Terri Schiavo, RIP

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She died this morning.

NEXT: Kicking the Cohabiters

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  1. Ok, so I’m taking bets on how quickly the media gets the hell off this subject… a day? A week? Or will the feeding tube remain in this drawn-out monstrosity?

  2. I’m hoping her family can find some peace, as well.

  3. “I’m hoping her family can find some peace, as well.”

    And give up all the money and attention? Please.

  4. Randolph,

    My guess is that they’ll try to milk it at least through her funeral.

  5. After the freakshow/circus funeral, this story will do a David Copperfield.

  6. I wonder if the town she was in is sorry to see it end (ala Scopes Monkey Trial)? They could end up being a hot tourist spot! Instead of the ghost of Elvis, you could visit the ghost of Terri (after the Hospice converts to a B&B).

  7. I am hoping the discussion continues because the issues involved will come up again and again, and often do in less celebrated cases.

    I do hope this doesn’t become a case-law precedent, however, as it appears to me the resolution may have been justified by law, but not by fact or rationality. There seems to be way too much heat and way too little light surrounding the whole affair.

  8. WSDave:

    A B&B with hospital food? I think you’re on to something.

    And her ghost would be really, really boring.

  9. We can start talking about who has the rights to remove the pope’s feeding tube next!

  10. Better to take care of the issue when it’s in the public eye, than when it isn’t and people give far less of a shit.

    After all, that’s how a majority of the bills that intrude on personal freedom get passed.

  11. The worst precedent this whole thing will set is that the Congressional act getting the federal courts involved will probably stay on the books, because nobody will bother to take up a constitutional challenge to it at this point. I predict that, sometime within the next five years, this act will be cited by Congress as justification for some other plainly unconstitutional meddling in state affairs.

  12. “And her ghost would be really, really boring.”

    But she’s got the “Uuuughhhhss”s and the “nnnggggssmms”s down pat. 🙂

  13. Now she can go forth and lead the army of Heaven against the hoards of Hell with the golden PSP. Thankfully, she’s not Japanese.

  14. Since she’s a “vegitable”, does she get buried or composted?

  15. I’m waiting for the Falwell-esque statement from the White House.

    Speaking of which, anybody heard what kind of shape Falwell’s in now? If he doesn’t kick the pneumonia, he might have to be ventilated soon. Sign me up to pull THAT plug…

  16. To be specific WSDave, she was a “tomato.” Composted, I would think.

    Unless her parents decide to take her out on tour.

  17. The discussion over the case may die down, but I’m afraid the morbid humor will continue to be milked for a while.

  18. I guess the reason I’m interested in how long the media coverage continues is not that I think the situation was not worth covering… I’m just wondering if the media will continue in it’s usual cycle (i.e. go back to the Jackson trial full-time) and have the balls to actively forget the show that has been going on for the past three weeks.

  19. “The discussion over the case may die down, but I’m afraid the morbid humor will continue to be milked for a while.”

    Laughing in the face of death reaffirms to us that we’re alive. Consider it a act of protest.

  20. “Better to take care of the issue when it’s in the public eye, than when it isn’t and people give far less of a shit.

    After all, that’s how a majority of the bills that intrude on personal freedom get passed.”

    You’ve got it completely backwards – the best time to pass bad legislation is when there’s a bloody shirt to wave, the public is freaking out, and people are demanding that the government do something.

  21. I predict Michael Jackson will sing at the funeral.

  22. Chuck, there was already a comment by a conservative judge on the 11th Circuit that the law was in fact unconstitutional. Not a binding court ruling, mind you, but at least the statement is in a court decision opinion.

    I do think it is ironic that the Pope finds himself in the same predicament. He’s not exactly a vegetable but he’s getting there fast. You probably won’t get the Franciscan Brothers of Peace to comment on camera about that, though.

  23. I don’t think the legal battle will stop with Terri’s death. I wouldn’t be suprised to see her “bereaved” parents sue Michael for wrongful death.

  24. cdunlea – I do think it is ironic that the Pope finds himself in the same predicament.

    So do I, and that will bear watching. If Il Papa slips into a PVS, at what point will faithful Catholics start yelling “For God’s sake, let him go…?”

  25. Some of the Schindler family supporters were comparing Terri to Jesus. I wonder if they’ll leave here in a cave for 3 days just to be sure…

  26. And the circle of American life goes on: birth, death, litigation. Sigh

  27. “If Il Papa slips into a PVS, at what point will faithful Catholics start yelling “For God’s sake, let him go…?”

    Never: They’ll just keep proping him up in that window and have a string tied to his wrist. Didn’t you see “Weekend at Bernie’s”?

  28. There will probably be at least 2 made for TV movies on Terri, one from each side.

  29. By the way, if the Pope dies within 24 hours, I predict that the faithful will proclaim that Terri was the resurection of the virgin Mary. It’s a sign from God. It must be.

  30. “I’m waiting for the Falwell-esque statement from the White House.”

    Well, as I type this, the President is making a comment on Schiavo, and somehow the issue morphed into September 11 and WMD.

    “I predict Michael Jackson will sing at the funeral.”

    And Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Bono, and Bruce Springsteen …

    Actually, I think she is seen as being a “conservative cause victim” (as opposed to those in the Asian Tsunami who are treated as “liberal cause victims”), so we’ll probably be treated to some godawful Country-Western dirge by some flag-waving, never-served-in-the-military-mealy-mouthed hypocrite chickenhawk.

  31. I’ll bet nobody on the husbands side writes a book (including the judges), but that 4 come from the parents side: The Schindlers, one of the holy men, Jesse Jackson, and Jeb Bush (after all, what politician could pass this up?).

  32. Virgin Mary…. hmmm, another assertion with no proof. My personal opinion, Joseph nailed her in her sleep, dressed in angel drag and “announced” a miracle.

    Those Hebrew paternity suits could be murder…

  33. I’d imagine it is the morbid humor that gets the “educated & intelligent” through the total weirdness of it all. When the Schindlers let themselves become the tools of every scary fanatic with a cause, they opened themselves, and their daughter, up to the macabre. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for what they did to Terri, her husband and this country. However, I doubt these hideous people would recognize dignity or humility if it bit them in the ass.

    Ok. End of rant.

  34. Pres. Bush praised the Schindlers for dealing with the situation with “grace and dignity”.

    I’d hate to see what “anti-social” behaviour from these folks looks like.

  35. Actually, I think she is seen as being a “conservative cause victim” (as opposed to those in the Asian Tsunami who are treated as “liberal cause victims”), so we’ll probably be treated to some godawful Country-Western dirge by some flag-waving, never-served-in-the-military-mealy-mouthed hypocrite chickenhawk.

    Toby Keith probably has the pickup gassed up and ready to go!

  36. This circus is like a perpetual motion machine. The end can’t be in sight, because Congress still has some out of control judges to bitch slap.
    If I had to guess, all those people who signed living wills will have to bone up on the new buzzword, durable power of attorney .

  37. “If Il Papa slips into a PVS, at what point will faithful Catholics start yelling “For God’s sake, let him go…?”

