Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Friday, March 18, 2005

My House Is Your House, or, The Schiavo Fiasco and Why Publicly Flogging Mark McGwire Is Not the Worst That Congress Can Do

CNN reports that the House has issued five subpoenae in the Terri Schiavo case, seeking the appearance before a House committee next week of Michael Schiavo, who seeks to have Terri's feeding tube removed, three health care workers, and . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . Terri Schiavo herself. What, you say? Why would Congress subpoena a woman who has for years been in what is clinically called a persistent vegetative state?

Did anyone see Jose Canseco's testimony yesterday?

This case has become so absurd it defies description; it resembles entirely too much the passive aggressive battles survivors fight over loved ones' estates, cases I sometimes see, which are as unseemly as they sound -- except here in place of an estate is the shell of a person.

Aside from the comparatively measured reasons I enumerated here (if not in a terribly measured tone of voice), Congress's complicity in this disgusting wrestling match makes it just another ideological battleground characterized more by spin than fact, and fraught with far more presumed cultural import than it should ever have hade. Can anyone honestly believe that Terri, given a pre-PVS choice, would have wanted her life to become just another rope in Congress's ideological tug of war? I certainly don't.

I can't go on without becoming even more strident. For a call to civil disobedience, see this "editorial statement." For a ruthlessly well-sourced account (which earned its author a spot on my blogroll, for whatever that's worth) of what's really gone on in Florida in this case, what Michael Schiavo's and Terri's parents' motivations look under the light of objective, clinical truth, go here.

After ballplayers and vegetables, who's next to feel the federal government's hand pulling his chain -- Spongebob Squarepants? Earl Warren's corpse? When does this stop?

(By way of disclaimer, I want to note that CNN also reports that a last minute stay issued from a Florida judge, temporarily precluding Michael Schiavo from pulling Terri's feeding tube. In keeping with everything I've said about the primacy in this matter of Florida law, I am perfectly content to let this Florida judge revisit the situation under Florida law. It's the federal government that has no place here.)


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker