The right to murder

Michael Schiavo killed his wife with the assistance of the United States judicial system. They should all be indicted.

If the medical community constitutes the new priesthood of our culture, the vestal virgins in this context all wear black robes and offer their oblations on a bench with a gavel. My parable breaks down at some point, potentially at this point. Yet it sickens and scares me that we have taken such a giant leap toward a universal right to kill.

This much is clear: Terri Schiavo was not allowed to die. She was killed. There is a great difference between the two. Being allowed to die does not look like being starved and dehydrated over the course of two weeks. Being allowed to die can only happen when a person is dying and we allow the inevitable to happen. Terri was living, albeit in a brain-damaged state. She required nutrition and water, as is the case for all living organisms. The tube kept her alive when she could not feed herself.

But the AMA considers a feeding tube to be an act of medical heroism. That’s astounding to me. Where do they get off? How is it that this high priesthood has determined this? An infant cannot feed itself. Yet spoonfeeding or handfeeding does not constitute medical heroism. I won’t belabor the argument with other examples now.

The point is simply that Terri’s life was not deemed to have the quality of personhood. When did she cease to be a person? When it got to be uncomfortable for Michael. Understand, I feel for him in some ways. 15 years of care for someone as brain-damaged as she was is no small hardship. Yet it is one that must be endured.

Michael Schiavo wanted an out. He didn’t pull the trigger but he ordered the hit. It’s my prayer that if, God forbid, such a tragedy occurs in my family we have the sanctified fortitude to endure it in a God-pleasing way instead of resorting to murder.

God pull us back from this dangerous cliff over which we are dangling right now.


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