Saturday, June 18, 2005

TERRI SCHIAVO - One more time!

I may not be the brightest bulb in the casino marquee and this Kansas-son is certainly not all that articulate, but I do know how to write some and I do know when people are not hearing what I and my friends are saying.

Since the autopsy report was issued I've heard umpteen times how certain people were maligned by the "religious right" and "pro-life extremists"; for example ...
The autopsy of Terri Schiavo makes it clear: The Florida woman's court-approved doctors made the right diagnosis. That's a welcome vindication for the physicians, who had been unfairly maligned ....
Well I know some were, and I'm personally sorry if any of the spittle came from my lips or my fingers. But, there were those on the pro-life side who were maligned as well. One thing I'm seeing, though, is how poorly people listen to what others are saying ... perhaps if they would we might avoid some of these disagreements.

There were clearly more than just two views in this very tragic case. Those who supported Terri's family and those who supported the husband both had extreme voices in their respective camps ... which did neither side any good, let alone the public at large ... but nested right in the middle of those extremes each side had your standard Bell-shaped Curve and its standard-deviation, agenda-driven special interest groups. Most, not all, of these were reasonable, intelligent people with divergent views who just wanted a chance to be heard.

What gets me is how many on the left vilified those on the right not because of their positions but solely because of what they were (religious) or because of their associations (Focus on the Family, the parents, etc.).

But for my friends and me, and those who voiced concerns similar to ours (the largest group by far), the issue was never ...
  • whether Terri would or would not live (though we desperately wanted her to)
  • whether the court followed the law (which I'm convinced it did not; sadly lawyers protect lawyers)
  • whether she had or had not been abused
  • whether she could or could not see (in spite of the autopsy results, we all saw what appeared to be Terri tracking her mother)
  • whether she could or could not swallow (again, there were affidavits that she could)
The issue was and always will be whether human beings have the right to take the life of another human being who is demonstrably and patently alive ... even if it is "legal."

The Schiavo case was law driven and directed upward toward the government. Life and death decisions should not be decided in that way, except in the most severe or extreme circumstances. Life and death decisions should be morality driven and directed downward toward the people ... and probably not individuals.

In fact, I'm not all that supportive of the news that Gov. Bush has asked a county prosecutor to review the circumstances surrounding Michael Schiavo's 911 emergency call in February 1990.

But others don't agree ...
It also should be seen as a rebuke of members of Congress who rushed in March to pass a bill nullifying Florida state court decisions and dictating to federal courts how they must handle one person's case. That action looks even worse now than it did then.
I'm sorry but I saw a government trying its behemoth best to show its dual concern for the rights of the individual (Terri) and the rule of law.

And don't try to paint me into a Capital Punishment corner or into a debate over the ethics of war ... let's just say that the victims of those systems are orders-of-magnitude different than Terri Schiavo.

And the attempt to make hay from Senator Frist's taking an opposing medical position on PVS is a joke ...
It is particularly appalling to recall the armchair "diagnosis" of Senate Majority leader Bill Frist, a transplant surgeon. Frist went to the Senate floor March 16 and said that Florida doctors were wrong in saying that Schiavo was in a "persistent vegetative state" and that she "certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli." He described her condition as "a severe disability similar to what cerebral palsy might be." His opinion was based on review of amateur family videotapes, not an examination of Schiavo.
Considering the malignant tone of this we can assume the SacBee editor who wrote this isn't aware of Christ's teaching concerning removing the splinter out of your neighbor's eye before you take the railroad tie out of your own.
I challenge you to survey those who've saved an operation or a limb and a bathtub full of money by getting "a second opinion"! And while were at it, tell me what medical malpractice insurance is for if it's not for medical malpractice. They make mistakes! That's why it's called medical "practice" for crying out loud!
Still, the undeniable conclusion is that Frist used his authority as a medical figure to exploit the politics of the situation in a way that could be considered unethical.
Give me a break; show me one politician inside the beltway who is more ethical and fair-minded than Bill Frist and I'll eat your ... oh, forget it!

Three people I'll never take the word of ... a lawyer, a doctor, and an insurance salesman ... add to those three a politician. They're like a bacteria ... multiplying and dividing ... they're everywhere!

Okay, now I'm kicking the dog for taking a nap! I'm sorry for the Schindler family and the grief they are suffering at this very moment. And perhaps Michael Schiavo was maligned, but now he is vindicated.

Yet that doesn't change my opinion one iota! We, as a nation, need to get ourselves in a position where we can proclaim loudly and clearly that it is not moral for the government to be involved in life and death decisions on either end of the continuum or we're going to find ourselves, as a nation, fighting with God! And I don't care if the law is on your side ... you lose!

No comments:

Post a Comment