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Reply #9: I've ben shying away from this so-called "issue" [View All]

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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 11:58 PM
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9. I've ben shying away from this so-called "issue"
Edited on Mon Mar-21-05 12:01 AM by pnorman
for the reasons that many others here have. But surfacing of that internal RNC memo, as well as this sudden calling of Congress into session over this Orwellian Issue, is making me change my mind. Here's an item a websearch revealed:

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iled an amicus curiae brief in the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of 55 bioethicists and a disability rights organization opposing the governor's action. Two months later I participated in a public debate on the case at Florida State University. Among the participants supporting Gov. Bush's position were Pat Anderson, one of multiple attorneys who have represented the Schindlers, and Wesley Smith and Rita Marker, two activists whose specialty is opposing surrogate removal of life-support from comatose and persistent vegetative state patients. I found myself wondering: "I'm doing this pro bono; are they?"

I did some Internet research and learned that many of the attorneys, activists and organizations working to keep Schiavo on life support all these years have been funded by members of the Philanthropy Roundtable.

The Philanthropy Roundtable is a collection of foundations that have funded conservative causes ranging from abolition of Social Security to anti-tax crusades and United Nations conspiracy theories. The Roundtable members' founders include scions of America's wealthiest families, including Richard Mellon Scaife (heir to the Mellon industrial, oil and banking fortune), Harry Bradley (electronics), Joseph Coors (beer), and the Smith Richardson family (pharmaceutical products).

I found a Web site called mediatransparency.com which tracks funding for these foundations. Using just that Web site and the Schindlers' own site, terrisfight.org, I learned of a network of funding connections between some of the Philanthropy Roundtable's members and various organizations behind the Schindlers, their lawyers and supporters, and the lawyers who represented Gov. Bush in Bush v. Schiavo.

Here are a few examples:

Schindler lawyer Pat Anderson "was paid directly" by the anti-abortion Life Legal Defense Foundation, which "has already spent over $300,000 on this case," according to the foundation's Web site. Much of the support for Life Legal Defense Foundation, in turn, comes from the Alliance Defense Fund, an anti-gay rights group which collected more than $15 million in private donations in 2002 and admits to having spent money on the Schiavo case "in the six figures," according to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post. Mediatransparency.org states that between 1994 and 2002, the Alliance Defense Fund received $142,000 from Philanthropy Roundtable members that include the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.

Wesley Smith and Rita Marker also work for organizations that get funding from Roundtable members. Smith is a paid senior fellow with the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that advocates the teaching of creationist "intelligent design" theory in public schools. Between 1993 and 1997, the Discovery Institute received $175,000 from the Bradley Foundation. Marker is executive director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia, which lobbies against physician-assisted suicide. In 2001, Marker's organization received $110,390 from the Randolph Foundation, an affiliate of the Smith Richardson family.

Roundtable members also played a role in financing the Bush v. Schiavo litigation.

The Family Research Council, which uses its annual $10 million budget to lobby for prayer in public schools and against gay marriage, filed an amicus curiae brief in Bush v. Schiavo supporting Gov. Bush, at the same time its former president, attorney Kenneth Connor, was representing the governor in that litigation. Between 1992 and 2000, the council received $215,000 from the Bradley Foundation.
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http://blog.bioethics.net/2005/03/have-conservatives-bo...





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In 1999 then governor Bush signed a law which allowed hospitals to withdraw life support from patients, over the objections of the family, if they consider the treatment to be nonbeneficial
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http://atrios.blogspot.com/2005_03_13_atrios_archive.ht...

(I'm stil looking for further confirmation on that. This is probably what it was referring to:

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Life-Support Stopped for 6-Month-Old in Houston

Yesterday Sun Hudson, the nearly 6-month-old at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, diagnosed and slowly dying with a rare form of dwarfism (thanatophoric dysplasia), was taken off the ventilator that was keeping him alive. A Houston court authorized the hospital's action, and Sun died shortly thereafter. Today's Houston Chronicle and Dallas Morning News have most of the details.

Both papers report that this is the first time in the United States a court has allowed life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn from a pediatric patient over the objections of the child's parent. (The Dallas paper quotes John Paris, a bioethicist at Boston College, as its source.) If true, the unique Texas statute under which this saga was played out contributed in no small way to the outcome. As one of the laws co-authors (along with a roomful of other drafters, in 1999) let me explain.
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http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/200...

pnorman
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