THOUGHTS ON TERRI SCHIAVO. The urge to weigh in on this tragedy has overcome my better judgment. My knowledge of the legal issues is superficial at best. I have not followed this story obsessively over the past several years. Still, this is such a human dilemma that it's almost impossible not to form an opinion - and, once that opinion is formed, it's almost impossible not to express it.
So let me at least try to restrict myself to facts that are obviously true, or that seem obviously true to me.
1. Terri Schiavo has a right to die in her current condition. Her husband, Michael, claims she told him that she would want to die if she were permanently incapacitated. The legal system has determined that Michael Schiavo is telling the truth. Thus her parents have no legal claim to act on her behalf. But ...
2. Terri Schiavo is not in a persistent vegetative state. The videos that are online at terrisfight.org are absolutely convincing that she is semi-aware, semi-responsive, and able to understand people in some dim way. Claims to the contrary - as in this New York Times story - are so clearly untrue that they have poisoned the debate. Yes, I am choosing to believe my own lying eyes over the testimony of numerous medical experts. If that makes me naive, so be it. Therefore ...
3. Terri Schiavo has a right to change her mind and choose to live. She does not appear to be in pain. She appears to enjoy, at some level, her parents' visits. The question is, is she capable of changing her mind? Again, from today's Times:
Yet Barbara Weller, a lawyer for the Schindlers, told reporters outside the hospice that Ms. Schiavo had responded emphatically Friday morning when Ms. Weller asked her to say, "I want to live." According to Ms. Weller, Ms. Schiavo's eyes "just popped right open" and she made loud noises, startling a police officer stationed outside her room, and then wept.
Under such circumstances, it is inconceivable to me why Judge George Greer wouldn't get off his rear end, drive down the hospice, and ask her himself. Or am I missing something?
TRUTH AND BLOGGING. Some observations on the Project for Excellence in Journalism's report.