    Shortly ago I read a news item (I can’t find it now) that reported the pope said he wanted “to be on life support till the end.”

    Of course, now that even flat brain waves are no longer an indicator (thanks to this mess), I’m not sure how they’ll determine what “the end” is.

    He’s now on a feeding tube, which will only further muddy the water.

    I’ll be the first to admit moral difficulties with the pro-choice crowd.

    But in the logic of “life begins at conception”, since the “soul” somehow inhabits a zygote that doesn’t even have brain or nerve cells (let alone brain waves), when exactly do they feel the soul leave the body?

  38. Well, as I type this, the President is making a comment on Schiavo, and somehow the issue morphed into September 11 and WMD.

    I heard it. In fact, I mouthed the words along with him. So predictable. Whatever else you think about Bush, you can’t fault him for not staying on message.

  39. “Virgin Mary…. hmmm, another assertion with no proof. My personal opinion, Joseph nailed her in her sleep, dressed in angel drag and “announced” a miracle.”

    Funny. By the way, was Mary under age at the time of the pregnancy? If so, don’t current laws kind of preclude the second coming from being of “Biblical” proportions? Shouldn’t we lower the age of consent to however old Mary was, just to be sure?

  40. “Of course, now that even flat brain waves are no longer an indicator (thanks to this mess), I’m not sure how they’ll determine what “the end” is.”

    I heard someone from the Vatican on Fox saying that there are three brainwaves that they track, and when all three are flat, they’ll call it. Let’s see: Anti-abortion, Anti-gay marriage, Anti-Michael Schivo’s spousal rights…looks like all three brainwaves are flat to me.

  41. According to my admittedly liberal religion prof. at Luther College in Decorah, IA, whose name, ironically enough, was Harris E. (heresy) Kasa, Mary was 13 at the time of her conception, immaculate or otherwise, and she and Joe were not quite married at the time – More like engaged to be engaged.

    Assuming she was bat-mizvahed, she was technically “of age,” but I daresay still pretty damned impressionable.

  42. What I really fear is some right-wing, With-God-on-our-side religious extremist is getting his weapon of choice ready for anybody on the husband’s side, or judicial side of this issue.

    While I feel for Mrs. Schiavo and her condition, I agree with the legal decisions passed and that the Executive and Legislative branches had no business getting involved.

    Maybe I’m just a little sensitive on the religious thing. Having just returned from Iraq, where Islamic extremists were trying to kill me on one hand, and then serving with right-wing Christian religious nuts (particulary Catholics) who want the war to morph into the “New Crusades to Fulfill the Revelation of John”, I come home to find out that the President and Congress have gone into theocratic overdrive.

    With these and other issues, I’ve come to the conclusion that Mark Twain was right. If God exists, He, and his followers, are manifest thugs.

    Satan Help Us!!!!

  43. Unless her parents decide to take her out on tour.

    That’s probably why Michael wants her cremated.

    Having seen the Schindlers, I wouldn’t put it past them to dig her up and prop her up in a rocker like Ma Bates.

  44. B.A.I. – Well said, except, I am not even comfortable with the 20-odd judges’ decisions either, for reasons I won’t go into again.

    I think I do agree with the thundering herd here, at last, that the Schindler’s ought to be ashamed of themselves for fomenting both the media circus, and all the legal gymnatstics and outright improprieties.

  45. “This circus is like a perpetual motion machine. The end can’t be in sight, because Congress still has some out of control judges to bitch slap.
    If I had to guess, all those people who signed living wills will have to bone up on the new buzzword, durable power of attorney.”

    Happy Jack, thanks for pointing that out. I’m preparing to go to law school, and I wanted to get into intellectual property. However, the way things are going, we might need some good libertarian constitutional lawyers in the years to come.

  46. BA,”Having just returned from Iraq”

    Thank you for serving. I honestly hope that Bush doesn’t cut your benifits as a way of showing he cares.

  47. However, the way things are going, we might need some good libertarian constitutional lawyers in the years to come.

    We need as many as we can get right now!

  48. All parents get a little crazy about their kids. The Shindlers’ loss of perspective is forgiveable and understandable.

    But someone who was a good friend to them would have grabbed them by the shoulders and shaken some sense into them. Instead, the people they trusted seem only to have goaded them into increasingly irrational positions and undignified exploitation of their daughter, for their own purposes.

  49. joe – In all seriousness, I agree with you there. I can’t imagine how I would act if my 23 year old daughter were in the same predicament.

  50. I liked how in yesterday?s South Park, when they found Kenny?s living will, it said that if he were in that condition, he wouldn?t want his family to turn it into a media circus.

  51. Also, in SOME seriousness – I wonder if the right to life folks stop to realize their position, taken to its logical conclusion, argues for human rights for zygotes and zombies.

    I’m wondering where Wes Craven stands on this issue?

  52. clarityiniowa,
    That’s all fine and dandy, but if the zombies need to eat living human brains, how will they defend their rights against the human brains they need to eat.

    I guess we could just send the zombies to some country full of brown people. The right to lifers give less a crap about 1,000 dead foreigners than 1 barely living white girl in Florida.

  53. clar, “I can’t imagine how I would act if my 23 year old daughter were in the same predicament.”

    Which is why it’s so important to figure these things out now, BEFORE you have to face it for real. Not that you’d know (or could know) for certain, but a little forethought goes a long way. My wife and I had these discussions even before we were married.

  54. “Thank you for serving. I honestly hope that Bush doesn’t cut your benifits as a way of showing he cares.”

    LOL!!
    Well, corny as it sounds, the greatest benefit is being able to come home to a relatively free country and being able to intelligently discuss, agree with, disagree with, and critique issues etc. on web sites such as Reason.com.

    When I joined up and took my oath, I meant every word about “defending the United States Constitution”, which is still the greatest document in human history to me (I could care less about the Bible and Quran).

    That means different things to different people, but for me that means everyone’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of private property, whether I agree with them or not (and as an atheist, free-market, anti-Welfare State, libertarian I probably disagree with most of the people who claim to “support the troops”)

    Well, time to go. Now that Mrs. Schiavo has passed, I’m sure FOX NEWS is preparing its next “Story to Totally Run Into the Ground, Ad Infinitum”. Bill O’Reilly should be in RARE form tonight!!!

    (Ahhh, We always have Michael Jackson …. )

  55. Clarity, your position seems to be like many other people I’ve talked to. They all say they could never end life support for their kids, but that they wouldn’t want to be kept alive by machine. It’s an understandable position, and it illustrates why an advance direct/living will is necessary. It’s difficult for your loved ones to abide by your wishes.

  56. Mo, “That’s all fine and dandy, but if the zombies need to eat living human brains, how will they defend their rights against the human brains they need to eat.”

    In case zombies attack, see here:

    http://www.nixflix.com/reviews/stacy.htm

    and here:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/1400049628/104-3669098-4020704?_encoding=UTF8&customer-reviews.sort_by=-SubmissionDate&n=283155

  57. Mo, last night’s South Park had some good points, but I was a bit disappointed. I was relying on them to bring out some much needed sarcastic clarity and I think they missed the boat. Wow. How sad – I’m relying on a cartoon for clarity.

