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February 23, 2005
Schiavo Case Points Out Spiritual Death Of Modern Society

I have received a ton of e-mail the past two days, mostly from people I don't know, scolding me as one of the "big guns" of the blogosphere for not posting on Terri Schiavo and the plight of her family. Some have even gone so far as to imply that if she dies, her death would be my fault for not having posted about the case. I cannot tell you how rude and wrong that is, for in the first place, I am not a member of the Terri Schiavo family, and that's where this decision belongs. Second, I blog -- I am not God, and neither are the rest of you. Some people need to get a grip, for goodness' sake.

As a Catholic, I believe in the sanctity of life, which means I naturally sympathize with the parents of Schiavo, who want nothing more than to keep their daughter alive. Under the law, however, her husband is the next of kin and has the presumption of speaking for Terri when she is unable to speak for herself. He has insisted that she doesn't want to be kept alive while living in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). Unfortunately, he has other reasons for insisting on this besides anything his wife might have told him -- a bunch of money in a trust fund, for one thing, and a girlfriend as well.

Who can really know the will of Terri Schiavo? The three people closest to her tell diametrically opposed stories, and the rest of us have no clue. If it was an issue for her, she could have written a Living Will or left some sort of written instruction for the courts. I suspect that like most of us who have not been hospitalized, she simply never gave it much thought -- which is another reason I tend to sympathize with the parents and on the side of life.

But that's not really the issue, nor is Terri specifically. The issue is a society that treats its infirm and inconvenient as unnecessary burdens, weights that can simply be tossed in the trash as easily as fast-food wrappers. We abort babies by the truckload because they complicate our lives. Some of them get tossed into dumpsters after having reached birth. We execute prisoners because it's supposedly more cost-effective to do so, even though they inevitably eat up years and years of courtroom time on almost-endless appeals. The suicidal get heroic treatment in movies and real life, with ghouls like Jack Kevorkian lauded and feted and, after getting locked up, becoming a minor celebrity cause.

When did life get so cheap? When were humans reduced to commodities?

If people want to save Terri Schiavo and others like her, that's where we should start. We need to get a definition of life that makes sense and honors its sacred nature. If we cheapen life to simply its utilitarian value, we run the risk of losing not just one Terri but all of the Terris who struggle for life and the tender touch of their families.

Until that happens, the laws of Florida will wind up applying to Terri's case. I suspect that the courts will honor the wishes of her legal next of kin, Michael, rather than the more reasonable position of her parents. The Florida legislature and Governor Jeb Bush have done what they could to influence that decision, but in the end it wasn't enough.

I'm praying for Terri Schiavo and her parents. I'd encourage all of the bloggers and blogreaders to do the same, and to get people to take another look at the Groninger Protocol society we seem to be creating.

For more in-depth reporting on this, please check out Blogs for Terri (hat tip: Michelle Malkin).

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 23, 2005 11:07 PM

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» Judge Extends Stay for Terri Schiavo from OKIE on the LAM - In LA
God answers all prayers. Sometimes he says "yes", sometimes "no" and sometimes it's just "later dude". For those who were praying for more time before the husband of Terri Shiavo had her feeding and hydration tubes removed, it was a "yes", at ... [Read More]

Tracked on February 24, 2005 1:41 AM

» A big dog speaks... from thebandwagon
Just because there is a bigger picture and more to do, does not mean we can't concentrate on this tiny piece of the puzzle and make a difference. Yes, society has cheapened life and to most, Terri's life is not worth much. As bloggers we could show o... [Read More]

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» THE NIGHTMARE OF GRONINGEN from Right Wing Nut House
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» Terri Schivao's Last Days/Hours - Should That Come To Pass from GM's Corner
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» The Captain Speaks on Behalf of Terri Schiavo from The Senescent Man
Captain Ed, one of the "big dogs" of the blogosphere has come out in support of Terri Schiavo. He asks some good questions: When did life get so cheap? When were humans reduced to commodities? If people want to save Terri Schiavo and... [Read More]

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