26.3.05

I wasn't going to comment

The Terri Schiavo case is one of those that really gets under my skin. Trying to separate the facts from the inflamed opinion on either side of the discussion is difficult - is it a "persistent vegetative state" (and what does that actually mean) or is she responsive (and can she recover)? is her husband a murderer or trying to acceed to her wishes? why can't her family give up or are they trying to save her life? Even more important, why are we expected to have fully-fledged, well-informed opinions without real facts and knowledge? How many more people are going to parade on the screaming head shows blaring opinions?

This article by Thomas Fleming was mentioned in a discussion group I follow. It's pretty powerful and one of the best on the topic I've read yet:
Hard cases make bad law. They also cause people to lose their moral bearings and their political principles. The case of Theresa Schiavo is no exception. Like many controversial issues, the Schiavo case pits states’-rights/limited-government Republicans against big-government Democrats who want to take power away from families and give it to federal judges. In this case, however, it is Barney Frank who is arguing for states’ rights and the entire Republican congressional caucus that is empowering judges. To take the irony one step further, President Bush—who, as President, has done next to nothing to protect innocent life—is now emerging as the spokesman for a “culture of life.”... To come to a proper understanding of this issue, we have to distinguish between what we know and what we do not know.
Read the rest. Then try to decide what's right and wrong.

1 comment:

Aravis said...

My mother just informed me that she's writing a living will and made me her proxy. I'm seeing a lot of that right now among friends and family. This case has emphasized the need to make your wishes clear.

What bothers me most about this case is not so much the case itself as those who are trying to capitolize on it politically. I can't help but find it ironic and disturbing that in Texas- residence of Bush and DeLay- it is perfectly legal for the hospital to pull the plug on a patient over the family's objections if they have an inability to pay. The family is given something like 10 days to come up with it and if they can't, the hospital pulls the plug. They just did this in Houston on an infant about a week and a half ago. I believe it was (then) Gov. Bush who signed this law into being, but I may have misunderstood. Either way, Bush and DeLay are thumping their chests claiming right to life, meanwhile back in their home state the plug is quietly being pulled on another patient against the will of the family. Schiavo's case is an opportunity for them to grandstand and they are doing so with a will.

They're hypocrites.