When I first heard about Art Caplan’s latest little get-together (see below), I e-mailed him to chide him about the glaring lack of balance in the line-up of speakers:
“Looks like another lopsided symposium.
I find it intriguing that you guys never invite members of the ‘enemy camp.’ I mean, c’mon, you could at least invite Wesley, Rita, one of the Schindlers’ attorneys or SOMEBODY who doesn’t have the same cookie-cutter thoughts as the members of your posse!!
Or is that just too threatening?”
Looks like I hit a major nerve or maybe he had already heard about Pamela’s brilliant editorial because here is his testy response:
“The moderator for the first day is a right wing conservative talk show host, michael [sic] smerconish [sic] who substitutes frequently for Bill O’Reilly on Fox.
David Andrusko will be here who is the editor of the national right to life newsletter.
I have an invitation out to the Cardinal from the Philly archdiocese.
And I have someone coming from a disability group who has real issues with terminating tx from persons with disabilities (although not PVS). And I have asked Rick Santorum to come as well.
That is enough ‘balance’ for me. I have seen what the symposia are that the Schindlers and folks like Randall Terry participate in and there ain’t a shred of balance in evidence in those events. I think this meeting will be just fine. And so far from the pre-enrollments are bearing me out. [sic]”
Notes to Art:
* Just because a person is a Catholic — even a Cardinal — doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to share your group-think. Did you miss the fact that FOUR Catholic hospital organizations sided with Rose Wendland and filed amicus curiae briefs in her favor in the Wendland case? Are you not aware that Father Frank Pavone was a lone voice heard from the Catholic Chuch in his support of the Schindlers? Their own priest would not support them. The same cold shoulder was turned by Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton.
* The fact that you have invited a person “from a disability group . . . [who] has real issues with terminating tx from persons with disabilities (although not PVS)” doesn’t get you any points. In fact, that sentence scares me more than I can quantify. If you really want to hear from a representative of the disability rights folks and have an intelligent debate, start by issuing an invitation to Diane Coleman of Not Dead Yet.
* Rick Santorum? I thought you were in search of credibility. Read this.
* Michael A. Smerconish is a lawyer. Has he ever litigated (successfully or unsuccessfully) a case involving end of life decision-making? Do he have any understanding of the toll that such a case takes on ALL concerned? I know a few lawyers who have — and do. In fact, I know a couple of lawyers who, like me, literally bear physical battle scars. Let me know if you want their numbers. (Ask me sometime about my detached retina — brought on by stress — and the 4 ensuing surgeries.)
* David Andrusko? I am sick to death of people assuming that abortion and end of life decision-making are the same issue so all of us who stand up for the rights of those persons who are incapacitated and require a surrogate decision-maker to act on their behalf are a bunch of, as Cranford had the poor taste to call us during his testimony in Wendland, rabid “right-to-lifers.” Shame on you!
I stand by my words. And Pamela’s.