Ron Paul’s Questionable Pro-Life Principles



After rereading an essay about Terri Schiavo that Ron Paul wrote for the Lew Rockwell website back in 2005, I have become even more convinced that he is not simply a Constitutionalist mistaken about the role of the federal government in protecting life, but one who does not have a pro-life philosophy.

To remind young readers, Terri Schiavo was a lady who was brain-damaged after collapsing from “unknown” causes in 1990.   She was later put to death in 2005 by the painful method of dehydration at the request of her husband, Michael Schiavo, who was already living with his new fiance. Their home had been purchased with money he won in a malpractice suit on Terris’ “behalf”, furthermore, he had also collected an insurance settlement.  However, her parents were willing to take care of her and bear the cost of her care.  At the time, Congress did some things to try and slow down the murderous process or intervene on her behalf but Ron Paul objected to those efforts.

First, Ron Paul was totally uninformed about Terri Schiavo. He claimed “this debate deals with the passive treatment of the critically and terminally ill.” 

But Schiavo was neither critically, nor terminally ill. She was severely brain damaged, but still able at times to communicate with the family.  She had lived for years after whatever brought her to her condition and could have lived for decades more had not her husband ordered her death and congress remained “passive”.  Also, to describe removing water and food from someone as “passive treatment” is to exchange medical gobbledygook for criminal actions.

Paul continues:

In a free society the doctor and the patient — or his or her designated spokesperson — make the decision, short of using violence, in dealing with death and dying issues. The government stays out of it.

This is so simplistic as to ignore virtually every fact in the case.  Again, this was not a medical decision at all, it was the deliberate withholding of water and food from a living person.  To use the word violent implies the “good death” notion that Terri’s murderous husband, lawyer and local judge tried to perpetrate against Terri, all the while filling her room with softly scented flowers and soft music.   This does not change the fact that she was murdered in cold blood.  What really torques Ron Paul about Terri Schiavo is the federal government involvement, not her brutal slaughter. 

He equates concern for the economics of government health care with proponents of abortion funding and writes:  “they insist that abortion foes be forced to fund this act that many of them equate with murder.”   But does Paul himself equate the morning-after-pill with a person committing real murder?

“…the horrible murder when you see someone lying in the floor and someone takes a gun and puts it to their head. I don’t equate those and don’t expect the law or juries to treat them exactly alike.”

Later he wrote this about the Schiavo case:  

Having practiced medicine in simpler times, agonizing problems like we just witnessed in this case did not arise. Yes, similar medical decisions were made and have been made for many, many years. But lawyers weren’t involved, nor the courts nor the legislators nor any part of the government — only the patient, the patient’s family, and the doctor. No one would have dreamed of making a federal case of the dying process.

What Paul is advocating here is that great day when family members could kill each other off without the interference of the government.   That is not pro-life, it is pro anarchy. According to Paul, we would have all been better off had the Schindlers (Terri’s parents and siblings) just not asked the courts or government to get involved.

I am quite aware of Paul’s state’s rights views.   But the Fourteenth Amendment states explicitly: 

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.

That is the US Constitution. Where was Ron Paul when Terri Schiavo needed him to stand up for Terri’s Constitutional Rights?

Updated:  There has been some analysis done of Terri’s autopsy.

Keep updated with Caffeinated Thoughts!

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  • Enos76

    People often mistake “life” for “Life”.

    • David Shedlock

      I don’t understand your point.

  • Brian

    Your article says that she was “still able at times to communicate with the family.” which I take to mean “she made eye contact with family members at times and in one widely circulated video at the time. I’ll assume that this is the last you had read on this topic, for the autopsy revealed that she was actually blind in addition to being brain-dead. Please fact-check.

    • David Shedlock

      You are making it up. The proof is in the pudding. Your use of the phrase “brain dead” is even contrary to the most death-loving medical definitions. The video posted was not of a dead person. Dead people (even “brain dead”) ones do not move, period. They don’t react to pain or any stimuli.

      But believe as you will. Will add to the post a link to an analysis of the autopsy.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OKKY6SHRGO3WGN4KD7KAXE4UU Dustin

        Small correction, people who are brain dead, or have no electrical activity at or above the brain stem can still move/react to painful stimuli of the extremities through spinal reflex arcs. But this is not relevant to the current case, she was not brain dead, just wanted to clear up misinformation.

