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March 23, 2005

Europeans Reflect on Schiavo Case: Where Florida went wrong for even euthanasia supporters

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Counts

I ACCUSE the State of Florida, it's courts, and it's legislators of failing to protect it's citizens from the euthanasia-supporting guardianship and hospice community, and people like Michael Schiavo. The failure of our judicial and legislative systems to protect disabled people like Terri Schiavo is a world-wide disgrace, and even in Europe, where euthanasia is generally accepted, Terri's case is the cause of much dismay.

(...)  The legislative and judicial battle over a Florida man's right to end his comatose wife's life has drawn some surprise reaction in Europe, where legal sympathy for euthanasia is widespread.   

(...)  Fifteen years ago, Holland had a case similar to Terri Schiavo's, A judge allowed the husband of Ineke Stinissen, who had been in a coma for several years, to remove her feeding tube. She died of starvation, and her case paved the way for Holland's pro-euthanasia legislation. But there is a very big difference between the Florida law that allows a husband to murder his wife(that he may have abused) and the European laws under which this could not have occured. What's the difference?

(...)  European countries like the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium allow physician-assisted death in various incarnations. In Holland alone, about 2,000 people die through assistance from their doctor each year. But Schiavo wouldn't be one of them.

(...)  Dutch laws, like those in Switzerland and Belgium, require that the patient clearly and insistently request death. Schiavo, had she ever requested death should she fall into a vegetative state, did not insist on it. For this reason, even relatively socially liberal groups, like the Union of Protestant Churches in Germany, or the German Medical Association, have not recommended removing Schiavo's feeding tube.

(...)  Hoppe said there have been cases "of people who lived for 20 years in a 'waking coma' and then later came back to consciousness. The patient is certainly not dead."

(...)  "The patient's doctors are required to continue to treat her and to feed her, because it's not clear what will happen next with her illness," said Jörg-Dietrich Hoppe, the head of the German Medical Association.

Although I am personally opposed to euthanasia in any form at any time (I am not opposed to removing someone from totally-dependent mechanical life support if brain dead - properly  diagnosed"), opposing sides here in the United States would not be very far apart had the U.S. enacted the laws that Europe has in effect to protect it's citizens. So here in Florida, in the United States of America, the law that has failed Terri Schiavo is now being used to murder her.

(...)  In Germany, Schiavo's case would have gone to court much in the same way it did in the US. German law forbids doctors to actively assist in a patient's suicide but allows them to passively allow death if the patient clearly wills it. But Ruth Mattheis, the former head of the medical association and a doctor for more than 50 years said she could not remember such a case every making it to trial.

Terri Schiavo is dying, and if she dies, I hope that Bob and Mary Schindler sue Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and Judge Greer for wrongful death, and in the ensuing civil trial, Michael Schiavo's savage abuse of the law and Terri is brought out and made public. I am confident that Hyscience and BlogsForTerri will not let Terri's terror be forgotten.

But as much as I wish Michael to get his reward, and it may be unlikely, my most fervant wish is that those of us who care about life rail to force our legislators to protect us like that Europeans protect their citizens. Euthanasia should not ever again be used for personal benefit as with Michael Schiavo, and it should never again be used by the guardianship crowd of Pinellas County, Florida, to try to murder an innocent man or woman. This should have never happened in the first place, and we can't ever let it happen again.

Hat tip - BlogsForTerri

Posted by Hyscience at March 23, 2005 10:40 AM

I live here in Pinellas County and have followed this case for years. Do you people actually think that Terri's family has not tried everything there is to try medically to help her situation? It has been 15 years and they have tried everything medically possible and with NO positive results! Why is Congress and the President of the United States intervening in a PERSONAL matter? Well, it is quite clear that they do not have all the information just like most of the posts I read here. Michael Schiavo has tried everything to help Terri. Get the facts before jumping on the bandwagon! Her doctors have on many occasions said that there is no way possible for her to get better. Do we prolong the inevidible waiting for a miracle while the attorneys rake in the dough?

Posted by: Brad at March 23, 2005 6:03 PM

Yes, I honestly think that not much has been done by Michael to help Terri. He hasn't even ordered the proper tests to ascertain whether Terri is actually PVS (MRI) and the CT scan was not done immediately and there has been no follow up CT scan. There are numerous affidavits from nurses and doctors that say Terri did not fit the qualifications of PVS when they observed her, such as she ate Jello and Pudding and has attempted speech. Michael has lied to everyone and is about as trustworthy as Scott Peterson

Posted by: Raven Shadowwinds at March 23, 2005 6:55 PM

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