Saturday, April 09, 2005
On this day:

Michael Schiavo as Judge, Jury, and Executioner

The Ornery American: Whose Life Is Worth Living?By Orson Scott Card
We now live in a country where you can kill your wife, as long as she's tragically brain-damaged, lying in a hospital bed, unable to speak. She does open her eyes, though. And she can track objects that move across her field of vision. She isn't in a coma. She even has people who want to take care of her. Her parents, her siblings. And pay no attention to the "experts" who say that these apparent signs of intelligent life aren't real. We once had an "expert" make the same sort of declaration about our son Charlie, after a mere half hour of observation, completely discounting the experience of Charlie's parents and other caretakers who knew perfectly well that he really communicated with us. The expert's assumption was that anything seen through the eyes of people who loved Charlie was to be discounted completely. Ironically, though, it is precisely the people whose attention is concentrated by love who are best equipped to judge whether communication is happening -- since it is happening with them. The people who love Terri Schiavo apparently do not include her husband, who seems awfully impatient to get rid of her. And under our bizarre laws, he has the only vote, and her parents and brothers and sisters are completely disregarded. What is the husband's case for killing her? It couldn't possibly be because he wants to be able to marry the woman he's living with now. After all, to accomplish that he need only divorce the brain-damaged woman in a hospital bed. Oh, but wait. If he divorces her, then he won't get as much of that million-dollar settlement that's paying for her care right now. Only if she dies will he get any of that. No, his motive is completely noble and unselfish. He wants to shut off her feeding tube because she "wouldn't have wanted to live like this." Hmmmm. Convenient that she can't speak, isn't it?