      • David Shedlock

        I agree Dustin, “brain dead” people can do all kinds of things real dead people can’t do.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OKKY6SHRGO3WGN4KD7KAXE4UU Dustin

        No, not all kinds of things…pretty much just spinal reflexes…

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        I’ll have to side the Doc :)

      • David Shedlock

        Shane, brain death is not death. I’d rather side with the Bible than the Doc. Death is the cessation of breathing (He breathed his last) or the heart stops beating (life is in the blood). Brain Death is a construct of the AMA that was created to justify the removal of vital organs from living people, and also aid in convincing people to remove life support from people who are not already dead.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        I was talking about the medical definition, not the theological implication. Dustin was just correcting a mistake on your part.

        Your reply strikes me as rather haughty. The Bible is my final authority as well.

      • David Shedlock

        What mistake? I agreed that “brain dead” people can do all kinds of things like react to pain, because they are not dead. If they were really dead they could feel no pain.

        No haughtiness intended.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OKKY6SHRGO3WGN4KD7KAXE4UU Dustin

        Brain dead = no pain. Pain is an above the brain stem thing. Spinal reflexes does not indicate pain.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/?author=22 David Shedlock

        “Brain dead = no pain”

        Doc, it was you who five hours ago wrote concerning “brain dead” people that they can “react to painful stimuli of the extremities”

        If it is “painful stimuli”, by definition there is pain. If the brain is “dead”, how can a person feel pain? Unless, of course, you are granting that “brain dead” people aren’t really dead, in that case we have only quibbles remaining. I’ll take it then that brain dead simply means the same thing when I say my car battery is dead. Since the car is still running, the battery isn’t needed, and I can still get to work on time.

      • David Shedlock

        “Brain dead = no pain”

        Doc, it was you who five hours ago wrote concerning “brain dead” people that they can “react to painful stimuli of the extremities”

        If it is “painful stimuli”, by definition there is pain. If the brain is “dead”, how can a person feel pain? Unless, of course, you are granting that “brain dead” people aren’t really dead, in that case we have only quibbles remaining. I’ll take it then that brain dead simply means the same thing when I say my car battery is dead. Since the car is still running, the battery isn’t needed, and I can still get to work on time.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OKKY6SHRGO3WGN4KD7KAXE4UU Dustin

        By definition of brain death the individual has cessation of breathing/breathed his last. Having been through the process several times of assisting in the brain death protocol, I know that several steps are taken to ensure that there is absolutely no spontaneous breathing and the individual has indeed breathed his last breath.

        In biblical days, when someone has breathed his last, it is done, over, dead. Now-a-days we can insert breathing tubes and place on ventilators patients who have breathed their last. I would argue that by a biblical definition they are already dead. We can then go through the process to medically pronounce them brain dead which equals dead.

        Several notes to prevent my words being taken out of context/misrepresented.

        Note: again this is not relevant to the Schivo case, she was not brain dead. I simply bring this up since the brain dead vs biblical dead definitions are being discussed.

        Also Note: I am not saying that people who are temporary on a ventilator are dead. There are temporary and reversible reasons to be on a ventilator. Brain death is not reversible, those individuals are not going to be breathing again on their own.

        Note #3: Just because you have breathed your last unassisted breath does not mean you are dead. Take Christopher Reeves for example, he was on a long term ventilator, he had breathed his last many years before his brain ceased to function.

        Cessation of spontaneous breathing does not make someone brain dead, but it is one of the requirements to be declared brain dead.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/?author=22 David Shedlock

        With all due respect, this is why people in the medical profession can’t be trusted to guide our decision-making in this area (and why Sarah Palin’s opposition to Death Panels was so important).

        First, you admitted that when people have breathed their last, they are dead (as according to the Bible).

        But then you change and say that a person can be dead, and then have a ventilator attached, but they are still dead. But then you say that Christopher Reeves wasn’t dead even though he breathed his last. So according to the Bible he was dead long before he died.

        What is confusing this is your unwillingness to admit the basic facts. A person breathing with a ventilator is still breathing – perhaps with assistance, perhaps unable to breathe on the their own (spontaneously, as you call it.), but they are still breathing.

        They are alive. Christopher Reeves was alive, and so are those that doctors declare “brain dead” but are still breathing and whose hearts are still beating.

        A second confusion you facilitate is not distinguishing between dead and “nearly dead” or “will die”. Of course many people who are on ventilators will die but they are not dead, yet. I think the power to declare dead has gone to the heads of some in the medical profession who actually confuse the declaration with the reality (They ain’t dead till I say they are dead”)

        I used to believe that doctors played God by determining who lives and who dies. But is really worse than that. They claim the ability to declare who is dead when they are not.

