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Willisms

« Wolfowitz To Replace Wolfensohn As World Bank Chief | WILLisms.com | Alaska: Open For Business. Finally. »

For Terri Schiavo: The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act

Florida's new Republican Senator, Mel Martinez, has introduced a bill in the Senate, The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act of 2005, to save Terri Schiavo from dehydration/starvation.

Martinez, in National Review, explains his legislation:

This bill would ensure that incapacitated individuals — like Terri Schiavo — would have their due-process rights of habeas corpus when a court orders their death by removal of nutrition, hydration and medical treatment. My colleague from Florida, Congressman Dave Weldon has introduced identical legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Habeas Corpus” refers to the legal rights available under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution that “No State…shall deprive any person of life…without due process of law…nor to deny any person within its jurisdiction equal protections of the laws.”

In essence, this legislation would give incapacitated individuals like Terri, who have been given what amounts to a death sentence by the courts, federal habeas corpus protections to ensure that she receives the same due process protections as convicted murderers given the death penalty.

This bill is very narrowly written and a balanced approach to acknowledging the rights of individuals to refuse consent to medical treatment with the right to consent to treatment to preserve life. The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act would only apply when the following criteria are met:

-There is a contested judicial proceeding because of a dispute about the expressed previous wishes or best interest of a person currently incapable of making a choice about lifesaving treatment;

-There is no valid prior written directive on wishes from the now-incapacitated individual; and

-There is a court order authorizing or directing the withholding of food, fluids, or medical treatment to sustain the individual’s life.

Although Michael Schiavo seems intent on Terri dying, she is in fact not out of medical options (via blogsforterri.com):

So how can Judge Greer ignore the opinions of so many qualified neurologists, some of whom are leaders in the field? The answer is that Michael Schiavo, his attorney George Felos, and Judge Greer already have the diagnosis they want.

Indeed, a former nurse of Terri, Carla Sauer Iyer, recently explained that Terri is not in a vegetative state:

The nurses, including Iyer, interacted with Terri and daily witnessed her respond, laugh, and make requests. “We had her at the front of the nurse’s station… everyone loved Terri,” Iyer said.

Posted by Will Franklin · 16 March 2005 02:27 PM

Comments

The next thing you know the elderely and mentally retarded, and any other person whose mental capacity is diminished will be at risk. It is a bit like nazi germany and how Hitler handled matters.

michael Schiavo needs to excuse himself as guardian.
He obviously has a conflict of interest. He has a new family and as I understand 2 children from this other women.

We give our death row inmates a more humane death, than starvation and dehydration. Besides Terri is not on any other life support other than her feeding tube. Cruel and unusual is what I would call it.

I am sorry to see that this story hit so close to home for WILLisms.com.

Posted by: concerned citizen at March 16, 2005 08:21 PM

WHY IS IT THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS SO PRO DEATH?

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS BECOMING KNOWN AS THE ANTI-LIFE PARTY. IS IT JUST ME? OR IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE? IT SEEMS ALMOST RATHER MORBID, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN...

Posted by: ZSA zsa at March 17, 2005 02:50 PM

Michael Schiavo has spent Terri's money on himself! He has abused his guardianship. Neglected terri's care! He continues spending the money he recieved to care for her on legal fees trying to starve her to death!

This money should be paid back to Terri, for her well being.

He hired a big time euthanasia attorney to get things under way for his wishes to pull her feeding tube out! All the while he has been using Terri's money awarded for her care!

Michael you really need a reality check!

Posted by: linda at March 18, 2005 06:24 AM

Democrats are proud to be pro-death! It's what they do. Then they like to choose to word it Pro choice!

To kill, or not to kill? That is the question!

Posted by: rick at March 18, 2005 06:37 AM