of their income can be called a "tax expenditure" then feeding a live human being can be called life support.

Gabriel said...

@Madison Man:Keep on digging!

You can substitute snark if you prefer--no one can make you think, or offer a reasoned opinion rather than pointing and hooting.

But you're normally better than that.

MadisonMan said...

Everybody here would probably say my Mom was starved to death -- 12 days! Her decision, made and broadcast clearly.

If my sister wanted to dispute Mom's decision, and brought a suit, what would you want the Government to do? Let's stipulate the body of Teri Schiavo was still being nourished to this day -- could that judgement be used as a precedent? If you're saying no, I think you underestimate how judges like to exercise power.

MadisonMan said...

Gabriel, I don't know if you've lived through Hospice Care for someone who is dying.

My snark as you like to call it is directed right at anyone in the Government -- or their supporters -- who would get in the way of what is a very difficult family decision -- even with clear directions.

When a married couple is involved, the spouse trumps the parents. The spouse is the one who most likely knows the true wishes of the life-supported.

Zeb Quinn said...

The Schiavo case is important in the assessment of Jeb Bush's judgment

I haven't liked Jeb, nor particularly any of the Bushes. But I gotta say, your post here has caused me to reassess him in a more favorable light. Thanks Althouse!

Revenant said...

Does withdrawing food from someone incapable of feeding themselves violate the non-aggression principle?

What do you mean by "someone"? For example, is a human foot, kept alive artificially, a "someone"? It is alive and genetically human.

The answer is: of course not. You need sentience to be "someone". Terry Schiavo's capacity for sentience died forever years before the GOP took up her cause. The non-aggression principle doesn't even enter into it, any more than it would enter in to a decision about watering a houseplant.

I think if Revenant thinks this through, he will find that this is more complex than Team Red/Team Blue signalling.

It isn't "team blue/team red" signaling at all. Supermajorities of both "teams" thought the Bushes were wrong to intervene in the case.

Gabriel said...

@Madison Man:Gabriel, I don't know if you've lived through Hospice Care for someone who is dying.

Not only have I done that, I also work for a politically-connected organization that stands to reap enormous profits from euthanasia, so I have moral authority on either side of the question.

That being said, an argument stands or falls on its merits, not on who makes it.

When a married couple is involved, the spouse trumps the parents. The spouse is the one who most likely knows the true wishes of the life-supported.

According to the law--so the government has already intruded by deciding who gets to make the decisions.

My snark as you like to call it is directed right at anyone in the Government -- or their supporters -- who would get in the way of what is a very difficult family decision -- even with clear directions.

But you do support government getting in the way, by citing it as an authority on who gets to make the decision, so direct that snark at yourself.

Gabriel said...

@Revenant:You need sentience to be "someone".

Who says? You?

Terry Schiavo's capacity for sentience died forever years before the GOP took up her cause.

Who says? You?

The non-aggression principle doesn't even enter into it, any more than it would enter in to a decision about watering a houseplant.

Sad to see you retreat into "life unworthy of life".

MadisonMan said...

But you do support government getting in the way, by citing it as an authority on who gets to make the decision, so direct that snark at yourself.

It's actually an authority older than the US Govt that stipulates the spouse over the parents.

jr565 said...

Ignorance is bliss wrote:
No. But he is still legally the executor of her will. By her choice when she married him. Maybe she chose poorly. Or maybe she chose well, and he was actually doing what she would have wanted. 99.99% of the people commenting on the case, or proposing legislation inspired by the case, are in no position to know.

And people who are executors are often in conflict with those who's will they are executing. In his case, the two things that disqualify him (for me) is that he was dating and had kids while his wife was alive. That is not someone who still has his wife's best interest in heart. IF she doesn't die he can't divorce her for example. ANd the second reason is he got a lot of money for the express purpose of taking care of her. He stated it as his intent. Now all of a sudden he remembers that she wanted to die after all?
So give back the money.
A judge should have looked at the scenario, realized the guy was not acting in her interst and assigned her care to her parents.

Gabriel said...

@Madison Man: Older the authority may be, but it still comes from outside the family, and to the extent that common law is US law, again you are appealing to the government.

