Friday, March 18, 2005


I don't like talking about "right to life" cases because it is a subject I am pretty on the fence on. On the one hand my mother has had several occasions where she could have been given up on and yet survived. (She's amazing.) But on the other I think that death comes for all of us and we must be willing to surrender to it when it comes, not hang on with machines and tubes.

I feel mostly for Terri in this whole conversation, because I wonder how much congress or the judges are really looking out for her. I haven't hear the testimony of doctors and I myself am not a doctor so I don't know if she's really in a "vegetative state" or if she actually interacts like her parents claim. And if she does have the potential to recover, then by all means she should be given the chance. But I don't know if she does have that potential.

What I do know is this woman has been effectively a vegetable for 15 years that is 65% of my life span, an amazingly long time. While I grew up, went to highschool and graduated college she has been sitting in one room on a feeding tube getting visits from her family but never going anywhere, doing anything fun. In fact she might not even know that she is still alive. Even if she is "alive" and able to acknowledge family, is she going to get better? Will she be able to talk with her parents? Will she walk again? Dance? Go to Parties? Or will she simply stay this way until one day she dies despite her feeding tube.

What purpose does keeping her alive serve? And to that end, is she really even alive? 50 years ago she would have died. But now that we have the ability to prevent her body's death, should we?

I see all these "right to life" signs and I wonder, why? What about quality of life, joy in life, experiencing life. There is no joy, no new experiences for Terri, unless by some miracle. But believe that death also is a miracle, saving some people from a life of pain or a life their spirit no longer needs to live.

Is this really about Terri? Is it about our own fear of death?

Or even worse, is it about politics?

Update: Words on this subject from one wiser than I

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