Friday, August 14, 2009

Remember Terri Schiavo?

All of the lying and deliberate spreading of misinformation about the fictional “death panels” (a term made infamous by Former Governor Sarah Palin, R-AK) has been designed to scare the daylights out of the elderly. The proposed language in one of the House bills, simply stated that if someone wanted to discuss living wills, health care proxies or other end of life care issues with their doctor, Medicare would pay for one such office visit, every five years.

With that, the Republicans were off and running. Declaring, in the most inflammatory terms, that the big, scary, intrusive Government-with-a-capital-G would be deciding who could live and who should die. The Government would be pulling the plug on grandma. From this verbal molotov cocktail, the conflagration grew. Repeatedly, Republicans spoke about how inappropriate it would be for the Government to intrude and insert itself in what should be a private family matter about end of life care.

Despite these outrageous lies and distractions, intelligent folks like 1995 Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow cast their memories back to 2005 and the case of Terri Schiavo. Very briefly, Terri Schiavo, age 41, was in a persistent vegetative state for a decade and a half. Her husband, Michael, wanted to remove her feeding tube and her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, did not. After several years of legal battles, Republicans in the United States Congress inserted themselves into the family dispute. They did so by issuing a subpoena for Terri Schiavo to testify before Congress. This strategy gave Mrs. Schiavo federal protection as a prospective witness, essentially attempting to halt the removal of her feeding tube.

That short summary cannot do Ms. Schiavo’s case justice. What many of us felt watching Congress and then President George W. Bush insert themselves into a private end of life matter, albeit, at the behest of her parents, was horror. It also left many of us highly motivated to discuss issues associated with living wills, health care proxies and ordinary vs. extraordinary means with our extended family. But it took Rachel Maddow to draw the bright line from today’s Republican objections to healthcare and health insurance reform back to that same party’s role in the Terri Schiavo case and in doing so, spotlight their self serving hypocrisy.


Miss Rachel said...

Thanks for posting this excellent clip of Rachel Maddow's cutting through the BS. Right wing conspiracy indeed.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Miss Rachel -
I love how (the other Miss) Rachel is so very smart and manages to keep her sense of humor while she is shining a bright light on hypocrisy.
- Lee