You can't claim to be against government intrusion into "the family" when you say that government gets to decide who in the "family" has the authority.

In this case the family disagreed about what to do. The government was intervening one way or another.

Pretending that you're against government "intrusion" is just a way of ducking the issue.

But someday the people I work for may have the right to switch you off if it saves them money, so it would be wise to think this through carefully.

jr565 said...

THat by the way had nothing to do with whether I think people who have letters of intent should be allowed to have their life support removed. They should, of course.

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
Who says? You?

We can be sure that if Rev were his dad he would have wrung his hands of the situation long ago.

Sebastian said...

The case may not help him in the general, but it will help in the primaries, insulating him with theocons against criticism from the right.

In the short run, the Dem delegitimization effort also helps, because it keeps the issue in primary voters' minds without him having to address it.

With all this investigative journalism breaking out all over, next thing you know they're going to tell us about Barry's cocaine dealers, and his college performance, and all the selfless contributors to the Clinton foundation, and . . .

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
The non-aggression principle doesn't even enter into it, any more than it would enter in to a decision about watering a houseplant.

so then what's wrong with letting the parents keep watering the plant? If she is so gone she doesn't even realize it, it's not hurting her to be kept alive is it? Michael has a new family, she has no letter of intent. Why not just let her family deal with it since he's moved on. And again, since he took money saying he would care for her.

jr565 said...

As soon as Michael started dating he should have gone to the paretns and told them he could no longer bet he executor of her estate since he had a conflict of interest.

MadisonMan said...

I think it's a weak argument to say that -- because the spouse has more of a say than the parents as per Government mandate (and, I would add, biblical instruction and just plain old common sense -- in that sense the Government is simply agreeing with the reality of the world) that the Govt has already put its camel nose under the tent, so to speak.

The Republican Party demonstrated its worst inclinations in this entire event. It Elbowed its way into something where it had no business, and then attempted to claim the moral high ground. (I'm sure it yielded a positive spike in donations, of course -- please Give Us Money to help $ave the innocent$$$)

Running a National Campaign that trumpets the unfortunate meddling instincts of the party will do one thing: Help Democrats.

Gabriel said...

@MadisonMan:: Help Democrats.

People who resent government meddling will run to the Democrats? Not likely.

What do Democrats think the government should NOT meddle in? They are trying to ban e-cigs because they might encourage tobacco use--which is legal, I might add, for now.

Gabriel said...

@MadisonMan: If you are voting for Democrats, you are demonstraing a revealed preference for government meddling.

What Democrats oppose is the wrong sort of meddling from the wrong sort of people.

At that point, you've established what they are, you're just haggling over price.

I personally think intervening for those who can't speak for themselves is less reprehensible than telling legal adults, on private property, how far away they must stand from the entrance in order to legally smoke. Furthermore I think one can delineate the principle.

And principle is important in law. What principle you stake out to justify a husband starving his disabled wife is very important because it will later be applied to a different case.

I think that the least damaging thing that could have happened in Schiavo case is what did happen--that the husband made the call--but I do insist on thinking through the principle.

MadisonMan said...

If

This is likely a logically false statement, although that does depend on exactly to whom you refers.

Lydia said...

In Michael Schiavo's malpractice action in 1992, which he finally settled for $1.1 million after fees, he never mentioned that his wife had told him she would not want to be on life support -- he didn't bring that up until 1997. Instead, here's what he said at that 1992 trial when asked how he saw their future:
A: I see myself hopefully finishing school and taking care of my wife.
Q: Where do you want to take care of your wife?
A: I want to bring her home.
Q: If you had the resources available to you, if you had the equipment and the people, would you do that?
A: Yes. I would, in a heartbeat.
Q: How do you feel about being married to Terri now?
A: I feel wonderful. She’s my life and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. I believe in my marriage vows.
Q: You believe in your wedding vows, what do you mean by that?
A: I believe in the vows I took with my wife, through sickness, in health, for richer or poor. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I’m going to do that.

That's from the best piece I've ever read on this, written by Joan Didion.

Gabriel said...

@MadisonMan:This is likely a logically false statement, although that does depend on exactly to whom you refers.

