Gut Rumbles

October 22, 2003

yeah. what she said.

I could not possibly agree more. Any time the STATE steps in to take control of decisions free individuals should make own their own, I see a bad thing happening. The STATE has no business there.

I have my own ideas about "quality of life" issues. I wouldn't want to live in the condition that woman is in. I wouldn't want to put my family through the pain of seeing me that way and I damn sure wouldn't want the STATE ever involved in MY problem. We are over-nannied already.

We'll never know what HER choice is. She cannot speak for herself. So listen to her husband.

Pull the tube.


Good god, would you want the BC to make decisions like that for you? This guy comes across like the male version of that--getting engaged to another woman and announcing that he's going to marry her as soon as his wife dies, but not divorcing the wife and giving legal guardianship to the parents.

The state got involved when the Judge in the case started letting Mr. Shavois spend the rehab money on legal bills to fight the parents attempts to get rehab for her instead of, you know, actually using the money on rehab for his wife.

Posted by: shell on October 22, 2003 09:55 AM

At the very least, it's compelled me to get a living will. My parents have one but I've never thought of it because I''m "still young". I hadn't considered that I could get into a car accident tomorrow and end up like her - with people trying to keep me alive on machines until I'm 90.

I don't think my family would do that to me but with emotions running high you never know. I'm getting married next year and I'm absolutely going to make out a living will.

Posted by: Heather on October 22, 2003 09:56 AM

I'm also of the opinion that the media is painting Mr. Shavois as a demon. After 13 years I'd probably be in another relationship as well. Maybe he's trying to make sure that his wife isn't a vegetable just for her parents sake and hence won't give up control.

At first I thought he was an ass, then I thought about what I would do if I was in his position. Maybe the same thing - I don't know that I'd divorce a husband that I loved and risk the fact that his parents would leave him like that forever.

Posted by: Heather on October 22, 2003 10:01 AM

Agree completely.

Posted by: Jane on October 22, 2003 11:51 AM

I'd be really mad if my parents left me in a vegetative state indefinitely, and i'd HOPE that my husband would move on in his life, after, of course, making sure they pull the plug!

Posted by: jerseagirl on October 22, 2003 12:37 PM

Those people(Jeb Bush, protesters, parents)are being so selfish. It is not her they are thinking of, but themselves. They can't bear it that another person is dying.

They can't see her pain because they are too focused on their own.

Posted by: Greg on October 22, 2003 12:42 PM

I'm sorry but food and water are not some extraordinary intervention. Watching someone starve to death who is incapable of feeding herself is hardly humane; it's simply good for a lazy society that is too self-obsessed to care for the sick or the elderly or the voiceless.

As for the STATE language, this seems to miss something. A society can deliberate on certain things. It can deliberate on the rights of its most vulnerable. The STATE says you cannot kill your children or parents when they're inconvenient. The STATE says that you have to send your kids to school, instead of letting thm work as slave laborers.

The STATE is just another word for the force we as a society have deliberated upon and decided to use for certain purposes. The STATE protects your contract and property rights if someone violates them. And the STATE says that you cannot shoot pollution into the air around your house and ruin the lives and health of your neighbors. Or, in other words, WE have decided these things. And WE must take responsibility for them.

This STATE rhetoric in a case of protecting the rights of a nonconsenting third party is so lame. It's not like we're talking about welfare, or what you can do in your own home. We're talking about an imperfect fiduciary of her interests, her husband who is likely sick of being unable to remarry and having to take care of her. Well, guess what, life is full of unasked-for obligations and tragedy.

Posted by: roach on October 22, 2003 01:11 PM

She is not vegetive, she has brain damage. She is awake and somewhat active. Not communicative? Neither are some autistic children.

What will we do when people want to withold "treatment" from their mentally handicapped kids? What is the difference between the court ordering it and a parent starving their offspring in the name of saving them from suffering?

If she were unconcious and had not been active in any way, we would not be having this discussion.

Posted by: Taliaferro on October 22, 2003 01:37 PM

I don't think the woman wouldn want to die of starvation. The FAMILY should make that decision. According to the woman's family, the husband was abusive and they believe he's trying to "let her go" in order to hide something. If she was on life support, it would be different. Like Shell said, would you want the BC to let you starve to death while your family is against it?

Posted by: Sam on October 22, 2003 02:16 PM

I say unto you: BullSHIT!

She is not awake in any normal sense of the word, she's unable to respond to anything but the simplest stimuli in the simplest way. No hope of recovery, based on analysis by multiple experts. This is the definition of a Permanent Vegetative State.

The parents are thinking only of themselves, if they thought for a moment about the ordeal that she is in, they would not hesitate. I can't think of anyone that would prefer life as a veg over death...

And, the state legislature (and Jebby) should stay the fuck out of it. They are just looking for the publicity, bloodsucking bastards!

Acidman is right, pull the tube!

Posted by: 0xdeadbeef on October 22, 2003 02:22 PM

I don't know about taht at all, OX. Other doctors and the family say she laughs and responds to them, and I recall claims taht she was actually speaking, at times.

It seems perfectly reasonable, when there is this level of doubt, to maintain food and water until further information can be gathered. I don't recall any reports of Mrs. Schiavo being "in pain", or the like; if she truly is in a vegetative state, she has nothing to lose; if not, everything to gain, by a delay and further investigation.

