In case you hadn't heard, Terri Schiavo passed away today, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed. This is sad. Not unexpected, but sad none the less. I grieve for her family, including her husband. As someone near me said
I believe that her husband was the person in the best position to make this decision. Like it or not, he was privy to her most private thoughts. He was her partner, her friend, her lover and her husband. He stuck to his promise. I salute Michael Schiavo for making the most difficult decision I think any spouse can make, and when faced with opposition, held the line because of what he believed. Principles only matter if you stand on them when it's painful to do. Bravo. We could use more principled people.
Speaking of principles, let's talk principles. Marriage is sacred. It is a sacred institution, and cannot be weakened or polluted. Certainly not by GAY marriage! Heavens no! We can't allow that! What? Oh, this woman's HUSBAND wants to do what he believes is right and let her die? Let's intervene! Huh? Oh, when I was talking about sanctity of marriage, I wasn't talk about this! I was just talking about homos!
Let's not have a double standard, okay? One standard will do just fine.
Okay, now let's talk about the law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. The 10th Amendment to The Constitution, on a little piece of paper called "The Bill of Rights" says:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Hmm. I'm not a lawyer, but the way that reads to me, in modern speak is: "If we didn't mention it here, it's to be decided by the states, or by the people." Okay, so order of operations is: Constitution, States and/or people, Federal Govt.
So what the hell was Congress doing, meddling in this at all anyway? Is the new standard "State's rights are paramount, unless we don't agree, in which case it's Game On!"? Republicans, who are supposedly "State's Rights Advocates" seem to have trampled all over State's Rights, and OUR rights a whole lot lately and it's beginning to piss me off!
Second bit about the aforementioned law: It doesn't lend equal protection under the law. What I mean by this is, if Terri's parents had won in Federal Court, Michael had no recourse. He was NOT entitled to have the case heard at his behest in federal court. The law specifically mention's the Schindlers by name. As I understand it, this law is unconstitutional. And it tramples all over state's rights. And it STAYS. Uncontested. I am now kind of pissed that the Supreme Court didn't agree to hear the case.
Moving off the the 10th Amendment bit, and the law passed and signed, let's talk about another issue: the way she died.
The reason that Terri Schiavo had to be starved to death is that our FDA won't allow the prescription of narcotics in doses which MIGHT create an addiction to that drug. Not that it matters, if the person is going to die. That's irrelevant. Hint folks: If someone is "terminal", it means that they're not going to recover. Who cares if in the last three weeks of someone's life they're completely hooked on morphine? If I'm going to die painfully, I'm going to spend the last six months of my life completely doped up, legal or not.
Another alternative that's not allowed is assisted suicide, in which case a concoction of drugs are administered to someone who wants to die. (Never mind the fact that's it's perfectly fine to do that to someone who doesn't want to die. i.e. criminals) It's illegal. If it's not the state or federal government doing it, it's called murder. Even if that's what you wanted. If it's the Govt. doing it, it's called "Justice."
If I am ever in a persistent vegetative state, I have asked my wife, and through her my children to make the best judgement they can. Period. I have an Advance Directive, I have a living will, I've given my wife Power of Attorney for medical issues, and I have a VIDEO TAPE of ME expressing MY wishes. Basically, what I'm saying is: If you're not my wife, you have no say. If my wife isn't available, my children have the say. If my children aren't available, I have the last say. Nobody else. Not lawmakers. Not my parents. Not my in-laws. And most of all, not the lawyers, legislature or the court system.
So what have we learned from this? A series of things.
1) Our Republican controled government thinks that YOUR rights are irrelevant if the execution of those rights doesn't agree with what THEY want.
2) The "smaller government" cry of the Republican party is mostly B.S.
3) The "state's rights" cry of the Republican party is mostly B.S.
4) We should be thankful for "activist judges" because they actually look at THE LAW and YOUR RIGHTS as things worth upholding, even if they don't agree.
5) If you don't already have one, you need a will, a living will, an advance directive, medical power of attorney and a video tape of your own mug saying what you want.
Biggest lesson of all? Your "Representative" doesn't represent YOU, s/he represents themselves and nobody else. By and large, they couldn't give a damn about you unless it in some way advances their position. They make me sick.
God, how I wish we were back in the days of the Lewinsky "scandal", where the biggest thing we had to "worry" about was trying to decide if we'd hit it or not.
More later. I'm tired.