        In every story I read about brain death, doctors and families alike have to come up with a new word to describe what happens when the patient stops breathing. One poster earlier used the phrase “allow her to expire”. The medical community, by forcing unwarranted definitions on us, have brought us to this confusion.

        As I have pointed out earlier, the only real reason for this new definition of death is to justify removing life-assisting equipment without admitting your are letting someone die* or for the purpose of taking organs.

        *I am not arguing against what may be justified, letting someone die. But let’s tell the truth instead of lying about the fact they are still alive. And let’s quit taking organs from living people without consent (that is, they should be told they are alive when the organs are taken).

      • David Shedlock

        With all due respect, this is why people in the medical profession can’t be trusted to guide our decision-making in this area (and why Sarah Palin’s opposition to Death Panels was so important).

        First, you admitted that when people have breathed their last, they are dead (as according to the Bible).

        But then you change and say that a person can be dead, and then have a ventilator attached, but they are still dead. But then you say that Christopher Reeves wasn’t dead even though he breathed his last. So according to the Bible he was dead long before he died.

        What is confusing this is your unwillingness to admit the basic facts. A person breathing with a ventilator is still breathing – perhaps with assistance, perhaps unable to breathe on the their own (spontaneously, as you call it.), but they are still breathing.

        They are alive. Christopher Reeves was alive, and so are those that doctors declare “brain dead” but are still breathing and whose hearts are still beating.

        A second confusion you facilitate is not distinguishing between dead and “nearly dead” or “will die”. Of course many people who are on ventilators will die but they are not dead, yet. I think the power to declare dead has gone to the heads of some in the medical profession who actually confuse the declaration with the reality (They ain’t dead till I say they are dead”)

        I used to believe that doctors played God by determining who lives and who dies. But is really worse than that. They claim the ability to declare who is dead when they are not.

        In every story I read about brain death, doctors and families alike have to come up with a new word to describe what happens when the patient stops breathing. One poster earlier used the phrase “allow her to expire”. The medical community, by forcing unwarranted definitions on us, have brought us to this confusion.

        As I have pointed out earlier, the only real reason for this new definition of death is to justify removing life-assisting equipment without admitting your are letting someone die* or for the purpose of taking organs.

        *I am not arguing against what may be justified, letting someone die. But let’s tell the truth instead of lying about the fact they are still alive. And let’s quit taking organs from living people without consent (that is, they should be told they are alive when the organs are taken).

      • Blakmira

        First of all, David Shedlock, why are you going back 5 years to rehash an issue? Do you really have that much of a personal vendetta against Ron Paul or is he becoming someone too threatening to you that you have to smear him?

        Second of all, you mentioned the Bible, yet you do not understand the true meaning of “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” It is not “Thou Shalt Not Kill Only Humans” or “Thou Shalt Not Kill Except in Times of War” or “Thou Shalt Not Kill Except in a Death Penalty Execution.” It means Thou Shalt Not Kill, period. Does your lifestyle really back up God’s commandment and mirror Jesus’s compassion towards all species? Do you eat flesh as forbidden in the Gospel of the Holy 12? Oh, you’re not aware of the chapters deliberately left out of the Bible by the correctors? Then do not refer to it to make yourself appear morally superior to everyone.

  • michael

    is this a joke? its like you have ignored all the facts surrounding this case and you have also chosen to willfully distort ron paul’s message in order to pontificate about the sanctity of life. the point is that this is a private matter and does not require the federal government to intervene in private affairs pure and simple. you did to spend less time on your soap box and more time in a library doing some research

    • David Shedlock

      Thanks for posting, Michael. What facts did I ignore? Killing people is not a private matter. It is a federal matter because of the 14th Amendment.

      • Dave

        Murder usually falls to the state level, not federal. Hence why Ron Paul says leave it up to the states. He’s against it federally likely because it sets a bad precedent.

      • David Shedlock

        But states must protect life. If they don’t it falls upon the Feds to do so.

      • Guest

        You’re missing the point. It is not the Federal government’s business per the 10th amendment. Ron Paul is a Congressman of the Federal Congress, and he believes that the state the she resided in (Florida?) should deal with it.

      • Guest

        You’re missing the point. It is not the Federal government’s business per the 10th amendment. Ron Paul is a Congressman of the Federal Congress, and he believes that the state the she resided in (Florida?) should deal with it.

