Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ignorant and Meaningless Soundbites

Heard on Fox Just the Other Day

By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
"Should we fight to keep her alive, or let her die with dignity?"
What the Hell does that mean?

Now that she is not just merely dead, she is really most sincerely and dignifiedly dead, maybe we can spend a little time reflecting on media manipulation of our emotions, and wonder if we should continue to let our minds rot slowly to death watching TV, or turn the goddam thing off and live with dignity.

Rest in peace Terri.



Anonymous said...


Kat said...

Yeah..I turned off the TV after that. I didn't know dying was dignified.

Buck said...

There was no “fight to keep her alive” in a medical sense, and being starved to death sure doesn’t seem dignified.

I have spent some time thinking about this, it is an extraordinary case. I only know what’s on the news, so some of what I know is sure to be wrong. But I have some ideas based on two main things:

 Terri was pretty much instantly afflicted with this, there was no warning. So she didn’t spend time talking about her possible fate while facing the reality of it (like someone diagnosed with cancer might). So to know what Terri wants, we have to go by things she may have said to friends or family, and hope those are still her wishes.

 Her disability wasn’t killing her. She would starve to death, but the brain damage wasn’t getting worse, and her other organs were OK. One of my neighbors had a parent at home with one of these feeding tubes as a maintenance issue due to some kind of surgery; this is simple technology, not “life support”. This person had hope of recovery, I don’t know if Terri did or not.

Faced with 10 or 15 years of this, what would any of us do? What is morally right? Is it OK if the sufferer decides for themselves their life should end? When is this sensible, and when is it suicide? No answer would satisfy everyone, even in a small group. And what should we do if “family and friends” disagree?

That is the heart of the matter to me. I find it incredible that “the courts” would support the assertion of Terri’s “husband” that she should die over her parent’s wish that she live.

Michael Schiavo has a live-in girlfriend and two kids by her. He says Terri wants to die. Her parents say she should be kept alive, that she may get better. In every case “the court” has backed Michael Schiavo, I suppose because there’s a piece of paper on file in a courthouse somewhere that says they’re married.

I don’t vilify Michael for getting on with his life. But he got on with his life! If he doesn’t have enough sense or courtesy to let Terri’s parents have a say in her fate, wouldn’t a Judge? I find it incredible that multiple Judges in multiple courts would see Michael Schiavo as having more moral authority in this situation than her parents.

I think if Michael Schiavo (or anyone else) thinks someone is better off dead because of their “quality of life” or to “end their suffering”, then he should smother them with a pillow himself and then hand himself over to the law. Maybe a jury would understand, maybe they wouldn’t. Ultimately this stuff is between you and God. My method keeps Michael and like-minded folks honest, and a deadly serious subject, well…deadly serious.

On a separate but related topic: “the system” starved/desiccated Terri to death! Good grief, the pillow to the face would be a mercy by comparison. If I had an old dog with “poor quality of life” and I deprived it of food and water to “end its suffering” the SPCA would demand I be put in jail. All the while the news folks were counting down the days, this all sounds like some kind of Nazi experiment.