Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

The Schiavo Tragedy

Terri Schiavo will finally die in the next few days. One can argue, as I might, that she died 15 years ago, and the subsequent efforts to preserve what is left of her life are futile, heartbreaking, and false hope to her family.

Given all that, one can only feel the greatest of pity for her family. They cling to a vain hope that she could somehow be rehabilitated, fed to a large extent by support from bad doctors and others who would use their tragedy to promote their beliefs, or professional, or medical, standing. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have a child die. Worse yet, what it would be like to be fed false hope for a decade and a half, and come to believe that hope existed, where in reality there is none. It is my fervent prayer that the family of Terri, and those who have identified with them, will find peace when this finally completes with the death of Terri’s body, fifteen years after the death of her mind.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be more horrific to me than those who would use the extreme grief of the Schindlers for gain, professional, financial, or political.

I __loath__ the attempts by the leaders of the republican party to use the grief of the Schindlers for political benefit. Given the current news, one would think these leaders were adamantly opposed to allowing a terminally ill patient to die, that Life, above all else, was paramount to them.

President Bush flew back to Washington specifically to sign legislation to allow the federal government to exercise an interest in the Schiavo case. Regardless of traditional republican values of non-interference in state issues, and the abhorence of federal power and interference, perhaps Mr. Bush has a strong personal belief in the sanctity of life and opposes allowing anyone to die. Unfortunately, a law he promoted and signed as governor of Texas allows someone to be taken off life support at the decision of the doctors, ignoring the wishes of the family. This law has quietly led to many cases of terminally ill being allowed to die, or to be cared for solely at the family’s expense.

That paragon of virtue and righteousness, Tom DeLay, who is desperate to deflect inspection of his numerous ethcial issues, has led the fight to have Congress intervene in the Schiavo case. Again, perhaps his principles demand support of human life in all cases. That would be admirable, except in 1988 he chose to have his own father taken off life support. One could only sympathize with the agony he went through. How he must have suffered with that decision. Imagine the agony he would have been in if the 1988 congress had chosen to interfere in his decision for political gain.

The hypocrisy of the Republican leadership has been astounding over the last four years. Now that they are actually interfering with the tragic, personal, decisions real families are forced to make constantly, perhaps the mindless sheep who voted them into office will see the what their stupidity has wraught.

If you are not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

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