      • John W.

        You misinterpet here again. SCOTUS has attempted to incorporate the 14th Amendment upon the states in fits and starts. In this case, it does not and cannot apply except via usuarpation and subversion of intent..

      • Democratgirl

        Mr. Sherlock, are you a Doctor? Are you a poltician? How about a parent? I have to go with the Bible because Judgement in eternity at the end of time will determine who followed the New Testament commands of God against the commands of men. Where there are people, there is always error. The problem is, are we willing to admit to our errors, or shall we be callous and prideful and not admit them? If you are an atheist, you will probably be PRO-GOVERNMENT. If you are a follower of Christ, you will be someone who wants small government and no intervention from the courts. It’s as simple as that. Even atheists will sometimes do the right thing. In Terri’s case, NO ONE DID THE RIGHT THING except the parents. And, they are the only ones living who have suffered. God will sort the rest of them out on Judgement Day. I so look forward to it.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EO7C4OU4FQT4SLY3TVYXONP4GU Chris Czernel

    I read Ron Paul’s entire statement from the link the author provided. I found his statement to be thoughtful and reasonable, not to mention constitutional. I disagree completely with the author of this article that Ron Paul wants family members to go off killing each other. That is an absurd conclusion to reach given Ron Paul’s actual statement.

    • David Shedlock

      “Ron Paul wants family members to go off killing each other”

      Only the weak and sickly ones. Seriously, he states plainly that it would be better if we just let Terri Schiavo be killed instead of getting the courts and the government involved. THAT is not a stretch.

      • Farrar Shane

        That is a strech. He wants it to be a family issue not a government issue. Also you build up that arguement as if he squeezed her for all the cash he could get and dumped her, yet major buisnesses like coca-cola offered him one million dollars and more to not pull the plug yet he turned it down. The husband claimed that his wife had requested the plug be pulled if she ever were put into a vegatative state, and having waited as long as he did, he felt it was time to hold up that end. The diffrence between a fetus and terri is a fetus never has a say in being aborted, but terri did. It is important to note however, that there is no proof she ever asked to have the plug pulled except for the word of the husband, but considering the million or so he turned down I am guessing he really did it because of her wishes.

      • David Shedlock

        It wasn’t just for the money, it was bloodlust and perhaps to cover up his complicity in her original collapse.

      • Anonymous

        This is an outrageous charge.

        Whether or not her family wishes to acknowledge it, she exhibited all the signs of eating disorder:

        1. disappearing into the bathroom for lengthy periods following meals
        2. drinking excessively (aka “water loading”)
        3. rapid weight loss (IIRC, over 1/3 of her body weight)
        4. abrupt stop to menstruation

        The jury in the malpractice trial was fully convinced she had an undiagnosed eating disorder, which is why they awarded such a large amount of damages against her physician.

        It’s tragic that she was her generation’s Karen Carpenter, but please don’t ignore the fact the choices she herself made were the cause of her collapse.

      • Anonymous

        This is an outrageous charge.

        Whether or not her family wishes to acknowledge it, she exhibited all the signs of eating disorder:

        1. disappearing into the bathroom for lengthy periods following meals
        2. drinking excessively (aka “water loading”)
        3. rapid weight loss (IIRC, over 1/3 of her body weight)
        4. abrupt stop to menstruation

        The jury in the malpractice trial was fully convinced she had an undiagnosed eating disorder, which is why they awarded such a large amount of damages against her physician.

        It’s tragic that she was her generation’s Karen Carpenter, but please don’t ignore the fact the choices she herself made were the cause of her collapse.

  • Nitridr

    First off David Shedlock you ignored some important facts. It was proved during the autopsy that not only was she brain damaged but she was brain dead. The doctor must abide by patient wishes. In cases where the patient is incapable of such decisions their proper next of kin is allowed to make those decisions. When a person becomes married then their spouse is the proper next of kin. The parents no longer have any say and are not the next of kin. What Shivos husband does or does not do with funds from Teri does not matter and is not pertinent. At some point in time we must all allow natural lapse of life to occur. A plant is not a human even though the cells continue to live. Teri was not a human any longer. There was NO brain activity. She was only a plant or vegetable. The husband make the decision (and it was his position to make such decision) to allow her to expire. This is not murder. The husband did not kill Teri. You put forth your own personal opinions and drifted away from the facts. This is not what a good reporter does. A good reporter only puts forth the facts and allows those facts to stand on their own merit.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OKKY6SHRGO3WGN4KD7KAXE4UU Dustin

      Please stop suggesting she was brain dead. She was not, this is not a matter of debate. Whether she was or was not in a Persistent Vegitative State is somewhat debatable as there is not clearly defined/widely accepted medical criteria for PVS. PVS is a medical gray area. Brain death is not, as gray a zone, there is a widely accepted definition and criteria to meet brain death diagnosis. She was not brain dead, to say she was is just ill-informed. Please note this is coming from a medical professional and Ron Paul supporter, so please trust me on this point.

