...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
      ( 4:16 PM )
New GOP Job Description: God

It's been one of those weeks where blogging has had to take second chair to real life work (blah) - but I did want to at least comment on one issue today. That is the struggle in Florida over the life (or death) of Terri Schiavo. This poor woman has been on feeding tubes for 13 years. She has conclusively been ruled completely brain dead. She clearly stated her wishes to her husband and her friends that if something like this ever happened, she did NOT want to be kept alive by a feeding tube. So when her husband tried to do what she wished and end his own torture of having to see her that way, her parents stepped in and tried to block him.

After a couple of years of legal battle, and courts finding that indeed, she was completely brain dead and she did indeed make clear her wishes not to be kept alive by feeding tubes, the GOP in the Florida legislature and Jeb Bush have now stepped in to play the part of God in this scenario. Instead of following the law, Florida Republicans pushed through legislation specifically regarding Mrs. Schiavo's case which said that her life could not be ended by her husband and per her own wishes:

"Transforming an idea into law often takes
months. This time it took less than 24 hours,"
political editor Adam C. Smith wrote in the
St. Petersburg Times. "It was an impressive
show of force by the conservative wing of
the Republican Party."

Bush's signature was on the bill before the ink of the legislation was dry.

Once again, Republicans' actions speak far louder than their words. Just last week was the first "Sanctity of Marriage" week declared by President Bush (now, of course, this was a blatant move to discriminate against a population of committed couples in this country who don't happen to be heterosexual), but despite the language of the GOP's insistence that marriage is sanctified and that GOD makes marriage and that no one should mess with it, etc, etc, etc.... here they go completely stealing the marital rights of a man who is only trying to do as his wife wishes. The law recognizes him as her next of kin, NOT her parents, and yet the GOP and the Bushes feel that in this case, marriage is pretty much a moot point because the higher issue is .... what??? What is the issue here?

The news reports say that the Republicans who pushed through the legislation against Mr. Schiavo were very powerful right-to-lifers. Well, that's well and fine that they feel strongly about abortion, but this case has nothing to do with that issue. Mrs. Schiavo's right to life is HERS, and she clearly stated that should she be put on feeding machines alone to keep her alive, that she wished to have the machines turned off. The law supports this decision and she should have her wishes. Of course it's terribly difficult for her parents to say goodbye and let her go, of course they don't want to believe she is dead (they think she will be able to feed herself through therapy, despite multiple conclusions that she is in a permanent vegitative state). But she is, technically, dead. The parents insist she knows they are there, and I feel for them, but their emotions do not cancel out the medical fact that there is no brain activity in her head and that it won't come back.

This move by Florida's government is abhorrent to me and I can only hope and pray that Mrs. Schiavo's husband prevails somehow and is able to give her a peaceful passing and put her body and his heart to rest. He is said to be devastated by this turn of events.

Instead of allowing her a death with dignity, instead of fulfilling her wishes, instead of recognizing her husband's right to make the decision, these GOP legislators who egg on the emotionally distraught and misled parents have put themselves and their own selfish interests first. Nice move, you arrogant bastards.

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