Monday, April 18, 2005

The Courts and Schiavo

Patterico has a convincing post on why federal courts should have granted the Schiavo injunction. It's yet another blow to the faux legal-process-über-alles types in the Reynolds camp.

Patterico also has links to original documents from the case and some interesting excerpts. Particularly interesting is testimony from Michael Schiavo during his malpractice suit:
Page 17:

9 Tell the jury what’s going on now.

10 A. Right here, basically, you can see she’s dressed,

11 she’s already had her shower and everything. We would get

12 her dressed, put her shoes and socks on. I’m trying out her

13 hands there. You have to keep the inside of the hands,

14 since she’s contracted, you have to keep them dry because

15 infection can set in, and I usually do a little bit of range

16 of motion with her.

17 Q. And while you’re doing that, do you talk to her?

18 A. Yes, I am talking to her right now telling her

19 it’s okay.

20 Q. She doesn’t like that very much?

21 A. No, she doesn’t. She does feel pain.

Page 23:

8 Q. Does she express discomfort when some of these

9 things are happening to her?

10 A. Yes. Yes, she does.

11 Q. How does she do that?

12 A. She’ll moan and groan.

Then there's this:
Pages 26-28:

16 Q. Michael, have you started to go to nursing school?

17 A. Yes, I did.

18 Q. Where did you go to nursing school?

19 A. I’m going – I’m attending St. Pete Junior

20 College.

21 Q. When did you start?

22 A. Approximately a year ago.

23 Q. When do you hope to finish?

24 A. We’re looking at something like 1994.

25 Q. Why did you want to learn to be a nurse?


1 A. Because I enjoy it and I want to learn more how

2 to take care of Terry.

3 Q. You’re a young man. Your life is ahead of you.

4 Your future is beyond you. Up the road, when you look up

5 the road, what do you see for yourself?

6 A. I see myself hopefully finishing school and taking

7 care of my wife.

8 Q. Where do you want to take care of your wife?

9 A. I want to bring my wife home.

10 Q. If you had the resources available to you, if you

11 had the equipment and the people, would you do that?

12 A. Yes, I would, in a heartbeat.

13 Q. How do you feel about being married to Terry now?

14 A. I feel wonderful. She’s my life and I wouldn’t

15 trade her for the world. I believe in my – I believe in my

16 wedding vows.

17 Q. What do you mean? You want to take a minute?

18 A. Yeah.

19 MR. WOODWORTH: If the Court would let us take a

20 minute.

21 Q. (BY MR. WOODWORTH:) You okay?

22 A. Yeah. I’m sorry.

23 Q. Have – you said you believe in your wedding vows,

24 what do you mean by that?

25 A. I believe in the vows that I took with my wife,


1 through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer. I

2 married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the

3 rest of my life with her. I’m going to do that.

That, of course, was before he remembered Terri's long-standing and unequivocal wish to be killed.

Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan, and the rest are lucky no one's paying attention to this anymore. We're lucky that Patterico is still on the case.


Jessica said...

Good gravy. I'm not going to comment on the whole right-to-"life" or right-to-death thang-- you can check out that grumpy ol' Germanic corpse Schopenhauer for a general explication of my beliefs (id est his vindication of suicide, which I find applicable even though this obviously isn't "suicide" in its common form). Instead, all I ask is that you watch the horrific, tragicomic video showing Mrs. Schiavo's glazed eyeballs staring vacantly at a mylar balloon. Yes, a BALLOOOOOON. A shiiiiiny balloon.....
Frankly, the one person I truly feel bad for (besides Mrs. Schiavo herself, back when she had a self to feel bad for) is her husband. Your own entry PROVES my point-- he's not some crazed killer, and he sure-as-hell loved his wife. Loved her enough to try desperately, in the face of ALL medical evidence, to save her from her injury. It was-- as again, YOUR entry shows- only after years of failed attempts, after years of watching his beloved wife in a vegetative, demeaning, non-human state, that this brave man finallyu had the strength to give his wife the dignity she deserved.
Her parents, as loving as I'm sure they are, were fine seeing Terri as a brain-dead child... parents, after all, always love us as children. Parents (esp. mothers) KNOW US as non-sentient, pre-birth fetuses, and so it should be no surprise that her parents wanted to cling to their once-again-embryonic daughter.
The husband however, after YEARS of watching his wife suffer, decided to help her break free of the shell she'd been trapped in by modern science (not by GOD, who certainly didn't invent feeding tubes!)
As you so correctly point out, 1) she was IN PAIN, and 2) Mr. Schiavo was no murder-machine... he's put his life on hold for years, for the simple purpose of, 1st trying to help Terri, and only when that attempt failed completely 2nd making sure she died w/ dignity, to save her from future anguish.
P.S. I know this is a long commment, and I'd be happy to defend my statements.

Cranky Yankee said...

Can you let the woman rest now? Haven't you wingnuts gotten enough mileage out of her?