Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Andrew McCarthy analyzes the court ruling

By Aussiegirl

Andrew McCarthy writing in

NRO analyzes the bill that Congress passed in order to help Terri and how the judge interpreted it so narrowly as to permit him to not even give the facts a new hearing, which was obviously Congress's intent. So -- the legal eagles once again find a loophole through which they can let a human be dehydrated and starved to death.

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When Congress provided for de novo review, uninhibited by what had already been determined in Florida, it seems clear that this is what they thought they were getting at. They were saying: Before we allow state action to deprive the constitutional right to life, let's be certain we really are dealing with a PVS case and a woman who actually made an informed choice to refuse sustenance. Judge Whittemore, to the contrary, has decided to interpret Congress's command as limited to an inquiry about whether Florida's procedures are likely to produce good results. As for the results actually produced � a finding of PVS and informed choice to die � he doesn't see the need to kick those tires because, he lamely notes, the Schindlers haven't explained how they could possibly relevant.

The judge, I believe, is wrong and needlessly stingy in construing what the just-passed law directs him to do. Terri Schiavo has had neither the standard medical tests (including an MRI and PET scan) nor the extensive clinical observation that should be mandatory for any finding of PVS on which an effective death sentence is to be predicated. If the proof supporting the PVS finding or the informed-choice finding � which Florida law require to be proved by clear and convincing evidence � is blatantly inadequate, then she has then not received the due process of law necessary to justify a taking of life under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. If she is not a PVS case and she is being tortured by starvation and dehydration, the Florida ruling removing the feeding tube is subjecting her to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.

That's what we need a de novo review of: Why weren't standard tests done, why shouldn't they be done before a final PVS conclusion is made, and, in their absence, why should we be confident in the accuracy of the PVS diagnosis? There may be good answers to all these questions, but that is what evidentiary hearings are for.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger TJ Willms said...

Doesn't anybody involved with this case want to be the "goodguy?"
Why are these supposed legal experts so terrified of allowing this woman to live? The stink of all of the cowards involved in the decision to snuff out Terri Schiavo's life are enough to make one wretch, repeatedly! I cannot believe this kind of rubbish is going to be allowed, (hell legally mandated) in the America I live in.

I think back to the Clinton years and remember him intervening in the case of a sixteen year old kid who vandalized a bunch of cars in Malaysa and was going to get a well deserved spanking.

Why can't an Executive order be issued at this point and give the legal eagles time to tapdance around the law without this poor woman's life slipping into the bottom of the hourglass while they do so.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger P-BS-Watcher said...

"'The plain language of the Fourteenth Amendment contemplates that a person can be deprived of life so long as due process of law is provided,' Whittemore wrote."

Conservatives have said that for a long time. This is the first time the liberals have resorted to "the plain language." See T + 7


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