are you now or have you ever...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Chaos Of The Soul

If folks will forgive me, I will ramble a bit on the Terri Schiavo case.

First of all, kudos to Ralph Nader for being on the right side of this one. His most cogent point is this: there is no law in the world that can allow a court to order that a person not be fed by hand. Even if a feeding tube is deemed to be "life support" (and, may I remind everyone that in the landmark case of Karen Ann Quinlan, after the family won the right to remove her from the respirator, she lived nine more years - i.e. it never occurred to anyone to remove her feeding tube), giving food and water by hand certainly is not. There is no power in the Constitution or elsewhere to allow a person to be denied food and water by hand.

Sadly, I don't think that it ever occurred to the attorneys to make a separate filing to a federal judge to ask for permission to feed by hand since the state judge's injunction is illegal on its face. If indeed she cannot take nourishment in this way, then she will die, but if she can, she will be saved.

Does any State have the right to execute a serial killer with a hundred dismembered victims by denying him food and water? Of course not. It would be cruel and inhuman punishment. (This point was made by attorney Jack Thompson in his memo to Governor Bush).

I have no strength to continue. This is a horror to me, and I feel betrayed by every concept and institution that I took to be a bulwark and a buttress.


Bubba said...

I sympathize with and share Mr. Homnick's distress regarding feeling betrayed by the institutions we were taught since youth were our friends and protectors.

I have to fall back on my Christian beliefs in order to make some sense of this situation. The first of two Bible passages that came to mind was the account of Jesus and His disciples encountering an adult beggar who had been blind since birth. "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" the disciples asked Jesus. "Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:1-3)

The second passage comes from the book of Exodus where we read again and again that the LORD used the plagues sent against Egypt to "harden Pharaoh’s heart". (Exodus 7:3-5)

Believing the Bible, and hence not taking the view (or wishful thinking?) that God created the world and has since sat back at a distance to watch and see what happens, I see these passages as indicating a God that is involved and active in our world. I propose this present situation with Terri Schiavo to be part of a divine plan. The Lord is using Terri's condition not only to harden Michael Schiavo's heart, but also those in the courts, the Congress, the media, and elsewhere, to clearly denote those who subscribe to the "culture of death" and those who do not. It is clear that a distinct dichotomy of opinion has been created. I further propose that this unrelenting fight to murder Terri Schiavo is meant to shock, to disturb, to awaken, and to stir up an opposition to this evil plan and its most certain ramifications in the years to come.

(Per chance, could this be the elusive Democratic solution for the expected demise of Social Security? Starve all of us Boomers to an untimely death?)

Finally, I propose that those who have been greatly shaken by this cruel Judicially-approved and imposed death by dehydration and starvation will not forget, and there will result not a mere groundswell but a tsunami-like wave of opposition and action. Roe v. Wade caught us off-guard. We do not have such an excuse this time.

As for myself, I confess that I have not yet been graced with the same degree of faith or Spiritual development as Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who, before dying, asked the Lord to forgive those who were stoning him. (Acts 7:60) I am not able to forgive these people. Make note of those who supported this murder, and either work to have them voted out of office or to make telephone calls or write letters of condemnation. Do not let this matter die and be buried along with Terri Schiavo.

Tlaloc said...

"His most cogent point is this: there is no law in the world that can allow a court to order that a person not be fed by hand."

There are however laws to prevent people from forcing you to eat which is exactly what would be happening here. If Terri Schiavo did not want to live in such a condition, and such is the finding of the courts, then force feeding her would be a violation of her.

"Does any State have the right to execute a serial killer with a hundred dismembered victims by denying him food and water? Of course not."

Indeed not. Nor can the state EXECUTE Terri Schiavo by dehydration. But Mrs. Schiavo has every right to refuse life support. The situation becomes much clearer when you stop artifically confounding a punishment with the enforcement of a right.