Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Liberty Trumps Life

Fox News Reports it this way: Here are a couple excerpts

TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge early Tuesday morning refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's (search) feeding tube, leaving the fate of the severely brain-damaged Florida woman unresolved

David Gibbs III, the parents' attorney, argued at a Monday hearing in front of Whittemore that forcing Terri Schiavo to starve would be "a mortal sin" under her Roman Catholic beliefs and urged quick action: "Terri may die as I speak."

But George Felos, an attorney for Michael Schiavo, argued that keeping the woman alive also violated her rights and noted that the case has been aired thoroughly in state courts.
"Yes, life is sacred," Felos said, contending that restarting artificial feedings would be against Schiavo's wishes. "So is liberty, particularly in this country."

What do we do when life and liberty collide in such a way that we have to trust someone's comments about someone else's life and liberty? Terri Schiavo is not dead, not yet. But she's dying.

It would be easy if Michael were someone you could have a great deal of respect for - if he had some credibility. However, he's got some strikes against him. It would easy if something had been written down. Nope, don't got that either. It would be easy if Terri could talk or communicate in such a way that a judge would recognize it as speaking for herself. These are challenging decisions - very complex.

I am more concerned about the ripple effects of this case than I am Terri herself. That might sound cold and compassionless. I mean, she is a real person and her family is in real anguish. I would be too if I were in their shoes. On the other hand, things that get huge in the news and in politics cannot avoid leaving a legacy.

In life Terri is victor because the cause for life has been advanced. I'm for life, by the way - I like it. However, if she dies, especially this way, in slow motion, she will be a martyr. Terri Schiavo isn't going away whether she lives or dies. For the people wanting her to die, they have little to cheer about if they win - death, but little to cheer about if they lose - they lose. In either case, life wins.


Brandon Scott said...

note to self--get that living will completed.

lee said...

I feel like an armchair quarterback, watching this case, strategizing what I would do if I were one of the players.

I blogged about it myself and it helped to focus on God's plan and His promises. It was like taking a commercial--make that spiritual--break in the programming of "we want, he wants, she wants."

The irony of the fight to feed Terry Shiavo while she suffers the debilitating consequences of starving herself years ago is heart-wrenching.

Anonymous said...

You may have already read it, but Mike Cope has a good article about this case written by Rubel Shelly on his blog today.

"Death is not always the enemy"