Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I DIDN'T REALIZE I WAS THAT CLOSE

Yesterday, on the way to the airport in Tampa, I drove within a few blocks of the hospice where Terri Schiavo is a patient -- but is that the right word? Since the definition of "patient" is One who receives medical attention, care, or treatment, I'm guessing that word wouldn't apply since she is not receiving anything.

Anyway, I wasn't close enough to see or hear Rev. Jesse Jackson, but all of us have been close enough to hear more than most of us would like to hear about this case.

I only have three questions:

1. Florida has passed living will legislation for the expressed purpose of allowing any adult to determine whether heroic measures should be used to extend their lives. Terri Schiavo does not have a living will. How can they presume what she wanted?

2. Terri Schiavo's husband, with a second common law wife and two kids, has obvious conflicts of interest in acting as her guardian. Why is he still her guardian? Why has there been no guardian ad litem appointed? Previous attempts to do so resulted in the guardian being dismissed by the courts when it was alleged by her husband's attorney that the guardian ad litem was biased. Why had there been no further attempt to find an "unbiased" guardian ad litem?

3. Though it doesn't seem to be a priority right now, there did seem to be some question about whether Terri Schiavo's husband denied her recommended rehabilitation therapies early on (within a year of her collapse), moving her to a nursing home and ensuring she was just "maintained". Why was there no proper investigation of this case then? Denying medical treatment is (I'm guessing here) probably at least a misdemeanor.

Another couple of days of the courts doing nothing will render any decision moot. The only thing left after that is an autopsy, which will probably show the degree of her brain damage, but will never show what she thought just before she died.

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