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March 20, 2005

Roll Call Vote on Terry

It goes without saying the parents of Terry Shiavo must be beyond grief. To learn that your daughter's feeding tube will be pulled and that she will die anytime within two weeks after its removal (which day will it be?) must be tougher than tough.

It is possible that Terry did not want extraordinary measures taken to save her life. Even if she didn't verbally express this desire, it would seem that she (or anyone) wouldn't want her family keeping her body alive artificially for years on end. But we will never know. It has been procedure, however, for the longest time, that the family member closest to the person who is brain-dead, makes the determination when to "pull the plug." Not the doctors, not friends or other relatives, but the closest family member … in this case, Terry's husband.

In the meantime, it is all politics all of the time. Florida courts have ruled on a couple of occasions to remove the tube and allow Terrie's death, only to have their rulings overturned and the tube re-inserted. Jeb Bush was responsible for overturning one such ruling and it was later decided he overstepped his authority.

After last Friday's ruling to remove the tube, Congress met all weekend to decide the case, led by Rep. Tom Delay (this I find "fantastic" in the sarcastic sense … that Delay would lead this charge). They met all day Sunday, and President Bush is prepared to leave his vacation in Crawford to come back to sign a ill "defending" Terry as soon as it is ready.

The Republicans are determined; and Democrats, having lost the last election on "values," are entering the fray … they will agree that the tube be reinserted while the Federal courts decide the case (so what were the other court cases all about?). On Friday, Terry's husband was offered one million dollars to keep the tube in and walk away. He refused. On Saturday, someone wanted to subpoena Terry herself. Senator Frist, after watching Terry on videotape provided by her parents, thinks Terry's doctors are wrong. Anyone who cites more important things to worry about could be accused of being heartless. Likewise, those Democrats who see congressional legislation as "trampling on a family matter," will be seen by others as holding no value on life, as usual.

This case came at just the right time: good for Delay, who is charged with ethics violations (and who blames Congressional Democrats for the charges), good for all Republicans whose values we all know are above all others, good for Democrats anxious to show they have some values in case you thought they didn't, good for mid-term elections in 2006, and good for President Bush's approval ratings.

Not good for Terry, who is only being used.

Posted by Gadflygirl at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)