James Joyner on the interminable Terry Schiavo saga:
While the issue of withdrawing life support is a messy one, I have a rough time getting too upset with the husband, who I consider the real victim in this case. His wife died fifteen years ago but, because of advancements in medical technology and the stubborn resistance of his in-laws to facing the truth, he’s being cast as the villain for simply wanting to pull the plug and get on with his life. He shouldn’t have to divorce a woman who died fifteen years ago in order to do that.
Why the Schindlers have any legal standing in this case is beyond me. Terri was an adult who was legally married. Absent a living will or other document whereby she was able to establish her desires before she entered a vegetative state, her husband is the one who has to make these crucial determinations. Certainly, he is in a better position to know what she would have wanted than the Florida legislature or Jeb Bush.
Although I don’t really buy the arguments of the “keep Terri Schiavo alive” brigade, Dean Esmay thinks her parents have a fairly strong case; read their side here. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything on Michael’s side except this statement from 2003 before Florida’s legislature got involved. The truth being a three-edged sword, take both with a rather large grain of salt.
I won’t pretend this is an easy issue, but I tend to think—whatever its other faults—the legal system does a better job of deciding these things than the court of public opinion or grandstanding politicans do, and the judiciary remains unconvinced of the merits of Ms. Schiavo’s parents’ case.
I tend not to put a large amount of stock in public opinion polls, but caveats aside, an ABC News poll shows the public is rather unconvinced of the merits of Congress’ intervention in the case and the case itself, as am I (þ: PoliBlog); there’s more details on the poll here.
Update: Orin Kerr points out some rather serious issues with the question wording of the ABC News poll.
I shouldn’t have laughed at this post on the Terri Schiavo saga from the newly-made-over Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey, but I did:
In all the debate about “what Terri would have wanted” people seem to be forgetting that her vegetative state was initially caused by anorexia and bulimia. She was TRYING to starve herself. Let her finish.
In all seriousness, though, I’m thinking there are far more important things for the Florida and U.S. legislatures to be using their time on; of course, the libertarian in me thinks (perhaps on the erroneous assumption that time is a meaningful legislative commodity) the more time they spend on this the less they can spend futzing with my life.