Yahoo! News – Fate of Terri Schiavo Rests With Judge

Yahoo! News – Fate of Terri Schiavo Rests With Judge

What does everyone think of this? Who’s right, and who’s wrong? How do we sort out issues like this?


  1. Paul S. said,

    March 21, 2005 @ 2:43 pm

    The issue can get quite complicated especially when you combine all the ethical, economic, social and medical issues.

    I think deciding issues like these on purely economic grounds is dangerous. It could be argued 1)It is expensive to keep Terry alive 2) The burden this puts on the medical community and insurance companies is tremendous.

    What is the price tag for a life? Do we decide that a million dollars is the cap and once your medical bills pass that point its time to pull the plug? I am uncomfortable with kind of logic.

    Terry’s husband seems to make his argument based on quality of life/medical issues. How far gone does a person have to be before the plug is pulled? I cant find the article off hand but remember the man who just in the last year woke up from a 20 year coma? Should we place a limit on the time a person remains in such a state?

    I agree, Terry’s quality of life does not seem to be much. But that does not necessitate ending her life. Is it merciful to remove food and water in order to end a persons life? Seems more like slow torture to me.

    Terry’s husband is angered that the federal government is now involved. Whether or not the federal govt should be involved in life issues can be debated. However, the federal govt HAS BEEN INVOLVED in life issues for a long time. I belive Bush is right to say” “In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life.”

    All this comes back to whether we have a Right to Die or a Right to Live. Depending on which one a culture decides to emphasize will make all the difference in the world.

  2. Pip said,

    March 21, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

    Amen, Paul.

  3. keener said,

    March 22, 2005 @ 5:39 am

    There seem to be some hard judgement calls in cases like (and unlike) this. What constitutes “heroic treatment?” At what point does a human being become just a human body?

    In this case, I think that the hardest thing for me is that Terri’s husband is proposing to let his wife die of starvation. That, it seems to me, is an incredibly horrid thought.

    It’s also clear to me that our ability to treat a person’s condition has far outstripped our ability in ethics. We have heart-lung machines that can keep a body oxygenated long after brain death (an interesting term in its own right). We have feeding tubes. We have IVs. We have antibiotics. Which of these is a “heroic measure?” You can say, “It depends.” But then we’re right back to the arguments put forth by Terri’s parents and her husband.

    What we need is wisdom and courage.

  4. keener said,

    March 22, 2005 @ 6:02 am

    Oh, and I’ve got to clarify (it seems so absurd to have to do this):

    “Courage” in the sense of acting on truth, not “Courage” in the Brave New World sense.

  5. Paul S. said,

    March 22, 2005 @ 9:51 am

    “It’s also clear to me that our ability to treat a person’s condition has far outstripped our ability in ethics.” Joel, you are so right with this comment.

    I remember hearing an interview with Nigel Cameron (I think?) a few years back that stated he felt Christians in general were far behind the curve in thinking about medical ethics. That is a scary thought. How can we respond to issues like the Schiavo case if good solid and tough thinking hasnt taken place on such issues from a Christian perspective?

    Advances in medicine will continue at a breakneck pace while our ability to think about them is slow at best.

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