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Author Topic: Terri Schiavo  (Read 11775 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 22, 2005, 01:08:02 PM »

I emailed the OCA office about their "take" on the Schiavo case:

Quote
Dear Harry,

Thank you for your enquiry.

YOU WRITE:  What is the current position of the Orthodox Church in America
on the case of Terri Schiavo?
RESPONSE:  The Church has not issued an "official position" in this matter
because the principles of the Church offer a starting point for a response.
We affirm that, while it is morally and ethically wrong to pursue
extraordinary/unnatural methods to end a life, it is equally morally and
ethnically wrong to pursue extraordinary/unnatural methods to prolong a
life, especially in the case of individuals who are brain dead or in an
irreversible vegetative state.  The problem in the Schiavo case is that
there is no consensus as to her condition -- is she brain dead, which seems
unlikely since she is responsive on some level, or is she aware yet totally
uncommunicative?  Because it is impossible, even within the medical
establishment, to ascertain her exact state, it is impossible to determine
exactly how the principle of the Church would be applied.

YOU WRITE:  If there is one, is there any reason as to why a statement
hasn't been made, either via memo or website?
RESPONSE:  Yes.  It is not the custom of the Church to issue pronouncements
on every possible social, moral, ethical, political, etc. issue, especially
those in which the Church is not directly involved or in which there is a
great amount of "gray area," as in the Schiavo case.  The practice of the
Church is to affirm its principles in such instances and to draw the obvious
conclusions therefrom.  Again, in this particular matter, the "gray area" is
vast.  Is Mrs. Schiavo brain dead or not, is she responsive at least
partially or not, was it indeed her wish to be relieved from such a
condition or not -- all questions that must be considered before one can
determine whether removing her feeding tube would constitute an
extraordinary/unnatural means of hastening death --  would need to be
objective answered before an objective and definitive conclusion may be
drawn.  It would be my opinion, based on the Church's principles, that until
it is clearly and absolutely determined that she wished to be relieved from
her condition, as her husband claims in opposition to that which her parents
claim, and until it is clearly and absolutely determined that she is
irreversibly brain dead, for which the medical establishment has offered no
consensus, that she should remain on the feeding tube.  I emphasize that
this is my personal opinion, based on the aforementioned principles, and not
necessarily the "official position" of the Church.

Hope this helps.

In Christ,
Father John Matusiak, OCA Communications Department

Amazing how complacent these folks are.

Harry
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2005, 01:24:05 PM »

If you're criticizing the OCA office/OCA/Fr. John/whatever, I think you're missing the point. I find nothing wrong with Fr. John's response. There's plenty we can find to criticize about the OCA, but I don't think this is one of those things.  Orthodoxy doesn't issue "positions" on everything - that is western mindset, wanting everything to be completely explainable and fit into it's nice box. The Church isn't really involved in this case per se, so why should it have to issue an opinion - it's not the Church's job.

Also, I think this case is something we should try and "Fast" from during Lent. It is a tragic story, but also turned into a circus by the media. We don't all need to weigh in our opinions on everything the media spits at us. Sure, that Minnesota school incident yesterday was horrible, but it has happened and there is nothing more about it that I need to watch about.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 01:26:24 PM by Elisha » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2005, 01:28:26 PM »

What a loathing and lukewarm attitude.

I am not criticizing the OCA per se.  I am criticisizing their lukewarm attitude.

Obviously you have no problems with the death of someone who is alive, well, and responsive.

The Church's job is to minister to people.  Remember, that which you do to the least of my breathren, you did it to me.

I can't believe your hasty and arrogant response to such a serious issue.

Harry
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2005, 01:40:44 PM »

What a loathing and lukewarm attitude.

I am not criticizing the OCA per se. I am criticisizing their lukewarm attitude.

Obviously you have no problems with the death of someone who is alive, well, and responsive.

The Church's job is to minister to people. Remember, that which you do to the least of my breathren, you did it to me.

I can't believe your hasty and arrogant response to such a serious issue.

Harry

Sorry, but the only think I find "hasty and arrogant" is your hasty judgement of me.  We can read the news all day, find every depressing thing about the world and weep to our hearts content, or we can work on ourselves...partially by helping our fellow man.  Didn't St. Seraphim say, "Acquire the spirit of peace and a thousands souls will be saved"?  Go and read Fr. John's response again - the concept of Teri Shiavo being "well responsive" is by no means decided upon or obvious.  Don't believe everything your TV tells you - it's not healthy.  Better yet, turn it off completely for Lent.
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2005, 01:48:44 PM »


Obviously you have no problems with the death of someone who is alive, well, and responsive.


Yes, "obviously" Elisha thinks it's just fine and dandy. Wink

Seriously, you might want to check out the meanng of "obviously" in your dictionary.  You might be surprised at what you find there. 
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2005, 01:48:58 PM »

I don't find the release disturbing.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2005, 02:11:45 PM »

The Church's posistion on the sanctity of life is well defined, from the Scriptures through the Fathers to the more recient decrees of our Episcopacy; and I'm certain that the Fathers would object to ending the life, even of someone who is severely mentally incapacitated, granted medical technology has evolved, but the sensibilities of Patristic thought are constant; thus there is really no reason for the Church to issue the statement, we have had a statement issued now for nearly 2000 years.

With that said, we are in the unfortunate situation in this country of lacking proper theocratic influence in state decisions; therefore the opinion of the Church is of little or no effect, as a matter of law it is reserved to the temporal powers, which happen to be secular legislators and secular judges in this case. If the person removing the feeding tube or the judges making the decisions happend to be Orthodox, then the Church would have a right to dictate their actions and decisions, but as it appears they are not Orthodox, we are simply observers.
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2005, 02:15:24 PM »

Well put, greekischristian.
And I can't get the image of Pilate washing his hands when I think of that federal judge in Atlanta today. <shudder>
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2005, 03:10:19 PM »



Yes, "obviously" Elisha thinks it's just fine and dandy. Wink

Seriously, you might want to check out the meanng of "obviously" in your dictionary. You might be surprised at what you find there.

Personal attack removed.
Warned for personal attack
« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 04:39:34 PM by Pedro » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2005, 03:26:29 PM »

And I can't get the image of Pilate washing his hands when I think of that federal judge in Atlanta today.

Finally something I actually have substantial knowledge on... and I'm going to have to say I disagree.

From a legal perspective, the Judge did, exactly what the law required him to do.  What the congress did (in allowing this case to go back to this federal judge) was just grandstanding.

If Schiavo's parents were to succeed in having the judge Order the tube re-inserted into her stomach, they would have to show a "substantial likelihood" of success in the underlying action (ie: the right to choose for their daughter vs. her husbands right to choose for her). There was NO WAY they could carry that burden.  It was destined to be a loser (as a legal argument) but satisfied its goal, as political opportunism (which I really despise).

Furthermore, the lawyer for her parents used such fallacious arguments (again in legal terms), it was clear as day, they would lose.  From a legal perspective, I assure the Judge was not just washing his hands of this issue, he was following the law.

I also think the opinion by Fr. John is reasonable.  However, this poses an interesting question for all of us OC's here... what is the Orthodox position on "Health Care Proxies" and "Living Wills" with "Do Not Resistate" orders and "no extraordinary" life saving measures orders?

I've drafted hundreds, but I've only ever drafted two for OCs.  Any thoughts?
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2005, 03:30:28 PM »

oooh! hey Mods! It appears there's someone who wants to call names here! DABEETED! (please?)
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2005, 03:33:18 PM »

oooh! hey Mods! It appears there's someone who wants to call names here! DABEETED! (please?)

Unfortunately, kids will be kids.  Wink
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2005, 04:41:42 PM »

SouthSerb99,

Dispite my dislike of the 13th-15th Amendments on account of how they were forced through, in violation of the rights of the Several States, they are law, and I would consider the equal protection under the law clause from the 14th Amendment applicable in this situation (equal rights to life for disabled as well as able-bodied). The right to die has never been a part of our legal system, nor the legal system of any civilized nation (for many years attempted suicide was a capital offence in England, in spite of the irony, the point that death is Not a right was underlined by this law), and the simple fact of the matter is that it is not part of the Rights granted to the Citizens of the State of Florida. The only reason that this is even an issue is because the liberal Florida Supreme Court justices are legislating non-existang rights from the bench, scared that a decision in favour of life might threaten their holy sacrament of abortion. If justices did their job and worried about the letter of the law, rather than inventing a non-existant spirit to fit their ideologies, these wouldn't be problems, or better yet, why dont we simply let the Church choose our Judges?
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2005, 04:47:05 PM »



Finally something I actually have substantial knowledge on... and I'm going to have to say I disagree.


I've drafted hundreds, but I've only ever drafted two for OCs. Any thoughts?

So I assume you're saying that you are a lawyer? Nice to know so that we can bug you with future questions.
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2005, 04:49:13 PM »

...these wouldn't be problems, or better yet, why dont we simply let the Church choose our Judges?

That would be great....but is not going to happen until we convert America to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2005, 04:58:49 PM »

Finally something I actually have substantial knowledge on... and I'm going to have to say I disagree.

From a legal perspective, the Judge did, exactly what the law required him to do.

No argument on the law. And  exactly the legal perspective that Pilate took. Caesar's law trumps what is right.
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2005, 05:34:24 PM »

If justices did their job and worried about the letter of the law, rather than inventing a non-existant spirit to fit their ideologies, these wouldn't be problems, or better yet, why dont we simply let the Church choose our Judges?

I think you are looking at this to broadly.  Specific to the issue which was before the federal judge (yesterday) was whether or not the parents could prove a "substantiall likeliness" of succeeding in the underlying action.  (Question of who could make legal decisions for her).

Also, I think the question of life vs. death is not nearly clear as you so state.  I think there is an argument to be made that keeping her alive with a feeding tube through her belly is as artificial as euthanasia.
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2005, 05:35:29 PM »

So I assume you're saying that you are a lawyer?  Nice to know so that we can bug you with future questions.

All legal questions will be answered with the appropriate disclaimer.  Grin Grin
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2005, 05:37:17 PM »

As a law librarian, I'd like to pick your brain.

Do you think this decision could possibly set up some sort of legal precedent regarding the care of a severely retarded individual, or is that a slippery slope argument?
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2005, 06:36:56 PM »

I think you are looking at this to broadly. Specific to the issue which was before the federal judge (yesterday) was whether or not the parents could prove a "substantiall likeliness" of succeeding in the underlying action. (Question of who could make legal decisions for her).

This brings up an interesting question about law that I am curious about, since my knowledge of law is limited to Canon Law and the Roman Legal system (as well as some constitutional law, but since that isn't very well followed, such knowledge isn't very helpful on anything other than a theoretical level). In a situation where there will be no case to consider if the court does not intervene, one would think that it would naturally be required that the status quo be maintained, as best as possible, until the legal system can deal with the issue. Essentially in this siutation, one judge is ruling infavour of one party, and preventing the full legal process from being undertaken; this seems quite opposed to our system of law. By analogy would a judge be able to premit a person's execution to go forward, even in the middle of the appeals process, by ruling that the chance that the convicted will win his appeal is not 'substantially likely'? I wouldn't be surprised to find out that our law is set up with such inconsistancies, but they do seem problematic.

Also, I think the question of life vs. death is not nearly clear as you so state. I think there is an argument to be made that keeping her alive with a feeding tube through her belly is as artificial as euthanasia.

I'm sure that the argument can be made, though I would be quite surprised if someone could bring it in line with the patristic witness. An argument against using a feeding tube or some similar device in the first place might be easier to make than the argument to remove it, but even that one would be difficult (the entire concept of letting someone starve to death when there is another option is somewhat problematic).
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2005, 07:25:37 PM »



All legal questions will be answered with the appropriate disclaimer. Grin Grin

Could expect anything less of lawyer? Grin
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2005, 08:06:02 PM »

They should have let the poor woman die years ago. Being kept alive artificially for 15 years! This is absurd. Let her die.
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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2005, 08:10:48 PM »

Do you think this decision could possibly set up some sort of legal precedent regarding the care of a severely retarded individual, or is that a slippery slope argument?

IMHO, this will have no impact on ANY future cases of severely retarded individuals.  Here, the instant issue was a question of decision making for Shiavo.  The secondary issue was whether or not she had due process of law.

I don't think precedent was set in either, in as much as "due process" has been litigated to death, and this case changed nothing and the question of decision making (for Schiavo) is not rocket science either.

Her parents want to make "legal" decisions for her, so does her husband... the law says he gets to.  That is intuitive (if you think about it) because think about a situation where children are involved and grand parents now decide they want to be decision makers after one spouse dies.
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2005, 08:29:25 PM »

In a situation where there will be no case to consider if the court does not intervene, one would think that it would naturally be required that the status quo be maintained, as best as possible, until the legal system can deal with the issue. Essentially in this siutation, one judge is ruling infavour of one party, and preventing the full legal process from being undertaken; this seems quite opposed to our system of law. By analogy would a judge be able to premit a person's execution to go forward, even in the middle of the appeals process, by ruling that the chance that the convicted will win his appeal is not 'substantially likely'? I wouldn't be surprised to find out that our law is set up with such inconsistancies, but they do seem problematic.

I enjoy the opportunity to offer some opinions to greekischristian, as he recently gave me an AMAZING LESSON IN ORTHODOXY 101. LOL

Okay, I think you've got the facts a little backwards, so I'll try my best to answer this.  In the Schiavo case, her husband went to Court (exhaustively) for the right to remove her feeding tube.  There have been (counting today and the later appeal) 36 Court hearings with respect to REMOVING the tube.  I think that is an important distinction, considering the example you gave above.

Since the issue was heard, reheard and then heard again by 11 different Judges and several panels, the Courts determined that Terri Schiavo had due process of law.  They determined that her husband had the legal authority to make the decision to remove the tube in her belly.  Once that decision was made, the case was done.  All questions answered.  Due process satisfied, decision making with the husband....

Than came the opportunistic law makers who knew the Courts really couldn't do anything, but this was a great chance to get your mug on the nightly news.

Back to federal Court, where the Court had to rule on the likelihood of success on the two underlying issues.  Considering all of the prior proceedings, the decision was a forgone conclusion.  Furthermore, our entire legal system is based on stare decisis (that decisions are decided like the ones before them), so the Judge was bound by following well established precedent.

Now, I'm not a criminal lawyer and I DON'T try capital cases, I don't believe there is a "substantial likelihood" test for capital cases...and maybe this will help you see the difference.  The "substantial likelihood" of success test on the underlying case, has nothing to do with her living or dying, it has to do with "who has the authority to make decisions for her".  The fact that those decisions could mean life or death, doesn't concern the law.  What concerns the law is the question of "decision" vs. the question "result of decision".

