Thursday, March 31, 2005

Schiavo Case

I have held off on this story because I think it is totally overblown and it is highly irresponsible on the part of the media and government to devote so much time and so many resources to it, especially when you consider that religious fanatics in Tehran, not outside the hospice, are plotting the deaths of thousands of Americans. That being said, I think this issue has some points upon which some comment may be helpful.

First of all, the national government overstepped its bounds, which is no surprise, by interfering in this case. The legislation passed was an unconstitutional bill of attainder, it was meant and drafted for one person only and as such it is clearly illegal.

Second, the only issue here is what the woman would have wanted. Secondary to that is what other people want, no matter who they are. A trial was conducted to determine what her wishes were, to find out what her condition was exactly, etc. It was a finding of fact, with input from all sides and certain things were established. It was established with testimony from the husband and other people whom the media has entirely ignored, that this woman would not want to live as a vegetable and by artificial methods with no hope of recovery. It is hard to imagine anyone wanting to exist in such a state, but apparently some people think that such a state is ok, even for people they allegedly love. It was further established that, indeed, Mrs. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state and a quick look at her CAT scan will indicate why. Much of the interior region of her brain was missing, it had atrophied like her other muscles and in place was inert spinal fluid. This situation was irreversible, her state could never have improved no matter how many mystics her parents decided to consult. With these facts established by an impartial arbiter (the court) it is patently obvious that the only proper result is what occurred, the removal of the artificial life support (which contrary to the wise words of the POPE!!!, is an extraordinary step to keep someone alive).

Her parents were given ample legal appeals to demonstrate how justice had miscarried and contrary to the media, they could argue evidence and present new evidence if they ever had any. They failed in all these respects and then proceeded to slander Mr. Schiavo in the media and rake mud over every conceivable issue in this case, except (tellingly) her CAT scan. This "culture of life, culture of death" tripe is clearly tied to religious mysticism hovering around the abortion issue. President Bush foolishly defined civilization as the strong realizing they had a duty to the weak. Such a concept is absolutely absurd for any civilization, let alone ours. The protection and upholding of individual rights, including the individual right to die when and as one pleases (assuming it violates no one else's rights), is the essence of civilization. The degree to which any culture meets that standard is its level of civilization.

If we are to be subjected to ridiculous and foolish stories like this instead of important stories it almost makes one wish for a terrorist attack to refocus everyone's attention on what is important. But if it takes that to do the elementary then we have almost lost from the outset.

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