Schiavo decisions are consistent

NRO (22mr05) Primary Document: Federal judge rules against the Schindlers.

The rhetoric “murder,” “kill,” “execution,” “starve to death,” “torture;” the slander against Judge Greer and husband Schiavo; the bland and confident (apparently false) assertions that cast doubt about what has really happened; the ‘saving the life” and “protecting” assertions;

What the ruling says is that there is a process defined by the state legislature that anticipated the controvery, that this process is a proper means to uphold and respect the rights of the invalid, and that the process was properly followed.

The AP story on the judgment tends to refute what was asserted on Scarborough Country 21 March:

Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage in 1990 when her heart stopped briefly. Her collapse was later linked to a potassium imbalance believed to have been brought on by an eating disorder. A successful malpractice lawsuit argued that doctors had failed to diagnose the eating disorder. She can breathe on her own, but has relied on the feeding tube to keep her alive.

and also highlighted on of the core issues

Court-appointed doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery, while her parents insist she could recover with treatment.

One of the assertions to the federal judge was that these “court-appointed” either didn’t exist or were biased. The judge did not find either assertion to have any merit.

The editorials and opinions continue the paradigm that this is something being done to Schiavo rather than respecting her desires to not having something done to her. It is a case of putting oneself into another’s shoes but forgetting or avoiding or denying the circumstances of those shoes. The result is a confused context and misplaced conclusions.

There are contradictory assertions being made. How can one tell which are true and which are not? Is the CAT scan in a previous link real? What is a proper interpretation? Is the explanation offered in a previous link true or is the Scarborough guest right?

In a case like this, we are forced to delegate responsibility to the systems we have in place that the federal judge ruled were appropriate and properly carried out. We have to delegate responsibility to that system to determine which medical experts are to be given most weight. This judgment is just one more to a long chain of such that have all been consistent. To toss them aside as many have done is to assert a conspiracy of vast proportions.

But then, anyone with a discerning ear can hear enough to know that the first wrong is the emotional loading of the argument that says the parent’s view is suffering from logic and reason. Even Limbaugh went overboard on this one citing the seriousness of life and death and then ridiculing his opponents and their ideas rather than countering them with reason as is his usual want.

It is just this blowing of smoke, emotionally laden argument, conspiracy ethos, and FUD mongering that needs attention. Normally these are methods of the left. But, in this circumstance, it is the right that is providing a very clear cut example of a very human behavior that each of us needs to control in ourselves in order to move towards a higher standard of intellectual integrity.

Update: Poliblogger provides links to A Dispassionate View on Schiavo

In regards to the first issue, one can go here (PDF) to see the report of Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD, Guardian Ad Litem for Theresa Marie Schiavo (1 December 2003) (h/t: Kevin Alyward). Many seem to think that there has been insufficient fact-finding in this case, but if one does some research, one discovers that this is not the case.

The Guardian Ad Litem report is on the Orlando Sentinal site and appears to be an authentic report of the person designated to review the case. It provides a complete history and background that appears to be accurate.

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