Monday, March 21, 2005

On Terry Schiavo

There have been reams of material written on this case. For me the case is pretty simple.

Did Terry Schiavo, before her heart attack that caused the brain damage, ever:
- sign a document or
- make a video or
- verbally express to a reputable third party
that if she were in a situation materially similar to the one she is in today that she would prefer to die?

If not, and in a case where it is quite clear that:
- she is responsive to stimuli [giggling, as reported, qualifies in my book],
- not in a coma, and
- whether she is in a vegetative state is in dispute,
there is no compelling moral or legal reason to starve her to death.

Her husband has been the primary instigator for removing the feeding tube may have the best of intentions but his standing in the case is compromised by the fact that he is now living with a woman and has two children with her. Moreover, her parents have committed to caring for her absolving her husband of any further responsibility.

Peggy Noonan sums it up best:

...Be on the side of life. [W]Churchill said once when he became home secretary in charge of England's prisons. He was seated at dinner with a jabbery lady who said that if she were ever given a life sentence she'd rather die than serve it. He reared back. No, he said, always choose life! "Death's the only thing you can't get out of!"

Read Noonan's entire piece here - short and persuasive.

Let her live.

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