The Mechanics of Terri Schiavo's Death
One of the primary differences between American conservatives and liberals, as Thomas Sowell will explain to you, is that conservatives view justice as a process and a procedure while liberals define justice by the outcome of a certain process or procedure. Thus, the conservative speaks of due process and orderly procedure in accordance with centuries-old Common Law practice while the liberal bemoans the fact that a particular number of blacks are sentenced to death or a certain number of products liability cases are decided in favor or gigantic corporations.
What is most interesting to us about the tragedy that is the Terry Schiavo case is that it seems to have induced a strong case of role-reversal, with conservatives not only lobbying but demanding that the courts rule in the way they feel is correct. This suggests that perhaps one’s views on what constitutes justice depends heavily on how strongly one feels about an issue.
I think he is right. The system has failed her, though it, apparently, has done so honestly. Does this make me feel better? Well, not really. Does this make her death less or more of a tragedy? I don't think it makes a difference. Does the integrity of the process matter, if I disagree with the result. Absolutely. But... ugh... why kill her without doing another review of all the evidence? What's it hurt?
Peggy Noonan has a good article dealing with that question here. An excerpt:
God made the world or he didn't.
God made you or he didn't.
If he did, your little human life is, and has been, touched by the divine. If this is true, it would be true of all humans, not only some. And so--again, if it is true--each human life is precious, of infinite value, worthy of great respect.
Most--not all, but probably most--of those who support Terri Schiavo's right to live believe the above. This explains their passion and emotionalism. They believe they are fighting for an invaluable and irreplaceable human life. They are like the mother who is famously said to have lifted the back of a small car off the ground to save a child caught under a tire. You're desperate to save a life, you're shot through with adrenaline, your strength is for half a second superhuman, you do the impossible.
That is what they are trying to do.
They do not want an innocent human life ended for what appear to be primarily practical and worldly reasons--e.g., Mrs. Schiavo's quality of life is low, her life is pointless. They say: Who is to say it is pointless? And what does pointless even mean? Maybe life itself is the point.
I do not understand the emotionalism of the pull-the-tube people. What is driving their engagement?
Noonan nails it. Terri Schiavo is dying, after all is said and done, because some people don't feel she's worthy to live. Those people have the upper hand in this case. They created the law in Florida that applies to her case, they testified that she wanted to die if she was in her current circumstance, (leave alone, for the moment, whether or not she really would have wanted to die, the testimony is what murders her- anyway, even if she did foresee this exact circumstance, she, the Terri Schiavo who said that, not the Terri Schiavo alive now, would still be 'they') they have assured us that being starved to death doesn't hurt, and they, apparently, have won.
I don't understand them. I don't understand the philosophical underpinings, the root of the arrogance, the- I don't understand any of it. Nobody is hurt by her being alive. If you want to kill her because she offends you with her life- surely you would agree that she shouldn't be murdered in this tortous way- if you say she can't feel, she has no awareness, etc., then why not just PROCLAIM HER DEAD, so that her husband doesn't have the right to control her medical condition, and let the people who love her and want to take care of her have a chance to revive her?
The answer to all these questions? No. No, it is okay to murder her. No. It is okay to torture her because she's not alive. No. She's too alive to dissolve her marriage. No. No. No. No matter what, no matter the argument, no matter the evidence, she dies. She dies. She dies. She dies. In the end her death is the goal. She dies. No to every argument. Kill her. Kill her now. Don't review it. No. I don't want to hear it. Kill her. Hurry up. Kill her. No. Death to her. Kill her. End her. END her. KILL her. Murder her. KILL her. NO.