Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Terri Schiavo - random thoughts

I wish I could believe something positive could result from the sordid mess that is this case, but my cynicism triumphs every time I consider the notion. My own rather disjointed thoughts:

1) What, precisely, is so objectionable about trying to get a legislature, even a the federal one, on your side? And if it is OK for the SCOTUS to over-ride state laws on flimsy excuses, why not Congress? It is, at least, elected. Am I missing something?
2) That judicial supremacy is something I dearly wish we would not be submitting on ourselves over here with the legal reforms, Human Rights Act, et al.
3) That there is a slippery slope, and that this result will be ultimately detrimental to the disabled, terminally ill, and handicapped.
4) That the only thing more revolting that the media vultures is the partisan crowing.
5) That there is no way that being starved to death is humane. Whether or not Mrs Schiavo has concious thought she does apparently respond to some stimuli - if only on 'remote' as it were. I image it would probably be illegal to starve a cat in Florida, but apparently its a-ok for humans.

My more substansive thought is that I have heard one of the problems of this case is that the trial level attorney for the parents was not so good. I have no idea how true that statement is, but it is something I have read. Also, that it is at the trial stage that the 'facts' are decided. It seems to be that there is ripe potential for abuse and injustive when the quality of your attorney - something you may not be able to choose - basically determines your chances of achieveing a fair outcome. Now I may well have missed something here, perhaps Appeals Courts have ways of realising if a case was, as it were, harmfully represented at a lower stage, but my sense is that this is a difficulty that is swept under carpet. Please correct me if I am wrong. Incidentally I have no idea what the situation here in the UK is.

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