    • David Shedlock

      Nitidr,

      Of course she was dead during the autopsy. But if you are saying that she was brain dead before the husband kept food and water from her, you are telling a filthy rotten lie. There is not one word in the autopsy about Terri Schiavo being “brain dead”, let alone dead. Indeed the doctors in interviews used unguarded language in interviews about the extent of her brain damage, but they knew better than to perpetrate the lie you just did.

      Even “brain death” (which is not death, as I prove in the related post link above) requires the cessation of breathing and heart beat when the person is not on a ventilator, which Terri was not on. You don’t have to stop giving water to people who are already dead.

      “Teri was not a human any longer.”

      And that is a demonic lie from hell. Even dead people are human beings, not vegetables.

      “There was NO brain activity.”

      A lie. Put up or shut up. Produce one line from the autopsy that says such a thing. If you can’t do it, retract the comment or you will be prove to the whole world you are a liar,

      “to allow her to expire”

      Of course, if she were dead already, there would be nothing to expire.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EO7C4OU4FQT4SLY3TVYXONP4GU Chris Czernel

    Ron Paul is currently in first place in the Caffeinated poll called:
    Who Should Be the 2010 Caffeinated Conservative?
    Ron Paul: First Place, 1192 votes out of 2604 total cast. 46%
    He is leading the second place candidate by 13%.
    Use the Caffeinated Thoughts search to find and vote in the poll.

  • Marcello

    Ron Paul stands up for the life of the unborn, the lives of Muslims half way across the world, and the lives of all Americans who cherish freedom. This article nit picks and distorts Paul’s statements about a single sensationalized incident half a decade ago. Ron Paul does not even support the death penalty any more because he has seen how the staate can mistakenly execute the innocent.

    • Jureneck

      Concise and accurate Marcello.

      I will nitpick Shedlock’s article on my own however:
      “What Paul is advocating here is that great day when family members could kill each other off without the interference of the government.”

      No, what Paul and increasing numbers of people realize is that family members, not the government, are the most ethical and principled people to be involved in our dying days.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you feel that Terri, in the state she was in, was better off in heaven where she was unincumbered by her worldly body? She is with the Lord.

    Personally, I’m an atheist. I think the above statement would be well received by those who believe in heaven.

    • David Shedlock

      Thanks for posting, OE.

      All Christians would be better off in heaven. But I don’t see us lining up to have our food and water removed. The same reasoning could justify any murder.

  • Joe

    The federal and state Gov’t “have” the duty to “protect” life. Oh that’s a funny one. So because of Shavo we need more govt control either at the state or federal level to trump individuals or “protect” life according to you “pro lifers”. Some of you “pro lifers” should read Row vs. Wade before you holy rollers jump on board with the “pro life” causes. Roe vs. Wade was rooted in state and federal power over the individual. Abortion was not an issue before you “pro life” and “pro choice” folks came along to distort the whole issue. It’s really you “pro life” fanatics that have destroyed life, made abortion readily available, undermined the doctor-patient relationship, which led to more gov’t involvement in medicine and ultimately gave us Obama Care. Look fools e.g. “Conservatives” stop ceding my power as an individual over to the state which has no business in my doctor’s office, my wallet, or my bedroom. Sorry hater, but Ron Paul “gets it”. Don’t ask the Gov’t for nothing, but to protect your liberty and property.

    • David Shedlock

      I almost ignored this post, until the last line.

      It is life, liberty and property mentioned in the Constitution, not just liberty and property. No protection of life, no liberty or property.

