The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Schiavo Case as the Energizer Bunny of Politics

It just keeps going and going and going.

Probe Sought in Terri Schiavo 911 Call - Yahoo! News: "Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that a prosecutor has agreed to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, citing an alleged time gap between when her husband found her and when he called 911. "

I hate to talk about this case in the first place but my only guess as to where this comes from is to see it as a desparate effort on the part of the far Right to regain momentum on the issue since they realize how badly they bungled the whole thing, how it has backlashed against them, and how the autopsy report has them cleaning egg off their face.

"Polls have found a majority of Americans opposed federal involvement and the issue contributed to a drop in approval ratings for the Republican-controlled Congress." (Nashville Tennesean 6/15/05)

A friend who is a probate lawyer said that the Right in Colorado wanted to revisit the guardian issue for living wills and proposed the following: Instead of having the spouse become the guardian of someone in a persistent vegetative state, the courts would be instructed to look at the full chain of possible custodians and select the one who was pre-disposed to life. So if you collapse and cannot speak for yourself, your spouse can't make your decisions anymore. It would be whoever is most inclined to keep you alive. Imagine your spouse wants to withdraw care because she knows you would not want to live this way. The Right argues she has a conflict of interest since she would be better off without you. If your parents agree with her then they can't play the guardian role either. Say your grandmother wants to keep you alive, or your sister. Then the Right wants a probate court to appoint either of them as your new guardian. This effectively repeals 40 years of probate precedence.

Republican Majority Leader, Would be Presidential Candidate in 2008 and Panderer in Chief to the Right, Senator Bill Frist defended his diagnosis on the basis of a 2 minute edited video tape.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said yesterday he doesn't regret using his standing as a doctor to question Terri Schiavo's diagnosis from afar during the intense national debate over whether to remove her feeding tube.

Frist said he accepted the results of Schiavo's autopsy released Wednesday, showing severe, irreversible brain damage. But he stood by his statements on the Senate floor last March, when he argued that on videotape Schiavo appeared to respond to her family and doctors.


With public momentum swinging away not only from the Right on Schiavo alone but also away from the Right's agenda of preserving life at all costs no matter what, something needs to be done to regain the momentum. What better way than to first, intimate again that Schiavo's husband has been trying to kill her all along? And maybe even dig up facts to further cloud the issue. For the Right this is about more than scoring points and about more than Schiavo. This is about overturning years of developing precedence on how to handle end of life issues. Now, the predisposition of the public is in favor of personal family privacy over such matters and the Schiavo case only underscore this. If the Radical Right can cast doubt on the case they can perhaps begin to undo the damage they have done to their own cause in the last 6 months.

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