Take away all the high-minded rhetoric in this case and it is no different than any child custody case. There are a number of people seeking to assert control—all of whom have a legitimate and passionate interest in the outcome. But that doesn't mean they all get a vote. This is why the courts have wisely limited guardianship to just one decision-maker—Schiavo's spouse.Well, okay. But the parents-make-decisions-for-minor-children rule isn't absolute; we take away people's custody of their children all the time. Shouldn't the fact that Schiavo's husband has a pregnant girlfriend make wonder for just a moment if he's the best person to be making this decision?
Saturday, October 25, 2003
I haven't been following the Terry Schiavo case, but Dahlia Lithwick's piece in Slate caught my eye. Lithwick says it's clear that the decision whether to end Schiavo's life is her husband's to make, based on a clear legal rule: