Talk:Terri Schiavo case/Archive 9

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Inappropriate removal of photo

Gmaxwell, the following edit summary was inappropriate:

"These single frame grabs of Terri appearing responsive are moments out of hours of nonresponsiveness, they aren't characteristic and they tell a dishonest story. See talk."

It is not Wikipedia's place to determine whether the photo tells an honest story or not.

The photo belongs in the story, possibly lower down, with an explanation of the conclusions that one side draws from the photos and an explanation of why the other side feels otherwise.

NPOV is not hard, but it must be done by contextualizing various points of view, not by removing the points of view that you decide are "incorrect."

These photos are very significant to the story. They are being distributed all over the place by people who have an opinion or agenda. That opinion or agenda should be reported. Even people who totally disagree need and want to know about the agenda of the other side.

Jdavidb 04:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Normally I'd agree, but in this case the photos seem to be inappropriate, because they may be mildly misleading. They appear to show a direct eye contact. I don't necessarily agree with the photos before the cardiac arrest, either, as they don't show the Terri Schiavo that made the wiki entry necessary. There are photos out there that show Terri Schiavo lying in bed, nobody around her, eyes open, that are very neutral. Either "side" of this could see whatever they wanted in them. It's those photos I'd like to see in the opening section.Professor Ninja 05:22, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Please see the other section above, entitled simply, "Photos." I think I managed to convince Gmaxwell with the caption I put in with the photo. I'm hoping we can all agree.

Gmaxwell was very keen to try to get another photo for balance. If you have access to one, I think we would all like to see it included. Jdavidb 05:30, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

For reference purposes, here is a link to the earlier discussion in the archives Talk:Terri_Schiavo/archive7#Photos. Jdavidb 14:16, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think this is visually incoherent - it is unlike any other image on Wikipedia. Someone should edit this image to remove the border. - 200.195.79.170

Here is an old pic of Michael and Terri, before he got his settlement and gave up on her (scroll down): www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1014240/posts

Pundits and the ABC News alleged GOP Memo

If there are stated suspicions about the alleged GOP Memo that ABC News obtained, there should be a cite. ABC News is cited as the source of the memo. If there is a challenge to the memo's authenticity that should be cited too. I do not care if Powerline is mentioned directly. I would do it, but if you think it is too much information fair enough. But the Powerline link should be left there so a viewer can go look at it.24.18.59.229 18:16, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I broke it out as a seperate issue with the arguments on both sides. That is NPOV. To just delete this because you disagree would be wrong. I recognize that people have stong feelings about this issue. It is an issue that should be decided openly. 24.18.59.229 18:27, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

User:Neutrality went ahead and deleted again. I think it is NPOV as is, but I am willing to listen to others on this. Merely deleting it because you politically disagree with it is wrong. That is most definitely not NPOV.24.18.59.229 18:54, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I restored the cites again, after User:Neutrality deleted it. This is a disputed issue and should be reported NPOV.24.18.59.229 22:15, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I took out the line about Republicans not denouncing the memo. They have. Read the cite after Bill Frist's comments. They all deny ever seeing it on the floor. That's a denouncement. 24.18.59.229 00:14, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Why did someone remove the money mention

As discussed earlier (See insurance), I thought it worthy to mention that there was no other money Michael stands to gain directly by her death as I often hear people claiming the existance of some ellusive life insurance. However, this has been removed, during someone's attempt to remove NCdave bias, I don't see why. Could this persona at least discuss why they don't think it's worthy of inclusion?--anon

I don't recall the text (you can include a link...), but I'd guess it was an accident. It's worth mentioning, and as is mention of Michael's offer to remove his monetary interest back when there was a potential for such an interest. (see the wolfson paper linked at the bottom for a cite on the last bit)Gmaxwell 04:44, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I have reincluded it. Hope it is not removed without at least some discussion first. I decided not to include any mention of insurance as I didn't see it necessary. Just a mention there is no other money he's going to inherit. BTW, it was removed here http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Terri_Schiavo&diff=11480347&oldid=11480321 So you might be right that it was removed accidently. I'd agree that neutralities edit needed to be done, but looking at it, I feel there are a number of parts removed that should not have been removed, some of which have still not been reincluded... --anon

There is more than just the money to mention; more has been covered up: http://www.theempirejournal.com/0313055_schiavogate_the_big_cove.htm

Cause--Lead para.

I feel this entry ignores the fact that Terri was not known to be bulimic by anyone, and the diagnosis of bulimia was made solely based on her potassium/albumen levels at the time of her collapse. Michael himself in a 1992 deposition said that, to his knowledge, Terri was not suffering from an eating disorder (http://www.glennbeck.com/news/03-24-05/mic-depo.pdf). I agree that the cause of her collapse has nothing to do with her right to live or die, but to be historically accurate, it needs to be mentioned that no one--family, friends, physicians--no one had found Terri to suffer from an eating disorder prior to her collapse, and as the deposition I included shows, Terri was involved with doctors at the time (the ones who would later be sued by Michael for not diagnosing her eating-disorder-related potassium imbalance, when he didn't know about it either (because it didn't exist, and the diagnosis was just another example of mishandling by the attending on the night of her collapse?)). Terri had previously lost weight as a teenager through NutriSystem, not a physician, as stated in this article.

152.163.100.9, please don't attempt to introduce this as if it's the lead post in this section. Try to follow some semblance of chronology instead of unsigned IP anonymity attempting to make it look like everybody's avoiding to debate a bunch of points "you brought up". It's very deceptive. Professor Ninja 01:20, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Should her eating disorder be mentioned in the lead paragraph? Can't we just say the damage was brought on by a collapse and cardiac arrest? I think by introducing the bulimia in the first paragraph we are unintentionally/indirectly highlighting something that does not need to be highlighted as central to the situation as a whole--i.e. as a historical/moral/legal issue. The cause of the collapse is not relevant to her right to live/die. ~ Dpr 25 MAR 05, 0600 UTC

Keep it. I think it's relevant. Saopaulo1 06:05, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

This article isn't called Terri Schiavo's Right to Live or Die, it's called Terri Schiavo. Terri Schiavo had a cardiac arrest because she was bulemic, and the events that occured from that are the reason why this article exists. Professor Ninja 06:06, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Professor Ninja has a point--the sole topic of the article is not her right to live/die, but indeed Ms Schiavo herself. It is nonetheless true that for any topic, certain facts are centrally relevant and others are not. Those which are not, should not be included in the lead paragraph of their encyclopedia entry. Peoples' thinking patterns typically display biases of over-focusing on certain facts which may *seem* to add moral, historical, cultural, or other weight to other facts in their lives, but are in the final analysis, not relevant to other facts in their lives. For example, if an individual who happened to be homosexual were wrongly imprisoned for a crime of burglarly of which he, though innocent was charged and convicted, and we were to write an article on him which described him "A homosexual individual wrongly imprisoned for burglarly," this would be to invite this cognitive bias. It is false to say that he is NOT homosexual and that this fact should--if true--not be hidden, yet to present the fact as one which should color EVERY aspect of him is also wrong. Likewise with Terri. The article is about her life. If she was a bulimia sufferer, this is a fact that can and should be mentioned, but not in such a way as to color every aspect of our understanding/perception of her, as might result if we unduly focus attention on it in direct connection with her brain injury. At least separate the fact, lest we run the risk of us all falling into one bias or another and wrongly attributing causation/association with independent facts. ~Dpr
This is somewhat correct, however, if this hypothetical homosexual burglar was arrested because his homosexuality made him suspect, then it would be highly relevant. In this case the article is about Terri Schiavo. Terri Schiavo is relevant to an article because of the news surrounding her. The news surrounds her because she is massively brain damaged. She is brain damaged because her body was starved of oxygen circulation for about 5-10 minutes. Her body was starved of oxygen because she went into cardiac arrest. She went into cardiac arrest because she had a potassium imbalance. She had a potassium imbalance because she was bulimic. What you propose with the hypothetical gay burglar is a non sequitur, Terri's bulimia follows a logical chain of progression that is highly relevant to her circumstances. Professor Ninja 07:34, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The cause of her collapse is speculative. Humana Northside hospital made no conclusion. The low-K/bulimia theory is the one that the jury accepted in the malpractice trial, but there are some problems with it. For one thing, there's no evidence that I know of that Terri was using diuretics or laxatives (which would be the usual cause for low-K in a bulimic), and that "iced tea" theory seems awfully weak (especially since the collapse occurred at about 5:30 in the morning -- she surely wasn't drinking a gallon of iced tea in the middle of the night). Also, apparently nobody on the scene noted any sign that she had been vomiting (if she collapsed while vomiting you'd expect to find vomit).
Her husband's suspicious behavior that morning and his changing stories, the fact that she was preparing to divorce him, the medical evidence that she had been abused (numerous traumatic injuries that she kept secret from her family), and his well-documented violent temper, leads to natural suspicion of foul play (perhaps asphyxiation). NCdave 13:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And, of course, NCdave, you have authoritative citations to back up all of those allegations, right? :-) I say it should stay in: the topic on point is *whether she should be (effectively) force-fed; causal history of eating disorder, even if not proven 100%, seems pertinent. --Baylink 18:55, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Of course. The links USED to be in this article, but the partisans for Michael Schiavo's POV deleted them. But what allegation do you doubt? NCdave 20:55, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
No, asphyxia is what killed the not-protested-at-all Sun Hudson. Michael Schiavo's violent history is "well documented" in that the people who have imagined it have documented their fantasies very well. If Iyer is to be believed, she told the Schindlers about the abuse and they never called her to testify. So the Schindlers must be in on it too. On top of which, you don't have to use diuretics or laxatives to have a low potassium count. If you go into a purge cycle right after eating potassium-rich foods, your body won't absorb it. It's an impossibility, it can't absorb what isn't there. Dehydration from chronic bulimia is also common, with or without the use of anything other than binge/purge cycles, and that causes potassium levels to drop. And unlike you, I can provide documentation on this. I have access to stacks and stacks of case studies on physiology, as I have the luxury of having a sister who won multiple accolades from the American Psychology Association for her work in eating disorders. (read: Nobel Peace Prize for Head Thingies). Professor Ninja 21:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Pro-life" and "anti-abortion"