I hope that made sense. LOL  I'm ready for Orthodoxy 201 now.  Wink
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2005, 08:30:39 PM »

Could expect anything less of lawyer? Grin

HEY!  Lawyers are people to.  Evil
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« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2005, 08:39:09 PM »

They should have let the poor woman die years ago. Being kept alive artificially for 15 years! This is absurd. Let her die.

Tom,

  I think one of the issues that kind of got lost in this is the effort her husband put forth in trying to help his wife. Initially, Schiavo was awarded $750,000 against the fertility clinic she was using (medical negligence case).

  With that money, Schiavo tried most medical procedures available as a means of "helping" or "curing" his wife. He even had electrodes implanted in her brain, to try and trigger some type of function.

  Needless to say, everything he tried, failed. I feel terrible for the guy, because he has been terribly demonized by the media. I don't think he is a monster. I genuinely believe he thinks he is doing what she would want him to do.

  Others have accused him of wanting her dead so he can keep the money from the trial years ago. This is an issue near and dear to me. I do try cases regarding catastrophic injuries, and the one thing I can tell you all, is that the cost to care for someone in a vegitative state is ENORMOUS. There is NO WAY he has anything left from the $750,000. I would be willing to bet, her yearly care, exceeds $200,000.

  I think the whole thing is very sad. A real tragedy.
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« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2005, 08:51:08 PM »

SouthSerb99,

Michael Schiavo may have elicited slightly more sympathy if he was truly devoted to his wife, and not living in adultery. There's something about an adulterous man trying to kill his wife (with or without a financial incentive) that has a tendency to evoke a negitive response from many people.
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« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2005, 08:55:24 PM »

As far as I am concerned he is NOT living in adultery. His wife Terri died a long time ago. What has has now is simply the body of his wife being kept "alive" by machines. She cannot survive without those machines providing her with life. She is DEAD.

Let her go.
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« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2005, 09:03:13 PM »

Unless, of course, she is not dead, like her family claims, and she has limited response to them....There are enough articles describing her various reactions to environmental stimulii--they're worth reading about. If she is effectively dead, that's one thing. But her family is arguing she is not.

One thing I wish I understood--Why can Mr. Schiavo not jsut divorce her and move on? Her family is willing to care for her; he does not want to.
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« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2005, 09:19:09 PM »

As far as I am concerned he is NOT living in adultery. His wife Terri died a long time ago. What has has now is simply the body of his wife being kept "alive" by machines. She cannot survive without those machines providing her with life. She is DEAD.

Let her go.

She Can Breath on her Own, her Heart Pumps on it's own, the only thing necessary for survival that she cant do on her own is swallow. This hardly makes one dead, she is not dead legally nor would the Church consider her dead; moreover, even Michale Schiavo acknowledges that she is not dead by making his arguments in court based on his marriage with her. The bottom line is that he is living in adultery (not that moral condition his current living arrangement would be greatly improved by either a divorce or her death) and trying to kill his wife, surely you can see the moral difficultiy of his situation.
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« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2005, 09:26:04 PM »

There is evidence she can swallow on her own--her former nurses' testimony.  She's also not brain dead or a permanent vegetable. Persistant vegitative states are NOT always permanent.
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« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2005, 09:48:33 PM »

Nuerologists have testified that she can not recover.
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« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2005, 09:51:20 PM »

Neurologists are also aware of manycases where people who were "brain dead" or "had no hope of recovery" miraculously returned to full function. They cannot explain them. There is great mystery surrounding this. It is not as if her brain does not keep her body functioning. It does--and there is evidence that she could be rehabilitated to swallow (see her ability to swallow saliva--she does not drool). There is no way to prove that someone could not recovery from a state such as hers because people have in the past.


Even if she does not ever return to a fully functioning state--her current state is similar to the very most severely retarded persons. The only assistance she needs to live is food--and the possibility exists to help her eat on her own: then she would only require spoonfeeding. She has been denied all therapy(at her husbands order), however, and so her body has continually weakened over the years.  Since when do we deny people the right to life just because the form of life has been diminished from the norm or ideal? Do we euthanize retarded persons? Why should Mr. Schiavo be allowed to let his spouse starve when others are willing and able to care for her? It just doesn't make sense.
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« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2005, 11:52:50 PM »

The issue of her technical condition is irrelevant to me... the only relevant issue is that she is not dying, she can breathe and digest nutrition on her own. She is severely disabled.   I have seen numerous retarded children who require incredible aid from their parents. If they were to let them starve to death, they would be guilty of neglect.  If Terri was home with an illness or disability that  required spoon feeding and her husband let her starve, he would be guilty...Nursing homes are guilty if they leave alzheimer's patients in their excrement and don't feed them...  The fed judge in Florida is a pro-choice Clinton appointee.  Everyone sees the link between this and abortion from the political side.  What about the link between this and wrongful death in care of disabled people who have been fighting for support.  So if anyone has a child with cerebral palsy or other serious illness.. let them starve... abort babies... play God....  The only reason Terri will die here is because she is being starved, not because she is dying... 

I had an uncle with severe Downs syndrome.  He could walk but barely talk. He had no teeth, could only eat baby food,  and the docs told my Grandparents he wouldn't live passed 16.  He had the last word.  He died at 48... but for all those years, my Grandmother fed him, bathed him, shaved him and wiped his bottom.. and loved him...and that is why he lived. We loved him dearly...I had an Aunt with Lou Gehrig's disease.  She needed to be fed and helped around.  She died in her sleep from natural suffocation,as a result of the disease.  But she was not starved to death. When my father was dying of cancer, he was given morphine and an IV for hydration and nutrition.  The cancer killed him, not starvation...

There are too many unanswered questions in this case regarding the circumstances of her collapse, the details of her inhumane treatment by her husband, and lack of clarity on her wishes.  In fact her husband said on TV he didn't know what she really wanted.... Also apparently the case was first ruled a homicide- the police had been called by the paramedics when she collapsed.  Her husband issued orders that she was to be kept in a dark room with no tv, music, or any stimulation. He didn't even want her bathed... this goes back years.  And he only came forward with a 'her wish' statement after many years... probably so he could get on with his love life.... He did not seek an anullment from the church, which would have been the proper approach were he a decent guy.  The bulk of the money he was awarded was not spent on treatment but on lawyers...  And her nurse has come forward now that the 'gag order' on her was removed and told all.. how her husband would say ' how much money he get when that 'bitch' dies..."

Regardless of all of this, anyone who things this is not an issue for Orthodoxy is mistaken:  It is one thing to remove a feeding tube, another to deny her communion! So who's next guys??? She was even denied an ice cube.  It is not that the feeding tube was removed,  but that they want to assure she dies body and soul... freedom of religion is also at question... We are all dying with her...and rather than 'forget her' during lent, we should all be praying for her and her soul, and her parents....I am amazed and thoroughly disappointed that few on this list  have even said this... I accidentally posted this response on the prayer forum... where only one person responded to my request for prayer.   I will post separately a note from a lawyer with her just before they pulled the tube.



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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2005, 11:54:44 PM »


"Last Visit Narrative
by Attorney Barbara Weller
http://theempirejournal.com/0319052_attorneys_last_visit_wit.htm

When Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed at 1:45 p.m. on March
18, 2005, I was one of the most surprised people on the planet. I had
been visiting Terri throughout the morning with her family and her
priest. As part of the legal team working throughout the previous days
and nights to save Terri from a horrific fate, I was very hopeful.

Although the state judicial system had obviously failed Terri by not
protecting her life, I knew other forces were still at work. I fully
expected the federal courts would step in to reverse this injustice,
just as they might for a prisoner unjustly set for execution*although
by much more humane means than Terri would be executed. Barring that,
I was certain that sometime around noon, the Florida Department of
Children and Family Services would come to the Woodside Hospice
facility in Pinellas Park and take Terri into protective custody. Or
that federal marshals would arrive from Washington D.C, where the
Congress was working furiously to try to save Terri, and would stand
guard at her door to prevent any medical personnel from entering her
room to remove the tube that was providing her nutrition and hydration.

Finally, I was sure if nothing else was working, that at 12:59, just
before the hour scheduled for Terri's gruesome execution to begin,
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would at least issue a 60-day reprieve for the
legislative bodies to complete the work they were attempting to do to
save Terri's life and to make sure that no other vulnerable adults
could be sentenced to starve to death in America. I had done the legal
research weeks before and was fully convinced that Gov. Bush had the
power, under our co-equal branches of government, to issue a reprieve
in the face of a judicial death sentence intended to lead to the
starvation and dehydration of an innocent woman when scores of doctors
and neurologists were saying she could be helped.

All morning long, as I was in the room with Terri and her family, we
were telling her that help was on the way. Terri was in good spirits
that morning. The mood in her room was jovial, particularly around
noontime, as we knew Congressional attorneys were on the scene and
many were working hard to save Terri's life. For most of that time, I
was visiting and talking with Terri along with Terri's sister Suzanne
Vitadamo, Suzanne's husband, and Terri's aunt, who was visiting from
New York to help provide support for the family. A female Pinellas
Park police office was stationed at the door outside Terri's room.

Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair, dressed and looking alert
and well. Her feeding tube had been plugged in around 11 a.m. and we
all felt good that she was still being fed. Suzanne and I were
talking, joking, and laughing with Terri, telling her she was going to
go to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress, which meant that
finally Terri's husband Michael would be required to fix her
wheelchair. After that Suzanne could take Terri to the mall shopping
and could wheel her outdoors every day to feel the wind and sunshine
on her face, something she has not been able to do for more than five
years.

At one point, I noticed Terri's window blinds were pulled down. I went
to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful
garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain.
As sunlight came into the room, Terri's eyes widened and she was
obviously very pleased. At another point, Suzanne and I told Terri she
needed to suck in all the food she could because she might not be
getting anything for a few days.

During that time, Mary Schindler, Terri's mother, joined us for a bit,
and we noticed there were bubbles in Terri's feeding tube. We joked that
we didn't want her to
begin burping, and called the nurses to fix the feeding tube, which
they did. Terri's mother did not come back into the room. This was a
very difficult day for Bob and Mary Schindler. I suspect they were
less hopeful all along than I was, having lived through Terri's last
two feeding tube removals.

Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an
hour or more. At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I
heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have
been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I
noticed the dimples in her cheeks.

The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was
sitting on Terri's bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her
lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I
stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands.
I said to her, "Terri if you could only say `I want to live' this
whole thing could be over today." I begged her to try very hard to
say, "I want to live."

To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri's eyes opened wide, she looked
me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said,
"Ahhhhhhh." Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she
virtually screamed, "Waaaaaaaa." She
yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne's husband, and the
female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri's
door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on
her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling
hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very
frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously
causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terri's
face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It
had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured
Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need
to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world
that she had tried to say, "I want to live."

Suzanne and I continued to visit and talk with Terri, along with other
family members who came and went in the room, until about 2:00 p.m.
when we were all told to leave after Judge Greer denied yet another
motion for stay and ordered the removal of the feeding tube to
proceed. As we left the room, the female police officer outside the
door was valiantly attempting to keep from crying.

Just as Terri's husband Michael has told the world he must keep an
alleged promise to kill Terri, a promise remembered a million dollars
and nearly a decade after the fact; I must keep my promise to Terri
immediately. Time is running out for her. I went out to the banks of
cameras outside the hospice facility and told the story immediately.
Now I must also tell the story in writing for the world to hear. It
may be the last effective thing I can do to try to keep Terri alive so
she can get the testing, therapy, and rehabilitative help she so
desperately needs before it is too late.

About four in the afternoon, several hours after the feeding tube was
removed, I returned to Terri's room. By that time she was alone except
for a male police officer now standing inside the door. When I entered
the room and began to speak to her, Terri started to cry and tried to
speak to me immediately. It was one of the most helpless feelings I
have ever had.

Terri was looking very melancholy at that point and I
had the sense she was very upset that we had told her things were
going to get better, but instead, they were obviously getting worse. I
had previously had the same feeling when my own daughter was a baby
who was hospitalized and was crying and looking to me to rescue her
from her hospital crib, something I could not do. While I was in the
room with Terri for the next half hour or so, several other friends
came to visit and I did a few press interviews sitting right next to
Terri. I again raised her window shade, which had again been pulled
down, so Terri could at least see the garden and the sunshine from her
lounge chair. I also turned the radio on in her room before I left so
that when she was alone, she would at least have some music for comfort.

Just before I left the room, I leaned over Terri and spoke right into
her ear. I told her I was very sorry I had not been able to stop the
feeding tube from being taken out and I was very sorry I had to leave
her alone. But I reminded her that Jesus would stay right by her side
even when no one else was there with her. When I mentioned Jesus'
Name, Terri again laughed out loud. She became very agitated and began
loudly trying to speak to me again. As Terri continued to laugh and
try to speak, I quietly prayed in her ear, kissed her, placed her
in Jesus' care, and left the room.

Terri is alone now. As I write this last visit narrative, it is five
in the morning of March 19. Terri has been without food and water for
nearly 17 hours. I'm sure she is beginning at least become thirsty, if
not hungry. And I am left to wonder how many other people care."

May God have mercy on us all...
Kizzy
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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2005, 11:56:43 PM »

Dont be too disappointed, shocked, or see no posts as some kind of value statement. Many people are taking Lent off from the computer, and even more read and pray without ever making a post. Posting does not equal prayer.
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« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2005, 12:12:42 AM »

Thanks.. I needed that...
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« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2005, 02:02:18 AM »

Hi all!

See http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/Should_Terri_Schiavo_Live _or_Die$.asp

and http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/The_Terri_Schiavo_Case_Related_Ethical_Dilemmas.asp

for an Orthodox Jewish view.

I'll quote one excerpt from the first article

Quote
Let us take the example of Terri Schiavo. She is not brain dead nor is she terminally ill. She is brain damaged and remains in what appears to be a persistent vegetative state. All of her bodily functions are essentially normal, but she lacks the ability to "meaningfully" interact with the outside world (although her parents claim that she does minimally respond to their presence and to outside stimuli).

Her impairment is cognitive and Judaism does not recognize any less of a right to treatment for one cognitively impaired than one mentally astute.

It is a denial of the Jewish ideal of the fundamental value of life that drives the forces that wish to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. While Judaism does recognize quality of life in certain circumstances (such as the incurable terminally ill patient in intractable pain mentioned above), the Torah does not sanction euthanasia in any situation. To remove the feeding tube from a patient whose only impairment is cognitive is simply murder.

