April 04, 2005


I used to be a good feminist; I saw right-to-lifers as right-to-hold a woman's womb in their greedy little hands. Pregnant? Damn well better bring that baby to term regardless of the damage it might do to the woman who was pregnant. And wasn't it cruel to keep a woman hooked up to a machine tha did her life for her? Dying with dignity, giving birth to a wanted child, these were moral rights.

Then I read the story about Amy Richards and part of me said---WAIT!! What bothered me so much about the whole incident was not so much Amy's stated reasons for having an abortion, but the comments of those woh supported her, one of whom aquaited a fetus to snot.

But still, you know, do I want those right-to-lfiers kidnapping my womb and holding it in their hands? And look what they did to that poor woman in a coma whose hope rested in an abortion. IT WAS A PRIVATE MATTER!!!! They should have left her husband, the one who loved her, alone. Let him make the decision.

And now here we are with Terri Schiavo. And it is not Michael who bothers me; ill can be said of all in the case, and much would probably be taken out of context. But the comments of others, those who support the death of Schiavo.

She is nothing. She already died. Who would want to live like that. She can't feel anything. It has been tried in various courts and all the evidence points to. It is legal. End of sentence. Period. I am reminded of the Twillight Zone episode "THE OBSOLETE MAN" So was of no use, so lets kill her.

Ignore any evidence whic would indicate she had some consciousness, such as: Nurses testimony that she could eat and did respond to pain and pleasure, other neurlogical specialist who viewed the tapes and other documents, ignore the testimony of anyone who suggested that Michael Schiavo wasn't thinking of his wife's wishes, but his own. Ask yourself; if she wasn't able to take food by mouth, why post guards to prevent the event from happening? If her parents wanted to try, or wanted to hire an nurse to help them try, what would the problem be? If she then choked, well she chocked. She wasn't "there" anyway. Furthermore ignore questions such as this: If she is dead why not simply bury her? If there is no "she" inside the body to feel pain, to recognize that the body is being entombed, why care?

And we know the answer: Because if she could feel, if we simply boxed her and buried her it would have offened the senses of most human beings. She obviously was alive. There was obviously someting inside; what this being was capable of, what this being recognized, whether this being thought of herself as "Terri" or had the mind of an infant, makes little difference. This was a human being who had not yet died. That she was a burden, well, I can not deny that she was a burden; she made life difficult for all concerned. She needed care and could not give back in a way that most of us would consider Yet, as I pointed out in another post, there are different ways of giving. Terri only gift to us was to recieve the love and care of those who were around her.

It seems to me that we have entered a culture of death, where life is not a gift from G-d, nor a presumed right, but a privelege, granted to those who pass some sort of test.

What makes us human? When does life begin? When does it end? What are the rights of humans within those parameters? When and why can they be abridged?

There are a lot of ethical questions that are headed our way, and we need to answer them.

But part of me doesn't want to have them answered; what will most people say?

Have we slipped into a culture of death?

NOTE: A recent poll indicates that most Americans are not in favor of the actions taken by Florida et al in disconnecting Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. That does give me some hope.

Posted by Rachel Ann at April 4, 2005 07:34 AM

Rachel Ann said: "Ignore any evidence whic would indicate she had some consciousness"

If she was had consciousness, then clearly she should live. I agree that there are lots of ethical questions headed our way, and that even though I believe she had PVS, there are ethical questions here too. In other words that if she didn't have consciousness automatically means the courts and her husband did the right thing.

But to what I posed earlier, I wish I knew where the truth was. To me, the facts with the most possibility of truth shows that she was in a state of zero consciousness.

There are three nurses who swore affidavits about her awareness, reaction, etc. But where they reliable witnesses? Do we know anything about their motives? How many Nurses did she have over 15 years? I don't know, but it seems that more than three would come forward if she did what those three said she did.

The courts response to Iyer's Affidavit at http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder0903.pdf says of the events that allegedly occured in the 1995-1997 time frame: "They are incredible to say the very least. Ms. Iyer details what amounts to a 15-month cover-up which would include the staff of Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center, the Guardian of the Person, the Guardian ad Litern, the medical professionals, the police and, believe it or not, Mr. and Mrs. Schindler."

There was plenty of other stuff in the Judges response that was clearly more about the details of how the law works than a discussion of her mental state.

It's hard to know where the truth lies. But I haven't seen any credible evidence that she was in anything but PVS.

Posted by: DAve at April 5, 2005 10:07 PM
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