"Anti-abortion" is the most specific and neutral term to use in this case. "Pro-life" is a highly charged political term that has a whole bunch of connotations; "anti-abortion" is much more neutral. Note also, a search on Google News: "pro-life" yield 2,620 hits, while "anti-abortion" nets 3,780. Neutralitytalk 07:11, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

On the other hand, a regular google search shows exactly the opposite "pro-life" (1,010,000 hits) "anti-abortion (399,000 hits). Personally, I don't think it matters that much either way and "anti-abortion" is certainly better than "anti-choice", but pro-life is a more widely accepted term. --CVaneg 07:23, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, pro-life implies that those who disagree with them are anti-life. RickK 07:42, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that is correct. You are. Schweizer 19:52, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Pro-life. The topic is highly charged. Are we going to use Anti-life instead of pro-choice? Saopaulo1 07:22, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

Any problem with my proposal to say "the Operation Rescue group, which generally opposes abortion and is active in related issues"? It is a bit wordier than I like, but it manages to use neither term.
The problem with "anti-abortion" is that it implies opposition to all abortion in all cases, which does not adequately describe Operation Rescue, nor most people of that mindset.
In favor of using "pro-life," note that the anti-abortion article in Wikipedia redirects to pro-life, so obviously someone has worked on this before and decided pro-life was the best way to say it. (There might even be a discussion we could reference.) On the other hand, in favor of using "anti-abortion," note that the article uses the word as a synonym without comment. However, given that the paragraph also uses the word "terrorist," it would seem that somebody is likely to point out down the road that "anti-abortion" has a pejorative connotation. Jdavidb 07:25, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Anti-abortion. The phrase is more NPOV than pro-life, and the assertion that anti-abortion does not adequately describe their stance is disingenious. An environmental group might be safely described as "anti-logging" even though they might support careful, small-scale logging; similarly, by your logic you would also be unable to term these groups "pro-life" since they do not universally condemn the taking of life in all cases, such as in self-defense. That said, if there's already a conversation available which came to a concensus conclusion, let us know.
Fox1 09:40, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
This is flaky. An environmental group would be described as an anti-logging group by their opponents attempting to paint them with invective. They'd be more likely to describe themselves in positives, and since a group is by definition what it stands for, you have to take the positive assertions they make, and not the negative assertions their opponents make, as the description. If an environmental group were to describe itself as anti-logging, then it would be fair. Most would use "pro-conservation" or "pro-environment" or "anti-deforestation" or "anti-striplogging". It's pejorative because it attempts to create something that aren't, such as the phrase "these anti-logging nuts are crazy; how are we to build houses or keep warm at night blah blah blah." Doesn't hold water. Professor Ninja 00:17, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ok, you've successfully punched a million holes in my off-the-cuff example, without really addressing the issue at hand.
And you're completely incorrect as far as self-description goes. If the self-description does not adequately describe the goal of the organization, a responsible journalistic approach would be to use a NPOV descriptive term, with, if necessary, a mention of whatever term the group uses to refer to themselves. This accounts for the above-referenced skew in Google hits when checking google news vice google web search. This also negates the argument based on the redirection of the anti-abortion page, as the Pro-life page itself refers to the phrase "pro-life" as a self description used to refer to the philosophy of anti-abortion groups. There is also no mention of opposition to the death-penalty, going so far as to state that "pro-life" refers specifically to groups in opposition to abortion.
Fox1 02:34, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Oh, my mistake. I always figured when somebody introduced an analogy as proof of soundness of the issue athand, the opposition could use the analogy's relevant differences to address the issue at hand in a similar fashion. Sarcasm aside, if you want to give it a journalistic relevance (despite this being an encyclopaedia, not a periodical) then self-described pro-life group may be your best option. Professor Ninja 03:23, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Attn: MacDougal: you do need to weigh in on this if you want to have a say. Jdavidb 07:25, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
One more thing (after discovering edit conflict): looks like "pro-life" has two votes, not counting MacDougal. Jdavidb 07:25, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Your proposed wording is a bit wordy. The article is already unwieldy and over 30K, and stating succinctly "anti-abortion" is probably the best course of action. I'm also not sure how "anti-abortion" implies absolute opposition to abortion under any circumstances any more than "pro-life" does. Neutralitytalk 07:44, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
I don't feel anti-abortion is appropriate. To give a personal example, I'm staunchly anti-abortion in beliefs but I support Michael Schiavo's decision in this case: The two do not adequately describe each other in this context, and Operation Rescue is denouncing Jeb Bush not because he's "allowing" an abortion on Terri Schiavo but because he is "allowing" her life to be terminated. Pro-life is more descriptive, and carries less pejorative weight ("anti" anything sounds bad as it is). Professor Ninja 07:29, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with "pro-life". This ghettoizes the opposition as anti-life. This term is not appropriate. RickK 07:42, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think "anti-" implies anything except "aganist," and Operation Rescue is indeed aganist abortion. But the "anti-abortion" moniker has nothing to do with Terri Schiavo's condition at all; the purpose of the phrase is to briefly, simply, neutrally describe why Randall Terry is being quoted in the article (answer: he leads a prominent anti-abortion group). I think it is fine as it is. Neutralitytalk 07:44, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think pro-life characterizes the opposition as "anti-life" or "pro-death" -- it's "pro-choice". Also, the reason Randall Terry is being quoted in the article is because he has an auxiliary agenda besides being contrary to abortion. He has involved himself and his group in this for reasons other than abortion. In this case pro-life is more descriptive of its reason for being involved in this. Consider this: Some anti-globalization groups are also anti-immigration; if you wrote an article on globalization and stated their opposition, would it be more proper to classify their opposition in the context of anti-globalization, or anti-immigration? Professor Ninja 07:51, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I don't think those of you who are in favor of using the term "anti-abortion" are aware of (or showing awareness of) its pejorative connotation. Jdavidb 07:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I don't think those of you who are in favor of using the term "pro-life" are aware of (or showing awareness of) its pejorative connotation. RickK 08:20, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

What it comes down to is that these people are not involved in this because they are against abortion. Similarly, people who are pro-choice aren't involved because they're "pro-death" or "anti-life" -- they each believe in respecting a certain aspect, be it that everybody must live its natural life (hence, pro-life) or that everybody has a right to choose when to end that life (hence, pro-choice). Neither one implies that the other is anti-choice or anti-life, unless that's already your personally held belief, in which case it'll make no difference either way. Professor Ninja 08:24, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

And, lastly, after checking both the articles of Randall Terry and Operation Rescue, they too use the term pro-life. On top of what Jdavidb pointed out about the redirect. Seems pro-life is the appropriate term. Professor Ninja 10:41, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Pro-Life and anti-abortion are not synonyms. Pro-life is a broader term; Terri Schiavo is not being aborted. So this argument is off topic.

But in a different context (i.e., a conversation about abortion) the terms "pro-life" and "anti-abortion" are generally interchangable. In such a context, you could write a NPOV article either by using the terms that the two movements prefer for themselves, or by using the purely descriptive terms that they use for each other when they are trying to behave civily.

That is to say, you could use "pro-life" and "pro-choice" throughout, or you could use "anti-abortion" and "pro-abortion" throughout. Either way would be fine. (I would not, however, suggest using deliberately pejorative terms that they use for each other: "anti-choice," "anti-life," "pro-death," "baby killer," etc., even if you used both sides' pejoratives.)

Where you get into POV trouble is when you use one side's language throughout. So an article that used the terms "pro-life" and "anti-life" throughout would have a POV problem, as would an article that used the terms "pro-choice" and "anti-choice" throughout.