We must ask ourselves when we view images of cognitively impaired patients such as Terri Schiavo whether the pain that we feel is Terri's or whether it is our own. While we may suffer watching movies of the severely brain damaged, it is our own thoughts of the horror of a life without cognition that drives us to project that pain onto the victim who may not be suffering at all.

and one from the second:

Quote
The general consensus in halachic literature [i.e. literature having to do with Jewish law] has been that certain treatments, such as oxygen, nutrition, and hydration are obligatory for all patients, regardless of the severity of their medical condition. This obligation is predicated upon the assumption that there are certain bodily needs that all people share, regardless of their prognosis, and that failing to provide for these needs constitutes a breach in the obligation to care for one's fellow man.

This line of reasoning considers breathing, eating, and drinking to be normal activities of daily living, and the providing of oxygen, nutrition, and hydration to be extensions of normal physiologic processes rather than medical interventions. [The late] Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach calls these treatments routine, and therefore not open to refusal or withdrawal, unlike certain other more "extraordinary" treatments that need not necessarily always be provided. He considers nutrition, hydration, and oxygen to be absolutely required, similar to antibiotics, insulin, and blood transfusions.

What gets me is that if (God forbid!) it was my wife in such a condition, my devotion to her is such that I would have neither the time, nor the urge, nor the inclination to look for other romantic female companionship; that would the absolute last thing on my mind (or anywhere else). Shame on her husband! If romantic female companionship is that important to him, he should divorce her. But until he either divorces her or God takes her, he should keep his pants zipped.

Be well!

MBZ
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« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2005, 02:43:20 AM »

What gets me is that if (God forbid!) it was my wife in such a condition, my devotion to her is such that I would have neither the time, nor the urge, nor the inclination to look for other romantic female companionship; that would the absolute last thing on my mind (or anywhere else). Shame on her husband!

Excellent point, and I would presume that anyone who loved their spouse would think along similar lines. The Fact that Michael Schiavo seems unable to understand this fact tells much about his character and motives.

It is also unfortunate that those who Make and Interpret our Laws in this country do not have the Moral Sensibilities of the late Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach; or perhaps they lack his moral courage, in which case I fear we may have an even greater problem.
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« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2005, 05:50:49 AM »

I used to work in a brain injuries unit at a psychiatric hospital. We had one patient there who was remarkably similar to Terry Schiavo, though her condition was caused by encephalitis. She could not speak or eat, was fed through a tube etc. She was more responsive than Terry Schiavo, but there was still no real prospect of her recovering - we just tried to do the best we could for her, which wasn't a lot. She was constantly very distressed (at least it seemed so, you couldn't exactly ask her) and she was very severely disabled, but she most certainly was not dead, not by any stretch of the imagination. I agree that unnaturally prolonging a life, for instance with ventilators, is an issue where allowing death might be consistant with the historical position of the Church, but stopping feeding someone is way more of a grey area. What's to distinguish ending Terri Schiavo's feeding morally from infanticide by starvation? I really don't see much of a moral difference here at all - both are helpless, utterly dependent living people. I don't know the details of Terri's medical condition, but what I have heard does not, to my mind, justify starving her to death.

In the case of our patient, also, the attitude of the husband was very different. He came every day to see her despite having to travel a very considerable distance after finishing work. He spent long periods of time with her and always left looking emotionally destroyed. He discussed his wife's prognosis with us and never gave up hope. In short he was a wonderful, admirable man who loved his wife deeply and I pray that God has given him comfort in his suffering. Mr Schiavo, on the other hand, does not strike me as in any way admirable. If he is unwilling or unable to look after his wife then the only moral thing to do would be to let others take his place. One thing I simply cannot understand is how American law seems to be accepting his story (and it's just his word against that of her parents) that she would have wished to die, despite the fact that accepting it would mean the killing, not allowing to die, of another human being. Surely in such cases where no real proof is offered, the law ought to err on the side of life?

James
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« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2005, 09:42:22 AM »

Kizzy,

     Legally speaking (again), the article by Barbara Weller has so many holes in it, I really don't have the time or energy to respond to each one.

     However, I will respond to this (I think I've said this a million times on various posts), I really dislike the characterizations of "liberal" this or "conservative" that.

     With respect to the Judge, someone remarked that he is "Clinton appointee", and an "abortionist".  Now, that may all be true, but I really think that had NO influence on his decision and I think so called "conservatives" who are complaining about him are being really hypocritical.

     What they wanted him to do, was go outside the law, and rule in her favor (on the narrow issue of decision making).  In other words, they wanted him to be a rogue (and activist) Judge.  The same as those Judges across the Country who are ruling in favor of issues which are unsupported by law (ie: gay marriage et al).

      You can't have it both ways.  Either the Judge follows the law, or he is an activist Judge.  Either way, the Judges seem condemned to make the wrong decision.  Is it only permissible to be and activist Judge when you are doing so for a "conservative" agenda.

      I for one, think that universal health care is a "fundamental right" of all citizens and should be guaranteed by the Constitution, but that is NOT the law, and until there is an act of congress saying so, NO Judge should rule in favor of such an idea.  I have a whole host of other "liberal" ideas I believe are "fundmental rights" however, unless and until that are codified and constitutionally sustainable, Judges CAN'T and SHOULDN'T suport ideological agendas.  It undermines the credibility of the entire legal system.
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« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2005, 12:01:13 PM »

SouthSerb, I would say that the politicians who are stepping over their legal bounds to aid this woman are doing a noble act, regardless of personal agendas that are behind the scenes. I understand your position as a lawyer, but to put the system above humanity in such a manner is foolish.

These judges are really beginning to bother me. First it was letting gays marry. Now it's killing innocent life. What next?
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« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2005, 12:10:07 PM »

SouthSerb99,

Though I know the goal of the writers of the constitution was to establish an objective judicial branch, they failed, and were destined to fail because of human nature; the only reason our judges dont have party affiliation is because everyone is happy with the fiction that they are truly objective (I will say that I believe our current supreme court is one of the more objective courts this nation has seen in decades, but it's a long ways from perfect objectivity), I've read enough court decisions and and modern documents on the philosophy of law to know otherwise.

The case of Roe vs. Wade is a classical example of the Judicial Activist approach, you cannot claim rights that have not been formally granted by law and the right of privacy does not extend beyond protection from unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrent. This is the strict constructionist view, simple and straightforward, you are not formally granted a right, therefore this privilege is subject to the the opinion of the current State/Federal Legislative and Executive branches (depending on the issue). (Also, I've never understood if being secure on one's person guarantees the right of abortion, since I'm also secure in my house, why is it illegal for me to kill people in my home? It seems like a logical conclusion.)

What I object to legally here is similar Judicial Activism, both the US Constitution (14th Amendment) and the Florida State Constitution (Article I Section 2) grants the right to Life (a right that can be considered to be fundamentally opposed to a right to die, but that's not relevant to my argument); however, neither document says anything about a right to die (also, just as there is no 'right' to healthcare, neither is there a 'right' to restrict it, even by a spouse, this is a privilege, subject to the will of the Legislature). What I ask for is strict constructionism from the Courts, since not right to die is explicitly stated, none exists. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that the State Legislature has the right to grant or revoke this privilege at will. The Florida State Legislature has already passed a law preventing the removal of the feeding tube, but Judicial Activists declared this law 'unconstitutional' even though there is no Constitutional provision that restricts the actions of the State Legislature in this regard. I agree that Judges should not put forth their ideological agendas, unfortunately that is exactly what they have been doing, protecting 'rights' that exist only in their minds, and overturning laws on a whim, without any real justification for their actions.

If we want additional rights, not explicitly granted in our Federal or State Constitution, each and every one of these Constitutions have a procedure to be amended, that is how new rights are granted for changing times, not on the whims of our judges.
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« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2005, 12:19:44 PM »

These judges are really beginning to bother me.  First it was letting gays marry.  Now it's killing innocent life.  What next? 

I'm going to ignore the "foolish" line, in the hopes that you weren't calling me foolish.

As for the above quoted line, you are missing the point.  The issue is activist Judges.  If the Judge ruled in favor of her parents, he would've been as wrong as the Judges ruling in favor of gay marriage, legally speaking.

Right now, you can't have it both ways.  Unless the laws are changed, allowing parental rights to trump marital rights, the JUDGE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION.

You can disagree with it on moral and religious grounds (I'm not arguing against that), I'm simply stating, legally, he was right.  Often areas of law are not black and white, but I think this particular issue is.

I think the stronger, maybe more compelling argument can be made that this might constitute "cruel and unusual" treatment.  Not saying it is or it isn't, just that I think it is a more compelling argument.

Of course, if the so called "noble" conservatives argue this, then the hethen liberals will scream, so is frying  a retarded 16 year old in Texas (something Bushy was only to happy to do).

My point being (again) that I don't buy into the liberal vs. conservative stuff.  I think on moral grounds, their are laws much more appauling than the Schiavo case.  Take for example a law in Texas (signed by a former governor, now in a higher position), which allows doctors to unilaterally decide to "pull the plug" on what they deem "non-viable" infants, without parental consent.

So, severly handicapped baby is born, needs a ventilator to breath, doctor decides baby will never breath on it's own and pulls the plug after 6 months.  This is better than Schiavo?
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« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2005, 12:32:42 PM »

Greekischristian,

    I appreciate much of what you have written, and only wish my knowledge of Orthodoxy was as extensive of your legal knowledge (which is way beyond the realm of the lay person).

    Having said that, I'm still going to disagree with your notions of a strict constructionist view of the constitution and in fact all legal doctrine.  I know we'll disagree on this point, but strict constructionist Judges lead to guys like Antonin Scalia, who in my books, is certifiable.  I think he twists and contorts legal doctrine worse than any of the most "liberal" Judges on the Supreme Court.

    If I may analagize for a second (and I maybe making a huge mistake), but my impression of strict constructionists (legally speaking) is like reading the OT, without the NT.  I think, reading the constitution, without some interpretation, is disastrous, and I would argue very un-Christian.  Remember, at the time the Constitution was drafted, blacks were viewed as sub-human as were women and probably most (not all) non-Anglos (or those closely related).  So I think there is some danger in this.
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« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2005, 12:52:59 PM »

As I understand it, the Schindlers were granted the right to present their case to  a federal court,  the requests for reinsertion now to Whittemore  were to allow them to do that.  It appears to me that the judge made his decision, by also anticipating the federal court  ruling, and I believe he overstepped his bounds here. 
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« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2005, 01:50:02 PM »

Quote
So, severly handicapped baby is born, needs a ventilator to breath, doctor decides baby will never breath on it's own and pulls the plug after 6 months.  This is better than Schiavo?

That is correct.  Here in Texas infants can be taken off life support against the parents' will if a doctor and a panel of "medical ethicists" conclude that it's okay. 

However, I don't think the politicians involved in this case didn't know at the beginning that they would lose.  The problem wasn't legal, it is political.  Conservative constituents and the disabled rights constituents would be furious if their politicians did nothing in this case.  The politicians may have known that it was futile, but their constituents didn't and they demanded action. 

If it is grandstanding, it's grandstanding because we the constituents demand it. 

The good thing about this particular case is that it will highlight the problems with our current system.  Hopefully the forces that are pushing the impotent federal legislation will continue and force legal changes, including changes to the way Texas removes the decisions of life and death from families and hands it to a para-governmental body.
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« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2005, 04:54:34 PM »

SouthSerb99,

We seem to have a fundamentally different view of Jurisprudence, especially in regard to the interpretation of Constitutional Law, and if I was as intelligent as you try to give me credit for, I would probably leave it at that, rather than venturing into your field of expertise to make my case; but, alas, I fear I shall allow my imprudence get the better of me.

Having said that, I'm still going to disagree with your notions of a strict constructionist view of the constitution and in fact all legal doctrine. I know we'll disagree on this point, but strict constructionist Judges lead to guys like Antonin Scalia, who in my books, is certifiable. I think he twists and contorts legal doctrine worse than any of the most "liberal" Judges on the Supreme Court.

In the context of Civil Jurisprudence I do not see how a posistion other than strict constructionism could be construed to be anything other than Judicial Activism. The Constitutional principal of the Seperation of Power relies on each branch of government not oversteping the authority given to them, and avoiding absolute power in anyone's hands; this is, of course, the primary reason that the courts have no power to enforce their decisions, but are dependent on the Executive branch to enforce their decisions (of course, when the Executive branch does not enforce their decisions, like during the incident during Andrew Jackson's administration, there is a Constitutional Crisis and the Court becomes powerless and is dependent upon the Legislative branch). Now as a theocratic monarchist I see inherent problems in this system (as in all democratic and republican systems), though I will admit that this is one of the best attempts at a republican government in history, unfortunately human nature and desire for power can never be dismissed, looking throughout history we see a great many checks and balances that have been removed from our government, and the slow slide into anarchy and despotism; popular election of Senators and Electors, and the election of Electors along party lines (not illegal, but a problem not forseen during the drafting of the Constitution, though later realized, and condemned, by Washington in his farewell address) may not seem like great problems at first, but they are a couple of checks and balances that have been eliminated, and from the course of history we can only logically assume that, with time, the destruction of more will follow.

The Courts overstepping their authority of interpret the meaning of the law and instead infusing their own opinions into the law is another blow against the Checks and Balances that were originally inherent in our system; however, until we can write a computer programme to legislate, and we vote it in as our court system, I do not see how we can avoid this problem in a republican government; save that we, by chance, appoint honest people to fulfill these Judicial Roles, which may happen from time to time, but is hardly a reliable way of maintaining the system. The role of the Judge is to interpret the law in the manner that it was intended to be interpreted, not to infuse their own ideologies, morals, or ethics into the interpretation of law. The place for morals and ethics is in Congress, not in our Courts; our Courts are a place of law, without regard for morals, ethics, or any rights not enumerated in the Constitution, but only for legality.

In regard to Justice Antonin Scalia, I agree with many of his decisions, though not all, where I disagree with his decisions is where he fails in his strict constructionism, one prime example of this is the issue of Abortion. I believe that Roe vs. Wade was a wrong decision on account of the fact that the Constitution does not directly address the issue, and the tenth amendment (I know, it hasn't been cited since the 1850's, but it's still an essential element of our Constitutional law) states that 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,' thus the proper decision of the Federal Courts would be to let each state deicide their own policy. However, in regard to the recent Partial-Birth Abortion Ban of 2003, Justice Scalia has already voiced his support of it (even though it has yet to come before the Supreme Court), and if it comes before the court he will support the law. However, from the strict constructionist view, this law is illegal for the same reason that the Roe vs. Wade decision was wrong, the authority to legislate this area of common law is not given to Congress, and therefore is reserved to the States. Though there is a weak argument that could be made in support of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban of 2003 by using Sections 1 and 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution; however, even the most Activist Judge will admit that the original purpose of this Amendment was to ensure equality before the law regardless of race (it was not even initially interpreted in give equality of genders, it actually upholds male-only sufferage); ultimatley, this is a instance when Justice Scalia is letting his morals get in the way of his job, and if he rules the way that he has said he will, he will technically be commiting perjury by failing to uphold his oath of office and responsibilities to the Constitution.

