Ultima Thule

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Nat Hentoff calls it Judicial Murder

By Aussiegirl

In a powerful and persuasive piece in the Village Voice entitled,
Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder -- Nat Hentoff lays out the case in stark terms. Here's just a taste of what should be a must read -- especially for every liberal who thinks that this case is about right vs. left.

"During the March 21 hearing before Federal Judge James D. Whittemore, who was soon to be another accomplice in the dehydration of Terri, the relentless Mr. Felos, anticipating the end of the deathwatch, said to the judge:
'Yes, life is sacred, but so is liberty, your honor, especially in this country.'

It would be useless, but nonetheless, I would like to inform George Felos that, as Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said: 'The history of liberty is the history of due process and fundamental fairness.

Contrary to what you've read and seen in most of the media, due process has been lethally absent in Terri Schiavo's long merciless journey through the American court system.

'As to legal concerns,' writes William Anderson, a senior psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard University, 'a guardian may refuse any medical treatment, but drinking water is not such a procedure. It is not within the power of a guardian to withhold, and not in the power of a rational court to prohibit.'

Ralph Nader agrees. In a statement on March 24, he and Wesley Smith (author of, among other books, Culture of Death: The Assault of Medical Ethics in America) said: 'The court is imposing process over justice. After the first trial [before Judge Greer], much evidence has been produced that should allow for a new trial, which was the point of the hasty federal legislation.

'If this were a death penalty case, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent, disabled woman is receiving less justice. . . . This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live


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