Sunday, March 27, 2005

Psychic John Edward weighs in on the Terri Schiavo case

Here's the latest argument (courtesy of Media Matters) being used to bolster the position that Terri Schiavo is not in a persistant vegetative state and instead has been demonstrated to possess awareness. This invocation of psychic nonsense by FOX News represents the worse kind of pandering to a fragile, delicate, unsophisticated group of true believers.

That psychic medium John Edward would be given even one second of air time to expound on this serious and gut-wrenching news story is unbelievable.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I suppose I should state up front that I am among those who felt that Terri should be allowed to live.

But, I think the Schindlers -- and others in the "Pro-Terri" camp -- have effectively marginalized the cause by bringing in whack-jobs like Randall Terry ("Operation Rescue"), and now Mr Edwards. No matter what one believes about this case, the cause is not furthered by the endorsements of such people.

March 28, 2005 6:03 AM  
Blogger The Medicine Man said...

I agree!


March 28, 2005 8:53 AM  
Blogger Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC said...

Ooops. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. ;-))

In doing a little more research, it appears that the whack-job brigade is more self-appointed and opportunistic than anything else. Terri's brother even told Randall Terry that he (RT) "doesn't speak for my family."

It is good that the Schindler's have apparently not been in collusion with the tin-foil-hat brigades, but it's a shame that said brigades have effectively hijacked the underlying cause.

March 28, 2005 9:10 AM  
Blogger The Medicine Man said...

Also, I never meant to imply that the Schindler family had engaged John Edward either.


March 28, 2005 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm late to the discussion here, but I wanted to say that I am one who also believes Terri should live.

I'm not sure if posting a list is appropriate, but my main concerns aren't anything to do with "pro-life" or "religion" because I believe whole heartedly that patients have the right to direct their care including refusing care as long as they are competent and capable. AND I feel that it is right that when they are not, the closest family member is allowed to address this for them as per the laws of most states.

My issues are somewhat legal based, though not in accusing activism of the courts, so much as the rulings, having followed the letter of the law and thus "procedurally" correct, some how seem (forgive me this word as I don't mean it religiously) morally correct.

I realize the ground has been covered many times, but my points are:

1) While Michael Schiavo is still "legally" Terri's husband, he has not been so for many years. He has other interests and a new family. I don't begrudge him that and I realize that Terri "left him" long ago, but it wasn't voluntary (to my knowledge), his departure from the situation was voluntary and has been occuring for years. It seems counter intuitive to still accept him as an uninterested party that truly represents Terri's interests (whatever those are)

2) I understand that in the beginning he would not have wanted to give up on her so easily. But, I am concerned that it took over eight years for him to remember that she indicated this desire to be euthanised (maybe you disagree on the word, but that's how I see it in this case) or denied care. Looking over the case, there were definitely a number of times, even in the first few years, not to mention the first few days, in which he could have made it clear the services were to be denied. Even though advanced directives or "living wills" were not all the rage back then, the spouse or close family still had the ability to direct or deny care, though some cases might have been disputed by the healthcare professionals. I note she even appears to have been trach'd at some point. What are the odds she was on a respirator or ventilator, yet it was not removed and Terri allowed to die peacefully long ago? No one would have questioned the situation, probably not even her parents.

3) the only other witnesses of record to this alleged statement was Michael's brother and sister in law. Which could be appropriate if the other issues did not come to into play. Of interest, and I don't want to split hairs, but I will for the benefit of this discussion, I think that both of us recognize, before the publicity of Terri Schiavo's case, most people who are not terminally, critically or chronically ill, did not have really deep and meaningful conversations about what they might believe or wish to have happen in specific situations. Particularly young people who have no concept of such a future. These comments about "not wanting to live like "that"" are typically in regards to the only thing that people imagine themselves to be: unconscious with no response to stimuli whatsoever, connected to five or more machines, one of which is breathing for them, with five or more tubes sticking out of them, hydrating them, feeding them, urinating for them or even dialysis as their system shuts down. This is the typical state that most people think of when they think "not like that" and "pull the plug" (whatever plug that is). They can't imagine the myriad of in between states they could arrive at. When the court documents indicate that these witnesses heard this statement at a barbecue, my mind plays a scenario that I've heard too many times. Somebody points out a relative, friend, news or TV program that they saw and the respondents say, "I wouldn't want to live like that" in a general conversation. First and last time it gets mentioned.

As you point out in your newest post about Powers of Attorney, there are a lot more situations that need to be covered and simple statements like that do not really represent in toto a persons mindset.

Again, I recognize that the courts were procedurally, by the letter, correct in establishing that a spouse is the first most appropriate person, that she does have irreversible brain damage and two people witnessed the incident.

But there are enough "if, ands, and buts" for me to feel justified in questioning this situation on the merits of this one case, not on the merits of the broader questions of "pro-life" or "religion".

Last, after fifteen years of surviving in this condition, however terrible it might be and whomever she may or may not be anymore, it seems reprehensible that now, after all this time, she must die by this means.

If nothing else, however grotesque the fight in public might appear, it has served a purpose and that is to get people to be more cognizant of the need for these discussions.

March 29, 2005 1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's "morally INCORRECT" in that second paragraph. That's what I get for blogging so late.

March 29, 2005 1:06 AM  
Blogger Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC said...

"after all this time, she must die by this means"

Exactly! As Mark Steyn observed: "it may be legal under Florida law for the state to order her to be starved to death. But it is still wrong."


When even Ralph Nader -- certainly no "rightwing Bible-thumpin' religious zealot" -- is in favor of letting her live, I have to think that this is not a left-right issue, but a moral one, as you said.

March 29, 2005 9:48 AM  

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