But with that said, I believe that doing ones job properly on the Supreme Court is EXTREMELY difficult, and while Justice Scalia tries, and often does well, at times he fails, for he is only human. This difficulity is a natural result of having the Legislative and Judicial branches seperate, and the ability Judiciary to overturn the decisions of the Legislature, if the Judiciary does not interpret laws in the strict constructionist manner, they become nothing more than a new super-legislative branch of government. Because of this difficult posistion of the Judicial branch, many ethical issues do arise, and because of them I would question whether or not it is an office that it would be acceptable for an Orthodox Christian to hold, for in holding it one will most likely be required to either commit perjury, and not uphold his oath of office, or to act contrary to the moral values of the Chruch (See Canon 29 of St. Basil for more detail).

If I may analagize for a second (and I maybe making a huge mistake), but my impression of strict constructionists (legally speaking) is like reading the OT, without the NT.

I don't believe your analogy to be fair in regard to strict constructionists, for strict constructionists dont believe in the absolute nature of the law, they simply support the Constitutional system and due process (or at least, like myself, believe that these methods are better than the alternative of Legislation from the Bench). For example, though I have expressed my opinion that the Supreme Court has a responsibility to rule Abortion to be a States Rights issue, I am completely opposed to abortion as being nothing more than premeditated murder, and would strongly support a Constitutional Amendment to ban it; however, that's where the due process comes in, the courts shouldn't be allowed to ban it, we should have to use the constitutional procedure to Amend the Constitution, at which time it becomes Constitutional law, and the Court is then obliged to uphold the law. The Constitution is not a Static Document, this is attested to by the 27 Amendments we have today; however, with that said, a Constitutional provision is law until it is overturned by an amendment, and should be interpreted in the manner that it was intended, if another situation comes up, you must go through the process of amendment again.

I think, reading the constitution, without some interpretation, is disastrous, and I would argue very un-Christian.

Well, as a theocratic monarchist, I would probably argue that are entire system of Government is un-Christian; but that's an issue for a different day. But with respect, I believe that you are confusing the role of the Judiciary with the role of Constitutional Conventions.

Remember, at the time the Constitution was drafted, blacks were viewed as sub-human as were women and probably most (not all) non-Anglos (or those closely related). So I think there is some danger in this.

I'm quite familiar with American history, from both a Social and Legal Perspective; women were not allowed to vote and blacks were 3/5ths of a person (though, ironically, it was the Slave States that wanted them to be legally considered a whole person (though without voting rights, of course), for reasons of representation, 3/5ths was a compromise), and yes I believe that at the time the Supreme Court ruled properly in the Dred Scott, they were not at liberty to rule otherwise, for to do so would have been a violation of their Constitutional Powers. However, with time, the problem was solved through the process of Constitutional Amendment, and the Dred Scott decision was made irrelevant (mind you I believe there were a few problems surrounding the radification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments...but that's a discussion for another day, and probably another board, as well).

So dont take the posistion of the Strict-Constructionists to be necessarily a support of all the Social Principles of the Authors of the Constitution, but rather it is (the Constitutional) posistion that advocates due process over Judicial Legislation. I know I may have gone on more than some would think appropriate to this fourm, but since we are dealing with the legal issues surrounding the Terri Schiavo case, I believe some Legal Philosophy and Constitutional Law is called for...plus, it's a fun subject Wink
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« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2005, 05:49:32 PM »

I'm only going to respond to one thing you said... that Constitutional Law "is a fun subject"

I would like to introduce my entire first year Constitutional Law class as People's Exhibit "A".

"Your honour, I would ask that this Honorable Court take judicial notice that people's "A", will testify that Constitutional Law, is not a fun subject".

The Court:   "Duly Noted, now move one counsellor".

SouthSerb99:  "That is it your honor, we have nothing else.  We'd like to move the Court for a directed verdict against our extremely intellectual Orthodox brother greekischristian".

The Court:    "Granted, Mr. Greekischristian, I sentence you to the continuous study of US Constitutional Law, at that bastion of liberalism, Harvard Law School.  You will study Con Law undisturbed for a period of 1 year, after which, the Court is convinced you will be rehabilitated of any and all notions that 'Con Law' is fun".

...greekischristian, taken away kicking and screaming (because he's going to Harvard) LOL  Wink
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« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2005, 07:41:11 PM »

I guess there's something wrong with me but I really liked Con Law.  In fact, I liked it so much that I took upper division con law classes in my 2nd and 3rd years. 

greekchristian, I'm not persuaded by originalist claims.  Because ultimately it boils down to what do these terms mean?  What does "due process" mean?  First day of law school question, what is property?  Based on my studies of constitutional law, the meaning of "due process," liberty and property have evolved over time. 

I think, also, that we should remember that the federal courts have always been 'interventionalist' in certain matters.

Ultimately I think I'm persuaded by the idea of a 'penumbra' (can't remember how to spell this for the life of me) of rights.  It's true that the Constitution doesn't specifically mention a right to privacy but I think most of think it's self-evident that the state must have very good reason to intrude into the family.  For example, the concept of a right to privacy didn't start with Roe.  It goes back to some 1920's cases having to do with educating children.  The state of Oregon outlawed private schools and a group of nuns appealed.  How you choose to educate your children is not in the constitution but I believe it's a right that should be protected by the constitution. 

My beef with 'origalism' is that it's too simplistic (IMHO).  The constitution is an evolving document and the courts, ever since Marberry, have claimed the ultimate power to interpret it.  I see the constitution as being like the Bible.  There has to be one central authority who gets to interpret it.  In Orthodoxy, it's the Church.  In our government it's the courts. 

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« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2005, 09:24:18 PM »

SouthSerb99,

You're right, I would probably be kicking and screaming if I was forced to study anything at harvard...lol Wink

Jennifer,

No one is saying that the Constitution is a static document, it has evolved, we call these evolutions amendments. My objection is when the courts try and do the job of a Constitutional Convention. We have certain rights, neither education nor privacy (except against unreasonable searches without a warrent) are amongst these rights, if we want to have those things established as 'rights' that's the responsibility of the Legislative Branches of the Several State Governments, they alone have the constitutional authority to grant those rights. If the constitution were without an amendment process, there would be a genuine problem; but this is not the situation, the problem is that people want to be able to make changes at a whim, rather than requiring the consensus of the States.

This is also the case in the Church, one Bishop (even a Metropolitan or Patriarch) is not supposed to go off and make his own decisions without consulting his Synod. According to Canon 34 of the Apostles, decisions are to be made by the consensus of all the Bishops.
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« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2005, 11:06:04 PM »


We have certain rights, neither education nor privacy (except against unreasonable searches without a warrent) are amongst these rights, if we want to have those things established as 'rights' that's the responsibility of the Legislative Branches of the Several State Governments, they alone have the constitutional authority to grant those rights.

greekchristian, the problem with your approach is that in actuality, it's never worked that way.  Almost from the beginning, the Supreme Court has claimed the right to interpret the Constitution. 

Question, would you have decided Pierce differently?  If you don't know, Pierce is the famous private school case I referred to above.  The people of the state or Oregon, under the influence of the KKK, passed an initiatve which banned private schools.  The Supreme Cour struck down the initiative finding that it violated the privacy rights of parents.  A similar law from Nebraska, struck down at roughly the same time, outlawed the teaching of German in schools.  I argue that both of these laws (both motivated by religious and racial bigotry) violated the constitutional rights of parents in these states even though the right to send your child to whatever school you want is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.  The right of parents to educate their children as they see fit is a God given right and one could argue that our founding fathers meant to enshring "natural law" rights. 

Plenty of other laws have been passed by legislatures or through popular initiatives that violate that rights of minorities.  Through judicial review, the courts protect against tyranny by the majority. 

I think you're also forgetting that the courts, especially the Supreme Court, are very attentive to the popular mood of the country.  The most example being the "stitch in time that saved nine," where the Supreme Court got with Roosevelt's new deal program really quickly when they realized FDR was considering packing the court.  If one was to study supreme court decisions over time, one would see that their decisions (with a few glaring exceptions) follow public opinion. 

Now as for your claim that the only legitimate "evolutions" of the Constitution are its amendments, how are we to determine what "due process" is?  Due process is messy and that's why SCOTUS switched to equal protection analyses after WWII.  I think it was Justice Frankfurther, when asked to help draft a constitution for the state of Israel, who advised against including a due process clause because Americans had been fighting over what "due process" was from the beginning. 

Due process analysis is a classic example of the 'evolution' of the Constitution.  What does it mean?  Does due process mean that a defendant is due representation?  It didn't at one time, now it does. 

What is property?  What is liberty? 

I support the system we have (with the courts having the authority to judicially review statutes and interpret the Constitution) because it works.  It's not perfect.  It's been messy sometimes.  There are some shameful decisions, e.g. Dred Scott and Plessy.  But I think it works better than the alternatives.  Keeping in mind, that the system has worked this way from the beginning so we really don't know how the alternatives would have worked.  I'm persuaded by the arguments for judicial review.  The democratic system doesn't always protect the rights of minorities (I don't just mean ethnic and religious minorities). 

What do you mean by "constitutional authority?"  How do you know what the constitution means?  I would argue that you're engaging in private interpetation and we all know what that lead to in religion, anarchy.  I think it's important to remember that many of the founding fathers were still around when Marberry was decided.  I would argue their silence indicates agreement with judicial review. 
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« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2005, 11:21:58 PM »

Forgive me for just barging into this conversation, but greekischristian keeps reiterating something that I have to thoroughly disagree with.  The government does not grant us rights.  The people created the government and delegated certain powers to it; everything else they retained for themselves.  If you look at the way every part of the Constitution dealing with rights is phrased, they are not affirmative grants of rights.  They are instead prohibitions upon the government infringing upon those rights.  Furthermore, the Ninth Amendment explicity states that the mere fact that a right is not enumerated within the Constitution does not mean that right doesn't exist, which is how the courts get off with "creating" new rights.  Rather than "creating" a new right, the courts merely affirm that it is a right, and even that generally happens after an attempt to abridge it.  There may not currently be a recognized right to wear the color black, but that right would be recognized pretty quickly as soon as someone legislated a prohibition against that color.

And I think that's thoroughly disjointed enough for one post...

P.S.  SouthSerb, I agree with greekischristian that Con Law is fun.  Aside from Crim Law, it's about the only one of my classes that I actually look forward to.
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« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2005, 12:53:17 AM »

Jennifer,

greekchristian, the problem with your approach is that in actuality, it's never worked that way. Almost from the beginning, the Supreme Court has claimed the right to interpret the Constitution.

No one has seriously questioned that since Marbury (well, perhaps the wisdom of the decision, but not the decision itself); however, reading Chief Justice Marshall's decision on this case we see not only why but also how the Constitution should be interpreted, with regard to the letter of the law, going almost to the point of parsing the sentences. Moreover, this is how we see courts interpreting the Constitution throughout the majority of the 19th Century (granted I'm not as well read in 19th century Supreme court decisions as I should be, but this is my observation as well as the observation of others I have read on the issue), my understanding that Judicial Activism, or interpreting the Constitution not on the text itself but on non-Constitutional principles, is an primarially an inovation of the 20th century.

Question, would you have decided Pierce differently? If you don't know, Pierce is the famous private school case I referred to above. The people of the state or Oregon, under the influence of the KKK, passed an initiatve which banned private schools. The Supreme Cour struck down the initiative finding that it violated the privacy rights of parents. A similar law from Nebraska, struck down at roughly the same time, outlawed the teaching of German in schools. I argue that both of these laws (both motivated by religious and racial bigotry) violated the constitutional rights of parents in these states even though the right to send your child to whatever school you want is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. The right of parents to educate their children as they see fit is a God given right and one could argue that our founding fathers meant to enshring "natural law" rights.

To answer your question, yes, I would have decided Pierce differently, IMO it is a fairly simple case:

The Constitution does not grant the federal government jurisdiction over issues of education, therefore, by the tenth amendment, they are reserved to the State, therefore the Supreme Court has no Jurisdiction.

Now, if they just banned say Catholic schools, or private schools with religious affiliation, it would be a different case.

Though I will confess that the intentions of this court were good, they failed to do their job and uphold their oath of office, and in doing so they set an (unconstitutional) precedent that was used by Burger court in their Roe vs. Wade decision (not that a decision in favour of states rights in Pierce would have changed the outcome of Roe, but it certainly didn't help matters).

Plenty of other laws have been passed by legislatures or through popular initiatives that violate that rights of minorities. Through judicial review, the courts protect against tyranny by the majority.

The Roe decision pretty much undermines this argument, yes a legislative body can trample the rights of a man, but so can a 9 Person panel. Until we can come up with a better way of choosing our Justices (i.e. by the Patriarchal Synod...or even by birth, anything outside our political system would be preferable), I will favour the consensus of the States, as is manifested through the Amendment Process, erroring on the side of States Rights.

I think you're also forgetting that the courts, especially the Supreme Court, are very attentive to the popular mood of the country. The most example being the "stitch in time that saved nine," where the Supreme Court got with Roosevelt's new deal program really quickly when they realized FDR was considering packing the court. If one was to study supreme court decisions over time, one would see that their decisions (with a few glaring exceptions) follow public opinion.

The balance of power is very delicate, just as it is upset when Judges legislate from the bench, so also is it threatened when the Executive branch tries to undermine it (e.g. Andrew Jackson and FDR). (wouldn't theocracy be so much simpler?...and it would probably work better)

Due process analysis is a classic example of the 'evolution' of the Constitution. What does it mean? Does due process mean that a defendant is due representation? It didn't at one time, now it does.

I would say that it is what the Authors of the Bill of Rights thought it to be, which would be the protections guaranteed by the Writ of Habeas Corpus and the 4th through 7th amendments. (Sorry, no lawyer included...not that I'm trying to put you out of work)

What is property? What is liberty?

I presume you've read Locke...this is where the entire 'Life, Liberty, Property' rights concept came from, I think it's pretty safe to presume that Locke's understanding was the understanding of the framers.

What do you mean by "constitutional authority?" How do you know what the constitution means? I would argue that you're engaging in private interpetation and we all know what that lead to in religion, anarchy. I think it's important to remember that many of the founding fathers were still around when Marberry was decided. I would argue their silence indicates agreement with judicial review.

I dont think I really need to go off on the details of Strict Constructionism, but suffice it to say I am not advocating private opinion, that is exactly what I am opposed to, judges inserting their private opinion, rather than trying to invoke the opinion of the framers on the issue. My point is the consensus through constitutional convention is preferable than changes at the whims of a small number of judges (who are no less political than the members of congress, regardless of what they claim).
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« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2005, 01:12:21 AM »

Forgive me for just barging into this conversation, but greekischristian keeps reiterating something that I have to thoroughly disagree with.

