One Person's Opinion

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Sunday, March 20, 2005
I don't have much to add to what everyone else has said about this matter, but I am really bothered every time someone refers to Mrs. Schiavo's blood relatives as her "family". (It isn't only right-wing outlets like Fox News that do this-- even CNN does it.) It makes it sound like they were closest to Mrs. Schiavo.

In fact, Mr. Schiavo is also her "family". And when you use the term "family", it spins the whole issue the wrong way. You see, the Florida state courts' decision was based in an important way on the fact that as her husband, Michael Schiavo has the last say as to whether she lives or dies. If someone doesn't have a living will, the closest relative gets to decide whether to terminate life support. If you are married, that means your spouse. If you are not married, it means your children, or your parents, or your brothers and sisters, or your nearest living relatives.

Thus, the Florida state courts found that Mrs. Schiavo's "family" is her husband. And that echoes common sense-- married adults tend to be closer to their spouses than they are to their parents, and tend to confide more secrets in them, including their decisions regarding end-of-life care.

But the media point is this-- you have two claimants here, both contending to be Terri's "family". In this situation, it behooves the media not to use the word "family" to describe one and not the other.

Love 'em or hate 'em, you just might find you need a florida personal injury lawyer
And on a lighter note than pure trial balance , check out the funniest trial transcript ever! If it's not serious enough of a topic, well, just pretend it's the Brit's version of trial balance !
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