Marlowe's Shade

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Blogburst for Terri: Is the Tide Turning?

Until Terri is safely out from under the guardianship of Michael Schiavo the battle won't be won, but I'm encouraged by the events of the last few days. Terri has another emergency stay until tomorrow, and it seems that her supporters have been galvanized by a fresh outpouring of support. It's tempting to start crediting the blogosphere already but I'll leave that to more appropriate people at a more appropriate time. However a Google search shows that it is still mostly the blogosphere that is carrying this story. Fox of course is allowing the Schindler's side of the story to be told. But most of the rest of the MSM is either silent or sticking close to Attorney George Felos' party line like this article from a CBS affiliate and this recent CNN piece isn't much better. Still I'm optimistic that if the facts aren't getting out to all the people, they are getting out to the people who will take action. I think there's ample evidence of that in this WND article from yesterday (courtesy of NY Nana) spokesman Gary McCullough told WorldNetDaily the state Department of Children and Families, which probes abuse of disabled people, gave notice of its intent to intervene in the case due to allegations of abuse against Terri Schiavo by her husband...

...McCullough...said the Schindlers are "thanking God and all the people who have been praying," for the additional 48 hours in which their daughter's life is "not going to be at risk."...

...The Schindlers' attorney, David Gibbs, has said he plans to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on religious liberty grounds, asserting Terri's rights as a Catholic would be violated by forcing her to starve to death.

In October 2003, Terri went without food or water for six days before a new state law allowed Gov. Jeb Bush to order the tube reinserted. "Terri's Law" later was struck down by the the Florida Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

This afternoon, Bush told reporters he's exploring options to block removal of the tube.

"I can assure you, I will do whatever I can within the means, within the laws, of our state to protect this woman's life," he said. "I won't go beyond that."

Bush noted he's received thousands of e-mails and phone calls from backers of the Schindlers.

"People with deep faith and big hearts are concerned, as I am about the circumstance that Ms. Schiavo is in," he said. "I want them to know I will do what I can, but there are limits to what any particular person -- irrespective of the title they currently hold -- can do."

The Schindlers asked Terry to lobby the governor and legislature in Tallahassee to pass legislation that would require courts and doctors to give food and water to an incapacitated patient unless the patient had requested otherwise in an advance directive.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Dennis Baxley is in the works, according to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.

Jeb Bush has been trying to manage expectations with Terri's supporters for a while now, but I think we have to credit him with the efforts he has made on Terri's behalf and it looks like a shift in public opinion can give him the political juice he needs to take the judicial system head on.

I think Michael Schiavo's case is vulnerable on several points, although my legal expertise is nil. If I have time today I might explore this further. But for the time being we should all be encouraged and use this grace period to double our efforts to finally tip the scales in Terri's favor.
papijoe 7:24 AM