Impossible; if the truth or falsity depends on a matter of fact, it can't be logically false, only empirically false.

But a "revealed preference" has nothing to do with what you actually prefer--it only means you have chosen a course of action that will end up with results contrary to what your stated preference is.

If you--or anyone--vote for Democrats out of a desire to see less government meddling, then you have not been paying attention to the last 80 years, and if your Democrats get elected you will see much more meddling.

richardsson said...

My initial reaction to this was that Michael Schiavo was a fool to try to pull the plug on his wife without her parents being on board. He was clearly losing the public relations battle. But, when I read the opinion of the Federal Judge who heard the family's appeal, it was clear that the trial judge had made the correct rulings on the evidence and his conduct of the trial was proper. We must not ask for anything else.

Simon said...

I was going to say "I don't know what more you want Bush to have done," but then realized that the criticism is that he should have done less. Well, "meh." As Davidson concedes, "[t]here are those for whom the case is seen not as an embarrassment for Bush but as a conservative credential." Those are the ones with whom he needs credentials, and maybe that credential will get him somewhere with them. I doubt it, but there we are. And there are also those for whom such a case is a demerit, but it seems to me that those people are either Democrats, who aren't going to vote for him anyway, or "moderates," whose vote isn't likely to be swayed by such trivia.

I don't know what difference it makes; he isn't getting the nomination.

jr565 said...

"In Michael Schiavo's malpractice action in 1992, which he finally settled for $1.1 million after fees, he never mentioned that his wife had told him she would not want to be on life support -- he didn't bring that up until 1997. Instead, here's what he said at that 1992 trial when asked how he saw their future:
A: I see myself hopefully finishing school and taking care of my wife.
Q: Where do you want to take care of your wife?
A: I want to bring her home.
Q: If you had the resources available to you, if you had the equipment and the people, would you do that?
A: Yes. I would, in a heartbeat.
Q: How do you feel about being married to Terri now?
A: I feel wonderful. She’s my life and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. I believe in my marriage vows.
Q: You believe in your wedding vows, what do you mean by that?
A: I believe in the vows I took with my wife, through sickness, in health, for richer or poor. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I’m going to do that."


that touches on both of the problems I see with Michael. He took the money AND he promised not to cheat. Both were proven to be disingenuous promises.
Once it became apparent he wasn't there for better or for worse, he should have renlinquished control of the decision to kill her and left it to the parents.

SGT Ted said...

Husband dude wanted to not just divorce his crippled wife and remarry another, but to kill her and re-marry another. He just didn't have the balls to do it himself.

He got to keep a chunk of money that was to provide for her care by doing it that way.

His wishes should have not been taken into consideration at all.

His conflicts of interest, monetary and personal-romantic, were huge and obvious to anyone with a brain.

MadisonMan said...

Gabriel, yes, you are right, I was misremembering my Phil 212 back in undergrad days.

If the if clause is false, then the whole statement is true.

Your if clause is false (again, subject to who "you" means -- the curse of the English language).

Let us agree that both Democrats and Republicans have a proclivity towards meddling, despite (or because of) what their Party Platforms say.

SGT Ted said...

Oh and the Zombie Onset Shiavo Talking Point being brought up just now merely reveals the authors own conflicts of interest and biases.

No one has brought that up in years. Now it's to be brought up. He wants to be Prezeedent. It's Sir-us BiZniss!

Still don't know what grades Obama got in College.

Revenant said...

@Revenant:You need sentience to be "someone".

Who says? You?

Anybody who, as you would put it, "thinks this through".

Revenant said...

so then what's wrong with letting the parents keep watering the plant?

It isn't their plant.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
It isn't their plant.

Considering he's dating and has kids its not really his plant either.

n.n said...

Meet the man who spent 12 years trapped inside his body...

Incredible commitment by his mother and father. You can't predict a person's character until it is tested. A person's persona is often or too often a false representation of their true nature.

jr565 said...

THe honorable position would have been for him to tell the parents, he can't take care of her anymore and is moving on with his life. He found someone new. Therefore, he's turning over the reigns to the only family she has left.
That would be honorable. Instead he pulls some "she wanted it this way" excuse from his butt after making more than a million dollars specifically set aside for her care. Saying he would love her till death do them part, and all that cal.

