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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I think it is unhealthy and unfair to Michael Schiavo and to Robert and Mary Schindler to focus so much attention on the case of Theresa Schiavo. However, I can't avoid mentioning two ironies
in this NYT article.

"Judge Whittemore asked Mr. Gibbs to cite case law that would bolster the claim that Ms. Schiavo's Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process had been violated,"

Mr Gibbs (lawyer for the Schindlers) cited the fourteenth amendment and, in particular sectoin 1 "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

He appealed to Judge Whittemore on the basis of a " new law, which gives "any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo" standing to sue in federal court to keep her alive.". This law is clearly unconstitutional because it explicitely denies all of us who are not parents of Theresa Schiavo equal protection. It openly creates a priviledged group of citizens -- parents of Theresa Schiavo. It is highly ironic that Gibbs appealed simultaionously to the law and to the sentence in the 14th amendment which clearly declares it to be unconsitutional.

"The lawyer, David Gibbs, also said Ms. Schiavo's religious beliefs as a Roman Catholic were being infringed because Pope John Paul II has deemed it unacceptable for Catholics to refuse food and water." This argument is astounding. Gibbs is arguing one of two things. He might be arguing that Schiavo has sinned by asking that, if she were in her current state, her feeding tube be removed and that Catholics rights are violated if they are allowed to disobey the Pope, that is, that they have the right to obey and can not be deprived of the right to allow the Pope to rule their lives even if they want to. He might also be arguing that Schiavo did not choose to have the tube removed, but that her soul will be sent to hell for something done against her will. Either Catholics have the right to be forced to obey someone else or, according to Gibbs' theology the Catholics' God sends people to hell because of something done to them against their will.

David Gibbs is a remarkable man.

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