      • joe

        David Shedlock….no dummy .. you still don’t get it .. The declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happieness. There’s nothing in the Constitution that states you have a right to ceed my unalienable rights to states or the federal gov’t. Show me in the Constitution – the rule of law, where you have a right to impose your moral code (in your case abortion) on me? You as a “conservative” Republican, who hates Ron Paul, likes to twist and that makes you a hater and controller. You comment on Terri, her husband and their personal matter to fit your twisted philosophy when it comes to abortion or “pro life”. You inject your moral opinions and ask for the state of Florida to impose your moral code in this family’s personal matter. You don’t like the outcome so you ask the Federal Gov’t to correct or write the wrong you perceive. The bottom line is you can’t understand “abortion” or “life” is not a federal or state issue in this case. This case about Terri Schivao is a personal matter fought between her husband and Schavio’s family through the courts in Florida. This is not a matter for federal courts or busy body’s like yourself to impose your moral code on me or anyone else because you don’t like the outcome. In other words, if men like you could understand to mind your own business and read the constitution, and stop asking gov’t to solve problems they have no business in. We wouldn’t be in this mess of wealth redistribution thought a progressive income tax, a police state enslaving everyone, multiple undeclared wars, a gov’t that spends, taxes, and asks a central bank called the Federal Reserve to print the difference. You want gov’t to protect life right? Well they will alright. They’ll decide your life under Obama Care and tell you the medicine you’ll receive and the care you’ll get through the death panels. You’ll be just like Terri someday sitting on a bed with that horrible look in your face and don’t worry some Gov’t burocrate will “decide” your existence as you want gov’t to protect life! Careful what you ask for controller. Now go vote for Huckabee or some other “conservative” to protect “your rights” dummy.

      • joe

        pussy boy why do you keep deleting my posts?

    • David Shedlock

      I almost ignored this post, until the last line.

      It is life, liberty and property mentioned in the Constitution, not just liberty and property. No protection of life, no liberty or property.

  • Dan

    Hey David, I’ll bet you have no problems finding a Bible passage that defends the Federal Reserve. No chance you’re against him for his principled stands against the Fed and you’re just trying to smear Congressman Paul’s name is there?

    • David Shedlock

      I love the federal reserve. Every day I thank Paul Volcker for giving me a dollar more to spend.

      Don’t be silly.

    • David Shedlock

      I love the federal reserve. Every day I thank Paul Volcker for giving me a dollar more to spend.

      Don’t be silly.

  • Dan

    Hey David, I’ll bet you have no problems finding a Bible passage that defends the Federal Reserve. No chance you’re against him for his principled stands against the Fed and you’re just trying to smear Congressman Paul’s name is there?

  • John W.

    Shedlock’s article and comments against other posts are a joke. That’s why no one will ever take people with his perspective seriously at all. He’s assuming anyone who ever has to make a tough call about a loved one has a”bloodlust” or murderous motives. He seriously misunderstands the Constitution and Constitutional law.

    Mr. Shedlock, name the federal statute in the USC that defines the crime that Shiavo’s husband violated. If he violated the law, then how did he get the hospital and caregivers to go along? Maybe because that is the law?

    He obviously never read Dr. Paul’s complete statement on this subject or abortion or anything else Paul wrote. He has a personal agenda and a basic confusion about how life works in the real world, not his little abstract mis-interpretations of the Consitution or the Bible. He simply believes he gets to tell others what to do due to his self-righteous misinterpretations. Very Sad.

    • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/?author=22 David Shedlock

      No, I don’t assume anyone who has to make a tough call has bloodlust. I very clearly was speaking of Michael Schiavo who loved his wife Terri so much he cheated on her, used money from the settlement to house his new lover, refused Terri all the basics of reasonable care, apparently tried to kill her on at least one occasion by refusing her treatment for a easily cured infection, refused to let her parents take care of her, denied the right of the parents to take pictures/videos of their daughter, put his engagement announcement to the “new wife” in his mother’s obituary, and the list goes on.

      And the decision wasn’t one of the “tough ones”. Kill or let live.

  • Pdh

    Making this discussion about whether she was brain dead or not misses the point. The fact is murder is not, nor should it be, a consideration of the federal government. It is a state matter. People tend to take any decision at the local level that they don’t like and turn it into a federal case, arguing this point or that point, but Dr. Paul rightly contends that matters such as these should be handled by the folks closest to them who have the best perspective. Trying to make people who are thousands of miles away and completely divorced from all the personal aspects of a case responsible for its resolution is just ludicrous. Assuming that her husband actually did want to murder her, he did not hold a gun to her health care professionals’ head to make them go along, and local law enforcement would have had something to say about that as well. What you are advocating is just bypassing local law and overriding it with a federal judicial decision. Haven’t we yet had enough of that?