Revenant said...

Considering he's dating and has kids its not really his plant either.

American law and a few thousand years of marriage tradition say otherwise.

I Callahan said...

I'm sorry -- apparently, when I described you folks as "going Full Retard", it came out sounding like "I'm interested in hearing you repeat yourselves for the Nth time". I'll try to write more clearly next time.

Try this then - don't comment on it at all if you don't want a response. It's really a simple concept if you try to think about it.

I Callahan said...

Everybody here would probably say my Mom was starved to death -- 12 days! Her decision, made and broadcast clearly. If my sister wanted to dispute Mom's decision, and brought a suit, what would you want the Government to do?

Apples and oranges. Your mother made the decision. There wasn't a shred of credible evidence, other than a second hand comment, that Schiavo made the same decision.

Keep on digging.

I Callahan said...

It isn't their plant.

Wasn't the husband's to decide to let die either.

I Callahan said...

American law and a few thousand years of marriage tradition say otherwise

Cite, please. Because I can find nowhere in American law where it says it's OK to have my wife's plug pulled on hearsay.

Michael K said...

"apparently, when I described you folks as "going Full Retard"

Apparently the temptation for ignorant snark over whelmed what was left of your intellect.

Just one question. What is your experience in letting patients die ?

jr565 said...

I Callahan wrote:
Apples and oranges. Your mother made the decision. There wasn't a shred of credible evidence, other than a second hand comment, that Schiavo made the same decision.

And the guy who said she uttered that has a good reason to lie. Not to mention has a 2nd family. And a million bucks.

Jason said...

Every human life has a value and dignity that cannot be measured by standards of productivity, competence, or even physical health. Each human life is incomparably precious and inviolate.

Liberals think that kind of thing is icky.

It doesn't serve the interests of Revenant's penis and so they scoff at people who have some clarity on the issue.



jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

You need sentience to be "someone".

...aaaand Revenant drives the bus right off the cliff.

jr565 said...

SHe wasn't even requiring life support in the traditional sense. What was removed was her feeding tube requiring her to starve.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
I'm sorry -- apparently, when I described you folks as "going Full Retard", it came out sounding like "I'm interested in hearing you repeat yourselves for the Nth time".

I'll try to write more clearly next time.

We can repeat whatever you want. If you don't want to respond you don't have to. So, why did you?
Do you think we're interested in your retread of Tropic Thunder jokes?

jr565 said...

Who cares what You're interested in Revenant? Who are you and why should we give a fuck?

Jason said...

When Michael Schiavo started up with a new girl, then he no longer had a claim to the marriage. Marital infidelity is and always has been grounds for divorce, and is the only legitimate grounds for divorce in Judeo-Christian theology - and this goes back thousands of years through a tradition that Revenant THINKS he understands but as he has demonstrated here, he does not understand it at all.

When Michael Schiavo began to schtup someone else when his wife was no good to him, he granted Terri a right to divorce. The only problem is that Terri was incapable of sticking up for herself to obtain one.

So she needed an advocate to hold her guardian accountable and keep him honest.

This isn't such a strange concept. We do it all the time with minor children who are being neglected or abused by parents - an advocate can sue to strip parents of parental rights. This certainly would happen if parents went public with an intention to withhold nutrition from an infant. If you catch it early enough, you don't even have to involve criminal proceedings. Just pick up the child and find a new guardian who will take care of her.

So maybe an advocate for Terri could have and should have done so. Her parents would be the obvious choice for such an advocate, and though I don't recall them suing on behalf of their daughter for a divorce, specifically, clearly Michael has an irreconcilable conflict. Especially since he is also now responsible for the financial interests of two children by this new woman, and he has them to think about.

Had Terri's parent's sued to get a judge to grant a divorce, and were successful, then this wouldn't have been a case at all.

But in order to find for Michael, you have to disregard thousands of years of tradition regarding marriage. Revenant has it precisely backwards. The vows that Michael himself cited in the malpractice hearing had it right.

Revenant said...

