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March 21, 2005



Another interesting article in Salon today shows the majority of Americans (and in some polls, the vast majority) agree with Mr. Schaivo, and if they were in the same position as Terri Schaivo, would want the feeding tube removed. I find it very interesting that very few articles on this situation present that data.


Many free living wills specific to your state can be found here at the U.S. Living Will Registry. Google finds many more such locations as well.


I dont understand how drawing a living will helps. Suppose there was actually a living will in Terri's case. What would have been different? How is a living will any more binding then the law that states that the next of kin has the right to make health related decisions if one is incapacitated?

Another Scott

Please note that a Living Will is quite often not enough to ensure that your wishes are respeced. Things like a Durable Power of Attorney and a Medical Directive can be necessary too.

Here is a short story (in a thread on the Schiavo issues) on how a family disupute can result in a Living Will being meaningless. I'm sure that's far from uncommon.

I fear a lot of people will draw up a quick Living Will without realizing that it is quite likely it won't help. Many/most people will need to consult an attorney to have this done right.

IANAL, but visited one with my wife regarding care of her parents.



In Rosenberg's entry he says "So to hell with the courts, to hell with the evidence, and to hell with the careful determination of Terri Schiavo's wishes that the courts have made."

From what I can see, Terri wishes were never written down. Also, I'm not sure many in the family trust her husband.

Also, just to really blow a hole in her husband's claims, he said the following on Larry King on Friday:

"M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want..."

"WHAT WE WANT?!?!?!" This is why this is such a big deal!

The whole key to pulling the plug on someone is if that someone said it's okay.
Her family has offered to help her and take care of her. Her husband has refused.
I agree with the idea that we should err on the side of life. Given this information, why would anyone want to be on the side of death?!?

Bob Rosenberg

Another Scott

In several (at least) cities, there are attorneys who sell kits containing forms for Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive. Frequently these kits are in the $5 - $15 range.

For the record: To the best of my knowledge, Scott Rosenberg and I are *only* related by coincidently having the same last name. If he knows of any other relationship, that would be news to me.


Many of us would like to think that a living will will help decide our fate should we become incapacitated, but one wonders how far the right-wing will go on this issue. It is conceivable that pro-life laws can be passed that will make living wills null and void. We aren't there yet, but the expected conservative victory in this Schaivo case may be only the first step.


Pro-death just doesn't work for me.


Here's a little more on that softball interview Larry King had with Schaivo....

This isn't about voiding living wills as Allan mentions.


Anybody who is surprised by the "conservative" interjection of political process into the most intimate decisions a family can make has been sleeping for a couple of decades. They've muscled into decisions on religion, marriage and family planning, trashed Constitutional provisions about citizens' and states' rights, and jeopardized our children's environmental and economic futures. Mr Schiavo may have his flaws as a husband and a human, but they don't compare to the hypocrisy of our legislative leaders. Where is their humanitarian concern for millions of victims of natural or man-made violence in other countries, or the poor of our own society, or of those denied adequate counsel at trial. Isn't the Schiavo ordeal a welcome distraction for Congess and the White House from ethical incidents, tax warfare, a floundering international situation and abject failure to address positively the problems of our nation?

This is about power politics, and like many other of their actions, has little to do with the Christian teachings they so loudly profess to believe in, and certainly not with concern for the agony of the Schiavos and their relatives.

step back

This a perfect example of "framing" the issues.

Rather than talking about the still-breathing body that was formally occupied by the mind of Terri Schiavo, the Neo-Cons (or should we call them Veggie-Cons now that Tom Dealy said Terri is one of them) refer to the body as being "Terri Schiavo" in all her totality.

Of course, re-framing the issue as what shold be done with the "still breathing body" brings up all kinds of scary questions that the Neocons want to avoid like: (1) When does neuorological life end? --or worse yet for them, When does neurological life begin?


Let's just pass a law that says your plug gets pulled when your spouse finds another lover, and that way we can save the courts a lot of work.


Owen, this really is about compassion and valuing human life. From what I can see Terri's wishes are unknown and it seems the idea for pulling the plug is her husband's. It's just common sense to err on the side of life. It's none of our business to judge that life.

Some of these arguments about the value of life seem like they resemble the words used against the slaves. I understand that there are about 35,000 people with feeding tubes at any given time. Should we starve some of them too?

17 National disabilities groups filed an Amici Curiae for this case.

Err on the side of life and let's get away from a culture of death. Come'on you lefty's! Let's take a stand for life! Stand up for people with disabilities!

step back

OK Al, I'll bite.
I'm your huckleberry.
Talk about people with disabilities! We can now divide the the US into Blue States and Veggie-States. All the x-rays show that the cranial area in the body formerly known as Terri Schaiavo is filled with fluid. All the cerebral mass has atrophied away and there is no practical hope of re-growth. All that is left is the primitive brain stem that keeps the bodily remains breathing. Tom Delay says, she is one of us now. Amen. At last we can agree on some things.

The big problem for you Veggie-Cons is that you have to deal with multiple definitions of "life". What version of "life" are you talking about when you say you love it? Is it church-life, where good enough is that the heart is beating and the lungs are puffing, never mind that there is no one at home upstairs? Is it cellular life, in that cells continue to metabolize and reproduce? (If yes, then cancer is "life" under that definition.) Or do you recognize cognitive life, where there must be some form of cognition in addition to the beating heart and oxygenating lungs? Which is it? Vegetable life or real life?

