I said earlier that I think Terri Schiavo’s parents should have some legal standing in deciding her fate and I stand by that opinion. However, I also believe that the mountains of legal and medical documentation that has been exhausted on Schiavo’s case make it clear that she no longer has the brain capacity to recover to any state that we would recognize as being conscious.
As this article makes clear, the longest time that anyone had ever been in a vegatative state and then came out of it was 20 months (and even then they were left paralyzed and unable to speak). Schiavo has been in a vegatative state for 15 years. People have recovered from comas after longer periods of time, but a coma is not the same as a vegatative state.
Terri Schiavo currently has the mental capacity of a house plant. The only people who claim that she can ever recover at this point are quacks. Still, I think that the courts should allow Terri’s parents to continue to care for her as long as they so choose. I understand Michael Schiavo’s belief that his wife would not have wanted to go on in this state. But at this point I don’t think Terri cares one way or the other.
What is most disgusting in this situation is the way the Republicans have turned it into a media circus in an effort to pander to the religious fundamentalists. Kevin Drum notes that President Bush finally found an issue serious enough for him to interrupt one of his Crawford ranch vacations.
And where is the outrage from these same conservatives over the law that George Bush signed while he was governor of Texas that allows hospitals to pull the plug on terminally ill patients over the objections of their families all just to save money?
This is truly a disgusting display of hypocricy. Republicans are willing to go to extremes to save one patient in a permanent vegatative state, and yet they allow other people to die and/or go without medical care to preserve their precious tax cuts for the rich.