"I hate to say that one document is all you need to read to know what you need to know about the tragic Terri Schiavo case, but the best primer on this episode--which just so happens to undercut the arguments of Tom DeLay, Bill First and the other Republican politicians seeking to exploit this sad story--is a December 2003 report written by Dr. Jay Wolfson. He's a doctor and a lawyer who was appointed as a guardian for Schiavo in October 2003 by none other than Florida Governor Jeb Bush. If you care about the case and the issues it raises--and if you care about Terri Schiavo--you should read the entire 40-page report. NPR, which aired a well-done interview with Wolfson yesterday, has posted a PDF version on its site."
"Five-month-old Sun Hudson was removed from his life-sustaining machines by a Texas law signed by then-Governor George W. Bush in 1999. The law allows patients deemed unsalvageable by the hospital to be removed from ventilators and other medical apparatus, with a ten-day window given to the families of the stricken to find another facility before the plug is pulled.
Sun Hudson was African-American, and neither Congress nor Mr. Bush came storming to his rescue before his death last week. Believe this: If Ms. Schiavo were an African American child, a Hispanic mother, an Iraqi wife, an Afghani grandmother, an American soldier suffering massive brain trauma from an explosion in Mosul, anyone from Darfur or the Congo, if she had been anything other than a white woman in a Fundamentalist-controlled state, we would have never, ever, heard of her." ~~~WP, 03-22-2005
"This is what the Terri Schiavo circus is all about. We may think it's about political posturing -- and it is that, for sure. But it's about those of us who have scary, messy disabilities, and the fears of the rest of us.
The Texas Futile Care Law, which George W. enacted, gives hospitals the right to cut off life support. The progressive blogs are full of the story of the baby pulled off life support under that legislation this past week, against his mother's wishes. But futile care acts are in place in many states -- so common they aren't even controversial. Are we only upset about them when we see them used against a member of what we see as a traditionally oppressed group, and enacted by a man whose policies we detest? States with liberal governors have futile care policies in place as well. The disability rights movement has been worried about futile care policies for quite awhile -- but nobody else took notice. Until now.
Those who bring up the Texas dead baby story want to make the point that the Republicans are two-faced, but we didn't need a dead baby to figure that one out."