  58. clarityiniowa,

    Based on what pray reveal?

    And it is precedent because it followed Florida statutory law.

    WSDave,

    The family has already disputed Michael Schiavo’s post-death plans for her body; namely cremation. Catholics have some silly, superstitious attitude towards cremation. Apparently her body will be autopsied first though (as requested by Michael Schiavo).

    WSDave,

    He he he.

    madpad,

    There is no reason to believe that humans have a soul.

    BAI,

    Glad to see you home.

  59. BAI, “Well, corny as it sounds, the greatest benefit is being able to come home to a relatively free country and being able to intelligently discuss, agree with, disagree with, and critique issues etc. on web sites such as Reason.com.”

    Like I said, I hope Bush doesn’t cut your benefits…

  60. David and WSDave re: Living Wills – Your points are extremely well taken. I and my wife have living wills giving each other, and in succession, our daughter, durable power of attorney, and we have made our wishes known as far as we are able, I think. Our daughter, unfortunately, has not. That is starting to scare the hell out of me.

    Kind of a shame, in a way, that a 23 year old girl has to think about stuff like that. We are truly plowing new ground here. This wouldn’t have been an issue before the technology to make life and death more fungible states than they once were existed.

  61. I doubt you’ll see a wrongful death suit here…as the decision was reaffirmed ad infinitum from every judge from Pinellas to the SCOTUS. Imagine these guys being called as witnesses in a trial. Imagine the shit lists the lawyers would be on for staging that circus.

  62. I am so glad that I chose not to vote for W.

  63. Am I the only one that has noticed in the last few days the stock pictures of Terri accompanying articles have changed from PVS Terri to pre-PVS Terri? Anyone have any idea why?

  64. I’ve been raised papist and received most of the sacraments, and I have to say the Catholics have really come across as fucking loony-tunes here:

    1) Marching around outside a hospital with crucifixi.

    2) Insist on the devotion of a member who didn’t go to mass for two years before her heart attack.

    3) Demand to administer a sacrament to a brain-dead person who is incapable of participating in a “communion”. Not to mention that placing food in the mouth was a danger to the husk.

    4) Seek to cleanse the soul of a being who is incapable of sin.

    5) Stridently insist that suffering be extended by any means necessary. That suffering is what brings us closer to Jesus.

    I don’t practice, and I’m getting married soon without annulling my last marriage, ergo I’m already going to rot in hell.. but I’m finally turning in my papist card. Consider me a born-again Buddhist.

  65. Mo,
    Perhaps the pre-PVS pictures were courtesy of those who wished to remember her that way. That is what I would want to see on the news if I had known her.
    Naive, I know.

  66. Born Again Iconoclast,

    I read in the Village Voice that “The Church of Satan has legal status as a “corporation sole” just like any other church. The United States military allows its members to inscribe “Church of Satan” on dog tags. And military chaplains’ guidebooks feature a page on its beliefs.”

    Is this true? Can you get Church of Satan dog tags? That would be so fucking cool.

  67. Anyone believe in changing their minds? Christopher Reeves supposedly stated that he would never want to live without the use of his legs, but when he survived his accident, all he wanted to do was survive.

  68. Christopher Reeve had a mind to change.

  69. I’d say, Id, that it’s pretty clear Mrs. Schiavo’s mind changed.

    She went from having an opinion on the matter, to being physically incapable of having any opinion on any matter.

  70. Id,

    The “supposedly stated” part is where you went wrong.

    Mr. Nice Guy,

    Well, keep in mind that the RCC is the same body which burnt folks at the stake for not agreeing with a guy who had never been a Christian and couldn’t have been one (Aristotle).

  71. For people with a spiritual bent, it does seem the Catholic Church and other right to lifers’ definition of life has more to do with protoplasm than mentation or spirituality. Their assumption is that where there is human flesh, or even chromosomes, there is human life.

  72. Id, spot on. Any of us could be watching a movie about a cripple or just BSin and say to our friends, “if I ever become like that, just shoot me or something”. But when tragedy happens, nearly every one of us would change our tune. We’d be busy trying to recover as best we can – learning to walk, move, eat, etc. Basically, what we said while we were healthy was a complete crock of shit, even if we didn’t know it at the time. A certain Who song lyric comes to mind – “hope I die before I get old”…

    No comment on the Shiavo case though (I’ve got to much work to do today)

  73. bigbigslacker,

    First, his/her comment is based on an unsubstantiated statement.

    Second, you don’t substantiate this statement: nearly every one of us would change our tune.

  74. Clearly, the Bush Admin orchestrated the timeliness of Schiavo’s death with the release of the latest intel failure findings. Schiavo’s death is all over the front pages now and the intel report is somewhere in the back page with the Fry’s ad.

  75. I fervently hope that everyone involved in preventing the reinsertion of Schiavo’s feeding tube finds themselves bound and gagged in some sterile room so that they can starve to death.

  76. where would we get all that duct tape?

  77. dhex,

    The Department of Homeland Security.

    rst,

    Yes, you are a fanatic whose opinion can now be easily discounted.

  78. Yes, you are a fanatic whose opinion can now be easily discounted.

    What a dumbass. You have no basis to claim I am a fanatic. No reasonable person would expect them all to be bound and gagged for starvation…as dhex pointed out, where would we get all that duct tape?

    Good troll. Have a treat.

  79. Okay, I’ll wrap this up with predictions:

    1) The body will suddenly disappear after the Federal Government passes a secret law. Years later, blurry, grainy footage of an autopsy done by hooded men will surface and will be presented by Geraldo in a TV special.

    2) The Pope, totally addled by his advanced illness, will forgo all tradition and declare TS a saint of “lost car keys”.

    3) The memorial service will be the biggest TV event since Tiny Tim. Jesse Jackson will reign as the MC, and everyone will have a good cry at the end when Jeb Bush and Cher sing “I got you babe” with Elton John on the piano.

  80. Madpad asked:
    But in the logic of “life begins at conception”, since the “soul” somehow inhabits a zygote that doesn’t even have brain or nerve cells (let alone brain waves), when exactly do they feel the soul leave the body?

    Interesting question. If the answer is that as long as there are functioning cells, then the soul could cling to the body for quite a while. Certainly, cremation would be a final release, but most burials would have the soul still attached. If the soul is attached so long as tissue lives, our standard methods of disposing of the dead are no different from what has been done to Schiavo. We now have the technology to nurture tissue samples indefinitely. If what has been done to Schiavo is wrong, aren’t ALL cases of not keeping tissue alive as long as possible morally equal?

    Attachment of the soul to any living tissue has profound implications for transplants and cloning. Can we prevent a soul from ever reaching its final reward by cloning a tissue sample in perpetuity?

    Do soulists really want to hang their hat on a soul-living tissue relation? If they don’t, then they need to articulate the standard. In Schiavo’s case, many don’t seem to see brain function as a standard for the soul. So what should the standard be?

