March 29, 2005

To Die or Not To Die – That Is The Question

Too Much Politics In Schiavo Situation
By Fred H. ArmJusticeAA.jpg
Wow, what a political football this controversy presents. In any event, I thought I would add my two cents on this national obsession with saving or killing Terry Schiavo. I have never seen the nation or the communities more polarized along political and religious grounds as with this case. Shame on us!

On the one hand, I would say that the right to end one's life or the life of a family member is not the business of the public or the state. On the other hand, I do not want private people discarding bodies like so much rubbish if they get in their way. There are times when such a difficult decision may be best left up to nature and there are other times it requires human intervention.

If a person is in a coma and all the doctors agree that there is no hope, then perhaps the person should be allowed to die. However, in light of the remarkable march of medical science, what may appear one day hopeless, may be curable in the immediate future. This is a delicate line to walk. At one time, if a person had a serious infection they would likely die. In difficult childbirth, the father was always queried whether to spare the life of the baby or the mother. Measles would often be a death sentence. Not so today with antibiotics and other medical advances. The same sort of miracle medical possibilities may exist for people like Terry, although highly unlikely. Again it would have to be a carefully and thoroughly thought out balancing process, taking into consideration medical advances presently being experimented with and possibly already in the FDA pipeline.

As for Terry specifically, I do not have enough data or wisdom to make such a decision. If it were my wife, I would carefully research the available science and then make an educated decision. I do not trust the medical profession alone in such cases nor in most other cases as well. Every person has to live with himself or herself after such a major decision and accordingly, it should not be taken lightly. SchiavoAA.jpg

Polarized special interest camps, politically and religiously, have made a mockery of the entire process. We have a judicial system in this country that supposedly considers all evidence and then makes a decision. If it operates within its strictures, the outcome should be acceptable and just. There comes a time when you have to accept the decision of the civilized system who ostensibly has all the facts. Does anyone know of a better way? Not yet anyway.

Posted by fredarm at March 29, 2005 11:23 AM