Conservatives Against Force-Feeding Terri Shiavo

The complaint in the Schiavo case,” by Ann Althouse, Althouse, 21 March 2005,

Shiavo,” by Jonathan H. Adler, The Corner, 22 March 2005,

Shiavo’s Case — One Doctor’s Opnion,” by John Derbyshire, The Corner, 22 March 2005,

Many writers, including Stuart Berman and Red Side of Belew, have questioned the character of Mr. Shiavo. But what about the parents?

A man of controversial motivations (at best) has sought to see her dead since the settling several law suits of over $2 million…


Michael Shiavo should lose custody of Terri on the fact that he will not allow any kind of therapy to try to help Terri

When a man neglects his wife for 15 years, he shouldnt have any custody rights over her.

But conservative novelist John Derbyshire posts a reply to his earlier comments on .

Let me say something else, and I admit up front that I don’t know all the details of this case: in my experience people who have had a financial interest in the life or death of a loved one have almost always been interested in keeping that person alive. They may be living in a home which is in the patients name, they may have control of that person’s bank accounts, his pension checks, his assets. If they have been given financial power of attorney, this is almost certainly so. I have seen this situation before, rarely thank God. A family member puts his completely demented octagenarian mother through a series of painful operations even though she is already completely non-communicative and dependent on tube feeds.

Althouse attacks Terri’s theoretical religious right to force others to force feed her

The religion-based claims against the judge and the hospice rely on the theory that the Catholic religion requires the continued feeding of a person in a persistent vegetative state and that, even though the defendants are not preventing Schiavo herself from taking an action required by her religion, that those caring for her are required to act pursuant to the requirements of her religion. That seems to be a difficult argument to make, even though, under state law, those caring for her are only able to withhold feeding because they attribute that desire to her.

Adler defends federalism for Terri-absolutists

While Congress clearly has the authority to regulate federal court jurisdiction, and to provide for such jurisdiction so as to ensure that state courts act within constitutional constraints, I feel the legislation is in appropriate on several grounds. First, state courts make these sorts of decisions all the time in life-or-death situations, including death penalty cases without equivalent federal interference

This case is a sad tragedy. Compared to the pain of the family it is base to discuss the real harm some conservatives are doing by forcing her alive. But the harm is real.

Update: Over at National Review’s The Corner, Rich Lowry lists the intensive therapy Mrs. Shiavo’s husband and parents sprung for

Theresa spent two and a half months as an inpatient at Humana Northside Hospital, eventually emerging from her coma state, but not recovering consciousness. On 12 May 1990, following extensive testing, therapy and observation, she was discharged to the College Park skilled care and rehabilitation facility. Forty-nine days later, she wastransferred again to Bayfront Hospital for additional, aggressive rehabilitation efforts. In September of 1990, she was brought home, but following only three weeks, she wasreturned to the College Park facility because the “family was overwhelmed by Terry’scare needs.”…

The clinical records within the massive case file indicate that Theresa was not responsiveto neurological and swallowing tests. She received regular and intense physical,occupational and speech therapies…

In late Autumn of 1990, following months of therapy and testing, formal diagnoses ofpersistent vegetative state with no evidence of improvement, Michael took Theresa toCalifornia, where she received an experimental thalamic stimulator implant in her brain. Michael remained in California caring for Theresa during a period of several months and returned to Florida with her in January of 1991. Theresa was transferred to the Mediplex Rehabilitation Center in Brandon, where she received 24 hour skilled care, physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapies.

Despite aggressive therapies, physician and other clinical assessments consistently revealed no functional abilities, only reflexive, rather than cognitive movements, random eye opening, no communication system and little change cognitively or functionally. On 19 July 1991 Theresa was transferred to the Sable Palms skilled care facility. Periodic neurological exams, regular and aggressive physical, occupational and speech therapy continued through 1994.

0 thoughts on “Conservatives Against Force-Feeding Terri Shiavo”

  1. Yes, ask what are the parents intentions and also Michael's, and compare the two. In America, you should side with Life if there is any resonable doubt. We arent sure what Terri wanted, we arent sure if she's been properly represented, so why be so quick to murder?

  2. Mr. Shiavo is Mrs. Shiavo's legal guardian. Her parents have had years to revok the guardianship.

    He has legal standing. They don't. They have had years to get it. They have failed to do so.

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