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Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 5 -- Wealth From Scratch. | WILLisms.com | Social Security Pop Quiz. »

Terri Schiavo: How Poor Question Wording Created A False Consensus For Death.

Zogby has some interesting numbers that contradict the other polling from the media on Terri Schiavo's situation:

The Zogby poll found that, if a person becomes incapacitated and has not expressed their preference for medical treatment, as in Terri's case, 43 percent say "the law presume that the person wants to live, even if the person is receiving food and water through a tube" while just 30 percent disagree.

Another Zogby question his directly on Terri's circumstances.

"If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water," the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.


"When there is conflicting evidence on whether or not a patient would want to be on a feeding tube, should elected officials order that a feeding tube be removed or should they order that it remain in place," respondents were asked.

Some 18 percent said the feeding tube should be removed and 42 percent said it should remain in place.


The poll found that 49 percent of Americans believe there should be exceptions to the right of a spouse to act as a guardian for an incapacitated spouse. Only 39 percent disagreed.

When asked directly about Terri's case and told the her estranged husband Michael "has had a girlfriend for 10 years and has two children with her" 56 percent of Americans believed guardianship should have been turned over to Terri's parents while 37 percent disagreed.

On someone's gut level, it is easy to err on the side of keeping the government out of someone's "family matter." It is easy for anyone to default to that position, because nobody wants the government making decisions for individuals on matters like these.

However, most people, if they follow the news at all, are headline readers. Polling on detailed and complex issues requires more sophisticated surveys.

With regard to Terri Schiavo, not only were the headlines flawed, the media coverage itself was thoroughly harmful to public opinion, with the fake "GOP strategy memo" and the misreporting of the basic facts of the situation. When people learn the actual facts of the case, the consensus for death turns on its head.

Another bit of information one might include in a survey on this subject to get a better read of public sentiment:

-Explain that the actual "facts" of the case were exclusively determined at the trial level, in a lower court. The so-called "dozens of judges" that reviewed the case only looked at the legal arguments, not the facts, which had already been decided.

People want to believe in the courts, that they are objective and fair, that they follow the rule of law. People did not realize the facts were not scrutinized in any of the last-minute cases, only the legalistic jargon.

Posted by Will Franklin · 3 April 2005 10:33 AM

Comments

Not surprising. Not shocking. Anytime the main stream media is involved we can count on a smear of the GOP ... When invited, The GOP is the life of the party and the Dems. you can count on being the Anti-life of the party ! Typical...It is too bad for us all, Liberals and Conservatives alike because the Issues in the Terri Schiavo case cross political bounds... The effects of the Terri Schiavo case will be felt for years to come. The fact that a civil court judge ruled that a living human being would be starved and dehydrated until they were dead is quite powerful. The fact that a civil court judge decided it was necessary for the parents and family of an innocent incapacitated person to be strip searched upon visitation is something all of us will feel for a long time. The law is in need of some seriouse reform! The media has no consideration for what they have done. I am sure the denials and ignorance of the MSM will be flowing like a fast stream after a big rain!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 3, 2005 11:36 AM

I have expected these results, sooner or later.
If is stunning how uninformed can public be and how MainsStream media callously take advantage of it to manipulate people's lives.
What now? Suddenly, we know the truth. Unfortunately, Terri Schindler-Schiavo is dead.
Now, what to do? How do we reconcile?
Terri's killing was judicial homicide, a murder. Somebody was responsible. I say Michael Schiavo, Judge Greer, Attorney Felos and the mainStream Media, all a pack of ghouls.

Posted by: I. Caganek at April 3, 2005 12:25 PM

Good Questions!...I believe someone must be accountable for the injustice that occured!...Judge Greers decision to refuse to reconsider any of his decisions, the choice was really his own. He chose to ignore the facts, new & old!... He really should have been held in contempt of Congress. Judge Greer chose to accept Michael Schiavo as a credible wittness to hear say evidence! Even though sworn statements said otherwise, and the most important evidence of all... TERRI SCHIAVO DID NOT HAVE A LIVING WILL! Not to mention the fact that she had sworn statements from other doctors saying Terri was not in a Persistent Veg. state! For any judge to have ignored any of this is very neglectful and shows that his lack of respect for the rights of Terri were not there. Another aspect I find bothersome is that Judge Greer accepted campaign contributions from Felos, Michaels attorney! My belief is that should have been a conflict of interest and he should have excused himself! Michaels guardianship was Questionable, Yet Judge Greer allowed Terri's settlement funds to be paid and sucked dry by the very attorney who contributed to his campaign. Not to mention this attorney was getting paid to end her life,not care for her! Something stinks and I think an investigation needs to be ordered ASAP!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 3, 2005 01:41 PM

