Con

Not Dead Yet, a disability rights organization, filed an amicus brief in Bush v. Schiavo on July 12, 2004 that argued:

“A close examination of the issues shows that Ms. Schiavo’s fate is intertwined with that of many people with disabilities who must rely on surrogates. If the legal standard of proof in cases involving termination of life support is watered down to the point where Ms. Schiavo’s ‘quality of life’–as determined by others–justifies her death, then one cannot distinguish Ms. Schiavo from anyone else who is ‘incompetent,’ including thousands who cannot speak due to developmental or physical disabilities. It is na├»ve to believe such attitudes would not be used to justify the death of people with severe disabilities if the opportunity arose…

The lower court also found that HB 35-E [legislation that granted Jeb Bush the power to re-insert Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube] infringed on Ms. Schiavo’s right to privacy, specifically her right to refuse medical treatment. This finding ignores Ms. Schiavo’s equally-fundamental right not to have medical treatment–particularly life-sustaining treatment–withdrawn by a third party absent clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Schiavo would have made that decision herself. “

July 12, 2004