A shocking ABCNews poll says that 63 percent of Americans favor the forced starvation of Terri Schiavo. But should we be surprised when the exact wording of the first two poll questions reads as follows:
1. How closely have you been following the case of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a life-support controversy in Florida? Have you been following this issue very closely, somewhat closely, not so closely or not closely at all?
2. Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her husband and her parents disagree about whether she would have wanted to be kept alive. Florida courts have sided with the husband and her feeding tube was removed on Friday. What’s your opinion on this case – do you support or oppose the decision to remove Schiavo’s feeding tube? Do you support/oppose it strongly or somewhat?(Emphases added)
“On life support”? “To be kept alive”? With the misleading reporting in the New York Times and other places, I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. Either the mainstream media fundamentally misunderstands the particulars of this case or is intentionally cloaking the truth.
The problem in the Schiavo case is NOT of a brain-dead woman hooked up on a ventilator. Until the media is willing to share the facts about Terri (Judge George Greer has been the sole fact-finder throughout the history of this case and has disregarded a plethora of important evidence), results of major polls aren’t going to change.
Here’s a better poll question:
Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been denied thorough medical testing and humane therapy by her guardian and legal husband for most of the past 15 years. Doctors disagree about her degree of consciousness and are not certain whether her condition is irreversible. Her parents have offered to take care of her, but her husband has claimed for the past 12 years that she would not want to live this way. Florida courts have upheld the decision made by a judge who accepted the husband’s testimony, ruled out dissenting evidence and decided that her feeding tube should be removed on Friday. What’s your opinion on this case – do you support or oppose the decision to remove Schiavo’s feeding tube? Do you support/oppose it strongly or somewhat?
To my friend at Curious Stranger, a direct response to your messages will be posted this evening.