Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Michelle Malkin has her usual swift roundup.

This is such a sad affair, on so many levels. Much of the focus recently, and very naturally, has been on the immediate issue of whether Terri should be kept alive or should be "allowed" to starve and dehydrate until she dies. There are legitimate issues and questions on both sides, and emotions are running very high amongst people who are thinking about Terri's situation. I am myself amongst those who believe there are enough questions about the circumstances surrounding the decision to remove her feeding tube to justify reinserting it while those issues are examined. As President Bush so eloquently put it: in a situation as grey and blurry as this one, there should be a presumption of life. Terri should be kept alive while we figure this out.

But there's another issue at play in Terri's case that I haven't seen much discussed, and I think it deserves to be. To wit: if, as a society, we decide that there are circumstances in which people like Terri should be "allowed to die," why would we do so in such a cruel manner?

Can you imagine the howls (from every political direction) if we condemned a murderer to die by withholding food and water? Certainly such a sentence would never stand in the United States. Why, then, would we even consider doing such a thing to an innocent? I cannot fathom the logic here at all. To me, the solution seems incredibly simple: in such a circumstance, the patient should be killed (euthanized, if you prefer the antiseptic term) in a manner that is truly as painless as possible, with an absolute minimum of suffering. Such a death is easily within our means...we have the technology to do so.

Certainly I would hope that if I ever found myself in a situation where my fellow citizens said that I must die, that is the kind of death I would want — whether the reason for that decision was my crime or my health.

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