Obviously, just about everyone is weighing in on Terri Schiavo. I finally gave in and posted a single item about her, and bam! I had more comments than I’ve seen in a long time. Attention junkie that I am, there’s no way I can turn away from catnip like that. So here you go: A quick round-up of the more intelligent stuff I’ve read about Terri this morning:
From the LA Times (login required; cypherpunk98/cypherpunk works): Parents’ side has vilified husband. It covers some of those entertaining, but apparently baseless, charges against Michael Schiavo that our own TeacherVet, among others, has been slinging around. (Still waiting for some sources on those, TeacherVet.)
As long as you’re succumbing to the LA Times’s login requirement, you could check out this item, too: Doctor says examination changed his mind. Gives about the strongest case a mainstream outlet is going to give for putting the tube back in. But I think on balance it still fails to sway me. Note the parts about Dr. Cheshire’s background and presumed biases.
Although disagreement about the Schiavo case runs deep, there are signs that the country is coalescing around the position that Congress and Bush should have stayed out of it. See this brief Kevin Drum item linking to a couple of recent polls, the latest one showing 82% support for that position: Terri Schiavo and the limits of cynicism, part 2.
A medical opinion contrasting with the right-to-life views of Dr. Cheshire is provided by Dr. Ronald Cranford, as interviewed by weblog Pekin Prattles and summarized by Rivka of Respectful of Otters: I swear this is my last Schiavo post.
(Update: I also caught this very interesting comment on the above Rivka item. Commenter CaseyL makes a strong case that what the Christian right is doing in this case isn’t so much an assault on personal liberty as it is an assault on the entire tradition of evidence-based determination of truth that is the legacy of the Enlightenment.)
Finally, let’s emerge from the primordial ooze of commentary by the common Everyman (Everydoctor) in the street, and get some more-evolved viewpoints from the academic philosopher set.
First up, Philosoraptor performs a thought experiment: Bush said the other day, “…in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life.” Fair enough, says Philosoraptor; while he doesn’t necessarily agree, he acknowledges that the position may have merit. But if one really believes that, it will apply in other areas besides the Terri Schiavo case. How is Bush doing in those areas? Bush, erring on the side of life.
And finally, Tim Burke at Swarthmore seems to agree with me in seeing signs of our nation’s approaching political apocalypse in the grandstanding being engaged in by our national leadership. Maybe I’m taking him farther than he’d want to be taken, but read the piece and see what you think. Shame:
If they had shame, they’d be embarrassed, chagrined, mortified that the highest legislative body in the country and the President of the United States can find the time to have a special Sunday session and work out high-level compromises to save a single life, any single life. How about all the other people who died last week who could have been saved? What about the people who don’t have quality health care who died or were hurt? Why not have a Sunday session to help them pay their bills? Why not have a Sunday session to help a man who’s losing his house, help a woman who can’t buy her medications, help a child who can’t get enough food to eat? What makes Terry Schiavo Citizen Number 1, the sleeping princess whom the King has decreed shall receive every benevolence in his power to grant? It isn’t even a serendipity that the King’s eyes happened to alight on her as he passed by. Serendipity I could deal with: if the President happens to read a letter from some poor schmuck and it touches his heartstrings and he wants to quietly do something, he tells an aide to look into it, he puts a twenty in a White House envelope and sends it on, ok, it happens. Serendipity wouldn’t be shameful.
This is, and it’s being done so brazenly that I think it suggests that the point of ultimate shamelessness is fast approaching. When it does, if it already has, then there really will be very little for anyone to do besides mockery and silence, besides accept our second-class citizenship in a country owned and operated by plutocrats for the religious right.
Okay. I’m done now. Terri Schiavo, rest in peace.