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March 17, 2005

Killing Terri

Unless something incredibly dramatic happens, at 1 p.m. tomorrow they'll begin starving Terri Schiavo to death.

Liberal leaning people -- and I don't mean moonbats; I mean liberal-leaning people that you can actually talk to -- don't seem to get this story at all. They misread this as a general endorsement of one's right to die, and, therefore, they want to see the plug pulled on Terri Schiavo.

I've tried but I can't get through. No matter how many times you try to explain -- "But she never asked for this; she signed no form; she made no clear previous oral statement; all we know about her intentions comes from the mouth of her husband who's living with another woman and who has sired a couple of kids with that woman" -- they continue to regard this as a standard don't-we-all-have-the-right-to-die-as-we-wish case.

But tomorrow, Terri Schiavo will be subjected to a lengthy, painful state-approved execution based upon not her own wishes but the say-so of a husband who, let's face it, just wants to be rid of her.

The law assumes that one's spouse is the best decision-maker regarding one's care should one lose the capacity to make one's own decision. That's a fine assumption-- generally. But when a husband clearly suffers a conflict-of-interest on the issue, why do judges insist on honoring that assumption?

There's a saying: the rule extends as far as the reason for the rule extends. Where the reason ends, thus does the rule. And the reason for this rule is that husbands are thought to be acting solely in the best interests of the stricken wife. That's clearly not the case here, so why are Florida judges applying the rule beyond the point reason supports?

Chalk it up as a victory... for what, exactly? For the cherished principle that we all have the right to be done away with by someone to whom we've grown inconvenient?

I think the main reason so many want Terri Schiavo to die is the extreme antipathy towards the Christian right. If the Christian right wants something, they want the opposite-- even if it means letting someone who is now a perfect stranger to Terri Schiavo decide her fate, rather than the parents who have not abandoned her in favor of someone cuter and sexier.

Terri Schiavo will die tomorrow. And idiotic judges and legislators will celebrate that they've beaten back those damn Christian conservatives and all their crazy ideas.

Crazy ideas like: before you stop feeding and giving water to someone who is not dead, brain or otherwise, you really ought to have a previously signed living will in hand. Is this too much to ask?

Nutty, nutty right-to-life Christians.

Well, enjoy your victory. Too bad it has to come with the death of an innocent woman, but I guess you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.

Update: It's late in the day, but if you're interested in trying to avert this execution, you can try going over to Terri's Fight.

Another Update: Via American Digest, this piece by Andrew McCarthy: Torturing Terri:

A few months back, I wrote an article for Commentary arguing that we ought to reconsider our anti-torture laws. The argument wasn’t novel. It echoed contentions that had been made with great persuasive force by Harvard’s Professor Alan Dershowitz: that under circumstances of imminent harm to thousands of moral innocents (the so-called “ticking bomb” scenario), it would be appropriate to inflict, under court-supervision, intense but non-lethal pain in an effort to wring information from a morally culpable person — a terrorist known to be complicit in the plot.

As one might predict with such a third rail, my mail was copious and indignant. Opening the door by even a sliver for torture, I was admonished, was the most reprehensible of slippery slopes. No matter how well-intentioned was the idea, no matter the lives that might be saved, no matter how certain we might be about the guilt of the detainee, the very thought that such a thing might be legal would render us no better than the savages we were fighting.

Well, lo and behold, a court-ordered torture is set to begin in Florida on Friday at 1 P.M.

It will not produce a scintilla of socially useful information. It will not save a single innocent life. It is not narrowly targeted on a morally culpable person — the torture-victim is herself as innocent as she is defenseless. It is not, moreover, meant to be brief and non-lethal: The torture will take about two excruciating weeks, and its sole and only purpose is to kill the victim.

And Still More here.... required reading about the actual facts of the case.

The weird thing is that the feminist left ought to be jumping up and down about this -- a woman being put to death because she's no longer sexually useful to her husband?

But the Christian right wants to save her, and ergo, by the brutal mandates of thumb-in-the-eye politics -- the politics of petty payback -- she'll have to be killed.


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posted by Ace at 11:10 PM

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