Judge Greer and Michael Schiavo intend that Terry Schiavo be starved to death. This is not "death with dignity." This is the kind of crime that if done to your cat or dog would land you in jail. Would you starve your pet to death? I don't think so. JB
( Mrs. Noonan, if you're reading this [she's not - grin] I apologize for quoting so much of your outstanding article. JB)
From: Peggy Noonan 3-18-05
There is a passionate, highly motivated and sincere group of voters and activists who care deeply about whether Terri Schiavo is allowed to live. Their reasoning, ultimately, is this: Be on the side of life. They remind me of what Winston Churchill said once when he became home secretary in charge of England's prisons. He was seated at dinner with a jabbery lady who said that if she were ever given a life sentence she'd rather die than serve it. He reared back. No, he said, always choose life! "Death's the only thing you can't get out of!"
The supporters of Terri Schiavo's right to continue living have fought for her heroically, through the courts and through the legislatures. They're still fighting. They really mean it. And they have memories.
On the other side of this debate, one would assume there is an equally well organized and passionate group of organizations deeply committed to removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. But that's not true. There's just about no one on the other side. Or rather there is one person, a disaffected husband who insists Terri once told him she didn't want to be kept alive by extraordinary measures.
He has fought the battle to kill her with a determination that at this point seems not single-minded or passionate but strange. His former wife's parents and family are eager to care for her and do care for her, every day. He doesn't have to do a thing. His wife is not kept alive by extraordinary measures--she breathes on her own, is not on a respirator. All she needs to continue existing--and to continue being alive so that life can produce whatever miracle it may produce--is a feeding tube.
It doesn't seem a lot.
So politically this is a struggle between many serious people who really mean it and one, just one, strange-o. And the few bearded and depressed-looking academics he's drawn to his side.
It is not at all in the political interests of senators and congressmen to earn the wrath of the pro-Schiavo group and the gratitude of the anti-Schiavo husband, by doing nothing.
So let me write a sentence I never thought I'd write: Politicians, please, think of yourselves! Move to help Terri Schiavo, and no one will be mad at you, and you'll keep a human being alive. Do nothing and you reap bitterness and help someone die.
This isn't hard, is it? Peggy Noonan