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A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Monday, September 27, 2004

On Terri Schiavo

I have been loosely following Terri’s story for some time. Her public saga has dragged on for well over a decade now and the situation is truly gut-wrenching.

There’s lots of opinion being bantered around on talk radio and other places regarding “quality of life,” “right-to-die,” etc. as it relates to Terri’s situation. Most of it unfortunately sounds pretty pathetic, with statements such as: "that sort of living isn't really life," and, "just think of the expense involved!" "Terri Schiavo has no dignity, being kept alive like that."

But I suppose there are two ways to argue Terri's situation: from a legal standpoint, and from a moral standpoint.

Legally, I admit to not understanding all that's involved, but it seems that the decisions are coming down to Michael Schiavo's word about what his wife would wish regarding life suppost. I have a hard time with that, especially given his own questionable testimony. Apparently the one legal way to get your spouse killed in this country is to have them mysteriously slip into a persistent vegetative state and then make sure they leave behind no written statement concerning life support. After that, just convince a judge that your spouse would not have desired life support and, voila, they'll pull the feeding tube.

Morally, though, there can't honestly be any question that Terri is alive, and that the removal of her feeding tube would kill her. She'd slowly starve to death. It'd be quite dignified, don't you think??

When it's in our power to preserve life, surely that preservation shouldn't be taken away. Isn’t protection of life the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath?

It’s dreadfully sobering, not to mention frightening, that so many would devalue the "something" that makes a person or thing animate, i.e., life, to the point of deciding when it’s dispensable. Especially since no one has ever been able to figure out how to put it there to begin with.


  • Could you explain what you think about the death penalty?

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:03 PM  

  • Well, Paul, the big difference between someone eligible for the death penalty and someone like Terri Schiavo is that the bloke (or gal) on death row has committed a horrific, murderous crime, whereas Terri is innocent.

    But that's not to say that I support the death penalty.

    Actually, I thought someone might ask me what I think of war :-) Or of killing someone in order to protect, say, my 2-year-old daughter.

    These are thorny issues, and I did not intend to get on a blanket-statement "killing is wrong" spree. I intended in this post to specifically address Terri's case, and I chose my words carefully. I don't think there's any question that innocent life should be protected.

    As to non-innocent life, that's trickier, and to be honest I don't have a clear position on that at this time.

    By Blogger Bonnie, at 11:22 PM  

  • Thanks for the reply - I didn't have any intention of 'going on the attack' :) it was just an obvious point arising from your post that interested me!

    By Blogger Paul, at 7:56 AM  

  • No problem, Paul,

    I guess your question struck me as rather direct. But I was ready LOL -- the whole time I was writing that post, I was anticipating questions such as yours :-)

    But I'm glad you asked it! Such questions regarding life, death, and killing do need to be asked.

    By Blogger Bonnie, at 10:08 AM  

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