The current debate over Terri Schiavo’s life is revealing a deadly paradox which has taken hold of our culture. In a world where technology promises to enrich and lengthen our lives, we are trying to kill a human being who can be saved by those very technologies. We live in a world that, at the same time, touts human potential and debases its nature to nearly nothing. By in large we have defined “person” out of “human person” and we are viewing Terri in terms of economics and convenience instead of the inherent value she holds as a person and the love her parents are dying to show her. Because we are convinced that our value is wrapped up in the things plastic surgery fixes, we are learning to get rid of those cases it can’t.
Through this debate, we must fight to become a culture of life instead of a culture of death. If we are unable to save this life-one that doctor after doctor deems savable-we will be well on the path toward defining life out of our margins. If we cannot draw the line with her life, we will be less and less able to draw the line with other disabilities and conditions we routinely treat today.
Decisions about life and death are never easy, but here we have a woman who, according to her doctors and therapists, should be able to someday eat and speak on her own. This one seems to me to be a decision we should make in favor of life.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Terri Schiavo Letter to the Editor
There are many people standing up for Terri Schiavo's life, and I thought I would try to get a letter to the editor published which does that very thing. I was motivated to do this today when I heard of public opinion polls which pretty overwhelmingly favor the removing of the feeding tube-trully horrible! We shall see if anyone chooses to publish it: