Life and Death

In the last week or so, I’ve been avoiding news coverage of the Terri Schiavo case. It was just something I didn’t want to think about. (I’m very good at denial.) I think I’m also pretty good at trying to see an issue from both sides. If I were in a situation like hers, would I want to live? What would J.P. want for me? My parents?

I really think that if I were in a similar situation, I would want my family to just let me go. It’s agonizing and draining for them, and without any quality of life for me, what’s the point? But withholding food and water? Letting her dehydrate and starve to death? That’s just cruel—we don’t even do that to animals. (Where do the PETA people stand on this issue? You know where they’d be if we were talking about a dog, a chicken, or even a mouse.)

I admit that I’m not well-versed on the details of the case, but I don’t understand her husband’s actions. I’ve heard that he has a couple of kids with another woman, so it seems that he just wants out so he can go on with his life. But if he’s not interested in trying to help her, then why not let her parents take over? Why fight this thing as hard as he has? Yeah, yeah, I know—she supposedly said this is what she would want. But there’s a difference between disconnecting a ventilator (which is probably how most of us think about issues like this) and withholding food and water.

The whole case is just so sad. And I can’t imagine the anger, weariness, helplessness, and desperation that her parents must feel, especially as the clock steadily ticks. However you feel about the case, say a prayer for Terri today. And then say another one for her family.


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