Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Obligatory Terri Schiavo Post

There's not much I can add to the debate about Terri Schiavo. Excellent columns have been written by Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Parker, and Linda Chavez.

What I want to do is comment on the furor surrounding the case.

First, there is something fundamentally wrong when you hear a statement to the effect that, "They have no right to give this woman food or water."

Nightline on Monday night did a segment on the story. Their guest had evaluated Terri's swallow reflex for Gov. Bush. Strangely, he had nothing to say about this. Instead he talked about the sounds that she makes. He said that parts of her brain have liquefied. Eventually he admitted that he didn't know.

The reason that this expert didn't mention the swallow reflex is because Terri has one which some experts think shows brain activity. This was conveniently skipped over.

Nightline also referred to Terri's condition as "in a coma."

I had heard about this case for some time before seeing video of her. By defining her condition as comatose, the MSM is distorting the coverage in favor of euthanasia.

The issue has split largely down party lines. Democrats are crowing over a poll showing that most Americans think that Terri should die. This poll has distortions of its own:

As you may know, a woman in Florida named Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her parents and her husband disagree on whether or not she should be kept on life support. In cases like this who do you think should have final say, (the parents) or (the spouse)?
Terri's life support consists of a feeding tube. That's it and evaluation of her swallow reflex indicated that she might be able to swallow food, at least in liquid form. The question of her consciousness is at the heart of the controversy. A survey that does not acknowledge this is fraudulent.

For real fraud, though, we have to look at a memo that was supposed to have been sent to Republican senators. Power Line takes a close look at it. Their conclusion?

The third possibility is that the memo is a Democratic dirty trick. At the moment, that looks most likely. It is easy to picture how the document could have been constructed. A Democratic staffer wants to put in some language that will sound authentic for a Republican memo. What does he do? He steals four paragraphs from the Coalition's web site. Then he adds the explosive political observations which are the whole point of the exercise--weirdly out of place in a "talking points" memo, but good politics for the Democrats.
I do not think that Congress and the President should be interfering in an individual bit I also have problems with starving a woman who might be aware when her parents are willing to take care of her.

So why are the Democrats so concerned? One poster to the Democratic Underground says, "She has been dead for 15 years. She "exists" as a human tissue bank." If that is true then what is the harm in letting the human tissue bank continue to exist?

I think that the answer is two-fold. The pro-abortion folks see this as a proxy fight. These people are fighting for a principal just as the people trying to save her are doing.

The rest of the Democrats are hoping to get political mileage out of it. Even without the possibly fake talking points memo, their coverage has concentrated on how the public agrees with them. This ties in nicely with the MSM coverage.

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