Tuesday, March 22, 2005

NO HELP FOR TERRI. It is yet another disappointment in the Schiavo case, with the federal judge refusing to act to save Terri's life. Being a Clinton appointee, my fear was that he embraced the death culture common to Democrats, and he has.

It is kind of scary to think that, even if you do not execute a written directive, someone can testify you would want to starve to death rather than live. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but it seems to me much different for Terri than a person who cannot breath or sustain heart activity without a machine. She lives in every way, but cannot swallow food.

It reminds me of a conversation with a co-worker years ago. One of our colleagues was pregnant and well into her 30s. My co-worker wanted her to have a test so she could get an abortion if the baby had Downs Syndrome or any other defect. I did not.

My co-worker said, ultimately, that a parent should be able to terminate a child's life until the child is viable outside the womb. I said that would allow parents to kill their children anytime up to about age 18, or older in many cases.

There are many disabled people in America. Many of them cannot function without help. I think first of Joni Erickson Tada. After an accident, she became a quadriplegic. She cannot get out of her wheel chair without help. Left to her own devices, she would starve to death or suffer a fall and injury.

What if we allowed that? What if we said "Joni, if you cannot feed yourself, you must starve." She would have, and we would have never had her books and her singing and her inspiration. If you have ever heard her speak, you know what a treasure she is.

Terri is profoundly disabled. She will not speak at a meeting or write a book. But, she is a living, breathing, human being with money to live on and people who want to take care of her, and she has not executed a written request to die in this event. We should presume she would prefer to live and let her live.
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