Sunday, March 20, 2005

One last chance for Shiavo

From the Chicago Tribune:

" WASHINGTON -- Senate and House Republican leaders forged a compromise bill Saturday that they hoped would keep a severely brain-damaged woman alive until a federal court can review her case.

President Bush is expected to sign such a bill and was changing his plans so he could be in Washington on Sunday, the White House said. [...]

On Saturday evening, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) convened a brief Senate session to formalize permission for the House to meet Sunday to consider the compromise bill; otherwise, it would have been in recess. Frist said the Senate then would act on the House legislation.

Under the new measure, doctors would be required to reinsert Schiavo's feeding tube at least until her case is heard in federal court. [...]

"This legislation will allow a federal district judge to consider a claim by or on behalf of Mrs. Schiavo for alleged violations of constitutional rights or federal laws relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life," said a joint statement from Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). "
I am curious to know if current stem cell research avenues being explored would, if successful, address the difficulties Terri has as a result of her heart attacks.

Update: Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice has an really great roundup of news and questions, as well as comments from those on most, if not, all sides. A really good read.

Another thing that bothers me in this argument is the one put forward about state's rights. I am not so sure this isn't a red herring in the whole scheme of the larger issue of when, how, and under what arrangements to protect life. State court decisions are often used as a basis for informing not only decisons to be made in other states but in the federal arena as well. We just had a Supreme Court decision where a Consitutional issue was decided in great measure by the decisions of several states (in this case I believe those state decisions were all legislative) and these decision foreclosed on the states rights of the rest.

Mr. Gandelman noted a report by World Net Daily wherein a claim was made that Terri had expressed her desire to live. I would concur with Mr. Gandelman that this is questionable due to the circumstances. My question is "Can Terri respond in this manner again? Can Terri Schiavo respond again in this manner if the question is posed to her again. I'd certainly be inclined to try it and to give her, say, 40 opportunties to answer the question and see if she can do it once. Not that I would pull the plug is she didn't answer but I would certainly leave it in if she did so.

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