Also, apparently he became a registered nurse so that he could help care for her... I think that's what my girlfriend mentioned to me last night (I was doing schoolwork at the time, so I don't recall exactly what she said). It seems pretty clear cut to me... He's her husband, so absent some sort of prior documentation from Mrs. Schiavo herself, it seems like her husband has power of attorney in this instance. I don't see how we have a reason to doubt what he's saying... Considering he could have a) walked away from this with $10 Million offered to him by someone who wanted to use Mrs. Schiavo as some sort of medical testing ground for stem cell research (correct me if I'm wrong), b) divorced her (not sure about this, but I would imagine that he could), or c) NOT bothered to become a registered nurse to take care of her, he sure is going very far out of his way to convince us that she would want to die. I don't see any real possible gain for this guy, other than perhaps some emotional closure of a situation, and knowing that he was honoring his wife's wishes.
I think that there's probably something in all of us that would like to see Mrs. Schiavo's condition improve. But, according to what I've seen and heard, she has not made any improvement that would lead us to believe that such a recovery is possible in the entire time she's been in this condition.
I think that the call to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is one upon which reasonable people can disagree. Some of us might not act in accordance with Terri's last wishes, even if we thought that those wishes were for her to be allowed to die, because we personally believed that she could improve, or because we would feel that it is morally wrong to allow her to die under any circumstances. But that's why we afford certain legal rights to individuals who enter into a marriage. That's why Mr. Schiavo, who presumably knew her perhaps more closely than anyone else, is legally entitled to act on her behalf in these matters.
Terri Schiavo owns her own body. Not her parents. Her husband has the legal authority to act on her behalf, or at least I thought that's what it meant when you got a marriage license. Apparently, though, you need government permission for anything, these days. And that the congress would hijack the judicial system and grandstand on this and usurp the states in order to champion their pro-life, and let's face it, anti-choice cause is absolutely abhorrent. What cause does the Congress have for involving the federal government in a matter that is at the most the concern of the state in which these residents reside?
Aren't Republicans supposed to be the party of smaller government? Why then would they extend federal jurisdiction into a matter in which the federal government has no business? Assuming that my command of the facts is an accurate one, I don't see how the courts could have ruled any other way than to enforce that Mr. Schiavo, having the legal power of attorney over the affairs of his wife in her current state, has the sole right to make the determination which he feels is most appropriate and in accordance with her wishes. This is not doctor assisted suicide. This is not abortion. This has nothing to do with the pro-life argument. It has everything to do with politics. Our laws and rights don't mean anything if the government can step in and tell us that we can only use our legal rights in the ways that they meant for us to use them! Like it or not, Mr. Schiavo is free to make a decision regarding his wife that we may or may not like! And no group of congressional blowhards has the RIGHT to step in and change that!
Mr. Schiavo's case is a credible one. We have very little reason to disbelieve him, at least from where I am sitting... and I've been standing on the sidelines on this one for a while while I tried to make up my mind about the whole thing.
When you get right down to it, that's all that matters. We would all like to insert our personal beliefs into this, but none of our beliefs should matter in the end, because this is ultimately up to Mr. Schiavo. We can all feel however we want about this, but even a huge number of us signing a petition, even a group of us who have been elected into office passing legislation, even every head of state in the country if they were all writing executive orders in unison do not have the authority to stop Mr. Schiavo's chosen course of action.
Any action to the contrary strikes at the very heart of our individual rights. Any attempts by the legislatures to take away what is a personal decision for Mr. Schiavo just confound this current problem we have of too much government involvement, and these actions represent a cruel disregard for the what could be perhaps one of the most important and painful personal decisions in many people's lives.
This is not the government's business, except to the extent that it can reasonably attempt to guarantee that Mrs. Schiavo is not wronged, and most importantly that her wishes are carried out. It is not our business, except to the extent that we are free to talk about it with no other recourse, in any event, on Mrs. Schiavo. This is a personal decision involving a man and his wife.
If you want to talk about desecrating the institution of marriage, I think we can start by pointing the finger at government.
x-posted all over the place