Please keep government out of the Shiavo case, and refrain from making it a further public spectacle sign now

To Whom It May Concern:

Since last Friday, we have been subjected to a continual barrage as a decision, which is normally made in private, has been swept over the national air waives. In particular I am referring to the Terri Shiavo case.

Despite the hoopla concerning judicial murder, a culture of life, and a bunch of other terms we have heard in reference to this, the fact is we are not talking about taking the life away from someone who would survive on their own. Rather we are talking about whether life support should be continued, indefinitely perhaps in the case of an individual who is severely brain dead, and whos body has been in a completely vegetative state for the last 20 years.

The ability to simply repair or rebuild a persons brain also lies so far beyond the limits of what medical science is capable of; there is no practical reason whatsoever to believe we could simply repair/replace the failing component of this persons brain in our given lifetimes. There are many things that can be accomplished medically, and many biological functions that have been figured out. However, the human brain remains one of the most complex objects we have encountered, and the understanding concerning the human brain necessary to simply repair this damage is well beyond the realm of possibility for us to be able to alleviate for any foreseeable time in the future.

Now a matter, which is normally kept private amongst a family, has become national headline news, taking precedence over other stories it would seem such as the passage of the national budget for the year, additional tax cuts, issues surrounding the war in Iraq, and other pressing national stories. Congress met in emergency session to draft legislation which is not only unprecedented, but arguably unconstitutional. The possible issue of a precedent goes far beyond other right to die cases as well, as it gets into a precedent of Congress drafting legislation, which applies, to specific individuals, by name

The principle of law is not that a Legislative body drafts bills, that name specific individuals by name or are meant to single out specific individuals, and then create a given law, which either applies to them exclusively, or singles them out as being subject to a different law (or set of laws) then the rest of the nation. In principle, this sort of legislative action would be inconsistent to the principle of equal rights as well as equal protection under the law. How can peoples rights be equal, and how can people enjoy equal protection, when laws start being drafted for particular individuals and as such all people dont live under the same law/rule of law?

I would ask one other thing. If this was you, and you were the one who was brain dead and given no hope of recovery, would you want the case concerning your own life/death to become a media circus? Would you want it to become the nations story of the day? And especially if account of the Congressional staffers note to Congressional Republicans was in fact drafted and passed around, specifying that this story could be used to help win the Congressional elections in 2006 by winning the hearts and minds of the Christian right voter base; would you want for your body to be used in this manner for political gain?

As the petition writer I can say:

- If I had a chance at survival and especially if I (and I do mean the important part of me hear, not just the body such as my mind and my personality, that which in fact makes me human) was still in there, I would turn down life support. As a temporary measure with an extremely good chance of recovery I would be OK.
- If there was no practical chance of recovery, I was brain dead, and I had no hope, I would not want to be hooked up to life support indefinitely. I would rather be allowed to move on to whatever might lie ahead for me, and I would rather that my loved ones are able to move on with their own life as well. What good would a pulse be anyhow, if one doesnt actually live?
- I would not want my own story to become either a media circus or a political sideshow. Such circus, such sideshow would not be how I would want to be remembered anyhow
- I would still like to know what this individual in question wanted. Her husband says she said before she died that she didnt want to be kept alive in this fashion. We can only guess as to whether she would have wanted the political/media circus this news story has become. This aspect (of the individuals expressed desire), has seemed to have disappeared from discussion, from news story to news story Ive read on this; and yet isnt this individual (and what she would have wanted) supposed to be the most important part in any decision which would be made/ideally by the family?

As to the final points mentioned above, Ill let the undersigned answer as they see fit. These are personal decisions/matters, which shouldnt be answered for anyone by another.

In closing, I would ask that you refrain from drawing this tail out any further, as the story continues to get dragged through the media, and also from performing any further, arguably unconstitutional acts in an attempt to drag it out further. If the laws of nature dictate that this persons body is unsustainable, allow her passing to be with some dignity, which a media circus does not entail

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Alma HermanBy:
Petition target:
President George Bush and US Congress


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