You're welcome to barge in at any time...just be advised that Canon Law, not Secular Law is my expertise, so dont expect too much. Wink

The government does not grant us rights. The people created the government and delegated certain powers to it; everything else they retained for themselves.

Canonist greekischristian says:
That's funny, I thought that authority to rule, came from God.

Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Actually the federal government was Created by the States, not by the People, the rights were retained by the Sovereign States.

If you look at the way every part of the Constitution dealing with rights is phrased, they are not affirmative grants of rights. They are instead prohibitions upon the government infringing upon those rights. Furthermore, the Ninth Amendment explicity states that the mere fact that a right is not enumerated within the Constitution does not mean that right doesn't exist, which is how the courts get off with "creating" new rights. Rather than "creating" a new right, the courts merely affirm that it is a right, and even that generally happens after an attempt to abridge it. There may not currently be a recognized right to wear the color black, but that right would be recognized pretty quickly as soon as someone legislated a prohibition against that color.

Canonist greekischristian says:
We dont really have rights, we have responsibilities, this entire notion of 'rights' is an enlightenment-invention, and fundamentally opposed to the Christian understanding of our Relationship with God, His Church, His Princes, and one another.

Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Again, all these rights of which you speak are retained by the bodies of power that created these United States, namely the States themselves; thus, the definition of these rights is likewise reserved to the States, and the people insofar as they are citizens of these States. Moreover, the 14th Amendment does not change the fact that the definition of these rights are reserved to the states, but only that these rights, as defined by the states, must be equally applied to all the Citizens of the several United States.
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« Reply #55 on: March 24, 2005, 01:59:29 AM »


No one has seriously questioned that since Marbury (well, perhaps the wisdom of the decision, but not the decision itself);

Marbury!  I knew I was spelling it wrong.  I am the world's worst speller. 

Quote
Moreover, this is how we see courts interpreting the Constitution throughout the majority of the 19th Century (granted I'm not as well read in 19th century Supreme court decisions as I should be, but this is my observation as well as the observation of others I have read on the issue), my understanding that Judicial Activism, or interpreting the Constitution not on the text itself but on non-Constitutional principles, is an primarially an inovation of the 20th century.

Judicial activism is loaded term.  It's usually only applied to court decisions that we don't like.  There are plenty of 'conservative' decisions that could properly be described as "judicial activism."

Regarding the 19th century cases.  It's been a year since I graduated from law school (it's shocking that I can remember so little of what I learned!) but I distinctly remember reading 19th century cases that were just as "activist" as Brown.  For example, there was a case, 1820's or so, where the Fugitive Slave Act was said to supersede a Pennsylvania law which protected runaway slaves.  I don't recall the specifics. 

Quote
To answer your question, yes, I would have decided Pierce differently, IMO it is a fairly simple case:

The Constitution does not grant the federal government jurisdiction over issues of education, therefore, by the tenth amendment, they are reserved to the State, therefore the Supreme Court has no Jurisdiction.

Now, if they just banned say Catholic schools, or private schools with religious affiliation, it would be a different case.

Why?  Does "freedom of religion" encompass the right to educate children in secular subjects?  And what's religion?  Would a school with a secular humanist philosophy be considered a religious school? 

BTW, even though education is reserved to the states, the Supreme Court still has jurisdiction if a constitutional right is involved.  For example, if a state law burdened religious education, the Supreme Court would have jurisdiction. 

Quote
Though I will confess that the intentions of this court were good, they failed to do their job and uphold their oath of office, and in doing so they set an (unconstitutional) precedent that was used by Burger court in their Roe vs. Wade decision (not that a decision in favour of states rights in Pierce would have changed the outcome of Roe, but it certainly didn't help matters).

Roe is a strange case and a lot of constitutional law scholars argue that it's based on very shaky grounds. 

BTW, if they say it's constitutional, it's constitutional.  It may be stupid, e.g. Plessy, but the Supreme Court has the authority to interpret the Constitution. 

Quote
The Roe decision pretty much undermines this argument, yes a legislative body can trample the rights of a man, but so can a 9 Person panel. Until we can come up with a better way of choosing our Justices (i.e. by the Patriarchal Synod...or even by birth, anything outside our political system would be preferable), I will favour the consensus of the States, as is manifested through the Amendment Process, erroring on the side of States Rights.

The federal government has been 'trampling' on the rights of states since the beginning. 

Quote
I presume you've read Locke...this is where the entire 'Life, Liberty, Property' rights concept came from, I think it's pretty safe to presume that Locke's understanding was the understanding of the framers.

I'm not an originalist so I don't think the framer's understanding trumps modern understanding.  I think the framers' understanding is something that should be considered but it shouldn't be authoritative.  American society has changed and the constitution should be allowed to 'evolve' with changing popular understandings of rights. 

Quote
I dont think I really need to go off on the details of Strict Constructionism, but suffice it to say I am not advocating private opinion, that is exactly what I am opposed to, judges inserting their private opinion, rather than trying to invoke the opinion of the framers on the issue. My point is the consensus through constitutional convention is preferable than changes at the whims of a small number of judges (who are no less political than the members of congress, regardless of what they claim).

I would argue that strict construtionalism is impossible.  Like you wrote earlier, "pretty safe to presume."  What you "presume" has got to be based on private interpretation.  We can't 'channel' the framers.  We'd have to weed through their writings (which are undoubtedly contradictory because the framers evolved themselves, plus who's a framer and who isn't?).  I've read plenty of law review articles advocating different opinions about what the framers thought about a subject. 

As an analogy, the absence of regulation is regulation.  Make sense?  It's the same thing here.  Plenty of Scalia's opinions supposedly relying constructionalism strike me as private interpretation.  He sees the framers' writings through his 'filter.' 

But this discussion is irrelevant because the system we have won't change.  Supposedly conservative judges are just as activist as liberal judges.  Rehnquist, for example, has authored some activist opinions (the one on the ban on weapons around a school comes to mind).  All of our mainstream politicians believe in the power of the federal government.  I would argue that the idea of "state's rights" is antiquated in our modern society.  During the time of the framers, people weren't mobile.  Therefore someone would likely have an allegiance to only one state.  Today, states don't really mean much.  Besides a resurgence of states rights would likely burden interstate commerce (don't want to get into that complicated discussion!) so the courts would step in.  Our economy is too interconnected to allow significant differences between the states. 
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« Reply #56 on: March 24, 2005, 09:17:14 AM »

Jennifer,

     Okay... now we have a big problem... YOU LIKED CON LAW??? Tongue  I've always been a Tort man myself. LOL

The rest of you...

     I'm probably more to blame for the Con Law discussion here, but if I wanted to discuss Con Law, I would have joined www.obnoxiouslawyers.comWink
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« Reply #57 on: March 24, 2005, 09:41:28 AM »

Quote
I've always been a Tort man myself.

We did torts last semester. I never realized how screwed up the common law is - intention is imputed on a mental patient escapee who jumps in front of a bus causing mental harm to the driver, because he ought to have acted reasonably from the perspective of the reasonable person? Is American law this carked? Anyways, it was a BREEZE, and that’s all that matters for me.

Now we’re burning in the flames of contract lawGǪGǪGod help me.

And all I wanted to do was fly planesGǪ.

Anyways, this was one useless/worthless waste of a post eh..., im bored.

Peace.
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« Reply #58 on: March 24, 2005, 09:48:40 AM »

Its okay, you needed a temporary reprieve after the novel you wrote to Mr. Thinks he's Messiah.  I think the Iliad had less pages.  Wink

Too many lawyers around here, its starting to make me a little uneasy.
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« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2005, 10:26:06 AM »

Jennifer,

 Okay... now we have a big problem... YOU LIKED CON LAW??? Tongue I've always been a Tort man myself. LOL

The rest of you...

 I'm probably more to blame for the Con Law discussion here, but if I wanted to discuss Con Law, I would have joined www.obnoxiouslawyers.com. Wink

LOL! I thought I detected a trial lawyer in our midst  Cheesy
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« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2005, 10:41:48 AM »

Since you can fit my knowledge of the canons in a thimble and have room for a large thumb left over, I'm not going to touch them. Tongue

Quote
Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Actually the federal government was Created by the States, not by the People, the rights were retained by the Sovereign States.

The people created the several states, and the states in turn delegated some of their powers to the federal government.  The Tenth Amendment reserved to the several states any powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, but the only powers reserved were ones already possessed (falling under the blanket police power, more or less). 

Quote
Constitutionalist greekischristian says:
Again, all these rights of which you speak are retained by the bodies of power that created these United States, namely the States themselves; thus, the definition of these rights is likewise reserved to the States, and the people insofar as they are citizens of these States. Moreover, the 14th Amendment does not change the fact that the definition of these rights are reserved to the states, but only that these rights, as defined by the states, must be equally applied to all the Citizens of the several United States.

Again, it is governmental authority that is retained to the several states, not rights.  Rights can only exist in individual persons and governmental authority is created by ceding portions of one's rights to the government.  Rights are not created by the government ceding portions of its authority to the people.
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« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2005, 11:08:44 AM »

LOL! I thought I detected a trial lawyer in our midst  Cheesy

+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é,

      Careful!  I'm researching all positions on intentional infliction of emotional distress right now.  Wink
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« Reply #62 on: March 24, 2005, 11:20:41 AM »

+æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é,

 Careful! I'm researching all positions on intentional infliction of emotional distress right now. Wink

No problem Bro...
With 4 attorneys in my immediate family including a sitting judge (do they ever stand?) I am not intimidated - family reunions are interesting, however.  Cheesy
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« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2005, 11:22:40 AM »

With 4 attorneys in my immediate family including a sitting judge (do they ever stand?) I am not intimidated - family reunions are interesting, however.  Cheesy

This undoubtedly creates for some good debates, heck, you even have a built in family mediator.
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« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2005, 11:25:21 AM »



This undoubtedly creates for some good debates, heck, you even have a built in family mediator.

Yeah...Mom.
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« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2005, 11:30:16 AM »

The particular thing I find ironic is the fact that my liberal-minded Kerry-loving working-class friends support the continuation of life for Terri Schiavo and support her 100%.

Yet the Orthodox community, as demonstrated here and in person, has no desire to support this woman, no desire to support the basic right of a person to life.

I have heard several Roman Catholic and Protestant preachers and priests made the correlation between what Christ endured this Holy Week with what Terri is enduring. They stand outside, praying, talking to the press, and keep people informed on many aspects of the matter. Yet, no Orthodox priest or bishop has spoken on the matter. Instead the gamut of replies is as follows: "OH that is too western!" "Oh Orthodox don't rule on everything!"

Instead, I think it's a bunch of elitist garbage on your part.

As a law enforcement officer, I have to admit, I have never really liked lawyers.  The trial lawyers I have run into on the stand, and no offense to SouthSerb here, couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag, much less a complex case.

I would hope that with all your legal talent, you'd be exploring means in the law to protect the sanctity of life.

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« Reply #66 on: March 24, 2005, 11:35:50 AM »

truthfinder,
I don't think you have a good sampling here of Orthodox opinion on the Schiavo issue. The point is as Orthodox we should not even need the Church to tell us how to react - compassion should be be a natural response without needless legalistic argument, no?

Demetri
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« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2005, 11:39:32 AM »

well, that was strange, I just posted a reply to jenifer, and everything disappeared, the one time I forgot to save my post to my clipboard before posting...oh well, here's a bit briefer response (which I'm sure everyone will be grateful for)

Regarding the 19th century cases. It's been a year since I graduated from law school (it's shocking that I can remember so little of what I learned!) but I distinctly remember reading 19th century cases that were just as "activist" as Brown. For example, there was a case, 1820's or so, where the Fugitive Slave Act was said to supersede a Pennsylvania law which protected runaway slaves. I don't recall the specifics.

I believe you're refering to Prigg v. Pennsylvania, I think it was sometime in the early 40's; most Strict Constructionists view this case as consonant with their Philosophy. It was ruled that one State cannot deprive the Citizen of another State (Supreme Court has jurisdiction because Prigg was from Maryland) of his Property (i.e. Slaves) (though, prior to the 14th Amendment, they could deprive their own citizens, without due process, which allowed for emancipation in certain states), as soon as his property passes into their State (pretty much the same basis for the Dred Scott decision) as this would be a severe hinderance of Interstate Commerce. However, Pennsylvania was not required to Enforce the Fugitive Slave Act (Federal Law, thus not Binding on the States, as long as they dont interfere), they simply could not legally deny the Slaveowner his Property Rights.

Why? Does "freedom of religion" encompass the right to educate children in secular subjects? And what's religion? Would a school with a secular humanist philosophy be considered a religious school?

BTW, even though education is reserved to the states, the Supreme Court still has jurisdiction if a constitutional right is involved. For example, if a state law burdened religious education, the Supreme Court would have jurisdiction.

What I'm getting at is that the Supreme Court only has Jurisdiction if the State violates the rights enumerated in the constitution, or does not uphold equality under the law.

BTW, if they say it's constitutional, it's constitutional. It may be stupid, e.g. Plessy, but the Supreme Court has the authority to interpret the Constitution.

legally, yes; philosophically, no.

I would argue that strict construtionalism is impossible. Like you wrote earlier, "pretty safe to presume." What you "presume" has got to be based on private interpretation. We can't 'channel' the framers. We'd have to weed through their writings (which are undoubtedly contradictory because the framers evolved themselves, plus who's a framer and who isn't?). I've read plenty of law review articles advocating different opinions about what the framers thought about a subject.

I'm not saying it's a fix all solution, or that there will never be any more debate, law is a complex subject that requires not only knowledge of the texts of the law, but of the culture and society in which they were promulgated, the understanding of various world views and how those world views interact. What I am saying is that Justice requires an absolute Standard of Law (it can change, but at any given time it must be absolute), and the only way that can be achieved is if we try to always use the original interpretation.

But this discussion is irrelevant because the system we have won't change. Supposedly conservative judges are just as activist as liberal judges. Rehnquist, for example, has authored some activist opinions (the one on the ban on weapons around a school comes to mind). All of our mainstream politicians believe in the power of the federal government. I would argue that the idea of "state's rights" is antiquated in our modern society. During the time of the framers, people weren't mobile. Therefore someone would likely have an allegiance to only one state. Today, states don't really mean much. Besides a resurgence of states rights would likely burden interstate commerce (don't want to get into that complicated discussion!) so the courts would step in. Our economy is too interconnected to allow significant differences between the states.

