Two or Three (.net)

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Jesus

3.31.2005

Terri Schiavo has died

by Aaron Earls [+/-] show/hide

Yahoo has the headline, but no story yet.

America has successfully starved a disabled person to death.

Please pray for everyone involved in this situation.

Update: They have a story up now.

9 Comments:

  • Oh, come off it! "America has successfully starved a disabled person to death"!

    I have more respect for you than this extremist statement reveals. Certainly, the situation is far more complex than you declare.

    Why not "America murdered a helpless woman today, after torturing her for 15 years"?

    By Blogger Louis, at 3/31/2005 10:16 AM  

  • Oh the situation is very complex (to me) as much of my writing here and at Wardrobe Door has shown.

    When everything is boiled down, I see no other option. As I said, I have a lot of questions on a lot of different issues with the Schiavo case, but I can't help but to see this as a court sanctioned starvation.

    I appreciate your respect, Louis. I hope this does not diminish that, but I can't see any other way to describe it.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 3/31/2005 11:30 AM  

  • You know what makes no sense to me? Why did the "compassionate liberals" not call for death by lethal injection?

    And if she couldn't comprehend or feel that she was suffering from starvation/dehydration, WHY NOT LET HER LIVE under her parent's care, since she wouldn't suffer that way either?

    My bottom line - conservatives need to adopt a PRO right-to-die and assisted-suicide position for those who suffer needlessly. Liberals need to acknowledge the slippery slope of euthenasia and propose a pro-eutthenasia stance that prevents us from going down that slope. And, they need to demonstrate that they value life more than the convenience of choice.

    By Blogger papa, at 3/31/2005 11:36 AM  

  • Torture, Louis? You consider the act of providing basic sustenance through a feeding tube "torture"? Please explain that.

    Do you believe that it's "torture" to allow a human being, created in the image & likeness of God, to starve to death? Especially in light of the fact that Terri was not suffering from any terminal disease from which death was certain and imminent. She was only brain-damaged. Is that the "torture" to which you refer? Professor Peter Singer says such folks have ceased to be *productive* members of society & advocates their deaths, calling it "ethical." Do you agree with that? (He also advocates the use of such people as fodder for experimentation, rather than animals & calls that "ethical," too. I call it inhuman & inhumane.)

    Please tell me, Louis, does a person's *personhood* depend on their abilities? Is a quadraplegic any less of a person than an athelete who can run the mile in less than 4 minutes? Is a person who has Down's Syndrome any less of a person than a member of Mensa? Is it all about "I think, therefore I am" (as Aaron pointed out in a recent post) & "I can do, therefore I am? Or do you believe that all human life has inherent dignity? As a Christian, I see an individual like Terri as an opportunity to serve another human being! And definitely not as an opportunity for experimentation & starvation. "Whatsoever you do to the least of My brothers, that you do unto Me," Christ said.

    Now, had Terri been in the end-stage of a terminal disease & there was no hope for recovery & death was certain & imminent, then I could agree with allowing her to die, with all appropiate palliative care administered. But this was simply flat out murder.

    By Anonymous Moochie, at 3/31/2005 11:53 AM  

  • A great piece from NRO:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/editorial/editors200503311017.asp

    By Anonymous Moochie, at 3/31/2005 12:41 PM  

  • I'm not interested in your straw men. You can rave all you want, but I'm not convinced.

    As far as I'm concerned, forcing someone whose cerebal cortex has long ago liquified to exist in this limbo state for 15 years is torture. Human beings are more than a beating heart, circulating blood, and living meat without a mind. She was dead long ago.

    What I can't understand is how Christians, who believe in an afterlife with God in Heaven, could be so adamantly opposed to releasing this poor woman at last to Him. Why are they so terrified of death? Keeping someone whose time had long past artificially alive is cruel. Everyone is so concerned about her poor parents (who give denial a new definition), but what about her? It horrifies me to think that I could be in the same situation someday with the gov't and hordes of xtian fanatics fighting to keep me in a state of living death. It makes me want to puke.

