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March 15, 2005

'Human rights' groups yawn at Terri Schiavo's plight

NewsMax, March 12:
Rights Groups Mum on Schiavo's Torture

Court-approved plans to starve a brain-damaged Florida woman to death later this month have prompted no outrage from human rights groups - even though, under international law, forced starvation is considered a form of torture.

A Lexis Nexis search on the case of Terri Schiavo, whose starvation-execution will begin when her feeding tube is removed on March 18, failed to turn up a single reference to complaints by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Aidan, MichNews, March 14:


As to whether or not the court-sanctioned murder of Terri will make America "look bad", that will depend on who you ask. One thing seems certain: our "betters" in Europe will see it as a step in the right direction.


UPDATE: Hyscience contacted Amnesty, and was told that the organization is really only interested in death row cases. So... if Amnesty doesn't consider a person being put to death on the order of an official of the federal government to be the moral equivalent of a death penalty case, then they need to reexamine their values. Further, how can they claim to champion the cause of human rights if they don't even raise an eyebrow when told of a government ordering the death of a truly innocent person?

DISCLAIMER: I probably need to clarify my own position here. In the paragraph above, I list two reasons why organizations like Amnesty International ought to be interested in the Schiavo case. Of the two, I personally agree with the second reason—namely, that the government is ordering the death of an innocent person. I do not believe that the death penalty—judiciously applied with appropriate safeguards against misuse—is cruel and unusual punishment.

5 comments:

Jordan said...

As an Amnesty International activist, I'd like to inform you that your criticism of our work in the field of human rights is entirely uncalled for. Amnesty International is a non-partisan, non-political organization that has helped saved the lives of over 40,000 prisoners of conscience. Spend less than five minutes researching the organization, and you'll find its noble work unworthy of such a crude political cartoon.

Terri Shiavo's case is an important issue worthy of discussion and political action, but that does not merit the involvement of organizations whose missions are unrelated to the case. Amnesty International fights against the execution of individuals on death row. Asking the organization to involve itself in an issue unrelated to its mandate would be like asking a used car salesman to lead a company boycott against sweatshop-made shoes.

Just to keep everybody informed, Amnesty didn't only publicize the Abu Ghraib scandals before they had reached the public eye; they also publicized Saddam Hussein's torture of innocent civilians prior to the war on Iraq. As an non-political organization, "making America look bad" is not on their agenda.

Tim said...

Thanks for your comment, Jordan. I noticed that this was a cut-and-paste duplicate of the comment you left over at Hyscience. Fair enough, since the cartoon that offended you was posted there as well.

What your cut-and-paste post failed to address, however, is the fact that my post did acknowledge Amnesty's stated mission. I argued that the Schiavo case was the moral equivalent of a death row case, since we are here preparing to see someone put to death on the orders of a government official.

Care to comment on this argument? Or does Amnesty swing into action only when the "condemned" is physically in prison, on an actual death row?

Jordan said...

Terri Shiavo's case offers too many complexities, both political and personal, to be so easily labeled as a "judicial execution." The fact of the matter is, she's not a tortured prisoner, and she's not on death row; her cognitivie abilities are being argued over, as is her will to live. Amnesty's never taken a position on euthanasia, and if the courts can safely say that her death would be a form of euthanasia, then that's the responsibility of other, political organizations to refute.

Amnesty only swings into action when the situation is a clear violation of human rights. Obviously, Terri Shiavo's case isn't that simple.

Temlakos said...

So Jordan thinks that Tim has been unfair, and protests that Amnesty International is a non-partisan organization.

Non-partisan, fiddlesticks. Non-partisan, Aitch-Eeh-Double-Hockey Sticks! Non-partisan, my Democratic Party mascot!

The only ones who have raised doubts about Terri Schindler-Schiavo's will to live, or her cognitive state, are those with a macabre interest in her death. I suggest that Michael Schiavo put her in her present state. I suggest, based on a bone scan done somewhere along the way, that Michael Schiavo beat her repeatedly. I suggest that if she could ever talk, he would be toast, and he knows it. And I suggest that all of this adds up to a motive for murder.

And I further suggest that the judge in that case has willfully ignored precedent in prescribing this barbaric penalty, and that for no worse an offense than getting in her husband's way. That's an impeachable high crime and misdeanor in and of judicial office.

Nor can Amnesty International avoid the euthanasia issue. The idea that any court could order someone's death on such questionable evidence of her wishes as has been adduced so far, is a travesty of justice. Any thinking man knows it. Therefore, Tim's questions about where Amnesty International is, is perfectly justified.

DEBBIE JONES said...

What is the cut off date for a abortion? If a unborn fetus has rights, then why doesn't Terri?

Her husband has legally been having an affair with another women, and has children, then her family should go for a divorce on Terri's behave, for adultery, so her husband loses his rights. GIVE TERRI BACK TO HER PARENTS DUE TO HER HUSBANDS INFIDELITY......