Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Travesty and Tragedy

Today, Charles Krauthammer, who is one of my favorite pundits, writes of the Travesty and Tragedy that is the Terri Schiavo case. I agree with most of what he writes. I disagree with his views on the Congress's intervention, about which I have already blogged. I believe that as representatives of "we the people", the Congress was attempting to have the courts reevaluate whether Mrs. Schiavo's Constitutional (federal) right to "due process" was violated. However, President Bush, "Dr." Krauthammer, and I, all agree that, in the absence of "clear and convincing evidence" of Terri's wishes (a written living will), we should err on the side of life.
"Let's be clear about her condition. She is not dead. If she were brain-dead, we would be talking about harvesting her organs. She is a living, breathing human being. Some people have called her a vegetable. Apart from the term being disgusting, how do they know? How can we be sure of the complete absence of any consciousness, any awareness, any anything 'inside' this person?

"The crucial issue in deciding whether one would want to intervene to keep her alive is whether there is, as one bioethicist put it to me, 'anyone home.' Her parents, who see her often, believe that there is. The husband maintains that there is no one home. (But then again he has another home, making his judgment somewhat suspect.) The husband has not allowed a lot of medical testing in the past few years. I have tried to find out what her neurological condition actually is. But the evidence is sketchy, old and conflicting. The Florida court found that most of her cerebral cortex is gone. But 'most' does not mean all. There may be some cortex functioning. The severely retarded or brain-damaged can have some consciousness. And we do not go around euthanizing the minimally conscious in the back wards of mental hospitals on the grounds that their lives are not worth living."
The Media Are Clueless!

The 14th Amendment

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