Congressman Jim Nussle says he’s unconcerned that Congress and the President have set a new precedent that they’ll intervene in “right-to-die” cases. Nussle was among the vast majority in the U-S House who voted to let the parents of a Florida woman ask a federal judge to intervene and order that Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube to reattached. “I believe we acted in a very responsible way,” Nussle says. “Death row inmates get the ability to have a review from a federal judge. There’s no reason why in this instance where there was so much conflict in the family that this be reviewed.” Nussle says all Congress did was give Terri Schiavo’s parents a final chance to argue their case before a federal judge. Schiavo’s husband, Michael, got permission last Friday to have the feeding tube disconnected from his wife, who is in a persistent vegitative state. Nussle says there are things to do now so your family doesn’t end up in the kind of dispute that Terri Schiavo’s family has gone through over the past 15 years. Nussle says rather than waiting for Congressional action, families should have those “heart-wrenching” discussions about end-of-life issues, and make an appointment to draft a living will and durable medical power of attorney so someone else can make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. “Those are important considerations to make now so you don’t have the situation arise,” Nussle says.
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