I have been fascinated by the Terry Schiavo case ever since it hit the national media. For those of you who don't know, 15 years ago (when she was 26) she had some kind of condition where her heart stopped beating for a time and her left brain was basically wiped out. There has been an ongoing court battle ever since as she has been in this half-vegetated state of being somewhat able to recognize things. She can breathe on her own, but not eat or hydrate. The parents say she recognizes them and laughs - they want her kept alive. The husband says no, Terry would not have wanted to be kept alive. Now, it seems as it will be all over soon as the Schiavo family is runnig out of time and options. They will remove her feeding tube on Tuesday and she will slowly starve to death in front of her parents and other loved ones.
There is no way I can properly express in words how sick this is. If we are going to get into the business of letting partially conscious people die, at least make it quick. Convicted criminals don't even get this kind of treatment - they simply get an injection and die!
By the way, where are all the people that constantly demonstrate against the death penalty and "cruel and unusual punishment" every time a criminal is executed by the state? There is no difference between that government sanctioned execution and this one.
As usual, there is a bigger story here. Everyone needs a living will. Terry Schiavo didn't have one and her life (or death) was left in the hands of lawyers, judges, insurance companies and others - everyone except herself. I cannot imagine less worthy parties to control my destiny than these.
Having a living will in place with specific instructions detailing how you want to be treated if you are incapacitated saves everyone the anguish of making these decisions and is another way to keep the state from intruding on your affairs. And it would have let Terry Schiavo rest in peace many years ago.
If you don't have a living will, watch Terry starve to death - the solution the government has found to be the best in this situation. Imagine it is you - get a living will today. Leave one copy with your doctor, keep one copy at home and one in a safe deposit box. Don't forget a power of attorney so your loved one can take care of your financial matters if you are incapacitated.