Tuesday, March 22, 2005
"due process of law necessary to justify a taking of life under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments".
Which raises an issue I'm confused about... I believe those Amendments do not apply to individuals, only the federal and state governments - those governments have to follow due process before it can deprive anyone of life, liberty or pursuit of happiness. Certainly the state has to follow the rules before it can stick me in jail or drag someone to the execution chamber. But do these equal protection/due process requirements govern actions the state chooses not to make? In other words, do the due process protections govern acts of omission on the part of the state, as well as acts of commission?
The reason I ask is because the state is not pulling the tube - Michael Schiavo is. He is asking the state to not get involved. Can the state do that - step aside without there being a state violation of Terri Schiavo's right to life and liberty?
I know the end result is the same no matter who actually pulls the plug. But that doesn't make the process one and the same...