This is my understanding of what’s going on with Terri Schiavo situation, please correct me if I’ve made any mistakes.
The reason this case has come so into the limelight after fifteen years is that Congress decided to step in after the Schindlers (Terri’s parents) had exhausted all avenues of appeal in Florida. So the Senate and House passed a “Bill to provide for the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo,” Senate Bill Number 686 (S. 686) which moved the jurisdiction of the case from the Florida courts to the federal courts. To me, this seems like a violation of the checks and balances of our government — the legislature clearly overstepped into judicial areas. And as if that’s not bad enough, all of the Senators and Representatives and the President were all specially flown in from where they were taking their Easter recess to vote on this one bill that had been v. narrowly written to benefit two people (the Schindlers). Seems like a huge waste of taxpayer money to me. Worse, everything was done in a rush so that most of the Senators and Representatives didn’t have much time to deliberate about things. And these people who are supposed to be representing their constituents clearly didn’t because at least two-thirds of the country don’t think Congress and the President should’ve stepped in, including a majority of Republicans.
So ironically, Congress was v. bipartisan in favor of the bill, but the country was v. bipartisan against it. But you know what? Analysts figure that the religious right will come out ahead on this because even though Republicans “‘are going to get kicked around a lot for this’, the minority that does back congressional action probably supports it intensely, while the majority that disagrees ‘won’t remember this woman’s name in a few months.'” (quoting Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia in the Washington Post) Gaaaaah! This is why the religious right has so much clout. For instance, you hear all the time about pro-life one-issue voters, who will vote for or against people based on their record on abortion, but you never hear about pro-choice one-issue voters.
By the way, the Senate passed a voice vote, so I don’t know how each individual Senator voted, but the House of Representatives passed the bill 203 yea, 58 nay, 174 abstained. You can look up your Senators and Representatives on their respective websites, and you can see how your Representatives voted in the Vote Results.
Just to be clear, let me now state (in public) that if some neurologist ever said that I was in a permanent or persistent vegetative state, or that my brain had been liquefied, please let me die. In fact, even if no neurologist said so, but I had been in that state for a year, let me die. But especially if parts of my brain were liquefied, please please let me die. Frankly, this whole case has made me think about the beauties of Oregon, which as far as I know is the only state in the union to have right-to-die laws. Because the truth is, dying of starvation doesn’t sound like fun. I’d still rather die than not, but morphine or something would be ever so lovely.