Saturday, February 26

"THERE MUST BE A FINALITY TO THIS PROCESS"

So thinks Circuit Judge George Greer and so thinks Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, who is quoted in this Associated Press (AP) story as saying, "I am very pleased that the court has recognized there must be a finality to this process." Of course, for one of this country's most prominent right-to-die proponents, "finality" means for George Felos the barbaric death by starvation and dehydration of Terri Schindler-Schiavo. Both husband and attorney can hardly wait to have Terri's gastric feeding tube permanently removed at 1:00pm on March 18th, as each is convinced it's incontrovertibly the right thing to do and what Terri would have wanted (i.e., "... allowing him" -- Michael Schiavo -- "to carry out what he says were his wife's wishes not to be kept alive artificially"). No mention is made, of course, that there's no written proof of such wishes, certainly not a "Living Will." In that and in other ways, some egregious, this AP story is consistent with most of the reporting on Terri Schiavo in the mainstream media. It cites a "chemical imbalance" as the root cause for "her heart to temporarily stop beating" back in 1990, which "left her severely brain damaged." There's no mention, however, of contradictory evidence from a bone scan that she may have been a victim of physical abuse. Nor is any reference made to contradictory medical claims holding that she's cognitively-disabled, but certainly not "vegetative" or requiring medical life support. Nor does the AP's Mitch Stacy reveal that Terri's parents, the Schindlers, have been blocked from having a basic "swallow test" performed on their daughter. Indeed, the story is boilerplate MSN reporting with but a few informational updates.

But, sadly, Stacy cannot contain himself. He proceeds to describe the legal tangle between Terri's husband and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, as a "feud" and having all of the "elements of a soap opera." Well, Mr. Stacy, this is not Hatfields and McCoys, nor a fiction. It is a pitched life and death battle over whether to preserve her life and her human dignity, or to snuff it out over a protracted period of up to twenty days by removing water and sustenance from her, and thereby inflicting dreadful pain and suffering on a woman unable to defend herself or cry out for mercy.

They shoot horses don't they, Mr. Stacy?