The Culture of Life

Let Terri Schiavo go. Activists!

Pop quiz! In 1999, who signed into law the TexasFutileCareAct,which permits hospitalsto make decisions to deny life support—over thewishesoffamilyandguardians—topeople whose illnesses they'd deemed "irreversible" (but more important, who don't have the ability to pay)?

It's hard, so I'll give you a hint: he's all up into the "culture of life" like NewtGingrichis up in his secretaries.

Too hard? Another hint: he presided over 152 executions, including some retards and three minors. (Here's a choice quote from Philly's DailyNews:"Two of the three [executed minors] each had suffered severe head injuries as children—one the result of alleged extreme child abuse—and were judged by experts to be mentally impaired or retarded. The third was sentenced to die by a jury because—according to his defense lawyer—'he was a black man who killed a white woman, and he was very very gay.'")

Oh, and Mr. Culture of Life then started a war that has killed a hundred thousand people so far.

Shit! I forgot we're only supposed to refer to the 1,500 dead American troops! Okay, so Mr. Culture of Life then started a war that has killed 1,500 people so far.

Too hard still? Well, I suppose there are FOXviewers in every bunch.

Okay, I'll take pity on you! It was our president! GeorgeW.Bush!And just this week, because of that legislation GeorgeW.Bushsigned into law, a Texas woman with a six-month-old son held her baby as he died because, due to that legislation GeorgeW.Bushsigned into law, while she begged them not to, the hospital pulled her baby's plug. Her son didn't have any lung capacity and was slowly strangling, and I'm inclined to believe the doctors made the right decision and that baby's mama was deluding herself about his chances.

But if she'd been white, and TomDeLayneeded her to distract folks from his forthcoming indictment (activist district attorneys, I'm sure), and the pro-life lobby gave a flying fuck about her and the son she bore without prenatal care because she was poor, she at least could have deluded herself for another good six months.

By law, I'm required to weigh in on this nonsense—that TerriSchiavois so hotright now!—but I think with this poor girl the administration picked the wrong battle. Of course, as with Iraq, "picking the wrong battle" never really seems to stop them. Still, according to a new poll by ABCNews,70 percent of Americans say it's inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the case; 67 percent "think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved," with only 19 percent believing the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles; 58 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats oppose federal-government intervention in the case; 50 percent of evangelicals oppose federal-government intervention in the case, while just 44 percent approve of the intervention; and 63 percent of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo's feeding tube should be removed. Could it maybe have something to do with the GOPtalkingpointsleaked this week: that Schiavo is a "great political issue" and will make things tough for FloridaDemBenNelson?Dicks.

It's Elianall over again: the Republicans think they've got a winner here, but only the crazies (and by crazies,I mean PeggyNoonan)agree. In 2000, when that sweet little moppet was all over your TV (before his Miami relatives put him in those mini-pimp togs, for which they should have been arrested), I did not speak with one single person who believed Elian should stay in Miami. That included fishing-and-shooting Republican types, Bushand Schwarzeneggervoters all, who were simply furiousthat boy wasn't back with his father where he belonged.

Go ahead. Ask a single father about Elian. I'll wait.

Are there times when you wouldn't want an incapacitated woman's husband to decide whether she lives or dies? Absolutely: say, if the husband were Newt Gingrich, who, when his wife was in a hospital bed undergoing chemo for cancer, told her he was leaving her and whipped out divorce papers for her to sign. I sure as hellwouldn't trust Newt around a Do Not Resuscitate order.

But MichaelSchiavo'snot that guy, no matter how many times former exterminator DeLay calls him a murderer and a "medical terrorist." He lived with her parents for four years, so they could all care for her together; he went to nursing school so he could better care for her; he brought her to California for experimental treatments that didn't work because Terri's brain has literally turned to liquid; and then, after almost a dozen years, he decided she would never come back. Her parents flipped, of course (it's easy to say that everybody dies, but I'm in meltdown right now because my sister wants to move),and filed a suit that's been litigated 19times(activist judges), each time with Michael Schiavo prevailing. He's her husband. Sanctity of marriage, you know.

Come on! It's not like they're gay!

(Activist gays.)

For the record, I do want to be kept alive by any heroic means necessary—my choice, people—and any husband I have is welcome to full spousal privileges as long as I'm alive, if'n he's into that kind of thing. I won't mind!

This weekend, after a life-affirming trip to TheFling—thefull story of which includes a blonde with a good body and no teeth dry-humping my friend's leg sometime after I puked—I went to CHOCFollies.

There, amid some really good singing and some flat-out marvelous dancing (the lead role went to a Rockette),Orange County's most charitable socialites took to the stage in a $400,000 benefit for ChildrensHospitalofOrangeCountyand sang songs with lyrics such as "So sweet, soft and gentle/My favorite Oriental," while doing the ever-popular boob-shakey move, in a plot that centered on the Rockette finding rich husbands for her three orphaned nieces, all of whom just kept insistingon marrying penniless sexpots. It was, um, very nice!

CHOC has a pediatric hospice, the RainbowRoom.It has big windows and nice fabrics and a PlayStationII.It's plushly outfitted to make children's last days comfortable while their medical-terrorist parents let them die. The people at CHOC refused to say how many children pass away there each year or how many parents have to make a decision to stop life support. They say to divulge numbers of children who die would be an invasion of families' privacy.

I think I know something that might be a little bit more privacy-invading than that.

Rebecca@commiegirlcollective.com

AnybodyelsenoticedthesimilaritiesbetweenBillFristdiagnosingSchiavoviavideotape(asopposedtothescoresofdoctorswhoexaminedherandsaidshewouldnevercomeout)andthedefense-paidneurologistwhoclaimsourownlittleHaidlcase'sJaneDoewasconsciousbecausetheboysputapillowunderherhead?(No,youdidn'treadthatwrong.Theboys"showedalevelofconcern"forhertheywouldn'thaveshownifshewaspassedoutwhiletheygangbangedher,andalso,theytalkedather—itdidn'tseemtomatterthatshedidn'tanswerback—andtherefore,shewasconscious).Asofpresstime,thecaseisstillbeforethejury.

Activistjuries!

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