Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

As Terri Lies Dying

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Others are blogging far more effectively on this issue (Michelle Malkin and La Shawn Barber to name two), but Charles Krauthammer, who knows a great deal about quality of life issues, has an excellent column summing up this tragic horror:

The problem is that although your spouse probably knows you best, there is no guarantee that he will not confuse his wishes with yours. Terri’s spouse presents complications. He has a girlfriend, and has two kids with her. He clearly wants to marry again. And a living Terri stands in the way.

Now, all of this may be irrelevant in his mind. He may actually be acting entirely based on his understanding of his wife’s wishes. And as she left nothing behind, the courts have been forced to conclude, on the basis of his testimony, that she would prefer to be dead.

That is why this is a terrible case. The general rule of spousal supremacy leads you here to a thoroughly repulsive conclusion. Repulsive because in a case where there is no consensus among the loved ones, one’s natural human sympathies suggest giving custody to the party committed to her staying alive and pledging to carry the burden themselves.

That seems to me the crux of the issue – in the absence of clear instructions from the patient, the presumption must be for life. She’s not on a respirator, she’s not hooked up to any other machines. She’s being fed, just like you or me. Without food, she’ll die, just like you or me. A kind and compassionate society feeds the hungry who cannot feed themselves. A fascist society starves the innocent to death.

I know which society I prefer. See here for more on that theme.


Written by martinipundit

March 23, 2005 at 8:56 am

Posted in General

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