The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 March 2005

Policy driven by emotion

Susanna Cornett considers the Terri Schiavo case, and she disagrees "with a lot of people you'd assume would be [her] ideological soulmates."

For example:

Somehow this issue has become a huge rallying call amongst religious people, and quite frankly I don't understand why. I don't think it advances the anti-abortion cause to fight for every flicker of life in every human shell no matter what kind of life remains for that person.

I think what's motivating them is the belief that in Terri's case, there's more than a mere flicker. Still, we are, as Susanna says, "at the mercy of battling medical experts," and the truth of the matter may never be known with certainty, especially with the designated guardian intent upon destroying the evidence.

She is most troubled, however, by the Congressional intervention:

I think it is, very simply stated, wrong. I am a firm advocate of state's rights. As a conservative, I am for strict interpretation of the Constitution, and for holding to the states as much autonomy as we can. By that I mean, I think the states Constitutionally hold all rights to make decisions about their jurisdictions, with limited exceptions as stated in the Constitution.

And furthermore:

So, you say, let a woman die just so we can preserve a philosophical ideal? People have died for less, and are dying for precisely that in Iraq. But that aside, I say again that the issue comes down to the medical determination, and while I think some of the courts in Florida have behaved arrogantly, I can't say they have behaved illegally. Terri's case is not an easy or clearcut one. Emotionalism, in my judgment, will always lead to bad law.

That latter, at least, is indisputable.

I do recommend you read the whole thing: it's a thoughtful, reasonable essay, and after all, what good am I if I only refer you to articles that agree with me?

Posted at 8:52 AM to Life and/or Death


Rumor has it that George Washington actually said, "Yes, father. I denied water and nutrients to the cherry tree, but it must be understood that it was in a persistent vegetative state."

Posted by: Interested-Participant at 9:55 PM on 26 March 2005

I am quite disappointed in her essay. The people in Iraq who are dying for a "philosophical ideal" are able to choose do so or flee. Terri Schiavo can't run. Oh well, she'll be dead soon, and her "loving husband" will get possession of the corpse which will be rendered into ashes, thus, not "settling," but putting beyond the reach of knowledge forever, the questions that remain about her condition.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 2:35 AM on 27 March 2005

speaking of terri's so called husband who wanted her dead already, since when does a husband who ditched his marriage vow's year's ago ,get a say over her parent's who brought her into this world? I feel so sorry for her parents and their long battle with him over their child's condition he may have won that battle, but God's gonna have the last say,and if he read's this get right with GOd and do the right thing.

Posted by: s. evans at 11:18 PM on 29 March 2005