Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Truth and Terri Schiavo's Brain Are Both Wrecked

You know, after the 2000 and 2004 elections I really had begun to think that it was the people on the left end of the political scale that habitually ginned up crises, distorted the facts, ignored established law in favor of their own emotional take on a given situation, constantly wanted to change the rules or ignored the rules to suit their own whims, and so on.

How totally un-cynical to think that way. I am embarrassed.

With the Terri Schiavo case I am forcefully reminded that right-wingers are capable of exactly the same sorts of things.

Ginning up a crisis? Ignoring ethical guidelines for the sake of emotionalism? Boy, you should hear some of these talk radio people hitting the emotional hot buttons or look at conservative online forums. That a person has the right to refuse any treatment has been established law for many years now, that a person's autonomy should not be violated is a conservative ideal, and yet they want to throw this out the window.

Refusing to face the truth? There is no therapy, there is no test, and there is nothing whatsoever that is going to make any difference in her condition. An MRI of her brain will tell us nothing that will do any good. She has been this way for fifteen years. The way she is now, however you want to describe it, is the way she'll be for the foreseeable future. That's just the fact of it whether some people want to face the truth or not. The possiblity of some sort of miraculous recovery is nill.

Distorting the issues? We are getting one red herring after another from the right-wingers on this matter. Whether or not Terry is actually in persistent vegetative state, whether or not she got an MRI of her brain, whether or not a miracle is possible, whether she got this or that type of therapy are all irrelevant. The only thing that has any relevance is what Terri would want to have done if she could tell us.

Unfairly smearing people? The way in which the husband has been smeared is despicable. He has been accused of neglecting Terri, of refusing to provide "necessary" treatment, of refusing to have "necessary" tests done, of wanting her dead for his own selfish reasons. All of these allegations have been shown to be false in the courts.

Refusing to abide by the rules? Disregard of due process? The whole issue of whether the husband is the one to tell us what her wishes would be given his current situation is relevant, but the court has considered that very matter carefully already. We ought to respect that process. The people who in good faith spent the hours actually going over all the evidence of her status and attendant issues have been denigrated by the idiotic, ill-informed second-guessing that some conservatives have been doing.