Why Now?
Thursday, March 17, 2005
  Your Terri Schiavo Update
In a never ending effort to pander to the "Randall Terry Taliban", Republicans are ignoring the manifold problems of the state of Florida to attempt to pass a law to overturn seven years worth of legal decisions.

After being characterized for years as an abusive, greedy, immoral monster, Michael Schiavo went on ABC's Nightline to tell his side of the story. Unfortunately for the tabloids, the transcript reveals nothing more than a man trying to keep a promise he made to his wife.

CBS reports on the action in the US Congress to involve "activist Federal judges" in the years of litigation, which the all too cynical Julia at Sisyphus Shrugged thinks has more to do with Tom Delay's problems than concern for Terri Schiavo.

ABC reports that the Florida House passed the "Randall Terry" bill, but the Florida Senate is attempting to craft a bill with fewer unintended consequences.

Just to make us all feel safer, Steve at No More Mr. Niceblog [now with comments] tells us that former Green Beret, Bo Gritz, the model for Rambo, has rolled into town to make a citizen's arrest of anyone who attempts to remove the feeding tube. Given the state of courtroom security following the Georgia shooting, things could get out of hand very quickly.

I just heard that Terri Schiavo's parents have filed a petition with Supreme Court Justice Kennedy for an emergency hearing on violation of her religious and civil rights. This is the procedure normally used for death penalty cases.

It would be nice if a few legislators brushed up on the ex post facto and bill of attainder provisions of the Florida and US Constitutions. They are openly violating the spirits, if not, the letter of these provisions. Then they should look into the meaning and reason behind the separation of powers. This whole mess wouldn't be such obvious hypocrisy if some of us didn't remember what these same groups did and said regarding the death penalty. They don't want to allow this woman to die peacefully, but they were more than happy to strap a 16-year-old with a mental capacity of 8 into "Old Sparky"¹ and pull the switch.

For the medically challenged, including Bill Frist, MD of the US Senate, Terri Schiavo will not starve to death, she will die of dehydration, just like the football players who don't drink their Gatorade® during summer practices. As someone who works outside during the summer in Florida, it is a process with which I am familiar. It would take the average American more than a month to starve to death, and many considerably longer than that.

If she were aware, she would go through mental confusion, weakness, and extreme fatigue before dying from dehydration. While pain would be handy to alert people of this major threat to their life, pain is not a feature of dehydration.

1. "Old Sparky" was the folksy name given to Florida's electric chair, which was not noted for efficiency. It was replaced with lethal injection, before it could be challenged as "cruel and unusual" punishment, by the "Save Our Death Penalty" bill.


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