But all that is moot. The abortion issue has nothing to do with Terri's case. NCdave 13:43, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"pro-abortion" is never an appropriate wording. People are pro-choice, not pro-abortion. RickK 20:47, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
    • Not that it matters, but someone could be called pro-abortion if their goal was not merely to protect free access to abortion, but to seek to maximize the practice. Chinese government policy of the 1970s comes to mind... -- 8^D BD2412gab 01:30, 2005 Mar 28 (UTC)

Sorry for not replying to this earlier, I fell asleep. I thought pro-life was considered more neutral by almost everyone but apparently I was wrong. My choice would be to scrap the entire paragraph since it is not major news. (Macdougal 15:44, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC))

I believe that Pro-Life and Pro-Choice would be the correct terms for this article. Anti-abortion would not be correct since this article is not about abortion. тəті 18:22, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

The organization is an anti-abortion organization. And the paragraph is entirely appropriate. RickK 20:47, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

Both "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are highly charged political terms, and to remain neutral, the Wikipedia should avoid their use. "Pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion" are NPOV terms. Phobophile 02:35, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think you're missing the point that Operation Rescue has broadened their scope with these shenanigans, meaning they're not protesting the court ruling because somebody is going to abort Terri Schiavo (at least in what is understood as the medical definition of abortion). It's not a good description of their involvement, and it implies ulterior motives, which, although they may be there, are up to the reader, not the editors, to insert. Professor Ninja 03:26, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Why not pro- and anti-theocracy? 65.11.101.198 01:12, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Role of the Church

In the section section of the article, someone has written that various groups, among them the Catholic Church, have "sided" with Ms Schiavo's parents. We ought to reflect however, on the connotations of time and choice. In other words, if a school of thought or organization ALREADY held a position which an event, subsequent to the development of that ideology, were to occur which correlated one way or another with that ideology, is it correct to imply that choice took place, and that a decision of "siding" occured? Catholic teaching already stood in opposition to the act, which it believes as disrespectful to life, and morally wrong, of removing an incapacitated person's means of nutrition, it is somewhat inaccurate to say that the Church "sided" with a certain position. The Church's position was pre-existing; no choice was made. While obviously a living organization like the Catholic Church can, does, and must make choices, it is incorrect to imply that a theological/moral point of view "took sides." The side it "took" was inevitable and could not have changed, as this was intrinsically inherent in the teaching; the teaching could change, but as long as it stood as it was, there could be no "choice". However, the real issue, I suppose, is the difference between the Church and its teachings...the latter is a system of theological positions, the former is an entity which can make choices. 70.57.139.181 09:31, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No, the side it took is predictable, not inevitable. The Catholic Church has changed substantially over the years, including recent ones. To give a dramatic example, the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas contain references to foetuses not having souls until some time after conception -- contrary to the conception = human life position the church now takes. While I'd lay odds on them doing this again in the future, it's definitely not set in stone, and the liberalization of the church in recent years is shaking up a bit of accepted theological points. You never know, they may have very well said that Terri's body isn't going to improve, and we are keeping her alive unnaturally, and we should let her soul be with God. And that's not far fetched at all. Professor Ninja 10:10, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Se this archived link for some info on the church and for one catholic with the views Professor Ninja suggests.. Preisler 11:28, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

In what sense has the Catholic Church taken sides? Certainly individual priests and bishops have indicated that they side with the Schindlers. But I can't see anything which would suggest that the Church as a whole has taken sides. Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg certainly doesn't seem to be particularly siding with the parents. See here and here for his statements. On the question of whether taking out the tube is against church teachings, he seems to take a nuanced view, tending towards the position that it would be wrong to remove it. But he's pretty clear that he thinks it should be the husband's decision, and that removing it would not be murder. The Florida and US conferences of bishops are more straightforwardly on the side of the parents, I think. They certainly repeat a lot of the parents' nonsense about Schiavo's medical condition. Even here they seem to be behaving relatively cautiously. Presumably, there's some division among the bishops about the question. Bishop Lynch, at the least, would appear to be going about as far as he dares not to be on the side of the family. As far as I am aware, the pope has not made any statement about this. So who constitutes the "Catholic Church" in this case? On what authority do we say that "the Catholic Church" supports one position or another? john k 19:04, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Just to add to this, I would support saying that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference or the Florida Catholic Bishops' Conference supports the parents. I think it's highly problematic to say that the Church as a whole does. john k 19:09, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Actually, the vatican HAS spoken about the Schiavo case, see http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/22/schiavo.vatican/ and http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=67707 seamuswifey

Painful/less-ness

Ought the first paragraph really bear the sentence refering to the alleged painlessness of her death? 70.57.139.181 09:36, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)