Dr. Zycher made reference below to Jewish tradition and law, which militates against doing any act to speed the death of a person. Although a death-preventing device may be removed in certain extreme cases involving BOTH extreme pain and a medical prognosis that recovery is impossible, even this may only be done when a person is in the PROCESS of dying, which Terri Schiavo was not. Thank you to Dr. Zycher for that valuable contribution, one which has not been heard publicly from too many Jews, prompting yesterday’s very interesting article by David Klinghoffer at National Review Online.
And once we are in that territory, may I point out two very valuable insights from Jewish law that could well have been applied in this case by Judge Greer but were sadly not considered.
1) A karov, i.e. a blood relative, even as far distant as a second cousin, may never testify in a case that affects their relative, whether or not that testimony seems to be beneficial to the relative.
2) A nogayah, i.e. a person with a financial interest in the outcome, may never testify in a way that is beneficial to his or her own interest.
These are two rules of Jewish courtroom procedure. Between them, they would have eliminated all of the testimony presented to the Court concerning Terri’s statements of intent.