  81. There was significant medical debate over the finality of her condition. The courts played referee between two differing medical opinions. Are you comfortable with a judge playing doctor? I’m barely comfortable with those morons playing judges.

  82. If I was brain dead would I care? Perhaps on some animal level … but people certainly argued for more humane methods of death.

    If I was brain alive the situation would not be comparable in any way.

    Liberals sympathize with the tsunami victimes (thousands) and conservatives with one BRAIN DEAD woman? I’m not a utilitarian … but I’ve got to go with the liberals here.

  83. There was significant medical debate over the finality of her condition.

    No, there wasn’t.

  84. “”Having seen the Schindlers, I wouldn’t put it past them to dig her up and prop her up in a rocker like Ma Bates.””

    Dude! Now thats crass, Norman would have never charged people $20 to see his mother.

  85. rst,

    You’re the one making the outlandish statements here, not I.

    There was significant medical debate over the finality of her condition.

    No there wasn’t. What existed was a series of claims by individuals who for the most part had only seen a four and a half minute video of Schiavo. Furthermore, the Schindler’s chief medical expert is a quack, and Jeb Bush’s medical expert claimed that he felt a “presence.”

  86. No, there wasn’t.

    Yes, there was, and there still is. The diagnosis was based primarily on subjective interpretations of Schiavo’s (lack of) reaction to stimuli. By default that puts the ill-defined “persistent vegitative state” as entry #1 on the list of differential diagnoses. Doctors have little clue as to how consciousness functions, nor have they any objective means of establishing a relationship between their metrics and the varying levels of consciousness our brain employs to negotiate the outside world. They do however have a lot of patients, and little desire to dig deeply enough into the symptoms and indications of individual patients, beyond easing that patient’s mind. In Schiavo’s case, the doctors wanted to ease her husband’s mind. The diagnosis lends an air of finality and thus closure. There is little reason to trust its objective accuracy, only the comfort of the individual actors in having made that diagnosis.

    To say nothing for the ultra-humane decision to starve her to death.

  87. js,

    She’s wasn’t brain dead (that would require that even her brain stem is dead); she was in a PVS.

  88. I bet that, given half a chance, those friar schmucks would carve up Terri Schiavo’s body and sell the pieces as relics on EBay, in order to fund their order’s operations.

    BID NOW! Terri Schiavo’s fingernail parings!

  89. rst,

    The diagnosis was based primarily on subjective interpretations of Schiavo’s (lack of) reaction to stimuli.

    Which is how PVS is determined, along with CT-Scans and other tests by medical equipment.

    You know, there are hundreds of diagnoses that combine these two elements; your search for absolute certitude would close down much of the practice of medicine if we were to carry your attitude forward.

  90. Its interesting to note that not once did the Schindler’s doctors demonstrate any of the criteria that would have taken her out of the PVS category. Its not a particularly difficult task to meet these criteria, BTW.

  91. You’re the one making the outlandish statements here, not I.

    1. Hope != Expect
    2. I hope AND expect you can identify sarcasm when you see it…especially when it patently fails the reasonable person standard. We’re all reasonable people here, and while I hope they all starve to death (bound and gagged in a sterile room), I know they likely will not.
    3. You frequently make outlandish statements here.

    Furthermore, the Schindler’s chief medical expert is a quack, and Jeb Bush’s medical expert claimed that he felt a “presence.”

    Subjective statements. As subjective as “Terry was a vegetable”.

    Which is how PVS is determined, along with CT-Scans and other tests by medical equipment.

    Right, and as I said, the determination is of incomplete depth to establish the diagnosis with any reliable certainty. Repeat this a few times for your own benefit, it will help you as you get older: just because my doctor said it doesn’t make it so.

    You know, there are hundreds of diagnoses that combine these two elements; your search for absolute certitude would close down much of the practice of medicine if we were to carry your attitude forward.

    That’s an interesting if infantile view. Perhaps by corollary it applies to criminal cases? We could make the criminal justice system far more effective if we relaxed those pesky rules of evidence a bit. Who needs near-objectivity in life or death circumstances? What was I thinking?

    Christ dude, thank God you’re not a doctor, you’re forgetting the single most important aspect of establishing a diagnosis. I’ll let you mull it over and see if you can come up with it.

  92. hint: it’s not the insurance carrier’s procedure reimbursement schedule.

  93. rst,

    Quit playing Clintonesque games. If you don’t expect people to take your statements seriously, then give the reader a verbal, etc. sign that you are indeed being sarcastic. It was perfectly reasonable for me to take your statement at face value. As to my past statements (whatever their nature might be), they have no bearing on your statement.

    The man is a quack. He has on a number of occassions claimed to be able to bring back the PVS to consciousness, yet has not been able to do so (and been paid large sums in the process as well). He is a practitioner of snake oil.

    Right, and as I said, the determination is of incomplete depth to establish the diagnosis with any reliable certainty.

    You are getting the cart before the horse I am afraid.

    Perhaps by corollary it applies to criminal cases? We could make the criminal justice system far more effective if we relaxed those pesky rules of evidence a bit.

    *yawn* Yet no one claims that the criminal justice system works perfectly either. And again, by your analogy, you get the cart before the horse.

  94. rst,

    And of course you are going to continue to get the cart before the horse because you are never going to establish the validity of your claim.

  95. rst,

    Again, its interesting to note that not once did the Schindler’s doctors demonstrate any of the criteria that would have taken her out of the PVS category. Its not a particularly difficult task to meet these criteria, BTW. The criteria has a low threshold of proof because the medical community likes to err on the side of assuming some brain activity. Getting to a diagnosis of a MCS isn’t very hard in other words.

  96. rst,

    And let’s note that your original claim was that there was some “significant medical debate” about her condition. You haven’t shown any proof of this and now you’ve moved the target to what you find wrong with the diagnostic procedures (without actually demonstrating that they are flawed in the way that you claim that they are). Where will the target move next I wonder?

  97. You are getting the cart before the horse I am afraid.

    You are missing the point: there can be no diagnosis either way. The factors that indicate a persistent vegetative state are “circumstantial,” if you will, and not of sufficient weight to establish a credible diagnosis for anyone other than the people who want closure. To justify allowing someone to starve to death on account of an incomplete diagnosis, THAT is putting the cart before the horse.

    She may indeed be in an unrecoverable state, but that was not known at the time of her death.

  98. moved the target to what you find wrong with the diagnostic procedures

    Earth to Gunnels – establishing the diagnosis is a primary point of medical debate.

  99. rst,

    You are missing the point: there can be no diagnosis either way.

    And you are again getting the cart before the horse.

    The factors that indicate a persistent vegetative state are “circumstantial,” if you will, and not of sufficient weight to establish a credible diagnosis for anyone other than the people who want closure.

    Hook that horse up to the cart soon. Indeed, merely repeating your claim over and over again isn’t particularly convincing.

  100. rst,

    Earth to rst – establishing the validity of your claim would be helpful. 🙂 Keep on moving that target. See how far it gets you.