Cite, please. Because I can find nowhere in American law where it says it's OK to have my wife's plug pulled on hearsay.

Which will be topical if someone is ever killed based on hearsay.

Back in reality, we're talking about the Schiavo case, which did not rely on hearsay. In fact the court specifically stated that Michael Schiavo's testimony couldn't be considered sufficient evidence by itself, because he stood to gain financially from the decision. Ditto for the parents and their hearsay testimony about what their daughter wanted when she was 11.

Revenant said...

When Michael Schiavo started up with a new girl, then he no longer had a claim to the marriage. Marital infidelity is and always has been grounds for divorce, and is the only legitimate grounds for divorce in Judeo-Christian theology - and this goes back thousands of years through a tradition that Revenant THINKS he understands but as he has demonstrated here, he does not understand it at all.

I see you come from a parallel universe where parents get to divorce their daughter from her husband if they don't like his behavior. Welcome to Earth, brother!

Here on our planet, if a husband cheats on his wife, the wife may choose to divorce him. Or she might choose to forgive him, say, on the grounds that she'd been a mindless husk for a decade at that point and had no hope of recovery. Either way, her parents get no say in the matter.

Also, do try to keep in mind that the parents' whole "Terry totally would have wanted to live on as a mindless husk, she just totally forgot to ever tell anyone but us about it" story was premised on the idea that Terry was "a devout Roman Catholic". The Catholic Church doesn't sanction divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Revenant said...

Who cares what You're interested in Revenant? Who are you and why should we give a fuck?

You posted two separate replies to a single comment from me.

The empirical evidence is that you're more interested in what I have to say than I am.

Revenant said...

Wasn't the husband's to decide to let die either

Which is why the court had to make the decision. The husband was, quite accurately, found to have a conflict of interest.

The court found, correctly, that Schiavo had no hope of recovery and would not have wanted to go on living that way.

This robbed her parents of the six-figure payday they'd been lusting after for ten years. Fortunately they were able to console themselves by personally pocketing two-thirds of the money their new foundation raised "for people like Terry'.

Gabriel said...

@Revenant: So your two reasons are

a) No one can prove that Terry Schiavo ever said she didn't want to be starved to death

and

b)Lebensunwertes Leben

Those are not principles that will stop the government from permitting my employers to euthanize you when you cost too much.

Gabriel said...

@Revenant:The court found, correctly, that Schiavo had no hope of recovery and would not have wanted to go on living that way.

I'm comforted to know that a court has mind-reading powers in addition to its powers of imprisonment and execution.

Future courts will apply this logic to more and more people as the financial pressure on the government, the insurer of last resort, mounts up.

Jason said...

I see you come from a parallel universe where parents get to divorce their daughter from her husband if they don't like his behavior. Welcome to Earth, brother!

Swing and a miss.

We don't name court cases from the attorneys or advocates, but for the plaintiffs. It was Bush v. Gore, not Baker v. Boies.

It's not parents divorcing their daughter. It's the daughter divorcing her husband through her agents, since she cannot speak for herself.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
"You posted two separate replies to a single comment from me.

The empirical evidence is that you're more interested in what I have to say than I am." How does that prove anything? You writing a comment has no bearing on how interested you are in what you have to say. And me making two points, instead of one merely means that I followed up one point with another, perhaps redundant, point.
I assume sometimes that you can engage in dialogues without being a complete douche. But that's probably me forgetting that I'm dealing with revenant.

Gabriel said...

@Revenant:


He said: ‘The doctors were telling my parents that they wanted to take me off the life support. The words they used to my parents were “You need to start thinking about organ donations”.
‘I think that’s what gave my dad energy. He thought “No way”. They still believed I was there. When they sat around the bed they had the feeling I was there and some words they said to me I reacted to.
‘I think if my dad had agreed with them then I would have been off the life support machine in seconds.’


Two days after regaining consciousness from a massive stroke, Richard Marsh watched helplessly from his hospital bed as doctors asked his wife, Lili, whether they should turn off his life support machine.

Marsh, a former police officer and teacher, had strong views on that suggestion. The 60-year-old didn't want to die. He wanted the ventilator to stay on. He was determined to walk out of the intensive care unit and he wanted everyone to know it.

