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Friday, March 18, 2005

Terri Schiavo

It's curious to me that this has become a partisan political issue. Though I'm normally a liberal Democrat, count me as a Republican on this one, if that's what it takes. Though I'm not a practicing Catholic, I'll pay homage to the Pope on this one.

The way I look at it is that as far as Terri's husband is concerned, she is already dead. If it were otherwise, we would be talking about premeditated murder. If this is the case, then her lifeless body is of no consequence to him; it is not her; she is gone; why not let her parents take their time in saying goodbye to her, in their own way, especially since to do otherwise is causing distress for them and for so many other people??

Terri has suffered an enormous injury to the very core of her being. When someone is injured thusly, in such a severe manner--I'm sorry I can't suggest references right now, other than some writings from holocaust survivors--the tendency is not to cry out for one's spouse. No, the utter catastrophic character of the injury violently transports a mature adult human being way back in time...past marriage, past youth, to the earliest consciousness of childhood, and threatens even that: "Mommy! Mommy! Help me!", puts to words the terror of a child who is more scared than she ever was during her original childhood and life to this point. The degree of injury is so profound, that it's even pre-verbal, a turning toward her mother, even though her damaged brain can no longer express that terror through facial expression. Terri doesn't need a husband right now; she needs her mom and dad, the people who brought her into this world and loved her as an infant, and to which state she has regressed. Whether that state can ever be progressed from again, is not something I can venture an answer to. I can only say, in view of the fact that her parents very much want to care for her, that to end her life now under force of court order falls short of the dignified death that the court intends, though the elaborate language and procedure of the legal system is engaged here almost as a form of end-of-life ritual. Rather, it is additional trauma to her and to those who believe a living part of her is still inside. It is a ritual culminating in a death chamber not all that dissimilar from the death chamber in capital punishment. After legal process gives way to medical procedure, death takes somewhat longer here than the few minutes from that of lethal injection.

I urge immediate action by the legislative branch on this issue, though the courts will no doubt resist. This is a very time-sensitive issue, dictated by the laws of physiology, laws that supersede those of any court. I am reminded of what Roy Masters used to say on his radio program: "Some people would rather be dead than wrong; what they don't realize is that they're going to be both dead and wrong!" I would add that apparently some would rather that Terri was dead than that they be wrong. I hope that dynamic will not determine the outcome here.

1 comment:

bethtopaz said...

Sky Anchor, first of all this is NOT a partisan issue - it is a human issue. This was a great post. Something terribly wrong is happening here and that is why people cannot stop thinking and talking about it. Something in our "social agreement" has gone awry and now no one feels safe. Those who say they wouldn't want to live in the situation, but rather die, have not really thought out Terri's situation, but have listened to the MSM briefly and gone on to something else. I have found that most people I talk to believe she was in a coma and hooked up to oxygen (life support as we have all known it). When they find out the truth, they are similarly -- blown away and disturbed. This is a total shattering of the public trust. Didn't the founding fathers say something like, if the government ceases to represent the people, it is the people right revolt and rebel against such government? We have become a government of "we the judges" instead of "we the people." Time to dump the tea into the harbor! I like your writings -- my e-mail is bethtopaz@yahoo.com. If you plan on joining the crusade as a result of this atrocity, count me in. Beth, Winters, CA