LJefferson American Political Science

Blog Post #3

Posted on: November 2, 2009

From a legal standpoint, do you agree or disagree with the decision to remove the feeding tube?

Yes, from a strictly legal stand point, I believe that Michael Schiavo had the right to remove the feeding tube for his wife. It doesn’t matter wether Terri would or wouldn’t of wanted her husband to make that decision, she made the choice to marry him, knowing that if something ever happened the other would be responsible to make the decisions. Both of them knew going into the marriage, that the marriage would be law binding, “in sickness and in health” is part of the wedding vowels, that they both said when they got married, and Michael had a legal obligation to his wife. “The law is where we define the beginning of life and the ending of life” Hyperlink to video. The beginning of Terri’s life can foreshadow the beginning of her life and the ending was chosen by her husband, the man she had given the power to.

On insistence from President Bush, Congress met in special session to pass legislation moving the Florida case from the state judicial level to the federal level.  In your opinion, was this an appropriate move?

Yes, because Terri Schiavo was not the first woman to ever be in this situation, where her husband and her family were battling for the power of attorney for her treatment control. If this case continued only on the Florida state level the publicity and the knowledge of this situation would not of been so massive. Because of the case being spread into the federal level, more people became aware of the situation, they were able to consider the pros and cons to each side. The national government should of played a large part of this because, with all of the people being involved were US citizens, they all had the equal rights, and were all aiming to do what they thought was best for her; where the birth certificated given to the parents and the marriage certificate given to Michael were both issued by the national government, thus showing the importance of this case needing to go to the national level, not just the state level. The decision was extremely important, it was life or death, a decision with this much intensity and arguments on either side was necessary to go to the national or federal level.
Do you believe the federal government has the authority to decide whether family members have the right to remove a family member from life support?

Yes, if the federal government doesn’t have the authority than who would? The federal government is elected by popular sovernity, the leaders are leaders because people believe in what they feel is right, they admire their beliefs and many strive to be just like their leaders. If the federal government didn’t have this authority than where would it go to? The State? The state government is below the national government, if each state had a different belief on if a family member could be removed from life support than how would it be determined. Each citizen has a next of kin, a person who will decide medical decisions for them when they are not capable to make them for themselves. This is necessary, and I believe that the federal government should make a regulation where any next of kin can make the decision to take a family member off of life support, especially if the family member is a spouse or life partner.

Terri_Schiavo_protestPicture about the protesting going on outside of hospitals and of court houses about the trials and Terri’s condition. (Link to a Creative Commons video).


1 Response to "Blog Post #3"

Okay first I want to apologize for this reply being late. Apparently when I chose to follow your blog I also chose to follow WordPress and all their blogs, so took my a while to find you blog. Sorry.

Anyways…On with the reply!

Laurie, it seems we had different opinions on the first question, though ultimately – under careful review (moderate*) – I tend to agree with your answer. I understand that your answer was strictly legal and I guess I answered the questioned with a bit more moral justification on my mind than I should have. However, I liked your argument: marriage is like a contract, and Terry knowingly married this man and should have or was expected to weigh in the repercussions of her decision. Your use of the video was correct as well, and it seems that you comprehended the video whereas, I took Lieberman’s ending argument as a general legal justification rule rather than his personal moral/legal justification opinion.

It also seems like we both took different views and even interpreted the second question in a different way. It seems as though you agreed that bringing the case from state judicial level to federal judicial level on a matter of moral ethic. However, I don’t agree that national government did this to bring this case to the surface and reveal the con’s to the case. I feel that they wouldn’t want to do that and risk hurting the national government’s reputation. I think that a moral ethic played a part but this was played by the part of bush. I’m sure most were affected by the case but didn’t want to risk persecution for their ideas, but I think Bush’s push (which was fueled by an empathy and moral duty he felt towards Terry’s case) was the catalyst they needed to bring it up to the federal level. I also agree that it was important because of the case of a person’s life and the complexity of the case (along with its fallacies) but let me ask you this: Who’s to say that another case wasn’t as important? I know that you didn’t refer to this but although I think it was appropriate on a moral issue I think that ultimately they should have held their opinions back and sucked it up like they always do. After all, should we start to doubt our state systems and compare the importance of cases? Just some food for thought 😀

Okay. After that ramble there (which probably seemed confusing), I’ll try to keep this comment short and concise. You agree that the federal government has the right to rule over a person’s life because of our government’s foundation. The leaders are elected by the popular majority and thus should represent most of the people’s views, there is no way to represent them all so this is the most ‘fair’ way, the most democratic way of deciding things. Well despite this being viewed as true, this is not what I view as fair. I do not think a government have a decision over one’s life. Even if it represents a majority, it cannot represent one individuals. Thus I think the decision should be given solely to the next of kin who could be able to make the most reasonable decision for the individual, taking the person’s beliefs into consideration. Thus personalizing the decision would be the correct way to choose the correct one.

You also say that the next of kin should have the right to decide to end’s one life, if they so choose. This next of kin can be anyone, but would especially matter for a spouse? I didn’t quite get your last line there. Before you said any next of kin could make a ruling against one’s life but then you gave a special ruling to a spouse or life partner. So I assume you are in favor of Michael Schiavo’s decision to remove his wife’s life support. Though I respect your opinion, my own beliefs conflict with yours. I do believe that the decision should be given to the next of kin even before the federal government but I believe that the decision should be given to the next of kin who wants to keep the person alive. Because life is valuable, and even attaining life is more of a value than not having it at all. Thus no matter how minute, the value which cannot be determined must be respected and hopefully one kin will be willing to do this, unless it was otherwise stated by the individual that they wanted to discard their life in such a situation.

Err, sorry it was still quite long. I hope to write more concise for your sake in the future. I hope to enjoy following and responding to your blog posts in the future.

Till the next post.
~ Eric Harrell

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  • Shoemaker: Well done, but...that is one scary picture
  • Eric Harrell: Okay first I want to apologize for this reply being late. Apparently when I chose to follow your blog I also chose to follow WordPress and all their b


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