But Marsh couldn't tell anyone that. The medics believed he was in a persistent vegetative state, devoid of mental consciousness or physical feeling.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Marsh was aware, alert and fully able to feel every touch to his body.

"I had full cognitive and physical awareness," he said. "But an almost complete paralysis of nearly all the voluntary muscles in my body."

The first sign that Marsh was recovering was with twitching in his fingers which spread through his hand and arm. He describes the feeling of accomplishment at being able to scratch his own nose again. But it's still a mystery as to why he recovered when the vast majority of locked-in syndrome victims do not.


Jason said...

The court found, correctly, that Schiavo had no hope of recovery and would not have wanted to go on living that way.

Your simple, childish faith that the court found 'correctly' is amusing.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
"Which is why the court had to make the decision. The husband was, quite accurately, found to have a conflict of interest."
SO if the husband was found to have a conflict of interest, the decision of care should naturally go to the family, and not the husband with a clear conflict of interest.


"The court found, correctly, that Schiavo had no hope of recovery and would not have wanted to go on living that way."
ANd the court shouldn't be making that decisions when her family is there to say they don't want to have her life ended. Ultimately, who cares if she wont ever recover and it's a pipe dream. Its their daughter. Not yours. and not the states. And its them paying for their daughters care, not the state.
And if her brain is mush she wouldn't be able to answer whether her life should go on that way. If her life does go on that way, will she feel it or notice? What then is the harm? The only harm then would be to the parents and her family who want to try to keep her alive, even if it's ultimately a fools belief.

Gabriel said...

Sheriff Bell, from No Country For Old Men:

''She kept on, kept on. Finally told me, said: I dont like the way this country is headed. I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion. And I said well mam I dont think you got any worries about the way the country is headed. The way I see it goin I dont have much doubt but what she'll be able to have an abortion. I'm goin to say that not only will she be able to have an abortion, she'll be able to have you put to sleep. Which pretty much ended the conversation.''

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
He said: ‘The doctors were telling my parents that they wanted to take me off the life support. The words they used to my parents were “You need to start thinking about organ donations”.
‘I think that’s what gave my dad energy. He thought “No way”. They still believed I was there. When they sat around the bed they had the feeling I was there and some words they said to me I reacted to.
‘I think if my dad had agreed with them then I would have been off the life support machine in seconds.’

All I can say is, thank god his dad wasn't Revenant. Because that life support would have been pulled in a second.

Revenant said...

It's not parents divorcing their daughter. It's the daughter divorcing her husband through her agents, since she cannot speak for herself.

So much wrong in just two sentences.

1. Adultery isn't grounds for divorce in Florida, and hasn't been since 1971 when it became a "no-fault" state.

2. The legitimate grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences and mental incapacity. Michael had grounds to divorce Terry, but not vice-versa.

3. Contrary to your claims that Terry's parents could have been allowed to sue on her behalf, they were in fact the *least* qualified people in America to act in that role -- for the simple reason that they and they alone stood to gain financially from a divorce.

4. In cases where the court found a conflict of interest, they could and did appoint other people to act in that role.

5. To reiterate, the church Terry had been raised in and her parents claimed to be devout members of does not sanction divorce for adultery. Of course, this didn't stop the "devout" parents from repeatedly asking Michael to divorce their daughter once there was money on the table.

Revenant said...

SO if the husband was found to have a conflict of interest, the decision of care should naturally go to the family, and not the husband with a clear conflict of interest.

The family had the exact same conflict of interest that the husband did. Pay attention.

Also, try to let at least an hour pass between telling me you don't care what I think and replying to my next comment. :)

Revenant said...

@Revenant:

He said: ‘The doctors were telling my parents that they wanted to take me off the life support. [snip]

My goodness -- you mean that under circumstances completely unlike those of Terry Schiavo, it is sometimes a bad idea to take people off life support?

No shit, little brain. Now try to stay topical.

mikee said...