  • Democratgirl

    I must disagree with your article. GOVERNMENT HAS NO BUSINESS in our personal lives. Yes, this woman was murdered, but don’t blame Ron Paul just because he wanted government to NOT intervene. Our government is bloated enough already and they are willing and ready to tell us all what we can eat, wear, drive, and think, so your argument in claiming the government should have stepped in IS ABSURD. I like Ron Paul, but I am not one of his followers. In fact, I am a Democrat who is now Conservative. The parents should have been able to take over their child’s care. It should be the Husband who should be held accountable for murder. To starve someone to death, to allow that suffering is NOT what the Bible or God would have approved of. To purposely take another’s life, and to me, this was PREMEDITATED. in this way is totally inhumane and unforgiveable. I remember right after that happened, my Sister In Law had a brain hemorrage. My brother told me during her hospitable stay that she told him she did not want to live if she had to live as Terri did, so my brother also, did the unthinkable. As I was in the hospital room saying my goodbyes, a priest in their church was there. Suddenly, my SisterInLaw reached down with her hand and scratched her leg, as if she were awake. I looked at the priest and asked him why they declared her brain dead. He said they claimed (Doctors) that it was a body reaction. I say that is just plain crap. The brain controls every single thing our bodies. When it itches, the brain sends a signal and it decides the best course of action: IT IS CALLED COGNITIVE THINKING, duh. Shortly after that, they cremated my SisterInAll and I cried and cried and cried believing they burned her alive. I still believe that. Modern medicine and analysis is not always the right thing for a patient. Since the Husband did not want Terri Shiavo, the parents should have been named legal guardians. I think there are many people in that picture who should have been held legally accountable, including the Judges. I normally enjoy your articles, but this time, you are way off course. I do agree only with your assessment that this woman could have been kept comfortable until she passed away NATURALLY.

    • David Shedlock

      “Our government is bloated enough already and they are willing and ready to tell us all what we can eat, wear, drive, and think, so your argument in claiming the government should have stepped in IS ABSURD”

      Hardly absurd. If we have foolishly tolerated these encroachments on our freedoms and then stood by while the innocent are murdered, arguing for non-intervention, we will deserve the wrath of God that will come upon us.

      I am confused. You are saying that if someone passed a law in your sister’s name to forbid this kind of behavior (made up definitions of brain death) you would want Paul to stop the law from being enacted?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Ryan-Tung/1366390826 Jonathan Ryan Tung

    Unfortunately, your citing the 14th amendment, if anything, only strengthens the non-government interference position. The amendment states that no state shall intervene to deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process. That is exactly consistent with Paul’s position. It seems that you have taken the position that since the goods of life, liberty and property are expressly mentioned in the Constitution, it is an obligation of the state to provide them. This is incorrect: it is only the obligation of the state not to enact laws that will abridge those rights. You have it switched around.

    Additionally, a comparison to pro-life and pro-anarchy is somewhat of a cheap shot. I personally do not see any direct conflict between the two theories at all. That mode of argumentation is one employed by politicians during their campaigns and it’s annoying.

    • David Shedlock

      It is the equal protection clause under the 14th Amendment that applies here. If I were to deprive my child of food and water, the state would be obligated to protect the child because it protects some. It cannot single out Terri Schiavo and let her die.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Ryan-Tung/1366390826 Jonathan Ryan Tung

        This, I suppose is another complicated issue—like most debates about law. The application of the Equal Protection Clause here is questionable. First of all, although I might even entertain that Ms. Schiavo had limited ability to communicate, I am not all convinced that she had the ability to communicate anything beyond unhappiness and sadness. At the most, yes and no answers. How much or how little she was aware of her surroundings is still up to debate.

        Which brings me to my point. The Equal Protection Clause, as we know, initially protects citizens’ rights from interference from the Federal Government. That’s fine. If we assume Terri Schiavo to be incapacitated, we have to determine two things: one, what were her wishes; and two, who shall be the executor? The Equal Protection Clause would clearly apply if we knew the answer to the latter, but we don’t. We only assumed or guessed. Not only that, children are considered incapable of taking care of themselves. And if you are to argue that Terri Schiavo’s case is tantamount to a child’s case, then you run into the problem of the wishes of her family. It seems here that the Equal Protection Clause has hazy application here.