I think it is relevant, mabey not for US law, because that probably wont change, but for the Philosophy of Law. Just remember that this 'evolution' can go both ways, both with more and fewer rights, the second amendment being a prime example. This is why I believe the very Nature of Justice requires an Absolute (though alterable) standard, I dont see how this can be altered outside of either extreme literalism (what exactly is written, regardless of intent) or originalism.
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« Reply #68 on: March 24, 2005, 11:46:05 AM »

The people created the several states, and the states in turn delegated some of their powers to the federal government. The Tenth Amendment reserved to the several states any powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, but the only powers reserved were ones already possessed (falling under the blanket police power, more or less).

Actually the Crown Created the Colonies, and the Colonies as whole entities, seceded from the Crown (big mistake), the people were not involved in their Creation. Thus the States essentially had whatever Rights they claimed.

Again, it is governmental authority that is retained to the several states, not rights. Rights can only exist in individual persons and governmental authority is created by ceding portions of one's rights to the government. Rights are not created by the government ceding portions of its authority to the people.

Actually any entity can have Rights, we talk about the rights of individuals, yes, but also of the rights of corporations, or of the rights of nations in the context of treaties and by direct analogy the rights of the states in the context of the federal system. Regardless of what certain framers said concerning government being derived from the people, historically that was not the case, it really came from the Crown, and then the State Legislatures that rebelled against the Crown; and in a Christian Context the notion is fairly absurd, as authority to Govern comes from God.
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« Reply #69 on: March 24, 2005, 12:00:43 PM »

Actually the Crown Created the Colonies, and the Colonies as whole entities, seceded from the Crown (big mistake), the people were not involved in their Creation. Thus the States essentially had whatever Rights they claimed.

Monarchies still derive their authority from the ceded rights of the governed.  This is basic Hobbesian political theory.  When the colonies seceded, in essence what happened was that the colonists revoked their cession of rights to the Crown and vested those ceded rights in the several states.

Actually any entity can have Rights, we talk about the rights of individuals, yes, but also of the rights of corporations, or of the rights of nations in the context of treaties and by direct analogy the rights of the states in the context of the federal system. Regardless of what certain framers said concerning government being derived from the people, historically that was not the case, it really came from the Crown, and then the State Legislatures that rebelled against the Crown; and in a Christian Context the notion is fairly absurd, as authority to Govern comes from God.

While you're technically correct that entities other than individuals have rights, they have those rights through a legal fiction, wherein the corporation or state is deemed to be a person for certain purposes.  They don't have any rights in and of themselves, in the manner that individuals do.
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« Reply #70 on: March 24, 2005, 12:16:05 PM »

Instead, I think it's a bunch of elitist garbage on your part.

As a law enforcement officer, I have to admit, I have never really liked lawyers.  The trial lawyers I have run into on the stand, and no offense to SouthSerb here, couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag, much less a complex case.

I would hope that with all your legal talent, you'd be exploring means in the law to protect the sanctity of life.

Truthfinder,

    I think you've probably managed to insult everyone on this board with these few lines.  If "we" Orthodox discuss "elitist garbage", I would argue, you are free not to read it.

    Furthermore, there has been a lot of debate here  from both sides of the issue.  Greekischristian & Demetri both are strong proponents of re-inserting the feeding tube, I'm not sure it is any easy answer.  Sometimes the questions are more important than the answers.

    If you are looking for Evangelical bandwagonning, sorry I'm not interested.

    Frankly, whether you like trial lawyers or not, is of no concern to me.  With just a little bit of knowledge of Orthodoxy and (just a tad) of an open mind, you'll understand that as a matter of our faith, we do not seek to explain all things divine.  I don't think that is "elitist garbage".

    The form of God is ineffable and indescribable, and cannot be seen with eyes of flesh.  He is in glory uncontainable, in greatness incomprehensible, in loftiness inconceivable, in strength incomparable, in wisdom inaccessible, in love inimitable, in beneficence inexpressible.  Just as the soul in a man is not seen, since it is invisible to men, but we know of its existence through the movements of the body, so God cannot be seen by human eyes bue his seen and known through his providence and his works. -- Theophilus of Antioch
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« Reply #71 on: March 24, 2005, 12:22:12 PM »

I would hope that with all your legal talent, you'd be exploring means in the law to protect the sanctity of life.

Well, I can tell you this, I'd never use my "legal talent" to promulgate laws which advocate the capital murder of mentally retarded children who have committed crimes in Texas.

Oh, but maybe those lives don't have much sanctity.
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« Reply #72 on: March 24, 2005, 01:30:34 PM »


As a law enforcement officer, I have to admit, I have never really liked lawyers. The trial lawyers I have run into on the stand, and no offense to SouthSerb here, couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag, much less a complex case.


Obviously.   Roll Eyes

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« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2005, 03:07:53 PM »

We seem to have moved from the realm of american political philosophy to political philosophy in general, so I shall answer accordingly

Monarchies still derive their authority from the ceded rights of the governed. This is basic Hobbesian political theory. When the colonies seceded, in essence what happened was that the colonists revoked their cession of rights to the Crown and vested those ceded rights in the several states.

Yes, I am familiar with Hobbes' Political Theory, but like most of the works of the rationaists, I tend to dismiss it as pseudo-intellectualism. Rather, I favour the older notion of the Divine Right of Kings, that is to say that the Monarch derives his authority from God, not the People, as God is the Source of all Authority. This seems to me to be most consonant with the words of instruction of St. Paul to the Romans, 'Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.' The Autority to govern was invested, by God, in the Crown, the Legislative bodies usurped the God given authority of the King (hence the moral problem with the revolution); however, it was these legislative bodies that usurped the power, it was they that declared independence, thus the fundamental political unit of the State is derived from the Crown, and therefore all rights to govern are invested in these entities, the people really never come into the picture.

While you're technically correct that entities other than individuals have rights, they have those rights through a legal fiction, wherein the corporation or state is deemed to be a person for certain purposes. They don't have any rights in and of themselves, in the manner that individuals do.

'Rights' (I hate that word) are those things which come from God, in respect to your relationship with your government, your 'rights' according to St. Paul are to 'Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.' The 'rights' that subjects have in relation to their government are the privileges that the Government grants them, the only truly inalienable right is the freedom of thought, for it is the one that cannot be forcefully taken away (though it is often give freely).

'People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.'
     -- Soren Kierkegaard
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« Reply #74 on: March 24, 2005, 03:57:08 PM »

Orthodox Church in America responds to the case of Terri Schaivo

Article posted: 3/24/2005

SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — In a statement dated March 24,
2005, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, chancellor of the Orthodox
Church in America, addressed the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo.

"As affirmed on numerous occasions in recent years, the Orthodox
Church in America fully recognizes and proclaims the sanctity of all
human life, created in the image and likeness of God," Father
Kondratick said. "Life is a gift from God, one which we are expected
as Orthodox Christians to revere and steward in a wise manner, fully
recognizing the image of the Creator in every human being.

"In light of this fundamental principle, it has also been affirmed
on numerous occasions in the past that extraordinary means of
prolonging life, as well as extraordinary means of ending life, are
inconsistent with the wise stewardship of God's gift of life,"
Father Kondratick continued. "This is especially crucial in cases in
which no clear consensus has been determined with regard to a
person's state, as in the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo. As such, the
removal of Mrs. Schaivo from feeding tubes as a means of hastening
her death can in no way be condoned or supported. Doing so
constitutes a gross lack of wise stewardship of God's sacred gift of
life and an extraordinary means of hastening her death by
starvation. This is especially so in light of the fact that there
has been no clear consensus on her level of awareness and
responsiveness, that she has been and continues to breath on her
own, and on numerous other factors and questions with regard to her
long term prognosis. Simply stated, the removal of Mrs. Schaivo's
feeding tubes is not and cannot be condoned."

OCA News release:

http://www.oca.org/News.asp?ID=764&SID=19
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« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2005, 05:03:54 PM »

So there we have it, an official statement that the Orthodox Church does not condone murder...and I was starting to wonder, good thing we cleared that issue up. Wink
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« Reply #76 on: March 24, 2005, 08:53:26 PM »

Quote
Orthodox Church in America responds to the case of Terri Schaivo

Article posted: 3/24/2005

SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — In a statement dated March 24,
2005, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, chancellor of the Orthodox
Church in America, addressed the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo.

"As affirmed on numerous occasions in recent years, the Orthodox
Church in America fully recognizes and proclaims the sanctity of all
human life, created in the image and likeness of God," Father
Kondratick said. "Life is a gift from God, one which we are expected
as Orthodox Christians to revere and steward in a wise manner, fully
recognizing the image of the Creator in every human being.

"In light of this fundamental principle, it has also been affirmed
on numerous occasions in the past that extraordinary means of
prolonging life, as well as extraordinary means of ending life, are
inconsistent with the wise stewardship of God's gift of life,"
Father Kondratick continued. "This is especially crucial in cases in
which no clear consensus has been determined with regard to a
person's state, as in the case of Mrs. Terri Schaivo. As such, the
removal of Mrs. Schaivo from feeding tubes as a means of hastening
her death can in no way be condoned or supported. Doing so
constitutes a gross lack of wise stewardship of God's sacred gift of
life and an extraordinary means of hastening her death by
starvation. This is especially so in light of the fact that there
has been no clear consensus on her level of awareness and
responsiveness, that she has been and continues to breath on her
own, and on numerous other factors and questions with regard to her
long term prognosis. Simply stated, the removal of Mrs. Schaivo's
feeding tubes is not and cannot be condoned."

OCA News release:

I am very pleased with this statement.

I am also amazed at a "certian group" of people who are so passionate about pulling the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. Without naming names, I will say that it is always this "certian group" who falls down on the wrong side of the issues of life; it just amazes me.
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« Reply #77 on: March 24, 2005, 11:39:12 PM »

Thank the Lord that the church issued this statement. I was beginning to wonder if it hadn't read the papers or heard the news or was unable to take a clear position...
May God have mercy.

In His Holy Name, Kizzy
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« Reply #78 on: March 25, 2005, 12:46:02 AM »

I was wondering if the GOA had issued a statement and they haven't - at least not on their website. HOWEVER, they do have  a very lengthy section on Orthodoxy and social issues, which includes bioethics and Euthanasia, among other topics. It is consistent on the OCA statement, though written obviously more generically, for reference in all situations.   

 After a discussion on the terminally ill and suffering, in which the church clarifies it as someone who will imminently die and all body functions are not working properly, it mentions that praying for the 'soul to leave the body' is appropriate, rather than artificially keeping this from happening.  Then the article continues as follows:

"...However, it must be emphasized that this is a prayer directed to God, who, for the Orthodox, has ultimate dominion over life and death. Consequently, the preceding discussion in no way supports the practice of euthanasia. Euthanasia is held by some to be morally justified and/or morally required to terminate the life of an incurably sick person. To permit a dying person to die, when there is no real expectation that life can sustain itself, and even to pray to the Authorof Life to take the life of one "struggling to die" is one thing; euthanasia is another, i.e., the active intervention to terminate the life of another. Orthodox Christian ethics rejects the alternative of the willful termination of dying patients, regarding it as a special case of murder if done without the knowledge and consent of the patient, and suicide if it is permitted by the patient (Antoniades, II, pp. 125-127). One of the most serious criticisms of euthanasia is the grave difficulty in drawing the line between "bearable suffering" and "unbearable suffering," especially from an Eastern Orthodox perspective, which has taken seriously the spiritual growth that may take place through suffering (Rom. 8:17-39).

Ethical decision making is never precise and absolute. The principles that govern it are in a measure fluid and subject to interpretation. But to elevate euthanasia to a right or an obligation would bring it into direct conflict with the fundamental ethical affirmation that as human beings we are custodians of life, which comes from a source other than ourselves. Furthermore, the immense possibilities, not only for error but also for decision making based on self-serving ends, which may disregard the fundamental principle of the sanctity of human life, argue against euthanasia. "

In XC, Kizzy

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« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2005, 12:21:47 AM »

greekischristian,

I just wanted to say you've made some fabulous points about the source of the authority of princes (whether we choose to call them that or not; whether they be selected by virtue of blood descent, choice of their predecessor, choice of a narrow electorate, or an electorate of an entirely enfranchised adult populace; whether their time of rule is understood to be for four years, or until death/abdication), points which are obscured by the childish revolutionary ideologies of the so called "enlightenment."

Unfortunately, getting Christians in the west to take such principles seriously is difficult, as they've been thoroughly brain washed by the populist nonsense of the revolution.  Genuine authority comes from above, not below.  Once again, bravo!

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« Reply #80 on: March 26, 2005, 12:35:48 AM »


Unfortunately, getting Christians in the west to take such principles seriously is difficult, as they've been thoroughly brain washed by the populist nonsense of the revolution. Genuine authority comes from above, not below.

Augustine, I had no idea you were the Perennial Rambler.  Man, it's a small world!

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« Reply #81 on: March 27, 2005, 08:47:02 PM »

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I am also amazed at a "certian group" of people who are so passionate about pulling the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. Without naming names, I will say that it is always this "certian group" who falls down on the wrong side of the issues of life; it just amazes me.

Yup, they also own the copyright to "groupthink" when it comes to issues of LIFE. Some diversity would be nice among these people because after all aren't they PRO-CHOICE?? It's a shame that a women is starving to death but atleast her family had a fighting chance to save her. People can argue the "rule of law" all they want but in the end the net result is the system allowed an innocent life to waste away when she had loved ones that would have taken her in and cared for her. In cases like this I would think we should err on the side of life, especially with so many facts in dispute on both sides. I'm not going to disparage the husband because nobody knows his true intentions and I hope he has been honest with his wife's wishes. It's also interesting to see groups like the ACLU so passionately siding with the court's and the husband to see the feeding tube pulled. I would think between the crusades against threatening broke counties,cities, and school districts with lawsuits and defending islamic terrorist at GITMO who wouldn't blink an eye to kill your family that they wouldn't have the time to interject themselves to see to it that a poor women starves to death.   
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« Reply #82 on: March 27, 2005, 09:16:37 PM »


I'm not going to disparage the husband because nobody knows his true intentions and I hope he has been honest with his wife's wishes. It's also interesting to see groups like the ACLU so passionately siding with the court's and the husband to see the feeding tube pulled. I would think between the crusades against threatening broke counties,cities, and school districts with lawsuits and defending islamic terrorist at GITMO who wouldn't blink an eye to kill your family that they wouldn't have the time to interject themselves to see to it that a poor women starves to death.   
 

It's amazing isn't it... If Terri was an illegal alien, from another country, the ACLU would be blaiming the US for not intervening...
The only thing I have to say about the husband is that he is a bigamist/ adulterer... having a common law wife and children.. It's amazing that this didn't call into question  his credibility or motives- An honorable approach would have been to appoint a neutral guardian with all the claims of his wifes desires known to be protected, annulled his marriage and married his girlfriend properly... That he chose the course he took and it was also accepted in a court of law, is what concerns me...

