I think that the main problem in this whole thing is that the politicians don't really give a flying flip for Terri. They are muddying states' rights, and the separation of powers, for political gain. And THAT is a much greater issue, than any particular person.
In principle I agree with your premise. I am a huge fan of states rights, local rights, personal rights, etc. and think the Federal government should not do anything that cannot be done more efficiently or effectively by the states and/or the private sector.
Do the politicians personally care about Terri? Probably not. Neither do I. Do any of us really? I don't know the woman or any of the parties involved and therefore am not emotionally involved. But I can imagine myself in that kind of situation having to make that kind of decision for a loved one. And I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine myself consenting to withholding food and nutrition to kill a brutal child serial killer or viscious terrorist, much less a still living person whom I loved. So it is a personal empathy I do feel for Terri's parents and siblings who are trying to save her. And I can't believe that at least some of the members of Congress do not feel the same kind of empathy.
Foxy - I heard a veteran hospice nurse (18 years) say yesterday that she's never seen the feeding tube removed in cases like this. She practices in California and said that the tube is always left in place and the nutrition/hydration is gradually reduced over a period of time.
To her, this was much more humane. She said she can't imagine why this wasn't done in Terri's case
Perhaps and I trust hospice to handle things in the most possible human way.
I was even more impressed by the testimony of an R.N. who for a time cared for Terri and who had the sense that Terri was still inside that body, who witnessed evidence of response to the initial rehab and who feels Terri was done a huge injustice when the husband stopped the rehab.