Monday, April 04, 2005

Terri Schiavo

Vast amounts of words have been written relating to this case. The following are the apparent facts that shape my opinions on it, and my opinions themselves - though it is all pretty irrelevant now.

In the past, her husband pursued a case for compensation, for the cost of supporting her for the rest of her life. He was awarded $300,000; she was awarded $700,000. Who stands to benefit if she dies? He does - he gets the other $700,000. If this settlement was based on her life being supported, then doesn't that imply that if her life doesn't continue, then any balance of the settlement ought to be forfeit?

The husband is now in another relationship, and has two children by that relationship. Natural enough, of course, but if this is the case, then Terri and her husband are effectively separated - is he the right person then to decide what is in her best interests? Does he in any case have the right (as was reported) to deny her parents access to her?

Although she was in a coma, she was not being kept alive by machinery - her body was keeping itself alive. I understand she could even take nutrition by mouth, although it was more convenient to feed her intravenously.

By removing this tube, and denying her nutrition by other means, she was effectively starved to death.

If these are the facts, then I'm not surprised at people's indignation, and that Terri's husband is now living in fear of his life - though two wrongs don't make a right. But none of us should ultimately be afraid of people. They can only kill the body. They cannot kill the soul. The only one you should fear is the one who can destroy the body and the soul in hell.

See also this and this.

No comments: