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Monday, March 21, 2005
Poll: Most Think Congress Wrong on Schiavo Case
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:17 pm

Via Reuters: Poll: Most Think Congress Wrong on Schiavo Case

Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of the intervention by Congress in the case of Terri Schiavo and most believe lawmakers are using her case for political gain, according to an ABC News poll published on Monday.

Seventy percent deemed the congressional intervention inappropriate, while 67 percent said they believe lawmakers became involved in the Schiavo case for political advantage rather than the principles involved.

The telephone poll of 501 adults was taken on Sunday and has a 4.5 point error margin.


Sixty-three percent of those surveyed in the ABC poll said they support the removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube.

Among two core Republicans constituencies, 54 percent of conservatives said they support removal of the tube, while evangelical Protestants divide about evenly with 46 percent support.

According to the poll, conservatives and evangelicals also were more likely to support federal intervention in the case, although the support did not reach a majority in either group.

None of which is surprising.

Filed under: US Politics, Courts/the Judiciary | |Send TrackBack

Pajama Hadin linked with Was Congress wrong in the Schiavo Case?
Signifying Nothing linked with The rational public


  1. The rational public
    I tend not to put a large amount of stock in public opinion polls, but caveats aside, an ABC News poll shows the public is rather unconvinced of the merits of Congress’ intervention in the case and the case itself,…

    Trackback by Signifying Nothing — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 1:00 pm

  2. That’s interesting considering 100% of the people I’ve talked with think Congress is doing the right thing. Gotta love those polls.

    Comment by Drew — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 1:59 pm

  3. “According to the poll, conservatives and evangelicals also were more likely to support federal intervention in the case, although the support did not reach a majority in either group.”

    Overwhelming opposition from an admittedly overwhelmingly liberal poll. What a thing.

    Comment by Drew — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 2:03 pm

  4. Was Congress wrong in the Schiavo Case?
    Poll: Most Think Congress Wrong on Schiavo Case

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of the intervention by Congress in the case of Terri Schiavo and most believe lawmakers are using her case for political gain, according…

    Trackback by Pajama Hadin — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 2:28 pm

  5. One thing the poll doesn’t talk about is intensity.

    For some people (probably a majority that favors congressional intervention) see this as THE major issue of the day. Others (probably a majority of those who think intervention is a bad thing) may see this as one of many issues that will inform a voting decision.

    On issues like this not only the horserace numbers but intensity must be measured. My guess is that’s what some Republicans are counting on.

    Comment by Buckland — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 3:19 pm

  6. Here is something to ponder:
    George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient’s family’s wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother’s wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.

    The Republicans have voted en masse to pull the plug (no pun intended) on medicaid funding that pays for the kind of care that someone like Terry Schiavo and many others who are not so severely brain damaged need all across this country.

    The tort reform pushed by the Republican congress would preclude malpractice claims like that which has paid for Terry Schiavo’s care thus far.

    The bankruptcy bill will make it even more difficult for families who suffer a catastrophic illness like Terry Schiavo’s because they will not be able to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a fresh start when the gargantuan medical bills become overwhelming.

    This grandstanding by the congress is a purely political move designed to appease the religious right, and take the heat off Tom DeLay, and that the legal maneuverings being employed would be anathema to any true small government conservative.

    Comment by The Misanthrope — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 3:33 pm

  7. Drew,

    While polls with this size sample and done on a Sunday are far form pefect, you can’t do the ol’ “all my friends” routine. Your sample is, by definition, biased because we all tend to hang around like-minded people.

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 6:58 pm

  8. I’m kind of surprised at the even split over the evangelical Protestant opinion. I thought it would, at least, be over 50 percent.

    Comment by Bamacrat — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

  9. I believe that poll like I believe Bill’s desire to sleep with Hillary. Further, I think a lot of the public is pretty out of touch with all the details of the case - I didn’t know all the background facts until I heard a couple of the neurologists interviewed today.

    Execute a murderer who’s 18 and guilty as sin: cruel and unusual. Kill an innocent but brain damaged woman by starvation: no problem.

    Comment by Richie Rich — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 9:03 pm

  10. Check out the questions were posed. This ABC push poll was rigged from the outset to obtain these results. Looks like ABC will be the next to fall on the sword of Ratherdom. Idiots all.

