Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Schiavo case - such breathtaking hypocrisy!

While George Bush and Tom DeLay pretend that their intervention in this private matter is based only on wanting to “save a life,” these Texas Republicans appear to have nothing at all to say regarding the situation in Texas, where hospitals are allowed to remove life support against the unanimous wishes of a patient’s family, or even against the wishes of the conscious patient, if the patient’s ability to pay for treatment appears at all questionable, say if their “Medicare funding is running out.” (1)

The Bush-DeLay intervention is also in direct contradiction of their claimed belief in the “sanctity of marriage,” because if they really believed in the institution, they would understand that the spouse is the next of kin for making end-of-life decisions, both legally and traditionally.

And finally, the Bush-DeLay intervention is a clear demonstration that these two politicians do not even believe in the Constitutional principle of the separation of powers. The courts have all spoken on the Schiavo matter, even including the US Supreme Court which has refused to address rulings in the lower courts. Why even have a legal system if it’s rendered moot any time one of the other branches disagrees with its conclusions?

To hear these politicians yammer on about the sanctity of life of one woman in a “persistent vegetative state,” after reading for two years the news reports on our appalling Iraq adventure, can only be labeled disgusting. The Republicans have latched onto this family’s personal tragedy merely to use it as a basis for “talking points” (2) in order to reenergize their evangelical base for the mid-term elections. What could be more callous, more sinister, more hypocritical, more emblematic of their philosophy of governance?

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(1) “Hospitals can end life support - Decision hinges on patient's ability to pay, prognosis,” by Leigh Hopper, Houston Chronicle, March 8, 2005.

(2) “...ABC News obtained talking points circulated among Senate Republicans explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. Among them, that it is an important moral issue and the ‘pro-life base will be excited,’ and that it is a ‘great political issue -- this is a tough issue for Democrats.’ ”

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