Monday, March 21, 2005

March 21, 2005

3:39 PM James Q. Wilson has written the best column I’ve read so far on the Terri Schiavo case. Here are Mr. Wilson’s concluding words:

That moral imperative should be that medical care cannot be withheld from a person who is not brain dead and who is not at risk for dying from an untreatable disease in the near future. To do otherwise makes us recall Nazi Germany where retarded people and those with serious disabilities were “euthanized” (that is, killed). We hear around the country echoes of this view in the demands that doctors be allowed to participate, as they do in Oregon, in physician-assisted suicide, whereby doctors can end the life of patients who request death and have less than six months to live. This policy endorses the right of a person to end his or her life with medical help. It is justified by the alleged success of this policy in the Netherlands. But it has not been a success in the Netherlands. In that country there have been well over 1,000 doctor-induced deaths among patients who had not requested death, and in a large fraction of those cases the patients were sufficiently competent to have made the request had they wished. Keeping people alive is the goal of medicine. We can only modify that policy in the case of patients for whom death is imminent and where all competent family members believe that nothing can be gained by extending life for a few more days. This is clearly not the case with Terri Schiavo. Indeed, her death by starvation may take weeks. Meanwhile, her parents are pleading for her life.

11:00 AM The Vatican calls for keeping Terri Schiavo alive. Here are some quotes from the article:

Who can judge the dignity and sacredness of the life of a human being, made in the image and likeness of God? Who can decide to pull the plug as if we were talking about a broken or out of order household appliance?” “In a Miami hospital there’s a woman who is about to die from hunger and thirst. There is the slow dying of a person – not a ‘vegetable’ – which an impotent world is witnessing through TV and newspapers.”

10:56 AM Andrew McCarthy explains the true bottom line of the bill Congress passed last night to protect Terri Schiavo:

Let’s be thankful the Schiavo bill was finally done, since it at least gives time for sanity to prevail and for responsible actors – whether law-enforcement authorities or the federal courts – to say that to torture of a live, defenseless person by starvation/dehydration is illegal, barbaric, and must never be permitted.

10:52 AM The National Right to Life website has excellent page documenting myth vs. reality regarding Terri Schiavo’s true medical condition.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?