For your information, while he was governor of Texas, George W. Bush signed the Advanced Directives Act in 1999, which gives hospitals the right to remove life support in cases where there is no possibility of revival, when the family cannot pay, no matter what the family's wishes are in the matter. In Texas, you can only live in a persistent vegetative state if you are accepted in one of the few institutions that provide such care or if your family is both willing and able to take care of you. And if Bush is so concerned about the right to life, why didn't he give death-row inmate Carla Faye Tucker more than 10 minutes consideration and some cheap mockery?
The very Republicans who pushed for this arrogant, interfering bill, which if used across the board would take away everyone's right to make their own decisions in these awful cases, are the same people who voted to cut Medicaid, which pays for the care of people like Terry Schiavo across the country.
That the main player in this fiasco is Majority Leader Tom DeLay - who is in the midst of yet another scandal himself - is enough to make anyone throw up. This is a man whose sense of morality is so deformed that upon being chastised three times by the House Ethics Committee, his response was to change the rules and stack the committee.
I also want to call your attention to a Guardian article that refers to the Schiavo case entitled, "For Bush, Science is a Dirty Word". It is clear that in this case the medical facts were not considered relevant but what has counted is the current evangelical fervor for keeping an essentially brain dead woman's body going. Here's an excerpt that talks about other ways in which the administration disdains scientific inquiry and data:
Neal Lane, former science adviser to Clinton, has spoken of "a pattern of abuse of science" in policy making within today's White House. What they don't like, they suppress and distort. Official publications on the science of climate change have been brazenly replaced with drafts from utility lobbyists. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report linking industry emissions to global warming had to be withdrawn at the behest of West Wing advisers - not many of them noted climatologists.
Uncomfortable data on stem cell research has been rubbished. Scientific advisory panels have been vetted for presidential supporters. Public interest groups questioning air pollution plans have had their tax records demanded by pliant senators. And in the push to open up wilderness for energy exploitation, submissions from coal, gas or oil corporations are given greater credence than evidence from government scientists. No wonder last year 20 Nobel laureates warned that "the scope and scale of the manipulation, suppression and misrepresentation of science by the Bush administration is unprecedented".
Nature can't be fooled, is not swayed by ideology. The chickens will come home to roost on this one. Sadly, we will all suffer as a result.