(Given that there's a trust fund dedicated to her care, and that her Husband should, as far as I know, be able to get a divorce and remarry (or, since we don't live in a nation where it's illegal, to simply live with his would-be-wife "in sin") while Mrs. Schivo is in hospital, I don't see any particular reason why his "moving on" should be a factor here. If he wishes to do so, he can easily enough appoint trustees to manage the trust fund and care for her. I imagine her family would be perfectly willing to do so.)

Keeping people who have unambiguously expressed a wish to be allowed to die alive is not, after all, what we're actually talking about here. We only have his word for her wishes, and while I wouldn't go so far as to accuse him of lying, there are a goodly number of folks who are suspicious of his motives, for reasons that are not exactly paranoid.

I see, I repeat, no harm at all in further food and water being provided, in this case, and potentially great harm in its removal. (If the husband was destitute and no trust fund existed to pay costs, or if her wish to be let die was in writing or witnessed by a third party, or she was in great pain, or without contest or doubt in a PVS, my judgement might be different. But none of that is the case, from all accounts.)

Posted by: Sigivald on October 22, 2003 02:39 PM

Seriously, what if tomorrow they can regenerate or fix her brain? What about people that come out of 20 year comas?

I'm not sure what I would want done to me, but I'm not sure I'd want the government to yank food or water just because I was a 'tard.

Posted by: roach on October 22, 2003 02:53 PM

The government is not yanking her food and water. Do you people understand what a marriage is supposed to be? Among other things, it is a legal contract where in the eyes of the law, husband and wife are one person. Thus, in this situation, the husband has the authority to act in this manner on behalf of his wife. Legally, it is the same as if it was her decision. That is why a marriage should not be entered into lightly. Every judge has agreed with this and have supported the husband. Now the legislature steps in and throws out hundreds of years of jurisprudence. Why even have marriage anymore? Just set up some powers of attorney and you're good to go. In my opinion, legislative decisions like this damage the institution of marriage far more than any gay marriage ever would.

Posted by: Yosemite Sam on October 22, 2003 03:46 PM

You people are making marriage look REALLY scary. Not to digress, but what MINUTE fraction of the population actually feels that kind of "oneness" with their spouse?
The situation sucks.
No easy answers, but I'm with Heather; time for a living will.

Posted by: key on October 22, 2003 04:02 PM

I don't think that marriage is a reasonable explanation for the behavior of this man. Yes, it binds two people but, if he truly believed in marriage he wouldn't have child(ren) with another woman. If anything he should just file for divorce and allow his wife's family to take care of her. Wouldn't that have been easier than a dozen years of legal battles over her and what everyone thinks is best for her?

Posted by: sarah on October 22, 2003 04:12 PM

You people are making marriage look REALLY scary. Not to digress, but what MINUTE fraction of the population actually feels that kind of "oneness" with their spouse?

That's right. IT is not a thing to lightly enter into. It should be a solemn thing. It is a legal contract. But I guess that all can be conviently ignored in this day and age.

Posted by: Yosemite Sam on October 22, 2003 04:18 PM

Just to clarify for Tariafello - she is vegetative. The only 2 doctors out of the lot of them (about 6 I think - all expert surgeons) where specifically cosen by her parents. Federal, State, and Appeals judges all heard testimony and agree that she can not be helped, that she is vegetative. Please tell me what Jeb Bush knows that every doctor, hospital and the law does not. The following from

"The battle to remove Schiavo's feeding tube began in 1998, and Michael Schiavo has prevailed throughout, convincing state, federal, and appeals court judges that his wife is in a "persistent vegetative state" with no chance of recovery and that she had expressed a wish never to be kept alive by artificial means.....

Yet all but two specialists hired by her parents have testified that those are reflex reactions, not cognitive responses. The fight has grown increasingly bitter, with Schiavo's parents accusing Michael Schiavo of withholding treatment."

I hope they do find treatment because otherwise this poor woman's body is simply going to exist until someone pulls the plug. I hope they don't wait until she's 100.

Posted by: Heather on October 22, 2003 05:20 PM

Wesley J. Smith has two very informative articles that put the case in context--a case I followed for many years . . .



Posted by: jb on October 22, 2003 05:41 PM

Marry a bloodless cunt. THEN tell me how scary wedlock is.

Posted by: Acidman on October 22, 2003 06:23 PM

How do you know someone is permanently vegetative if you haven't tried any rehab at all? That's like your mechanic replacing your engine because he "knows" just from the fact that your car won't start that it's unfixable.

I say if you have an autistic child or anyone else who inconveniences you, just shoot the fucker. It's not like human life has value.

Posted by: Fishman on October 23, 2003 08:03 AM

That "hundreds of years of jurisprudence" that Yosemite Sam mentions includes law that makes a wife a virtual piece of the husband's personal property. Changing THAT came about because of legislation, not judicial decisions.

Posted by: Backseat on October 23, 2003 11:55 AM

WTF ever happened to "in sickness and in health". Is it a freakin joke? Jeb Bush knows that death by starvation/dehydration is inhumane. In fact, it would be murder other other circumstances. Just because cowardly judges are afraid to apply common sense and decency doesn't make murder right. We're talking about killing a woman by withho