Monday, March 21, 2005

OpinionJournal: The Case for Life

Today's Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal has a good editorial feature (free subscription required) on the Terri Schiavo case.

There's another good piece on the Journal Opinion page by John Q. Wilson titled "Killing Terri," which can only be found in today's print editions. Wilson points out that the difference between Terri's case and those of others who are on life support is . . . that whenever the feeding tube has been removed, Terri hasn't died right away like others normally do. Plus, in most other cases, the family agrees on the decision, and in Terri's case they do not.

Wilson, who knows from first-hand experience when he and his family decided to withdraw support for his cancer-stricken mother, writes, "These differences are of decisive importance. When death will occur soon and inevitably, the patient does not starve to death when life support ends. Since there was no chance of our mother living more than a few more days, what my sister and I did could not be called murder. When death will not occur soon, or perhaps for many years, and when there is a chance, even a very small one, that recovery is possible, people who authorize the withdrawal of life support are playing God."

One good thing that may come of all this, in addition to Terri's life being spared, is the possibility that sanctity of life issues will be fervently discussed and debated, and that those siding with life will be prominent in the debate and their views finally heard and appreciated.

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