"asserting influence inappropriately"


Recalling Hilary Clinton, who as First Lady had the FBI trump up charges against long-time White House Travel Office staff to make room for sinecures for her donors/friends, and those who in the current White House who managed to get Solyndra funded despite Solyndra's obvious deficiencies as a company, writing about Jeb Bush and inappropriate influence is a real laffer.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
The family had the exact same conflict of interest that the husband did. Pay attention.

No, the parents weren't married to Terry and then cheating on her. And their conflict of interest didn't lead to her feeding tube being removed. So,not really all that similar at all.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
2. The legitimate grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences and mental incapacity. Michael had grounds to divorce Terry, but not vice-versa.


So why didn't he?

Michael K said...

"This robbed her parents of the six-figure payday they'd been lusting after for ten years. "

What a mind reader ! Now, we have a motive from the local legal and psychology expert.

You still haven't mentioned your real life experience with such matters. So far, it's all bullshit.

You're good at that, though.

jr565 said...

"

Schiavo told the jury he was studying nursing because he wanted “to learn more how to take care of Terri.” According to a transcript of his testimony, Michael Schiavo was asked how he felt about being married to Terri.

“I feel wonderful. She’s my life and I wouldn’t trade her for the world,“I believe in my wedding vows. … I believe in the vows I took with my wife, through sickness, in health, for richer or poor. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I’m going to do that.”
At the trial he said he was training to be a nurse to care for her and that her life expectancy was going to be 50 years

Liar, liar, pants on fire. Less than 8 months later he put a do not resuscitate sign on her after she suffered an infection in the hospital, and was over ruled by the nurses.

jr565 said...

As the father tells it, Michael was refusing to use any of the money allocated to Terri for her. So when he asked for the money it was for Terri's benefit.
And similarly Michael said that he offered three times to donate the money to a charity. But as the brother points out, every time the stipulation was that the family had to let Terri starve to death. Which was a deal breaker for the family. And, as such, a hollow offer.

Birches said...

But that is just it. he didn't pull the plug. there was no plug. Her heart was beating and her lungs were working. The only assistance she was receiving was a feeding tube to keep her nourished. When he won, he pulled her feeding tube and she starved to death.

I didn't know this. Now I feel kind of sick.

Phil 3:14 said...

Well this thread brought back a lot of good memories,and solidified my confidence in the united front that is the Republican Party.

Can we discuss evolution next?

MadisonMan said...

Schiavo, Evolution and Gays.

Okay, Republicans, Discuss!

n.n said...

Premeditated murder, unacknowledged faith, and selective exclusion.

Now the discussion is getting interesting.

n.n said...

MadisonMan:

This incident and discussion does not reflect upon your decision to carry out your mother's documented will.

Meade said...

"Schiavo, Evolution and Gays.
Okay, Republicans, Discuss! "

Okay. I'll start.
Limited government, free markets, and low taxes.

Phil 3:14 said...

"Schiavo, Evolution and Gays.
Okay, Republicans, Discuss! "

Okay. I'll start.
Limited government, free markets, and low taxes.


Lawrence, are you comfortable with those answers?

And why does your wife take pictures of sandwiches?

Tom said...

Neither Bush or Clinton will get my vote, regardless of their histories, policies, or potential to lead. It's time to end the dynasties and it's time to reduce the power and scope of the executive. I will vote for the candidate most like to curb their own power - which with this crop, may be hard to find.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Revenant: if you reject marital indfidelity as grounds for divorce (you don't think Florida includes cheating under "irreconcilable differences," dummy?) then you pretty much demonstrate your earlier appeal to thousands of years of tradition to be transparent bullshit.

Drago said...

Phil 3:14: "And why does your wife take pictures of sandwiches?"

The pickles are too derivative?

Drago said...

And yes, I know that my last comment is catnip for Laslo Spatula.

MadisonMan said...

Limited government

If this is a reference to the Republican Party, I'd like documentation.

Has the State Govt expanded in size when Republicans are in charge?

Here's what I think the answer is: Yes. But I'm a cynic.

Meade said...

You said "Okay, Republicans, discuss" not okay, Republicans in name only, discuss.

Fûz said...

I still assert that interference in the Schiavo matter cost the GOP a shot at privatizing Social Security.

"!SQUIRREL!!!"