As Crazy Diamond suggests, I am asking myself "what was the twisted logic...", and one of the answers that I'm developing is that the logic seems all too simple. It's cold, mathematical reasoning, but it's old school. Judges are like computer programmers following simple algorithms. Simple algorithms about how to live life, or, rather, how others should live life or be forced to die. You don't want a computer programmer telling you how to live; I can say this with some authority because I've been one for many years. It seems to me, if one is going to have this kind of limited computer programmer mentality, one should at least consider expanding one's mindset a wee tad and look at fuzzy rules, part of the branch of mathematics known as fuzzy logic. This is what gives us such a smooth ride in modern elevators. I don't have that sense here. I feel like I've been jerked up and down at every floor whenever I turn on the news.
What would the fuzzy rule(s) be here? Please see my previous posts, but I would say something like: if the husband considers his wife to be a dead and her body an incommunicative vegetative form not worth bothering with, but the parents consider her to be alive and want to take care of her as they did when she was an infant, then shift care away from the husband and onto the parents. I'm sure others could come up with some good ones as well. Such overarching principles as always erring on the side of life can be applied. These techniques do not require a lot of processing power. You could do the calculations with the processor found in an old video Pong machine unearthed from a landfill and have power to spare.
My point is that it is well within the capability of a human being to take all apects of a situation into consideration in accordance with deep principles, and not be so enamored of following such primitive IF-THEN-ELSE rules as our legal system seems to be so fond of doing. I guess it's a complicated and scary world out there, and it's nice to have simple rules and legal decisions to hold on to. But sometimes you need to apply the full range of your humanity to solving problems. Not as an Asperger's-riddled programmer/judges dealing with thousands of lines of executable code/laws. We know that such people are "made deeply anxious by any change in routine" . We also know that such people are prone to dig in their heels when challenged. They "will become more rigid and stubborn if confronted" . Missing here is a deep, human empathy--such impairment being what characterizes autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger's, which are sometimes referred to as "disorders of empathy." It's good to remember here that these disorders shade into normal and that people who have them can appear to be very high functioning. But I would not argue for removing their ability to "feed"--to economically sustain their own livelihoods-- even for the most severe cases.