In XC, Kizzy
 
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« Reply #83 on: March 28, 2005, 08:14:09 AM »

I used to work in a brain injuries unit at a psychiatric hospital. We had one patient there who was remarkably similar to Terry Schiavo, though her condition was caused by encephalitis.

I too have nursed a 39 year old woman called Julie who could not speak or swallow due to a head injury. She relied on a PEG tube for all her nutrition and hydration. When I saw the video of Terri Schiavo smiling in response to her mother's voice, I thought of how Julie would smile when her husband would visit. Terri Schiavo is less brain damaged than most of the brain injured people I have nursed, and people in a "Persistent Vegetative State" do not smile and make eye contact in response to their mother's voice as Terri does. If anyone had dared ask me to withold Julie's feeds, or to remove her tube, I'm sure I could not obey- my heart would not let me. According to the Nursing Theory I was taught, the role of the Nurse is to perform those human functions a patient would perform for themselves if they had the ability or knowledge to do so. If they can't feed themselves, you feed them, if they are incontinent, you clean their waste, if they can't bathe, you bathe them.
The case of Terri Schiavo is not about Law, it's not even about justice. It's about mercy.
In the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, we read:
'Abba Anthony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, "You are mad, you are not like us." '
Isn't it madness to allow a young woman to die of starvation and dehydration when it is in our power to prevent it? In the words of Shakespeare, I would not even treat my worst enemy's dog like that- even if it had bitten me.
Christ prayed for His crucifiers saying "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." It is only those who have gone mad that "know not what they do". Those who are mad lack mercy, as we see with the likes of Hitler, Stalin, serial killers, and snipers like the murderers at Colombine and more recently at the high school in Minnesota.
What's more, those who go mad, don't even realise that they have gone mad. They accept the new "status quo" as if it always existed. When have people in the US ever been arrested in the past for carrying water to a disabled person? When in the history of the US has an act of humanitarian mercy been illegal?
The health of any society can be judged by the way it treats it's most vulnerable members.
As a former Nurse, and as an Orthodox Christian, I have to say, this is madness, immoral, inhuman, cruel and above all, merciless.
The Church doen't need to make any pronouncements, this is what the Head of the Orthodox Church has already said:
 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' (Matthew 25:41-45)
George (Australia)
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« Reply #84 on: March 28, 2005, 04:16:06 PM »

OZgeorge... Every time I think of that bible passage I think.. there is Jesus Christ in Florida.... Testing us all...
Even the Romans gave Christ water as he suffered on the cross.  We have stooped to the lowest of the low...
What have we  come too?? Worse yet, I think of how this will be played out in terrorist regimes.. a culture that kills it's own disabled people.. what a mess!

There is  a legal website  http://www.theempirejournal.com/021705nmtsnew_medical_tests_soug.htm  that details all of the corruption involved in the Schiavo case which worked against even a fair hearing....
Read the Schiavogate link ...
 I didn't know that Felos was head of the Board at the hospice she was moved to... and this hospice is under attack for medicare fraud... in fact the Schiavo case is just one of the instances of medicare fraud... And one of the Florida judges had reviewed the case before becoming a judge... when the Schindlers were lawyer hunting... but they couldn't pay his fee... He should have recused himself from the case, since he was not without conflict of interest..

It is a tangled web for sure. 

I pray for Terri every day... a wish for a miracle that the Lord shows  his power by having her prove them all wrong and say to them: Get me some water you all!  Michael and all the judges should fall off their mighty thrones and humble themselves before the power of God...

In XC, Kizzy
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« Reply #85 on: March 28, 2005, 04:31:06 PM »

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"Michael and all the judges should fall off their mighty thrones and humble themselves before the power of God... "

They will, someday...
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« Reply #86 on: March 29, 2005, 02:35:24 AM »

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The case of Terri Schiavo is not about Law, it's not even about justice. It's about mercy.

Bingo.........I agree with you ozgeorge.. What's the point of following the law strictly if it's missing grace and mercy when dealing with life and death issues? Such law then becomes heartless and inhumane when interpreted without that context.

Quote
I didn't know that Felos was head of the Board at the hospice she was moved to... and this hospice is under attack for medicare fraud... in fact the Schiavo case is just one of the instances of medicare fraud... And one of the Florida judges had reviewed the case before becoming a judge... when the Schindlers were lawyer hunting... but they couldn't pay his fee... He should have recused himself from the case, since he was not without conflict of interest..

Kizzy, I have heard all kinds of crazy stuff about this case. This Felos guys does sound like a very shady character. He's a hard core right to die advocate and it's no coincidence the role he has played in this case to advance his agenda. He has a book out where he says some very whacky stuff like claiming to be able to telepathically communicate with people in similiar conditions to Terry Schiavo and promising them to "set them free" from this life. He also claimed he had powers to communicate with God and that God told him he is "more powerful than he thinks he is".  I have a feeling from what I have read that the courts have ruled without seeing some evidence that was favorable to the Schindler family that may have helped them. It's too bad some people and "groups" allowed and advocated for this to happen in order to advance an agenda or for the sake of scoring a point against the 'religious right' as if this was some kind of sick game. Oh well, God watches and waits and these ACLU types will stand before a pure court of justice one day. I was very surprised to see Ralph Nadar and Jesse Jackson come out and proclaim how inhumane this was. Good for those guys, this case definitely is seperating those that have hearts from the soulless goons.

   
   

 
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« Reply #87 on: March 29, 2005, 07:24:53 AM »

This Felos guys does sound like a very shady character.
The saddest thing is that Felos is a fallen son of the Orthodox Church who has publically stated that Christ was simply one of many incarnations of God, and who started practicing yoga in college. Seehttp://www.sptimes.com/News/052501/Floridian/The_spirit_and_the_la.shtml . In his own words:
Quote from: Felos
"I believe that Christ was God incarnate and was resurrected. But, by the same token, I believe that there were other incarnations of God as well," he says. "All the great religions in their essence express the same fundamental truths."
Here we see exactley why the Fathers warn us against heresy and against following the practices of other faiths. We begin by changing the Orthodox dogmas and practicing other religions and end by justifying torture and murder due to our 'enlightenment'. Felos has certainly been in communication with a some spirit through his yoga- but I don't think it's the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #88 on: March 29, 2005, 10:24:47 AM »

Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh (GOA) has spoken out on the issue.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05088/479133.stm
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« Reply #89 on: March 29, 2005, 11:01:54 AM »

Thanks, mjg.
Glad my own bishop has spoken out.
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« Reply #90 on: March 29, 2005, 01:00:26 PM »

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In an interview yesterday, Maximos said he regretted not speaking earlier and praised Catholic leaders who had advocated the right to life of the brain-damaged Florida woman.

"Murder is a strong word that nobody wants to use, but that is what it is," he said of her husband's decision to remove her source of food and water.

Bravo for Bishop Maximos......looks like standing up to evil in our society is not a "western notion" afterall. I hope to see more of our Bishops be at the forefront of these culteral issues in the fuiture.
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« Reply #91 on: March 29, 2005, 01:22:24 PM »

...and who started practicing yoga in college.

For the record,
practitioner of yoga <> Hindu heretic.  If you look at any modern stretching, physical therapy or other exercise program (e.g. Pilates), most of their poses/stretches are essentially borrowed from yoga.  Now, if you said that they are a disciple of Yogi so-and-so, yup, he's gone off the deep end (or is getting close).  We all can do a whole bunch of prostrations and have them nothing to do with prayer/Christianity/theosis/etc.
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« Reply #92 on: March 29, 2005, 05:57:51 PM »

practitioner of yoga <> Hindu heretic. If you look at any modern stretching, physical therapy or other exercise program (e.g. Pilates), most of their poses/stretches are essentially borrowed from yoga.
The aim of yoga is not simply physical therapy for physical health. Yoga mudras and meditation are designed to achieve 'spiritual' results- or do we now believe that 'chakras' are physically locatable in the human body and can be found in an autopsy? You don't have to be a disciple of a yogi to play around with these practices, as Felos has, and as I did in my younger niaive days. Is a Hindu who crosses himself with three fingers mearly performing a physical excersise?
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« Reply #93 on: March 29, 2005, 11:02:32 PM »

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« Reply #94 on: March 29, 2005, 11:47:27 PM »

ozgeorge: Read  " Orthodoxy and the religion of the future"(chapter four) by Father Seraphim Rose in reference to seperating yoga from hinduism.

       About Terry ...I find it it ironic that many of the same people ( ACLU..etc.) who are so ready to justify pulling her feeding tube and watch her die, are the same set who claim that the death sentence for death row inmates is inhumane.
     
                             In Christ , Moses
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« Reply #95 on: March 30, 2005, 12:41:34 AM »

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The aim of yoga is not simply physical therapy for physical health. Yoga mudras and meditation are designed to achieve 'spiritual' results- or do we now believe that 'chakras' are physically locatable in the human body and can be found in an autopsy? You don't have to be a disciple of a yogi to play around with these practices, as Felos has, and as I did in my younger niaive days. Is a Hindu who crosses himself with three fingers mearly performing a physical excersise?

Are you saying such practices are dangerous? I don't have a problem with such practices and eastern religion/philosophy in general. I mean there are alot of good things to be gleaned from such things. I think if you detach the 'new age' B.S. that obviously can run through some of these practice/beleifs I don't see it as being dangerous at all. I just read a book by Krishnamurti and found many good practical insights but at the same time disagreed with many things that were patently false.

Quote
The article on Felos paints a character of someone that wanted to be spiritual, but did not find it in the church , and it seems like he has been grasping at straws trying to fulfill a need...His telepathic claim is wacky... but probably stems from a huge whole in his spritual life... what a shame... This only shows how much harm can be done by someone in deep need of spirituality, but using the wrong tools...  Based on his age, I can say that he is not the only one who left the church for this reason...40+years ago, the Greek church in this country did not relate to the American experience of the 1st & 2nd generation , and I met numerous people who left it to find a church that they felt could help them in their lives day to day...   This is one reason why today the GO has a department of "evangelism and Spiritual renewal" , trying to help bring back people.  Felos I believe is already too far gone...   

I've never understood why 2nd and 3rd generation ethnic Orthodox leave the church or view it as some kind of social get togethor. I mean is Orthodoxy missing something or are these people just very lazy and could care less? When you take a look at the evangelicals they do a real good job at keeping thier youth interested in church and they have a zeal for living the christian life. The Orthodox youth should be the same if not more zealous since it's the true Church.

 
Quote
About Terry ...I find it it ironic that many of the same people ( ACLU..etc.) who are so ready to justify pulling her feeding tube and watch her die, are the same set who claim that the death sentence for death row inmates is inhumane.
     
                             In Christ , Moses

If you want the perfect "poster boy" of a home grown terrorist organization the ACLU is just that. They sure know how to work the system through their thugery and threats of lawsuits with unlimited resources to run over anyone they target. Ussually it consist of poor school districts, counties and cities that have very offending symbols such as a cross on a county seal or the word 'christmas' (Gasp!) on a school calendar. They also lend their services for free to child molesters such as NAMBLA and more lately defending the rights of islamo-fascist at GITMO who would kill your family in the blink of an eye for 77 virgins. Sheesh morons, how about lending your services for free to the 9/11 families they may need it? I find it very disturbing that now (as if it was any of their business) they have inserted themselves as Michael Shiavo's co-counsel to see to it that they starve Terri Schiavo to death. I think at this point they need to remove "civil liberties" from their title because what they have done since the 70's has not been very civil at all and now they resort to starving the weakest in our society to death while filing appeal after appeal to see to it terrorist and murderers on death row live a good life. The ACLU jumped the shark a long time ago and these people are the worst of the worst.     

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« Reply #96 on: March 30, 2005, 03:24:26 AM »

ozgeorge: Read " Orthodoxy and the religion of the future"(chapter four) by Father Seraphim Rose in reference to seperating yoga from hinduism.

 About Terry ...I find it it ironic that many of the same people ( ACLU..etc.) who are so ready to justify pulling her feeding tube and watch her die, are the same set who claim that the death sentence for death row inmates is inhumane.
 
 In Christ , Moses

This is getting WAY off topic, but just to set the record, not everything Fr. Seraphim says Dogma/Canon Law/Gospel/consensus patrum/etc.

ozgeorge,
I'm perfectly aware of those aspects of yoga.  That's why it is just exercise/PT for me.  But ask yourself, if I'm just in it superficially, is it actually yoga or just a bunch of poses?  What about other stretching that is essentially the same?
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« Reply #97 on: March 30, 2005, 05:54:17 AM »


The aim of yoga is not simply physical therapy for physical health. Yoga mudras and meditation are designed to achieve 'spiritual' results- or do we now believe that 'chakras' are physically locatable in the human body and can be found in an autopsy? You don't have to be a disciple of a yogi to play around with these practices, as Felos has, and as I did in my younger niaive days. Is a Hindu who crosses himself with three fingers mearly performing a physical excersise?


Yes, but there's a difference between doing an exercise that happens to be a yoga pose and seeking "spiritual results."  I have a few yoga DVDs.  The more athletic ones that don't do any meditation or breathing.  Placing oneself in the downward facing dog or mountain pose doesn't 'channel' evil spirits or something.  Further, yoga is super-trendy these days and most of my new workout DVDs incorporate yoga into the cool-down stretch. 

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« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2005, 06:21:12 AM »

Are you saying such practices are dangerous?
But ask yourself, if I'm just in it superficially, is it actually yoga or just a bunch of poses? What about other stretching that is essentially the same?
This is way off topic, and so will be my last post on this subject in this thread, I would be happy to discuss it in another thread. But to answer your question: I'm a man of science and an Orthodox Christian. No Science I've ever studied has shown the existence of "kundalini" or "chi" or "chakras", and no Scriptures or Fathers of the Orthodox Church speak of the existence of "kundalini" or "chi" or "chakras"- and yet, the practice of yoga depends on their existence and manipulation. If science doesn't know what we are manipulating or opening ourselves to in yoga, and the Church doesn't know what we are manipulating or opening ourselves to in yoga- how can you be so certain it is safe?
If you are stretching, then you are stretching, so why not say you are stretching? Why call it yoga? Bread is bread, but when we call it "prosforo", it's meaning, significance, purpose and quality all change.