The bigger question is not THAT IT HAPPENED but WHY? It was engineered to happen that way and the polls were swarmed right after each talk show by 'interested' viewers from, I'd be guessing but I'd say the Democratic side or left-wing side. They need to fix the big gap between health care and the time one needs it to the time one dies. George Felos was picked by Judge Greer to be the lawyer on this case way back when (15 years ago) and Greer was obligated to the pro-death lobby for campaign contributions. Thus the 'weighting' against Terri Schiavo happened from the beginning and the skewing of the polls by people like Kos Kidz and fellow travellers, aided the Democrats' soon to be more apparent alliance with the 'freedom to die' movement, of which George Felos was an outspoken advocate, was just part and parcel of the larger 'organization' they've built up to market their ideas. We've seen how it worked during the run up to the election on every night's tv talk show polls, until our side caught on and started throwing our weight back at them. Well...unfortunately for Terri, they were way ahead of us on this one and didn't allow the true feelings of the people to come out. The 'left' engineered the outcome they wanted for Terri and the reason everyone was so angry with nowhere to place the anger was that deep down we knew we'd been 'shafted' and Terri had lost because of it but we couldn't put our fingers on what had happened or how. Now we know. How evil is that?

Posted by: foreign devil at April 3, 2005 01:58 PM

...also, am I the only one who finds it outrageous, even criminal, that a BLIND JUDGE, Judge Greer, sits on any case, let alone the Schiavo case, where he could not see the x-rays or read the radiologists' reports, even if he'd wanted to, which clearly he didn't? How can a judge who cannot see his hand at the end of his arm, sit and assess and give judgment on evidence IN ANY CASE?

Posted by: foreign devil at April 3, 2005 02:03 PM

OUTRAGEOUS,CRIMINAL, IT IS REVOLTING ! ! ! What has Judge Greer been up to lately? Surely he isn't hearing cases? BLIND, DEAF, and DUMB is what I call it...A total miscarriage of justice! A discusting display of how one judges pride, ignorance, and refusal to look at things anew because of his self importance and Egotistical mania to be right needed to be nurtured...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 3, 2005 02:54 PM

The way the media refused to acknowledge Jesse Jackson and other democrats who were opposed to the killing of Terri is just part of the liberal death crusade! Hard core abortionists and our Dr. kevorkian supporters were out with a force! What is that coalition called that sits in on churches and reports to the IRS , to prevent preachers from speaking in church about political issues? That is kind of similiar to how the MSM works, only instead of not getting tax exempt priviages, The GOP doesn't get air time and accurate repoting!

Posted by: Lisa at April 3, 2005 04:31 PM

THe MSM has been lying to us with fake polls for decades. The best example of a rigged poll was the LAT recall poll a few days before the election. Recall got almost 150% more votes than their poll and Arnold got almost 200% more votes than the poll. You should never trust any thing that comes from the MSM they use their "news" stories to spread propagande as your example proves for the umpteenth time.

Posted by: Rod Stanton at April 3, 2005 04:37 PM

My sister Nancy is in what doctors refer to as a Persistent Vegetative State. Interesting enough, these same doctors who have labled her this way have spent so little time with her...It is the nurses and other medical professionals who understand she still can feel and is aware of her surroundings! She laughs at the appropriate times. She tries to talk. she lets you know when she is not feeling particularly well. She loves to watch I Love Lucy, and her soap operas. Nancy knows and feels alot more than a dead person or a "Vegetable"!... I dare any of her neurologists to spend some time one on one with her, and then tell the world she doesn't know anything! Most of these doctors look at her cat scans and make their diagnoses and then leave. What I am saying is she may never ever recover, but she is still alive and can feel just as you and I. I attended a brain seminar that taught me that the brain was the last frontier yet to be explored in medical technology.
I can accept that! What I can not accept is these doctors who are acting as if they know it all! I challenge any of them to come visit Nancy with me for an afternoon and then tell me she doesn't have any part of her brain that doesn't work! ANY TAKERS?

Posted by: Linda at April 3, 2005 05:54 PM

O.K. folks, let's do something about that Ghoul Greer. There is a petition oline to impeach that bastard:

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?ijg520

Just type in there your name, e-mail, comment and zip code. I saw there zip codes from all areas of the USA. If you are in Canada, type in your zip code. The comment can be quite long, take a look at comments of previous petitioners.
Last time I checked, more than 37,000 people have signed.
Let's go to get rid of the bum!

Posted by: I. Caganek at April 3, 2005 08:18 PM

I've signed the petition; I urge everyone to sign! What business is a blind man doing overseeing evidence and ruling on it. That's simply not fair to the litigants or defendants in the cases in front of him. How he ever got away with it this long is a mystery; someone WANTS him there for when they need him there, I guess. Let's give him the heave ho, but not before exposing him good and proper!

Posted by: foreign devil at April 3, 2005 10:04 PM

I SIGNED IT...Now let Congress Know! After all Judge Greer is in Contempt of Congress...JUDGE GREER GOT AWAY WITH ALLOWING MICHAEL SCHIAVO AND THE GREAT STATE OF FLORIDA TO STARVE AND DEHYDRATE A BRAIN DAMAGED WOMAN UNTIL SHE WAS DEAD! CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS... IF YOU AND I WERE IN CONTEMPT OF ANY COURT WE WOULD BE PROSECUTED! JUDGE GREER SHOULD BE TOO!

