I’ve been following the Terry Schiavo case a bit over the last few weeks, keeping my fingers crossed this wouldn’t become a national issue.
Lo and behold, here we are.
Friends, this affects every last one of us. You have lost the ability to make critical care decisions for loved ones. You no longer can expect someone to be able to take mercy on you and end years of pain and suffering and vegetative state. Personal decisions and the decisions of your doctor have been usurped by the government.
I don’t care if you’re Democratic, Republican, Catholic, Jewish, Agnostic, or SubGenius – read the details of this case and realize how tragic this is not only for Terry Schiavo and her husband, but for the United States as a country.
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 favour of life.
-George W. Bush
By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient’s family’s wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother’s wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.
I’m not even going to get started on his very much pro-death penalty ways; I’m content to stand pat and call the man a massive hypocrite.
While reading the fantastic MetaFilter thread on the ordeal – about Congress rushing through legislation to score political points; the stringent court cases that have assessed her as unable to recover; the fifteen years Michael Schiavo has spent flying her all over the country seeking treatment – I was struck by some odd nostalgia.
Bill Hicks, who by now should be up for sainthood, has a bit on one of his CDs (Rant In E Minor) about pro-lifers; it was one of the first Hicks routines I had ever heard. The jist of the bit was that if you’re so pro-life – if you so dearly value the sanctity of human life – then stop blocking abortion clinics, and instead links arms and block cemetaries.
Never in a million years did I expect anyone to actually take the suggestion to heart.
(As I write this post on the subway, I’m Afraid Of Americans by David Bowie + Trent Reznor came on my iPod. Irony noted.)