    By Blogger Louis, at 3/31/2005 9:32 PM  

  • Louis said forcing someone whose cerebal cortex has long ago liquified to exist in this limbo state for 15 years is torture.

    If her brain is liquified and she can't feel the pain of dehydration, what makes you think her life is torture? I think you are mistaking her for someone who can experience suffering. Or maybe you are projecting your feelings onto her. Or maybe she's really an inconvenience to her loved ones.

    And if she can feel pain and pleasure (i.e. torture), then perhaps she can feel love from her parents, and should be kept alive.

    This is what is so crazy about the liberal position on this - it makes no sense to say she is suffering from existing but ISN'T SUFFERING when being dehyrated and malnourished to death over a two week period.

    Now, I do agree that if she had a living will or a husband whose word could be trusted (and I'm on the fence with this husband), then we could let her go whether she was semi-conscious or in a PVS. But not by starvation.

    In fact, I would even go as far as to say we should give her a lethal injection. But I'm sure my Christian friends would disagree with that last statement.

    By Blogger papa, at 3/31/2005 10:53 PM  

  • BTW, I do agree with Louis in that conservative christians value life to a fault - that fault being they don't let someone go, and won't help them die with ease and "dignity" because they are extreme (unbalanced) in their "committment to life."

    Just as the liberals are valuing choice to a fault - to the point where weak and incapacitated people (and fetuses) can be killed unrighteously / unjustly in the name of personal rights and "compassion" - certainly misnamed. They value personal choice to a fault, justifying evil with a type of moral selfishness, a la Ayn Rand.

    By Blogger papa, at 3/31/2005 10:59 PM  

  • Andrew Sullivan has some thoughts which express it better than I can:

    ... the Weekly Standard has already gone a long way toward answering my "What If?" question. In a subtle but ultimately very radical piece, Eric Cohen argues that the will of the vegetative person to be allowed to die, even if expressed in a living will or supported by all her family, is not the real issue here. People cannot be allowed to revoke life simply because it is theirs' to revoke:

    "[T]he real lesson of the Schiavo case is not that we all need living wills; it is that our dignity does not reside in our will alone, and that it is foolish to believe that the competent person I am now can establish, in advance, how I should be cared for if I become incapacitated and incompetent. The real lesson is that we are not mere creatures of the will: We still possess dignity and rights even when our capacity to make free choices is gone; and we do not possess the right to demand that others treat us as less worthy of care than we really are ... [T]he autonomy regime, even at its best, is deeply inadequate. It is based on a failure to recognize that the human condition involves both giving and needing care, and not always being morally free to decide our own fate."

    So if we reject the "autonomy regime," what replaces it? The moral obligation to keep even people in PVS in permanent medical care, regardless of her own wishes or that of the family. But Cohen is somewhat vague on how this new regime can be imposed. The only possibility, it seems to me, is that the law state emphatically that living wills are not dispositive, that family wishes are not relevant, and that the law set a series of medical or moral criteria to determine whether to keep someone alive indefinitely. Doctors and families would be obliged to obey such laws. The state would be obliged to enforce them - through the police power if necessary. What if the family could not afford the care? Presumably the state would be required to provide it. So let us be plain: the theoconservative vision would remove the right of individuals to decide their own fate in such cases, and would exclude the family from such a decision as well. Indeed, the law might even compel the family to provide care as long as they were capable of doing so. My "what if?" is a real one. And the theocon right has answered it. They want an end to the "autonomy regime." They have gone from saying that a pregnant mother has no autonomy over her own body because another human being is involved to saying that a person has no ultimate autonomy over her own body at all. These are the stakes. The very foundation of modern freedom - autonomy over one's own physical body - is now under attack. And if a theocon government won't allow you control over your own body, what else do you have left?

    ***
    Louis: This seems to me to be the final conclusion of the positions of those such as Aaron who think the Schiavo situation was "murder." If it's murder, then living wills would just authorize murder and would be ignored. The bottom line here is that the conservative relgious want total control over our lives, and they want the gov't to implement it for them.

    By Blogger Louis, at 4/01/2005 2:54 PM  

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