IMPORTANT...EMAIL CONGRESS... LET THEM KNOW!
IF HE CAN THUMB HIS NOSE AT CONGRESS? WHAT GOOD IS HAVING CONGRESS AT ALL IF THEY WILL NOT FORCE THEIR AUTHORITY!

Posted by: Linda at April 4, 2005 08:45 AM

The second question noted in the posting is pretty misleading as well since the implication is that feeding is being denied arbitrarily (with whatever implications that implies). I really doubt that many people would arbitrarily deny food and water in those circumstances.

It might be relevant to point out that Theresa Schiavo not having a living will is why a trial was needed. If she had a living will and if it said she wouldn't want to continue in those [general] circumstances, then her will would have been carried out. No trial needed unless her parents (or even Michael for that matter) wanted to try and prove that she orally superseded it. Which is allowable under Florida law and court decisions.

The decision was not on Michael's word alone. There were two others (granted related to him) who testified as to the statements that Theresa made to them in circumstances which were judged credible, which makes their testimony direct evidence not heresay (or so I understand). They were subject to cross-examination and not impeached. The family presented testimony too, but that was judged unreliable since it was from when Theresa was much younger.

Btw, the trial court hears the case. The judge evaluates the evidence and makes a judgement. The appeals process is not to retry the case as it works its way up to the State Surpreme Court (if it gets that far). That's the way it is and has been, is it any surprise that the courts would follow that process in this case?

One last thing. If Michael had failed to provide clear and convincing evidence, then Greer would have ruled that with a failure to provide clear and convincing evidence, the court would err on the side of life (as higher court decisions required). You may disagree with Greer's decision regarding clear and convincing evidence, but that is within his discretion and higher courts agreed that he did not abuse his discretion (where the issue may have come up).

Posted by: A Comment at April 4, 2005 10:03 PM

The fact: Michael has provided NO EVIDENCE, his relatives the same. This ghoul, judge Greer is a nut, sick dude and should be removed from bench and placed in the Woodside Hospice. That's where this idiot belongs.

Posted by: I. Caganek at April 5, 2005 08:03 AM

Here is the transcript of Father Pavone's appearance on Bill O'Rilley's Factor, April 6:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,152738,00.html

An excerpt:
"I was with Terri for three or four hours before she died, right up to about 10 minutes before her death. Now George Felos and Michael Schiavo, they want to say this was a peaceful, gentle, merciful death. Bill, in all my years as priest I have never seen anything so horrifying or agonizing as the way she died."

Posted by: I. Caganek at April 7, 2005 02:00 PM

In the American court system the trial court is the trier of fact.

Are you proposing we redo 200+ years of settled law?

Can we keep retrying facts until the "correct" conclusion is reached?

Of course the Republicans are against activist judges when the decision goes against them. Other wise they favor activist judges when the decision goes against them.

See a pattern here?

It looks to me like a desire to end the rule of law. Which I had understood was a traditional Democrat position.

Do you suppose political power is going to the Republican's head.

Folks notice these things.

===========================

BTW crazy Judge Greer was supposed to be a Conservative. How is that possible?

===========================

In America Judges are supposed to try cases based on the law and evidence presented in trial. This is not France where the judges investigate cases.

Both sides presented their best case and the Judge decided based on the trial evidence.

============================

Perhaps we need French help. Oops. They killed 10,000 old folks a few summers ago due to the lack of cool places for the old folks to stay. How much help will they be?

Posted by: M. Simon at April 10, 2005 09:50 AM

The place to fix this problem is in the legislature.

I notice no rush in any state legislature to change their laws on the subject.

Why is that?

=============================================

If we lived under sharia law Terri would still be alive.

Of course 150 million women would be disenfranchised. And it would be necessary to oppress Christians and Jews and make them 2nd class citizens. But that is a small price to pay to keep people like Terri alive.

========================================

Sharia promises perfect justice under God's rules. It is no wonder Muslims hate democracy. Just look at the results.

We need to live under God's laws not man's.

The sooner the better.

Posted by: M. Simon at April 10, 2005 10:34 AM

I am sure we all can agree with some points in M. Simon's posts.

But, that no judge has absolute discression.
Quote from the above post:
" Both sides presented their best case and the Judge decided based on the trial evidence."

This was not the case. Please, take a look at the enormous list of charges against Judge Greer:
http://www.petitiononline.com/ijg520/petition.html

In order to state that Greer decided based on the trial evidence, one would have to disprove Greer's violations of law.

Posted by: I. Caganek at April 11, 2005 08:59 AM

We need to remove Florida Senator James E. "Jim" King From Office. He had a part in Terri's killing. The petition is open to all concerned citizens, not only FL residents:
http://www.petitiononline.com/RSJKFO59/

But, most important, we need to impeach Judge George Greer, here is the petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?ijg520

Posted by: I. Caganek at April 13, 2005 04:14 PM