Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Friday, February 25, 2005

I blame Terri Schiavo 

So for now, Terri Schiavo's feeding tube will soon be removed.

The primary person who could have done something to avoid the legal mess was Terri Schiavo - by having an advance directive making her desires clear - whether to be artificially kept alive or not, or transferring the decision to another party. I'm not saying she should have anticipated her parent's selfish act of challenging the authority of the marriage license. Just that we have advance directives for a reason.

Perhaps her parents and the Florida legislature would have challenged the authority of an advance directive as well the marriage license, but the controversy has been driven by public opinion - both camps of the family playing the media like a cacophonous fiddle. Had she had an advance directive, it may have been a clear-cut case that her body ought to be sustained, or not.

It was never the public's rightful business to have an opinion on whether she should be allowed to die or not, nor was it the Florida legislature's place to try to claim the right to make medical decisions for one of their citizens. Our obligation is to support the rule of law. One can't help but wonder if the "pro-lifers" thought through the implications of the legislature's effort to make a "special law" declaring sovereignty over a citizen's life or death.

If any good comes out of things, perhaps it will be the nation considering humane alternatives to death's natural course in a new light.

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