Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Blunt Instrument of the Law

Thomas Sowell sums it up the best I've seen:

Terri Schiavo's only crime is that she has become an inconvenience — and is caught in the merciless machinery of the law. Those who think law is the answer to our problems need to face the reality that law is a crude and blunt instrument.

Make no mistake about it, Terri Schiavo is being killed. She is not being "allowed to die."

She is not like someone whose breathing, blood circulation, kidney function, or other vital work of the body is being performed by machines. What she is getting by machine is what all of us get otherwise every day — food and water. Depriving any of us of food and water would kill us just as surely, and just as agonizingly, as it is killing Terri Schiavo.

Would I want to be kept alive in Terri Schiavo's condition? No. Would I want to be killed so slowly and painfully? No. Would anyone? I doubt it.

The machinery of the law is a cruel and blunt instrument, he says. And he is right. Terri is being killed not because she was in pain or miserable or unhappy, or dying. She is being killed because a few doctors agreed to call her condition PVS (although many more disagree), and the court ruled that it was her wish to never be in this state.

There is a legal fantasy going on here: that the government is just complying with your wishes, Terri. Even it it causes you pain, it was claimed you once said you didn't want to be kept alive on machines,probably thinking of something like a dying old person on a respirator.. And since the definition of medical means now includes food and water, not just respirators and kidney diaylsis and such, you are being killed because the court ruled you wanted it that way once upon a time, not to be kept alive because you are incapacitated.

So there you lay, drying out, doped on morphine and valium, one for pain and one for spasms, slipping into a stupor because the law decided you wanted to do this.

But it's such a permanent situation. Once it's over, there will be no one left to record your smile, or to visit you or touch your face, for you will be ashes.

Just one more handicapped person they found a way to get rid of.

Good post. Came across your site by chance and I'm sure to be coming back. Added you to my blogroll so I'll remember the URL. Couldn't agree more with your assessment on Terry Schiavo. Nice work.

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