Terry Shiavo thoughts
Those who feel that emotion tried to trump science miss some points here. This was not about science or religion.
1) Only one judge looked at this case. The other courts only looked at the handling of the case, not the case itself.
2) The matter of "permanent vegetative state" was simply not fully explored. It needed to be examined in light of her presumed stated wish of what circumstances she claimed the "right to die".
3) The matter of whether she actually expressed a wish for "right to die" is uncorroborated.
4) The guardianship of a husband who had effectively written her off and remarried was rabidly guarded by the court. Her family WANTED to take care of her. If she had not expressed a wish to die, they should have been allowed to do so.
5) She was not dying or brain-dead. She was not on "life support", but only assisted feeding and hydration. That is very different from ventilator, dialysis, cardiac machine type life support.
6) No one conclusive demonstrated that she only had brain stem function and not higher level brain function, nor that she would not feel the pain of dehydration.
Advocates for Terry did not help her case by claiming that she had spoken discernable words, or by trying to build a Michael Shiavo conspiracy without evidence.
In balance, though, there was a lot more to know before the tube came out.