Terri Schiavo, Hot Potato

Terri Schiavo, Hot Potato

Terri Schiavo, Hot Potato

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
March 21 2005 5:55 PM

Terri Schiavo, Hot Potato

Today, bloggers continue to debate the case of Terri Schiavo, whose fate now rests with a federal judge. They also analyze Kofi Annan's proposals to reform the United Nations, and attack box office champ The Ring Two

Terri Schiavo, hot potato: A federal hearing on Terri Schiavo is scheduled for today after a legislative flurry in Congress this weekend transferred the case's jurisdiction from Florida to the federal courts.

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At conservative caucus The Corner, K.J. Lopez applauds a Wall Street Journal essay that compares withholding medical care from Schiavo to the practice of euthanasia in Nazi Germany. Like many bloggers, Ed at Captain's Quarters thinks the mainstream media misapprehends Schiavo's condition. "The verb prolong gives a clear innuendo that her treatment somehow artificially extends Terri's life, and that she would die without extraordinary treatment. However, that simply isn't the case," he writes. "Terri Schiavo is not terminally ill, and wasn't dying until Judge Greer ordered her feeding tube removed." At Powerline, Hindrocket adds that, though he is "not happy with the procedural aspects of this controversy," the "facts here are appalling. So it is no surprise that Senators and Congressmen feel that if they have the power to prevent Mrs. Schiavo's death, they should use it."

In another popular post, liberal Digby cites Republican efforts to cut Medicare, enact tort reform, and rewrite bankruptcy laws as evidence of the party's ideological hypocrisy in dealing with the desperate and helpless. Mathew Yglesias of the American Prospect chalks up the perceived discrepancy to cynical partisan maneuvering: "If people need to suffer as a result, then that's a small price to pay for keeping the culture wars circus afloat." 

Plenty of liberal bloggers link to professor Mark A. R. Kleiman, who details the cases of two terminal patients denied critical care under Texas' Futile Care Law. Six-month-old Sun Hudson died Thursday after Texas Children's Hospital removed the tube that had kept him alive since his birth. The family of another patient moved him to a different hospital after one facility decided to discontinue care when his Medicare coverage ran out.

Kleiman says the Texas cases aren't exact parallels to the Schiavo situation. Schiavo is vegetative but not terminal, while Sun Hudson was terminal but not vegetative—he was born with a "fatal form of dwarfism." And whereas Schiavo's husband and parents disagree about her fate, the relevant figures in the Texas cases agreed that the patients should be kept alive. "Where, I would ask, is the outrage?" Kleiman writes. "What I can't figure out is how someone could be genuinely outraged about the Schiavo case but not about the Hudson and Nikolouzos cases. Perhaps Mr. Bush, who says he thinks there should be a 'presumption in favor of life,' can explain that to us."

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Read Slate's Dahlia Lithwick on the new Schiavo bill, and on the case circa 2003.  Read more blog posts about Schiavo here.

Uniting nations, dividing U.S.: On Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed to reform the organization by expanding membership to the exclusive, influential Security Council.

The American Spectator's Dave Holman, writing at Potomac Gadfly, doubts "this is a solution at all. The problem with the council right now is the veto power by recalcitrant states. Expanding it will only enable more states to obstruct international action." Holman thinks reshaping the Security Council to reflect the balance of geopolitical power in 2005—rather than 1945—would be a more effective reform. At Decision '08, Texan Mark Coffey, who has previously argued that such an expansion would limit the effectiveness of the council, thinks some of Annan's other proposals are hopeful. "The problem," he writes, "isn't that the UN has major structural flaws (it does); it's the premise itself that has become outmoded."

Read more about Annan's proposed reforms.

Bored of The Ring:Cultural bloggers scurry to disparage The Ring Two, which opened on top of the box office this weekend. At Blogcritics.org, Chase McInerny writes, "What The Ring boasted in mood, atmosphere, pacing, characterization, layers of complexity and legitimate spookiness, its successor tries to make up for in ... um ... well ... rampaging deer." Small Town Punk John Sheppard writes, "the flick was a total drag. Not one real scare in the whole shebang, though you got to see 1980's movie icon Elizabeth Perkins plunge an air-filled syringe into her neck."

Readmore about The Ring Two here.

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