  101. clarityiniowa,

    Apparently because some of the diagnostic criteria include subjective analyses that means a diagnosis of PVS is bunk. In the real world of course we combine objective and subjective analyses to make decisions all the time. Anyway, rst hasn’t really shown me any reason to discount the diagnostic criteria in this case.

  102. Also, the Schindler’s doctors did not discount (to my knowledge) the criteria used to evaluate Schiavo’s condition; indeed, they used the same diagnostic measures to try to prove she was not in a PVS, and failed in their effort. What was at controversy was not the procedure, what was disputed was the results of the procedures and the Schindler’s doctors never demonstrated that their use of those diagnostic procedures showed anything other than the she was in a PVS.

  103. Is “putting the cart before the horse” Garyspeak for “I don’t agree with you and therefore you are wrong”?

    The expression means to make sure things are in the right order. Shouldn’t we demand the most objective diagnosis possible (the horse) before deciding the most humane course of action is to kill the patient via starvation (the cart)? Kidney failure hurts real bad dude, and even this diagnosis you cling to so vehemently says nothing about a diminished capacity for the patient to feel pain. Moreover, the only validity you can glean for your claim comes from a judge agreeing with a doctor who agrees with a hospital administrator who wants to clear the bed for a cheaper patient that will not be putting his hospital and his staff under a microscope.

    And finally, if the only proof you seek is a bunch of URLs pointing you to a bunch of experts who are debating the same points with different words, fuck your lazy ass, you know how to Google.

  104. Gary, I don’t think you get it.

    STARVE! To DEATH! STARVE! STARVE! How would you like to STARVE! STARVE! STARVE to DEATH!

    Please repeat that over and over until rst starts making sense.

  105. rst,

    Shouldn’t we demand the most objective diagnosis possible (the horse) before deciding the most humane course of action is to kill the patient via starvation (the cart)?

    Ahh, more target moving. First it was a bit about medical controversy. Then it was a disagreement with the diagnostic procedure. Now its an issue of certitude. Again, if we lived in your fantasy world nothing would ever be accomplished; given our current diagnostic techniques (which you have called into question but have as yet to actually demonstrate are invalid), etc. a decision was made about her condition. Yes, its true that maybe in five or ten or twenty years a better test might become available, but since you have not demonstrated that a better test is in the offing, all I can say is that we make the decisions we do based on the evidence we have at hand. The absolute certitude you seek is a chimera.

    Kidney failure hurts real bad dude, and even this diagnosis you cling to so vehemently says nothing about a diminished capacity for the patient to feel pain.

    The only one clinging to anything is you and your unsubstantiated claims. Numerous doctors have commented that starvation is a very easy way to go.

    Moreover, the only validity you can glean for your claim comes from a judge agreeing with a doctor who agrees with a hospital administrator who wants to clear the bed for a cheaper patient that will not be putting his hospital and his staff under a microscope.

    I’d like to see actual comments as to such by said hospice administrator (she was not in a hospital – you can’t even those basic facts right). Until you can, I can treat you just like I treat BillyRay – as a troll.

  106. joe,

    rst has gone cuckoo.

  107. First it was a bit about medical controversy. Then it was a disagreement with the diagnostic procedure. Now its an issue of certitude.

    Dude are you really that dumb? Diagnostic procedures lend credence to the “certitude” of a diagnosis. The diagnosis is a key point in any medical controversy. Is this too difficult for you to understand, or do you simply not understand medical science? I could probably draw it out for you but I’m not too good at ASCII art.

    So let me try and spell this out for you and joe real simple-like: the “diagnosis” of a persistent vegetative state is based entirely on the interpretation of individuals who are trying to communicate with her. It is not a real diagnosis at all, but if you need to think of it as a diagnosis, then at least understand that it is not an actionable one. It is a placeholder that has existed in medicine for 33 years (and if you haven’t read the paper that first described the condition and gave it that name, way back when computers still took up most of a room, then you both need to check it out of your library and enjoy it over a nice warm glass of shut the fuck up) to describe a condition that exists between comatose and reactive, defined roughly as “wakefulness without awareness.” There is no aspect of the diagnosis whatsoever that indicates a lack of consciousness, cognition, ability to process stimuli, or feel pain. It ONLY indicates an inability to make an observable RESPONSE indicating such. It is not like GERD, or cancer, or other such conditions that have recognized etiologies and prognoses. It has neither etiology, nor prognosis, nor treatment. It is not a diagnosis but a statement that means roughly, “we don’t know.”

    Am I getting through or do I need to pull your feeding tubes?

  108. Numerous doctors have commented that starvation is a very easy way to go.

    Of course, and here we are debating over the painlessness of lethal injections and the electric chair in executions. It would then be much more humane, inexpensive, and energy efficient to simply let those condemned to die starve to death.

    Is your cat sick? Don’t take him to the vet, lock him in a box and don’t feed him. It is such an easy way to go, especially since our internal organs don’t depend on water.

    GG – the above was sarcasm.

  109. Never: They’ll just keep proping him up in that window and have a string tied to his wrist. Didn’t you see “Weekend at Bernie’s”?

    Ha ha, that gave me a funny mental picture, albeit morbid and tacky….

    Good troll. Have a treat. -rst

    You guys are so mean to each other, it’s amusing.

    The diagnosis was based primarily on subjective interpretations of Schiavo’s (lack of) reaction to stimuli.

    Regardless of Gary’s and rst’s Mexican standoff, this statement is true.

  110. “The diagnosis was based primarily on subjective interpretations of Schiavo’s (lack of) reaction to stimuli.”

    Yeah, because you know, even with a flatline EEG, she might have been composing the Great American Novel in her head.

  111. “If Il Papa slips into a PVS, at what point will faithful Catholics start yelling ‘For God’s sake, let him go…?'”

    Never, if “let him go” means starving him to death.

  112. “Pres. Bush praised the Schindlers for dealing with the situation with ‘grace and dignity’.

    “I’d hate to see what ‘anti-social’ behaviour from these folks looks like.”

    Anti-social behavior would be what Janet Reno did in Florida five years ago on Palm Sunday morning when it looked like the Florida courts might not be making the decisions she wanted them to.

  113. “Of course, now that even flat brain waves are no longer an indicator (thanks to this mess), I’m not sure how they’ll determine what ‘the end’ is.”

    But Terri Schivo *did* have brain waves. If she hadn’t had them, she wouldn’t have been able to perform all those “reflex” actions that were caught on film.

  114. The pope is, what 84? I don’t think he’s going to be holding on tube-fed for another 14 years.

  115. “According to my admittedly liberal religion prof. at Luther College in Decorah, IA, whose name, ironically enough, was Harris E. (heresy) Kasa, Mary was 13 at the time of her conception, immaculate or otherwise, and she and Joe were not quite married at the time – More like engaged to be engaged.

    “Assuming she was bat-mizvahed, she was technically ‘of age,’ but I daresay still pretty damned impressionable.”

    1. At “the time of [Mary’s] conception,” her age was minus 9 months; her “immaculate conception” refers to when *she* was conceived, not when she conceived her son.