I've never understood why 2nd and 3rd generation ethnic Orthodox leave the church or view it as some kind of social get togethor. I mean is Orthodoxy missing something or are these people just very lazy and could care less? When you take a look at the evangelicals they do a real good job at keeping thier youth interested in church and they have a zeal for living the christian life. The Orthodox youth should be the same if not more zealous since it's the true Church.
Why is this surprising? We are all converts- no one is 'born' Orthodox. Emperor Julian the Apostate had Orthodox Christian Parents, grandparents and Great Grandparents. Constantine Copronymos had Orthodox Christian Parents, grandparents and Great Grandparents. John Tavener- the 'hero" of adult Orthodox converts has recently stopped attending the Orthodox Church in favour of Sufism, Islam, Hinduism etc. Demas, companion of the Apostle Paul and friend of the Apostle Luke, and who saw the glory of God at work in the Apostles with his own eyes, also left the Church and returned to the world (2 Timothy 4:10). This is why we do not glorify Saints until they have fallen asleep and entered Heaven- just as we honour as victors those who have completed the marathon- not those who have merely started the race--"many are called, but few are chosen".
Rather than being surprised when people apostasise, we should be surprised when anyone manages to run the course of an Orthodox Christian life, faithful to the end, and manages to enter the Kingdom of Heaven by it's narrow gate.

George (Australia)
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« Reply #99 on: March 30, 2005, 11:15:24 AM »





I've never understood why 2nd and 3rd generation ethnic Orthodox leave the church or view it as some kind of social get togethor. I mean is Orthodoxy missing something or are these people just very lazy and could care less? When you take a look at the evangelicals they do a real good job at keeping thier youth interested in church and they have a zeal for living the christian life. The Orthodox youth should be the same if not more zealous since it's the true Church.

 
Orthodoxy missed these generations by insisting on Greek in church...and that includes even the homily on the Gospel lesson..when the language of the 2nd and 3rd gen  people had become English as well as 'announcemnents' of the week.... I remember sitting in church where it was Greek beginning to end.... along with my peers and wondering... what on earth is he talking about and why can't he explain what he did  in English... The ability to relate the Gospel lesson to the issues of today is where they lost the generation.  And the whole 'Greek school' thing is another issue....I have friends who want their kids to learn Chinese- and they establish secular community classes in the schools on weekends to do this... Why the church has to get involved in this completely, in my opinion, mixes apples( ethnic social aspects)  and oranges (the faith)... In some churches people become paying stewards just to send their kids to the Greek School..., and they never go to church... except for the festivals of course... and showing up Holy week...  so the churches continue this practice because it helps with the cash receipts....

When I married in 1985, our priest, before the ceremony began, explained everything that was to take place, for all attendants to understand... and then the ceremony was 80% English... But the language of English would even have been meaningless, without his explanation of the significance of everything....

The tradition of 'spreading the faith' and teaching 'new generations'  did not come with the other traditions of the church...
and it is a tradition that is still very 'green' in this country....

In XC, Kizzy



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« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2005, 08:50:26 PM »

I wonder if the decision of the court today to consider an emergency bid to reinsert the Terri's feeding tube has anything to do with the Pope having a nasogastric feeding tube inserted into himself today? I wonder if the "pull the tube" people are saying that the Pope should be allowed to starve to death rather than possibly be in the same situation as Terri Schiavo in a few weeks or months? I've so often heard it said, even in this thread, that a feeding tube should not have been inserted in the first place- here's their chance to 'advocate' in the case of the Pope.
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« Reply #101 on: March 30, 2005, 11:23:38 PM »

Tonights South Park is, once again, right on the money.
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« Reply #102 on: March 31, 2005, 03:45:37 AM »

Tonights South Park is, once again, right on the money.

You watch that stuff? No wonder...never mind
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« Reply #103 on: March 31, 2005, 10:33:21 AM »

Hey, I like South Park.  I don't think they were right on though, I tought it was stupid.
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« Reply #104 on: March 31, 2005, 12:19:01 PM »

Terri Schiavo dies in hospice
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) — Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman who spent 15 years connected to a feeding tube in an epic legal and medical battle that went all the way to the White House and Congress, died Thursday, 13 days after the tube was removed. She was 41.
      Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 after her heart stopped because of a chemical imbalance.    
Getty Images

Schiavo died at the Pinellas Park hospice where she lay for years while her husband and her parents fought over her in the nation's most bitter — and most heavily litigated — right-to-die dispute. (Related video: Years in the courts)

The feud between the parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, and their son-in-law continued even after her death: The Schindlers' spiritual advisers said the couple had been at their daughter's besides minutes before the end came, but were not there at the moment of her death because Michael Schiavo did not want them in the room.

"And so his heartless cruelty continues until this very last moment," said the Rev. Frank Pavone. He added: "This is not only a death, with all the sadness that brings, but this is a killing, and for that we not only grieve that Terri has passed but we grieve that our nation has allowed such an atrocity as this and we pray that it will never happen again(Related audio: Pavone talks of final moments)

David Gibbs III, a lawyer for the Schindlers, said: "This is indeed a sad day for the nation, for the family. ... God loves Terri more than they do. She is at peace."

Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, announced the death but had no immediate comment beyond that.

A small group of activists sang religious hymns outside the hospice, raising their hands to the sky and closing their eyes.

Dawn Kozsey, 47, a musician who was among those outside Schiavo's hospice, wept. "Words cannot express the rage I feel," she said. "Is my heart broken for this? Yes."

Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 after her heart stopped because of a chemical imbalance that was believed to have been brought on by an eating disorder. Court-appointed doctors ruled she was in a persistent vegetative state, with no real consciousness or chance of recovery.

The feeding tube was removed with a judge's approval March 18 after Michael Schiavo argued that his wife told him long ago she would not want to be kept alive artificially. His in-laws disputed that, and argued that she could get better with treatment. They said she laughed, cried, responded to them and tried to talk.

During the seven-year legal battle, Florida lawmakers, Congress and President Bush tried to intervene on behalf of her parents, but state and federal courts at all levels repeatedly ruled in favor of her husband. The case focused national attention on living wills, since Schiavo left no written instructions in case she became disabled.

After the tube that supplied a nutrient solution was disconnected, protesters streamed into Pinellas Park to keep vigil outside her hospice, with many arrested as they tried to bring her food and water. The Vatican likened the removal of her feeding tube to capital punishment for an innocent woman. The Schindlers pleaded for their daughter's life, calling the removal of the tube "judicial homicide."
   
By Evan Vucci, AP
Terri Schiavo's family suffered a final setback in court on Wednesday.

An autopsy is planned, with both sides hoping it will shed more light on the extent of her brain injuries.

Gov. Jeb Bush, whose repeated attempts to get the tube reconnected also failed, said that millions of people around the state and world will be "deeply grieved" by her death but that the debate over her fate could help others grapple with end-of-life issues.

"After an extraordinarily difficult and tragic journey, Terri Schiavo is at rest," Bush said. "I remain convinced, however, that Terri's death is a window through which we can see the many issues left unresolved in our families and in our society. For that, we can be thankful for all that the life of Terri Schiavo has taught us."

President Bush, the governor's brother, was expected to speak on Schiavo's death later Thursday.

Although several right-to-die cases have been fought in the courts across the nation in recent years, none had been this public, drawn-out and bitter.

Six times, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene. Schiavo's fate was debated on the floor of Congress and by President Bush, who signed an extraordinary bill March 21 that let federal judges review her case.

"In extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life," the president said.

But federal courts refused again and again to overturn the central ruling by Pinellas County Circuit Judge George W. Greer, who said Michael Schiavo had convinced him that Terri Schiavo would not have wanted to be kept alive by artificial means.

Described by her family as a shy woman who loved animals, music and basketball, Terri Schindler grew up in Pennsylvania and battled a weight problem in her youth.

"And then when she lost all the weight, she really became quite beautiful on the outside as well. What was inside she allowed to shine out at that point," a friend, Diane Meyer, said in 2003.

She met Michael Schiavo — pronounced SHY-voh — at Bucks County Community College near Philadelphia in 1982. They wed two years later. After they moved to Florida, she worked in an insurance agency.

But recurring battles with weight led to the eating disorder that was blamed for her collapse at age 26. Doctors said she suffered severe brain damage when her heart stopped beating because of a potassium imbalance. Her brain was deprived of oxygen for 10 minutes before she was revived, doctors estimated.

Because Terri Schiavo did not leave written wishes on her care, Florida law gave preference to Michael Schiavo over her parents. But the law also recognizes parents as having crucial opinions in the care of an incapacitated person.

A court-appointed physician testified her brain damage was so severe that there was no hope she would ever have any cognitive abilities.

Still, her parents, who visited her nearly every day, reported their daughter responded to their voices. Video showing the dark-haired woman appearing to interact with her family was televised nationally. But the court-appointed doctor said the noises and facial expressions were reflexes.

Both sides accused each other of being motivated by greed over a $1 million medical malpractice award from doctors who failed to diagnose the chemical imbalance.

However, that money, which Michael Schiavo received in 1993, has all but evaporated, spent on his wife's care and the court fight. Just $40,000 to $50,000 remained as of mid-March.

Michael Schiavo's lawyers suggested the Schindlers wanted to get some of the money. And the Schindlers questioned their son-in-law's sincerity, saying he never mentioned his wife's wishes until winning the malpractice case.

The parents tried to have Michael Schiavo removed as his wife's guardian because he lives with another woman and has two children with her. Michael Schiavo refused to divorce his wife, saying he feared the Schindlers would ignore her desire to die.

Schiavo lived in her brain-damaged state longer than two other young women whose cases brought right-to-die issues to the forefront of public attention.

Karen Quinlan lived for more than a decade in a vegetative state — brought on by alcohol and drugs in 1975 when she was 21; New Jersey courts let her parents take her off a respirator a year after her injury. Nancy Cruzan, who was 25 when a 1983 car crash placed her in a vegetative state, lived nearly eight years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that her parents could withdraw her feeding tube.

Schiavo's feeding tube was briefly removed in 2001. It was reinserted after two days when a court intervened. In October 2003, the tube was removed again, but Gov. Jeb Bush rushed "Terri's Law" through the Legislature, allowing the state to have the feeding tube reinserted after six days. The Florida Supreme Court later ruled that law was an unconstitutional interference in the judicial system.

Nearly two weeks ago, the tube was removed for a third and final time.
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« Reply #105 on: March 31, 2005, 01:06:16 PM »

You can be arrested/prosecuted for denying food & water to your pets & livestock, but you can do it to a human being ?

Something is very wrong in & with our society.

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« Reply #106 on: March 31, 2005, 04:10:03 PM »

I had a legal question:
How far does the authority of a governor or the President reach in such cases ? Can The President vito or reverse a court decision, like the pardons usually given out at the end of any term of the president ?
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« Reply #107 on: March 31, 2005, 04:56:18 PM »

Stavro,

     Absolutely not.  In rare cases you can have certain legislative relief, however, giving the President or Governor a Veto over judicial decisions would completely invalidate checks and balances.
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« Reply #108 on: March 31, 2005, 05:02:09 PM »

Thankfully, she has passed away. Peace to her and her family.

I shudder to think of what this means for interference of government in family matters, and i am looking now for the appropriate forms that my state recommends so i dont end up in that position someday.

as Forrest Gump once said, that's all i have to say about that. Except that I agree South Park hit it on the head (yes i watch that stuff) once again. 
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« Reply #109 on: March 31, 2005, 05:04:02 PM »

I had a legal question:
How far does the authority of a governor or the President reach in such cases ? Can The President vito or reverse a court decision, like the pardons usually given out at the end of any term of the president ?

Absolutely not. In rare cases you can have certain legislative relief, however, giving the President or Governor a Veto over judicial decisions would complete invalidate checks and balances.

Well...that depends on the president and current political climate.

I seem to recal Andrew Jackson saying 'John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!' after sending troops down to oust the Cherokees in direct defiance of the Supreme Court's decision in Worcester vs. Georgia Wink
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« Reply #110 on: March 31, 2005, 05:18:27 PM »

Thanks for the valuable opinions and replies. I remember also that President Bush (41st) cancelled the verdict for Rodney King's abuse case and a retrial was ordered to contain the mass anger of the african american society towards what seemed as a wrong decision by the jury. Of course, it should not be used in an arbitrary fashion, but I believe this case was bigger than a life of an individual, as precious as it is (was ). It will set a trend of similar cases and the culture of death will prevail.

"They have taken the way of Cain;" (Jude 11) .......
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« Reply #111 on: April 15, 2005, 04:21:27 PM »

This is my Terri Shiavo op-ed:

A life is a terrible thing to waste. The human person, endowed with value and purpose by a benevolent Creator, deserves the right to live. If we do not have the courage to take care of the terminally ill and empathize with their struggle, but snuff out their being as a false sign of mercy, we only show our own cowardice as human beings.

As a false sign of mercy, the Florida judicial system snuffed out the life of Terri Schiavo. One cannot help but wonder why. Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri’s own parents, desperately fought to have her feeding tube re-inserted. Michael Schiavo, an allegedly abusive man, given precedent over the victim’s own parents, insisted that she “die with dignity”.

This woman was not brain dead. She did not need a heart respirator. She was able to breathe on her own. She could smile, frown, and engage visitors and family members. Medical observations showed her to be cognitive and alert. Terri only needed artificial nourishment to stay alive and yet not even this could be tolerated.

The doctors of the Northside Humana emergency room never actually diagnosed her as a heart attack victim, given that her blood enzymes were not elevated; a symptom distinctive in all heart attack victims. In preparation for the October 2002, trial to save Terri’s life, a review of her ER records revealed that she had a "rigid neck" when admitted to the hospital; a characteristic of attempted strangulation.

Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist, examined Terri’s bone scan and concluded that her injuries were not consistent with a heart attack, but with severe trauma possibly caused by beating. This scan revealed that she had fractured ribs, damage to her pelvic area, LI vertebrae, spine, both knees and both ankles, a broken femur, and a broken back. The radiologist who conducted the scan clearly noted: "This patient has a history of trauma".

The dispassionate observer would conclude that Terri collapsed and fell into unconsciousness, not from a bulimia-related heart attack, but from terrible abuse. Terri’s family observed “black and blue marks” on her body months before the incident, possibly inflicted by her controlling husband. Terri had stated to friends and family members that she desired to divorce Michael Schiavo just prior to sustaining injuries. Since then, Michael Schiavo has given three conflicting accounts of how he found her unconscious.

After the incident, Michael had Terri’s personal jewelry re-fabricated into a ring for himself. When Michael moved in with a woman to have an adulterous relationship, he had Terri’s beloved cats euthanized. Michael prevented Terri from undergoing a barium swallow test, which would have determined her ability consume foods through the mouth. If Terri had been allowed to undergo the procedure, perhaps the feeding tube would not have been necessary in the first place.

Against the will of her parents and the Roman Catholic Church which she belonged, Michael Schiavo had Terri’s body cremated; the perfect cover to avoid an autopsy.

Justice is a terrible thing to neglect. Terri Schaivo, endowed with value and purpose by her Creator, deserved the right to live. If we are to honor the memory of Terri Schiavo, a criminal investigation of her husband must be accomplished. Only then will we know the truth and will Terri be able to rest in peace.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

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