3/23/05

How did we get here?

The case has been discussed to death, no pun intended. As the BBC puts it, we are a deeply divided nation. The highest ranks of government are pleading for something that due process is not willing to give.

It seems, according to the law, there is now little room for keeping the suffering woman named Terri Schiavo alive. The question being thrown about has been, "Who gets to be Terri's spokesperson?" It's an interesting question. It's like asking, "Who does Terri get to be a slave to?" on the one hand, or, "Who would Terri give her life to?" on the other hand.

To me, the deeper question is, How did we get here in the first place? Today, the nation declares, if bregrudgingly, it's acceptance of the precepts of Euthanasia. Today, many people weep for the nation, as it proclaims with one voice, that death is more desirable than suffering.

Update 3/30: some details that I've been collecting over the last week...

  • The claim is that Terri is in a "persistant vegetative state", which may as well be a "permanent vegetative state".
  • Because of this state, Terri feels no pain.
  • Michael recently announced that he will allow a brain autopsy of Terri when she dies, to gather more information about what exactly went wrong with her. However, 1) the decision to autopsy will not be up to him, and 2) he has consistently refused to allow doctors to give her an MRI or PET scan while she is still alive.
  • Michael has no written living will document from Terri, but attests to a discussion they once had during a movie, that she would not want extraordinary measures taken to keep her alive. However, Michael did attempt to keep Terri alive for a full seven years following her accident, only then pursuing death by starvation/dehydration.
  • The "extraordinary" measures sustaining Terri do not contain a ventilator, nor do they even require a feeding tube. Terri can swallow, she swallows massive amounts of saliva every day. Terri was once being hand-fed by the nursing staff, until Michael requested that they switch to a feeding tube. The court order now in place denies all nutrition/hydration for Terri, not just via the feeding tube.
  • Though Terri is supposedly nothing more than a vegetable that feels no pain, she is being given a morphine drip in these her final days. The Hospice program that she is in has been subject to multiple independent allegations of drastically accelerating the death of patients through an overly liberal administering of morphine.

I pray for helpless Terri, confused Michael, and the frustrated Schindlers, during this time of persecution. I fear for a precedent, if any, that these proceedings may set.

Update 3/31: 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory?


Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.