    2. Assuming you’re talking about when she conceived her son, how the hell does Prof. Kasa *know* (as opposed to speculate) what her age was at all? I don’t remember that the gospels say anything about the matter. Or does Prof. Kasa have access to some previously unknows primary sources (perhaps her and Jesus’ birth certificates)?

    3. Mary wouldn’t have been bat mitzvah, because that ceremony hadn’t been invented in her day (and still isn’t performed by Orthodox Jews).

  116. You know, I think you guys are talking past each other. RST is basically saying that no amount of medical data would be sufficient to convince him that someone was terminally unconscious. Personally, if I had a loved one with a flatline EEG, the personality of a trout and a set of X-Ray, MRI and CAT images that showed the inside of their skull looked like a pina colada, I’d be personally slipping them enough morphine to kill an elephant. But some people are more optimistic than I am. I think that legislatures in various states will pass laws that will make it possible to challenge such terminations of life in the absence of a living will in the event of a family dispute and that might be the best solution they can come up with for this situation.

  117. rst,

    Diagnostic procedures lend credence to the “certitude” of a diagnosis.

    No fucking shit. And you have yet to demonstrate that those procedures aren’t meritworthy. You have the cart before the horse. And as I predicted you will to continue to obtusely ignore this rather important fact.

    …the “diagnosis” of a persistent vegetative state is based entirely on the interpretation of individuals who are trying to communicate with her.

    No it isn’t. It is a combination of factors, some of them include tests in response to stimuli, some include things like CT-Scans (indeed, you wouldn’t be performing the former without the latter!). And again, the Schindlers’ own doctors have yet to claim (to my knowledge) that the test is bogus.

    It is not a real diagnosis at all…

    Prove it. Demonstrate it. You haven’t so far and you apparently refuse to do so.

    There is no aspect of the diagnosis whatsoever that indicates a lack of consciousness, cognition, ability to process stimuli, or feel pain.

    Ahh, yeah right; again, substantiate your claim.

    BTW, I am stilling waiting for you to substantiate your claim about the hospice director. Or was that a lie for effect?

    And regarding the starvation issue, well that’s largely because the religious minded in this country don’t like the idea of euthanasia. Blame your side of the argument for that particular bullshit.

    Seamus,

    She didn’t have electrical signals in her cerebral cortex and that portion of her brain was essentially liquid.

  118. Anti-social behavior would be what Janet Reno did in Florida five years ago on Palm Sunday morning when it looked like the Florida courts might not be making the decisions she wanted them to.

    What?

  119. Mitch Hedberg died today as well. RIP.

    Il Papa received last rites as well. I guess it’s true what they say about threes.

  120. Let’s look at rst’s argument in a step-wise fashion.

    rst states that there is a medical controversy here at play. rst argues that medical controversy concerns the diagnostic process by which persons are diagonsed as being in a PVS or not. rst provides us with no evidence that such a controversy exists regarding this particular process and no reason to question that process either. Nor did even the doctors of the Schindlers’ or Jeb Bush’s doctor or any other doctor that may have questioned the diagnosis question the process used to come to that diagnosis. So what we are left with are a bunch of vague allusions to an unsubstantiated controversy concerning the process itself, and not the actual controversy, which concerns the conclusion of the diagnosis.

  121. And of course we also have rst making a bunch of outlandish statements and attacking the motives of people he has never met or evidently read anything about.

  122. she might have been composing the Great American Novel in her head.

    You’ve been watching too many movies. A flat EEG does not indicate brain death. It simply indicates that the scalp (not the brain) is not at nominal electrical potential. If you know anything about the electrical permittivity of human flesh, you know that this is not a smoking gun.

    Good idea on the novel though…is that your proposed cutoff for one having the right to live?

    And the diagnostics indicated only brain atrophy, which is a common feature in pathologies/processes such as MS, cerebral palsy, Alzheimers, mad cow, and aging. None of those feature euthanasia as a means of treatment.

    some include things like CT-Scans

    Incorrect. A CT scan is used only to determine physical characteristics of the brain, in this case it demonstrated cerebral atrophy. It does not correlate to the PSV categorization. And your statement that the status of PSV as a valid “diagnosis” is not under debate is patently incorrect…you should do some research on the matter and quit asking me to spoonfeed you the correct answers.

    Ahh, yeah right; again, substantiate your claim.

    I told you, read the paper. Go learn for yourself, child.

  123. rst,

    If you are going to start arguing that a CT-Scan or an MRI aren’t a criticial part of the diagnosis then I can only tell you that you are a liar.

    And your statement that the status of PSV as a valid “diagnosis” is not under debate is patently incorrect…you should do some research on the matter and quit asking me to spoonfeed you the correct answers.

    Well, if indeed that were the case, it would seem that it would easy for you to point me to a number of websites which substantiate this claim. You know, when I discuss things here and people ask me to substantiate my statements I do my level best to answer that request. So far, you’ve done zilch. Well, that and you’ve attacked the character of people you’ve never met.

  124. rst,

    BTW, just to give you the first clue, they use CT-Scans and MRIs to predict whether someone will recover from a PVS all the time. Insurance companies often demand them as a means to determine what they consider adequate recovery.

  125. rst the troll,

    BTW, I am still waiting for you to substantiate your claim regarding the hospice director. How long you going to keep me waiting? Or was that just a lie for effect? Do you lie for effect often?

  126. rst,

    Regarding your claims, the onus is on you to prove them; the onus is not on the party making the very reasonable request that you substantiate them. You’ve now had what, a couple of hours to google up some information on this matter? Instead of doing that you’ve bluffed your way through an argument. And you wonder why I treat your statements with incredulity.

  127. I see where Mel Gibson has weighed in. This is important because…

    …oh yeah, it isn’t…

  128. Well, it seems the idiocy of this debate spilleth over into every conversation, regardless of the intelligence of most of those weighing in.

    I am in a wonderful position here because I’ve never posted before, know none of you, and don’t give a rat’s ass who may find my words discomforting. To those of you who still believe that Terri Schindler was wronged by her husband…This rant’s for you. And no, I’ve never met the guy.

    1. The woman was not in any way, shape, or form cognizant of whether she was being fed or not. I am no longer able to understand frankly, how otherwise intelligent people are so damn willing to gobble up the propaganda fed to them by media outlets who themselves exist within the backpockets of politicians and lobbyists. The testimony to support Terri’s physical condition is absolutely staggering. The lone dissenting voices come from physicians hired directly by right-to-lifers, affiliated with right-to-life organizations, and possessive of the sole intent to use an innocent woman as a vehicle towards steamrolling their fanatical, closed-minded, and flat-out daft agenda right into our back doors. If you doubt my word, look for yourself. You’ve already done that? Don’t tell me. You’ve been relying on one of the innumerable sites set up by agents of the parents and the right-wing-nutcases. Do yourself a favor. Go to U of Miami Ethics Center site. They had no beef in this fight. Dr. Wolfson was accepted as an unbiased party by everyone involved. Read his entire report. Poke a hole in his story and then post again.

    2. I agree with whoever said that we can anxiously await an altogether horrid television movie…my vote for the title is “Schindler’s List…Gag Me With A Spoon.”

    3. The protesters in florida did not protest in the name of any principle. They protested in the name of publicity. Period. Are you familiar with the background of Randall Terry? He disowned two of his children. One was a homosexual, the other if I recall correctly, simply unacceptable. She probably asked him why he felt justified in supporting the actions of those who have led to the injury and even death of Physicians treating women seeking abortions. Have you looked at the background of Tom Delay? For him to say that those who orchestrated her murder will pay was sickening to the core. Do you believe that this creature had goodwill towards a stranger in a hospice? Excuse me, but that’s simply the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The man is a crook and should have been booted long ago. He took the side of Jeb and GW because he is undeniably desperate. Have you looked at GW? Did he make immediate movement when a kid from an indian reservation walked into a highschool and shot the place up, killing himself on top of it all? Did he do one damn thing to assist a pleading mother in his own state of Texas whose 8 month old had his feeding tube yanked at the direction of a Judge following the letter of the law…the one set in motion by GW himself? And hey, did even one of those radicals bother to speak out on this case? Did the rich jackasses who tried to essentially buy Terri in a disgusting display of exploitation and disregard offer to send even a portion of the money offered Michael to help this woman keep her 8 month old child alive long enough to futher study his condition? And Jeb? Let’s think this over. Jeb says he does not want to be our President. Well, blow me over! What could he possibly gain from making such a statement but do you really think his declaration means a darn thing? If you’re buying into that theory you are clearly obtaining your information from the media news outlets who have been so unredeemingly irresponsible with their coverage and frankly, dangerous.

    4. The day our Judges roll over in the face of conniving, scamming, whats-in-this-for-me politicians is that day when you should fear as though you’ve never feared before. Believe me, they’re dying to do it. I would say that if anyone has death on their hands, it would be the executive and legislative branches of our government when some lunatic desperate for attention takes out Judge Greer, Michael Schiavo, and quite possibly his fiancee and her children. Wake up, dude! Have you even studied the facts of this case? Do you realize Michael Schiavo AND the woman he fell in love with BOTH played a huge role in caring for Terri? Are you so unable to grasp the concept that just because she met with catastrophe, her husband wasn’t mandated to lie there and waste away right along beside her? I have an ex-husband and I can tell you this, I would trust his motive with me no matter how he moved on in life. To assume that Michael Schiavo is the devil incarnate for needing companionship and support is to snub your nose at the very basic necessities of the human existence.

    5. The Schindler’s were used, abused and made to look like idiots. Unfortunately they bought into the attention. I have absolutely no doubt that we will see Terri’s brother attempt a run at office or God help us, a movie career.

    6. I hope to God that Michael’s attorneys have been keeping keen eye on the amount of libel and slander slugged at him by journalists, celebrities, and Preachers of all denominations. If anyone deserves to sue the hell out of anyone else, it’s him. But you know what….I have the distinct impression that Michael Schiavo is the only one in this tragedy who has retained even a shread of decency. My bet is that he’ll remain quiet. As for Judge Greer getting booted out of his home-church after years of service there…what utter hypocrosy that represents. Or did you not even realize that those loving religious folk had taken part in such as that? Check the facts.

    7. The woman deserved to go peacefully and that is exactly what took place today. And when you find yourself utterly defensive of a 41 year old woman who would have died on the spot had she seen the videos her parents paraded around for all the world to see, try putting that energy into cases like the one of Sun Hudson in Texas. He was 8 months old. He died and no one gave a damn. Try putting your energy into the devastation, povery, rampant depression and alcoholism that all but rules the Indian Reservations such as the one in the news last week. These cases are easy to ignore. But they’re the ones that matter. And by the way, because I’m enjoying the view from the soapbox…the reason for GWs silence on the school massacre? The NRA and the fact that the victims were poor. The reason for GWs silence on the Sun Hudson case? He’s named that jewel of a creation the “Futile Act Bill.” Boy would that have gone over well! But still, you think he cares for a 41 year old…..

    Seems to me we ought to show up on Capital Hill waving flip-flops in his face. But that would be a waste of time.Flip-flopping is supposed to be a compliment. Personally, I wear a charm of a bright red pair right around my neck. Why? To change and evolve after learning and studying new information is something I find quite the cool thing…namely, education and evolution of the mind. Nobody involved in this debacle of a movement called “let’s err on the side of life” would have the tiniest clue as to such a notion.

    OK. I’ll leave it at that. But believe me, I’d be happy as a clam to go on.

  129. OOps…I should have said “Futile Care Bill” but then again, I have no doubt that the folks who could have benefited from reading that rant stopped at the second sentence anyway…..

  130. Diagnosing The Permanent Vegetative State on the AMA’s web site.

    …This state-the permanent vegetative state-is a condition of wakeful unawareness, a form of permanent unconsciousness. Originally described and named by Fred Plum and Brian Jennet in 1972, this neurological syndrome is now well known to most doctors who treat neurological disorders. …

    Given this situation, the clinical diagnosis of PVS can be a difficult, and scary, diagnosis to make, unless a physician has adequate experience and expertise in evaluating neurological syndromes. …

    It seems a diagnosis is tough but possible. Probably depends upon how you view the case itself, but it’s an interesting given the discussion about the specifics of the diagnosis.

  131. Court:

    You Rock!

  132. “Anti-social behavior would be what Janet Reno did in Florida five years ago on Palm Sunday morning when it looked like the Florida courts might not be making the decisions she wanted them to.

    What?”

    Shem, that’s refering to the Elian Gonzalez case.
    (I’m Assuming your “what?” meant “what are you talking about” rather than a disagreement with Seamus’s logic, etc. Did I just misuse an apostrophe? I blame the beer if I did – another productive evening…)

  133. Where the right-to-life right falls down in this is that they would never put federal money where their mouths are.

    Bush isn’t about to propose a tax increase to fund continuing care for those on life support. Nor is Tom DeLay. It’s just dandy with them if people are taken off life support due to lack of funds.

  134. Can we move on to something interesting about this case:

    Michael Schaivo has balls. Michael stood up to religious nuts, Congress, and the President, and won the wishes of his wife, without compromise.

    It’s not my place to tell a hero to take yet another risk, but if he were so willing, I would suggest he seek justice against the defamation of character brought about by FNC’s Sean Hannity.

  135. Jim, thanks and right back at you…

    Slacker…the Elian case could be fun, too! I’m keeping pace with you in regard to the beer.

    Drooling…Agreed. And I’ve got quite an exhaustive list if you happen to hear that his Attys are in need of a little assistance!!

    FYI, Dennis Miller and Gillespie are debating at the moment. Good God…Miller is a moron. I wish Nick would lay out more of the facts, but then he’s on television and I’m sitting here downing a Corona. Hmmmm….

  136. I love people like rst; they’re so f*cking 22 years old. Don’t confuse them with the facts (um, Terri’s daid, like the headline says).

    Bloviate away, dude. Maybe it’ll bring her back.

  137. SixSigma,

    In other words, the diagnostic technique is useful, if difficult to apply.