      • David Shedlock

        Thank you for your reply, Jonathan. It is sad that our view of the law in this situation often comes down to, not legal issues per se, but how you view Terri Schiavo. It appears that a sad life isn’t worth living and we can presume anybody that isn’t happy is worth to die. We are well along the road to another category of people who will be killed in the name of caring for them. The blood is on our collective hands.

      • David Shedlock

        Thank you for your reply, Jonathan. It is sad that our view of the law in this situation often comes down to, not legal issues per se, but how you view Terri Schiavo. It appears that a sad life isn’t worth living and we can presume anybody that isn’t happy is worth to die. We are well along the road to another category of people who will be killed in the name of caring for them. The blood is on our collective hands.

      • David Shedlock

        Thank you for your reply, Jonathan. It is sad that our view of the law in this situation often comes down to, not legal issues per se, but how you view Terri Schiavo. It appears that a sad life isn’t worth living and we can presume anybody that isn’t happy is worth to die. We are well along the road to another category of people who will be killed in the name of caring for them. The blood is on our collective hands.

      • David Shedlock

        Thank you for your reply, Jonathan. It is sad that our view of the law in this situation often comes down to, not legal issues per se, but how you view Terri Schiavo. It appears that a sad life isn’t worth living and we can presume anybody that isn’t happy is worth to die. We are well along the road to another category of people who will be killed in the name of caring for them. The blood is on our collective hands.

      • David Shedlock

        Thank you for your reply, Jonathan. It is sad that our view of the law in this situation often comes down to, not legal issues per se, but how you view Terri Schiavo. It appears that a sad life isn’t worth living and we can presume anybody that isn’t happy is worth to die. We are well along the road to another category of people who will be killed in the name of caring for them. The blood is on our collective hands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Ryan-Tung/1366390826 Jonathan Ryan Tung

    Unfortunately, your citing the 14th amendment, if anything, only strengthens the non-government interference position. The amendment states that no state shall intervene to deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process. That is exactly consistent with Paul’s position. It seems that you have taken the position that since the goods of life, liberty and property are expressly mentioned in the Constitution, it is an obligation of the state to provide them. This is incorrect: it is only the obligation of the state not to enact laws that will abridge those rights. You have it switched around.

    Additionally, a comparison to pro-life and pro-anarchy is somewhat of a cheap shot. I personally do not see any direct conflict between the two theories at all. That mode of argumentation is one employed by politicians during their campaigns and it’s annoying.

  • Macil2

    The neocons are getting pretty scared if they are digging up old stuff like this in order to make desperate attacks against Ron Paul.

    • David Shedlock

      Only in an age where politicians can change what they believe every day is something 5 years old considered irrelevant.

  • RaferJanders

    Ha!!!!! LAME!!!!! You would attack a man’s character and his beliefs for politcal gain… You said below you would stand with the bible than the Doc, Well if memory serves, Doesn’t the book you side with say, Do not bare false whitness? That is what this artical is, outright lies and half truths and things taken out of Context!
    I would not think that Right to Life would have endorsed Dr Ron Paul’s last run for president!
    You seem to be just another Hack besmearching the only honest man in government!
    You should be ashamed of yourself because I am sure your parents would be if they read this Tripe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1508885357 William R. James

    Ok, so show us where in the constitution the federal government is authorized to butt in and make medical decisions for people in opposition to the next of kin. It’s really easy to parrot emotional but irrelevant points to peddle a cause. Yes, the emotional points are all there and obvious. The hubby sounds like a real sleaze bag, and he could have done something to cause her condition, and now wants to bumps her off, right? Makes a great murder novel. Yeah, the grieving parents are there and translate anything as “communication” without regard to medical tests. Sounds like a great made for TV conspiracy flick with heart wrenching twists. But is this a good excuse for our federal congress to waste countless man hours and tax dollars ignoring the constitution? I don’t think so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1508885357 William R. James

    Ok, so show us where in the constitution the federal government is authorized to butt in and make medical decisions for people in opposition to the next of kin. It’s really easy to parrot emotional but irrelevant points to peddle a cause. Yes, the emotional points are all there and obvious. The hubby sounds like a real sleaze bag, and he could have done something to cause her condition, and now wants to bumps her off, right? Makes a great murder novel. Yeah, the grieving parents are there and translate anything as “communication” without regard to medical tests. Sounds like a great made for TV conspiracy flick with heart wrenching twists. But is this a good excuse for our federal congress to waste countless man hours and tax dollars ignoring the constitution? I don’t think so.