Monday, March 21, 2005

The Schiavo Case

Ed Brayton has spared me the trouble of commenting on the Terry Schiavo case, since he has gotten it exactly right in this post (as has Radley Balko here).

Two highlights:

Congress is engaged in shameless grandstanding with their absurd efforts to intervene in a situation where they simply have no authority. Balko also correctly points out that this grandstanding is being done by the very people who advocate federalism and judicial restraint, yet here they are frantically trying to get the federal courts to intervene where they have no authority. The Supreme Court rightly refused to get involved.


You have to feel for the parents and family who want to keep her alive. But they are acting purely on emotion. You can understand their emotions, certainly, but that doesn't mean the courts should act on those emotions. They have to act on the facts of the case, and at least 6 courts have now viewed that evidence and reached the same conclusion - that she is in a persistent vegitative state and will never recover, and that she had clearly expressed her desire not to be kept alive in such a circumstance.

Brayton and Balko also make the point that allowing someone to be starved to death, but not allowing active euthanasia in such a case, is monstrous. I agree completely. I see no moral distinction between allowing a person to starve to death by removing a feeding tube and simply injecting them with a drug that will kill them almost immediately. In fact, the latter strkies me as far more humane.

P. Z. Myers has the cat scan of Schiavo's brain here. That really should end the part of the debate about whether Schiavo can recover. She can't. It is an absolute travesty that the worhtless political chat shows that have been discussing the issues don't start every show with that image.


At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that Congress has no authority is ridiculous. Congress absolutely has the authority to both regulate the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary and, more importantly, to ensure that people enjoy their civil rights. All the Congress did in this case was to say that the federal district court had the jurisdiction to consider whether Terri Schiavo's civil rights were violated. One may take issue with the wisdom of that decision, but only the ignorant, stupid or insane would say that Congress has no authority to do what they did.


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