For all the world to see, a 41-year-old woman, who has committed no crime, will die of dehydration and starvation in the longest public execution in American history.
…Among many other violations of her due process rights, Terri Schiavo has never been allowed by the primary judge in her case—Florida Circuit Judge George Greer, whose conclusions have been robotically upheld by all the courts above him—to have her own lawyer represent her.
Greer has declared Terri Schiavo to be in a persistent vegetative state, but he has never gone to see her. His eyesight is very poor, but surely he could have visited her along with another member of his staff. Unlike people in a persistent vegetative state, Terri Schiavo is indeed responsive beyond mere reflexes.
…. Contrary to what you’ve read and seen in most of the media, due process has been lethally absent in Terri Schiavo’s long merciless journey through the American court system.
“As to legal concerns,” writes William Anderson—a senior psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard University—”a guardian may refuse any medical treatment, but drinking water is not such a procedure. It is not within the power of a guardian to withhold, and not in the power of a rational court to prohibit.”
But the guardian has withheld drinking water. The court has prohibited Terri from receiving drinking water. Police officers are enforcing that prohibition by arresting people who try to bring it to her. Four guards are stationed outside Terri’s room, and they search Terri’s parents when they go in to see her, in order to make sure that nobody places so much as an eye dropper of water in this woman’s mouth because she has commmitted the unspeakable crime of being disabled and brain damaged.