Monday, March 21, 2005

Weighing in on Schiavo

I don't really have a strong opinion on whether or not Terri Schavio's feeding tube should be removed, since I'm not a medical expert or a member of her family, the two points that must be raised as a result of this case are these:

1. The federal government once again oversteps its constitutional authority (in what seems to be a theme of the week even more than usual in D.C. - witness the shameless posturing in the investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball) to create a special law for this case. The grandstanding of these politicians sticking their noses and legislative pens into this decision just reiterates that complete lack of regard the vast majority of Congress has for their enumerated powers. The fact that they even consider this to be an issue of relevance to the federal government is both insulting and sadly unsurprising.

2. The really sad part about this case for me is that it is impossible, under the law, for Terri Schavio's doctors to actively do anything to end her life. All they can do is remove her feeding tube and wait for her to starve to death. Even when knowing full well that this is tantamount to a death sentence, they aren't able to offer a hit of chemicals that would just end it sooner rather than have her suffer for the next couple of weeks (of course, whether or not she is capable of "suffering" in her condition is debatable). I realize this case isn't really about euthanasia, but it seems pretty barbaric that we are unable to assist someone who is without question going to die very soon to reach that point a little less painfully.

For the record, if I am ever in a permanently vegetative state for pretty much any length of time (say, 3 or 4 months), for reason's sake cut me off. The big personal lesson from this case is get a living will.

Lots more blogging on this is available elsewhere - here's a place to start.


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