  138. One point I haven’t seen anywhere: Schiavo went into cardiac arrest in 1990 and was “revived”; you could argue that she has been kept alive “artifically” since then…

  139. Sorry…the word is “artifically”…

  140. GG –

    Yeah, that’s what I saw. You could possibly make a case of an inexperienced doctor, but I haven’t seen that position argued anywhere in refernce to Michael’s doctors. The article does ask for testing over a period of about a year, but if I’m correct, in this case, the testing and attempted rehab measures lasted almost 7.

    I will add one thing though, you mentioned Michael asked for the autopsy. I think that’s incorrect, even though reported that he had. I heard, and haven’t had time to confirm so could be wrong, that because he is/will cremate Terri for burial, by law an autopsy is required.

    Probably because cremation can been used effectively to cover up things like posioning one’s spouse. Not that I’m claiming that here, simply a “first thought” of the possible logic behind such a law.

  141. Jon,

    Schiavo’s parents were willing to fund her treatment themselves.

  142. I love all the pictures now of demonstrators wailing, gnashing their teeth, and spreading their arms out in a Christ-like fashion. How dramatic.

    I also love all the threats by politicians, priests, and activists. There will be “hell to pay” according to one Operation Rescue official. Great. We need blood. Terry must be avenged. We must seek vengeance on those who had the gall to follow the rules of their job, even the “conservative” ones.

    Why do we need a judiciary anyway? This whole checks-and-balance thing is a farce. Obviously the executives and legislature are doing just peachy on their own. Only they understand that raw emotion is a perfectly valid vehicle to formulate policy. So, basically, we need to either nullify the courts, or at least get rid of all the trouble-maker judges.

    This point has been brought up before, but I want to dig it up again. TS was “murdered”, but if she had a living will that specified tube removal, it wouldn’t be “suicide”? How is that acceptable? Please, explain.

  143. Seamus – Regarding the reputedly Virgin Mary, lighten up, dude. I have know idea where my old prof. got his facts. He could very well have been joking, as I was. Bringing a little humor to this morbid subject seemed appropriate at the time.

    BTW: My stepdaughter brought home a Virgin Mary action figure recently. I have no idea where it came from, but the package said it came complete with a “Miraculously Intact Hymen.”

  144. Breaking News: Terri Schiavo still dead after nearly 24 hours in a PERMANENT vegetative state. Family members, activists and protesters still breathlessly await any change in her status.

  145. I have know idea where my old prof. got his facts.

    I believe that most guesses as to the age of the VM are base on the fact that the gospels inform us that Mary was betrothed to Joseph. This betrothal (according to some) would have occured sometime around age ten or twelve. The marriage would have occured at around fourteen or fifteen.

    So since Mary was not yet married she was 10. Hence 12 or 13.

  146. Oh shit, last paragraph shoud read:

    So since Mary was not yet married she was less than 14 but over 10. Hence about 12 or 13.

  147. “So since Mary was not yet married she was less than 14 but over 10. Hence about 12 or 13.”

    This is at best a guess. We can only say this with certainty if we knew for a fact that *no* girl remained unmarried past the age of 14, or that *no* man would ever get betrothed to an unmarried girl or woman older than 14. I’ll admit there’s a good possibility that Mary was as young as that, but that’s not a conclusion based on actual evidence of her individual situation.

  148. This is at best a guess.

    Of course. I was simply trying to explain the (somewhat tortured) logic of the guess.

    It makes no difference to me since I do not believe the fairy tale in the first place.

    …actual evidence of her individual situation.

    Since she more than likely never existed it’s highly unlikely there would be any such “evidence”.

  149. Preach it, Isaac!!

  150. Sixsigma–

    I think this is the relevant statute (IANAL):

    “406.11 Examinations, investigations, and autopsies.–

    (1) In any of the following circumstances involving the death of a human being, the medical examiner of the district in which the death occurred or the body was found shall determine the cause of death and shall, for that purpose, make or have performed such examinations, investigations, and autopsies as he or she shall deem necessary or as shall be requested by the state attorney:

    (a) When any person dies in the state:
    1. Of criminal violence.
    2. By accident.
    3. By suicide.
    4. Suddenly, when in apparent good health.
    5. Unattended by a practicing physician or other recognized practitioner.
    6. In any prison or penal institution.
    7. In police custody.
    8. In any suspicious or unusual circumstance.
    9. By criminal abortion.
    10. By poison.
    11. By disease constituting a threat to public health.
    12. By disease, injury, or toxic agent resulting from employment.

    (b) When a dead body is brought into the state without proper medical certification.

    (c) When a body is to be cremated, dissected, or buried at sea.

    [rest of 406.11 deleted]

    This seems to me to indicate that the ME must determine the cause of death before cremation, and that (s)he has the power to require an autopsy, if necessary to help make that determination.

    I had heard about this “autopsy requirement” before, and I knew something was wrong about that. My father and father-in-law both died and were cremated in Florida, and I know for a fact that neither of them had an autopsy performed.

  151. It also occurs to me that maybe Michael’s consenting to an autopsy is something of a pre-emptive action, since the State Attorney, who works for Jeb, can request one according to the statute above. Maybe he felt that an autopsy was inevitable, and decided to get out in front of this issue.

  152. It also occurs to me that maybe Michael’s consenting to an autopsy is something of a pre-emptive action,…

    Considering the guy’s been the victim of one of the thorough-going character assassination jobs that I’ve seen in my lifetime, I hardly blame him for doing everything to cover his ass.

  153. I don’t blame him either. I wasn’t intending to criticize, just speculating on some possible reasons for the decision. I probably would have done the same thing.

  154. crimthink writes: “Schiavo’s parents were willing to fund her treatment themselves.”

    Kind of beside the point. Politicians and demogogues are talking in universals, talking about passing laws, etc.

    Which obviously, isn’t realistic and just hands the decision to unplug to the accountants, which strikes me as being far worse than a decision to unplug based on memories of an informal verbal statement.

    But maybe an economic killing soothes the conscience of the religious right, where a judicial killing or spousal killing inflames it.

  155. Kooks on the web were saying that the decision to cremate was specifically to destroy evidence of his alleged abuse.

    One thing that occurred to me. The autopsy results will be sealed, due to that Earnhardt law, and only Michael will have access, unless he gives permission to others to see the report, or a judge orders it to be shown to someone else.

    It’ll probably come out, but the conspiracy theorists will claim he’s hiding the evidence of his wrong doing.

    However, I’d have to assume that, if the autopsy revealed evidence of physical abuse, the coroner would give that to the police immediately. It wouldn’t just be stuffed in the file and forgotten.

    Not that this will stop the conspiracy theorists.

  156. According to George Felos and the report from the Medical Examiners Office yesterday the autopsy results will indeed be made public. The autopsy was to be completed within @ 24 hours post-death and the body released to Michael Schiavo. The results were expected to take several weeks. We shall see…

  157. Because I know you cannot wait….The Terri Schiavo Story is on A&E iin my neck of the woods. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll soon be blessed to see it on a channel near you!

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