    Comment by lars gustafsson — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 9:19 pm

  11. Oh Lars, stop with the liberal media nonsense.

    Comment by The Misanthrope — Monday, March 21, 2005 @ 10:06 pm

  12. I have serious reservations with Congress getting involved. However, I have some serious problems with this case.

    1. Hearsay was admissable in the absence of a living will. Any small claims court would require a receipt. But the rogue state of Florida doesn’t give a human life the same value as recovery of money from a defective appliance.

    2. Death by starvation is a slow miserable process that takes days. But it only takes a few minutes to execute an inmate convicted of a heinous crime.

    3. Michael Schiavo has a conflict of interest. In my opinion, a neutral party should have been appointed as guardian, especially in light of the allegations being made as to his motives. It seems odd to me that he never mentioned Terri’s wish not live in this medical state, until after he won a lawsuit.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I am for the right to die, when the quality of life has been severely reduced. But that decision should be left to the individual or the family when the person cannot decide. When there is conflict among family members and there is no written living will, it should not be left up to the state to decide if and when a person should die.

    The spirits of Hitler and Stalin are alive and well.

    Comment by LASunsett — Tuesday, March 22, 2005 @ 6:35 am

  13. If I might add one other thing of note. I have heard of countless polls being skewed by way of the method and overall process. But this ABC Poll seems to have skewed the question in a way as to manipulate the results.

    When it comes to the MSM, are we really surprised?

    Comment by LASunsett — Tuesday, March 22, 2005 @ 7:15 am

  14. LASunsett,

    The irony of the starvation situation is that the to allow her to be more painlessly pass is against the law. Indeed, the same basic political logic that is driving the re-insertion of the feeding tube also has blocked any type of doctor-assisted death.

    And, I will concur that there is something not rigth about Michael. However, I will note that twice before a guardian ad llitem was appointed for Terri and in both cases the Court ruled that the tube should be removed.

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Tuesday, March 22, 2005 @ 8:34 am

  15. Dr. Taylor, thanks for your response and the info on the issue of guardianship, I was unaware.

    But, I still think that a judge has no place to order death. I have the same problem with the death penalty. Although I understand that there are heinous crimes and I understand the deterrent factor, I still cannot agree with the state legally killing anyone. From my extensive readings that cover the world and its history, a state/culture/empire that supports state ordered death can and often has resulted in abuse of power, as a means of eliminating its enemies and undesirables.

    I understand the law. The law in Florida is flawed when there is no consideration for the fact that there was no written advance directive. There was only the word of the husband, who raises his own set of questions.

    Most of us debating this today, don’t really know just exactly what has been or is not taking place. Most of us have no direct knowledge of the inner workings of this family, except that the dynamics are deeply rooted in bad blood. We also do not know just exactly what Terri does or does not sense. We cannot know what she is thinking or even if she can think at all. She is not 81 years old in the sunset of her life, she is 41. With the advances in medical science accelerating, who is to say that something in the research stage now cannot be helpful later?

    I just hope she is sedated well enough to not suffer.

    Anyway, please do not think I am trying to be dispassionate. I can cite many examples where I was equally disturbed about a family that allowed a loved one to linger much longer than would have through artificial means, or instances where the patient’s wishes were not being carried out, because of a dispute between family members. As I said, I have no direct knowledge of anything except what I get from the media and I understand that can be distorted, either way. But when we don’t know, and we have the opportunity to decide, I feel its best to err on the side of caution.

    By the way, I love your blog. Although we may disagree somewhat on this issue, I do not base my belief system on party talking points of the day. I arrive at my opinions by reading and considering all sides of the argument. And from what I have seen, you do an excellent job of objective analysis.

    I have only been blogging a couple of months now, but when I figure out how to link you to my blog, I will with your permission.

    Comment by LASunsett — Tuesday, March 22, 2005 @ 10:51 am

  16. Thanks for the note and feel free to link away–I will be happy to reciprocate.

    You may be interested in my post from earlier today on the report of the latest Guardian ad litem from 2003.

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Tuesday, March 22, 2005 @ 10:59 am

  17. Thank you, I read it after I posted my earlier comments.

    As an afterthought (something I am good at), I now am opposed to reinserting the tube, simply because she has been without fluids now for four days. Her renal system has already started to shut down and in her condition is probably already deteriorated to the degree, it may not recover. To reinsert it now would truly be dispassionate.

    This fight may be lost. But for future similar cases, laws can be changed and at the very least it may motivate others to execute advance directives to prevent this calamity from happening to them. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Comment by LASunsett — Tuesday, March 22, 2005 @ 11:15 am

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