P.S. Don't tell me to get a life. Tell it to your leader, Delay. There are bigger problems facing this country than those which Congress sticks its ignorant nose into lately, hoping to get its head deep enough under the sand so as to escape from the world's true realities.


terri schiavo should be allowed to live. as loathe as i am to agree with president bush on this, too, "it's always good to err on the side of life." (a great site; go see the myths)

if her husband is so desperate to kill off terri that he had to, in october of 1998, try sending her parents a letter to attempt to convince them to allow the death of their daughter in exchange for him "donating" his inheritance (which, btw, comes from terri herself due to their marriage) to a charity, how could his story possibly be convincing?

step back

Yes we all "Love Life"

How many disabled orphans have YOU adopted today?


Sure, the Republicans in Congress are some of the biggest hypocrites in the country. And sure, they are habitually chipping away at the limitted government guaranteed us in the Bill of Rights. And if Republicans were honestly concerned about life, they would not have sent our armed troops into a sovereign nation to kill and be killed, and incite further killing.

But the Terri Schiavo situation is not a Republican problem. It is not a simple story of removing life-support when the end has come and letting someone die. Nor is it a simple issue of which relations have the right to make end-of-life determinations.

I've spent probably a couple hundred hours examining the story, and the documentation available on the people and instituions involved is mind-boggling. It's tricky to weed through it all, to find moderate sources to verify the outrageous claims of the radicals on both sides of the issue, and to find out what's really going on.

After hours of review, I'm convinced that the case has a myriad of facets, not the least of which is a cozy little nest of gurardianship fraud in the Pinellas County courts. When courts are involved in fraud, and State Attorney Generals contribute to the campaigns of the fraudulent judges, and then cover up and stonewall investigations into alleged abuses, it's time for the feds to step in.

Especially telling was Judge Greer's remark in response to a government auditor's request (entirely unrelated to Terri) that the guardianship cases he reviews constanly be made open to government review. Greer said, "That's absurd! I don't know what that could accomplish!"

Maarten Schenk

And just as with weblogging tools, aggregator tools are getting easier to use: check out, (click the flag for English), a site where you can build an aggregator page in less than a minute, all via an easy web interface....


If Mrs. Schiavo were really in a persistent vegetative state, this might be a right-to-die case. Instead, it's a case of judicial mistrial.
Several of Mrs. Schiavo's nurses have testified that she is not in a persistent vegetative state, even those who have cared for such patients before. Some have testified that Mrs. Schiavo never received therapy. And how would the doctors know what the composition of her brain is? The court-appointed doctors consist of two neurologists who did not spend enough time with her to conduct a full exam. She never had an MRI or PET scan done. Eight other neurologists have testified that she could recover.
Unfortunately, a lot of this evidence was not allowed to be presented. Go to if you're interested in some of the affidavits of the nurses.

Charlie Gordon

Willow yeah, of course, you're right -- "it's a case of judicial mstrial." -- Whatever that's supposed to mean.

Go tell that to the 10 Judges on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals who, by their ruling today, disagree with you.

The instant case has been fully and thoughtfully litigated to conclusion.

John Thompson

This May it will be sixty years since we liberated Germany from the tyranny of NAZI-ism. Nazis made the Nuremberg Laws so that NAZI
judges made the decisions of who would live and who would die....they began with people who were incapacitated, then the old and infirm, then Gypsies and fianally Jews.
They said we are following the word of the Law and Germany is land of this what America is now becoming? I never dreamed I
would live to see our Countryand it's Judges
emulate NAZI Germany!
One of Ike's boys!

step back

Dear Ike Liker,
We are probably far apart on what the correct outcome should be for the still breathing body of a white female formerly known as Terri Shiavo.
However, we are in agreement that the country, formerly known as America, has become a facist state. Germany chose the facist route because its economy was collapsing. Hitler brain washed the masses into believing the higher father had annointed him their savior. He picked out a scapegoat to explain away Germany's failed economic system, in his case, the Jews and Gypsies, in the case of the former America: crazed muslims and those who loved the US Constitution (aka Liberals).
Yes Bush does "love life", but only one, his own. He never shed a tear for the hundreds of 1000's of Iraqi's whose "life" he ended prematurely. He did not send his daughters in to make "the ultimate scarifice". He did not grieve for the cuts in medical health programs that will shorten the lives of 1000's of poor and powerless Americans. Oh no. He cries only on behalf of the "ownership society". You are his unthinking pawn. He plays your emotions like a violin.
Yes, the story of Terri Shiavo is a heart wrenching one. After you finish with your heart felt Tears for Terri, and your Bawling for Baseball (steroids), and your Terror of Terrorists, your brain will wake up. Maybe. Bets are the higher son will have yet another brain washing scheme cooking by then.
Ike is fuming in his grave. The country he fought for and had hismen die for, is not here. Wake up out of the Matrix !!!

step back

Dear I Like Ike-'r

One more thing. You should check out today's (3-20-2005) NY Times editorial by Robert Herbert (free registration usually required).

Don't believe the Nazi's have become we? Read about the covered up torture & maiming of Iraqi citizens without any process of "law".

Imagine that a foreign invader came into this country, grabbed up your uncles and cousins, tortured and killed them. Then they tell you they did it so you could be "free". What tune would the violin strings in your heart play then play?

Step back out of the Matrix. Turn your cerebral cortex back on before it is too late, before it atrophies away. Give a moment's time to alternative truths. Maybe there is something there.



"She never had an MRI or PET scan done."

True - but that's because she had a CAT scan in 2002, which was used to support the removal of her tube in that same year. Perhaps if the "culture of life" tried to be more of a "reading group of facts", this discussion could go somewhere, but instead it's all the same talking point repeated verbatim across the air waves and internet.

Besides, what a hyprocrisy for these people to declare themselves the champions of life. How many people did Florida execute last year? How many people have died because of Bush's politics? What a joke.

Susan Brooks

Why is it always the medically illiterate who have the opinions about the Schiavo case? Stepback, it would take several years for you to learn what you need to know to understand the case, but if you start now...

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