What if either party is wrong?

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A commenter called MikeC, writing in response to a post on, of all places, the humor blog IMAO, proposes a common-sense approach to the ethics of Terri Schiavo's situation. The concept is brilliant, although his explanation isn't as clear as I'd like, so I'm going to paraphrase it:

Look at the two parties in this case -- Terri's husband and Terri's parents -- and the result each party is seeking. Then ask, for each party, what are the consequences of getting it wrong, if the judge grants their request.

What if Michael Schiavo succeeds in removing the feeding tube, but is wrong in his claim that Terri is a vegetable? A thinking, feeling woman will die a slow and painful death from starvation and dehydration.

What if the Schindlers succeed in taking over Terri's care, but are wrong in thinking that there is hope for rehabilitation? As MikeC put it, "they get to pay a bunch of medical bills and live with false hope." Terri, if she truly is PVS, isn't going to know or care.

If the judge decides for the husband and he's wrong, the consequences are cruel and irreversable. Terri will pay the ultimate price for her husband's error. If the judge decides for the Schindlers and they're wrong, the Schindlers will toil in vain, but they alone will bear the consequences.

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» Terri Schiavo from King of Fools

As the deadline approaches for the starvation of Terri Schiavo, I just wanted to direct your attention to two must read posts over at Batesline: one and two. There is probably more to be said, but I cannot find any more words. Read More

3 Comments

web1110 said:

I do not concur with this farce. Terry died many years ago. Her fate was sealed when she suffered brain atrophy according to the scans done. What this means is that part of the higher function portions of the brain have disappeared, desolved back into the tissues of her body. There isn't anyone there to return.

Let this poor women go. She has been turned into a media circus cyborg, part human, part machine. The human part is an idling machine, the machine part is all that works and its purpose is only to keep the human part spinning its gears.

Let the poor woman go!!!

web1110, have you seen the videos of Terri? Are you certain that the trial judge is correct?

web1110 said:

Yes, I have and they are impressive. Except, for instance, when following the balloon, the balloon is usually out of sight of the camera.

But I do trust science, generally speaking, definitely more than I trust lawyers. I have read about the observed degeneration of her brain. If her brain isn't there, it isn't coming back.

We live in a world of dissenting opinions even in the face of solid facts. There are still people out there who are trying to "square a circle using straight edge and compass". That they deny the mathematical proof of the impossiblity of their position does not strengthen their assertion. It is so in this case.

If Terry is to resume a life of any kind, it will require a miracle from God. If God plans to do this, pulling the feeding tubes won't have any effect. On the other hand, if he is waiting for the rest of us to let her body come an reunite with her soul, He won't intervene.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 23, 2005 10:03 AM.

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