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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Thank God!

Here is Terri Schiavo's autopsy report. It leaves no room for doubt: she was persistently vegetative.

The decedent's brain was grossly abnormal and weighed only 615 grams (1.35 lbs). That weight is less than half of the expected tabular weight for a decedent of her adult age... By way of comparison, the brain of Karen Ann Quinlan weighed 835 grams at the time of her death, after 10 years in a similar persistent vegetative state.

(The neuropathologist goes on to point out that PVS is a clinical diagnosis and cannot be determined by anatomical examination, but that's about as conclusive as the data can get.)

This does not alter several key facts in the case, however:

- The autopsy proved that autonomic functions could continue essentially indefinitely. Unlike Karen Quinlan, Schiavo was not on a respirator. All Quinlan's family sought was removal of artificial life support. Quinlan continued to live for ten years after her respirator was removed, but she was never starved or dehydrated.

- Even if they were deluded concerning potential for improvement, all Schiavo's parents wanted was to care for her in her existing state. Cast what aspersions you will upon their desire to keep their daughter around as a vegetable, wanting her dead entailed a judgment that death was warranted based on "quality of life" considerations. Schiavo was not being kept alive artificially, unless food, water, and oxygen are "artificial," in which case we're all on life support.

- The act of killing Schiavo was just that--a killing. Care givers took proactive measures to kill her by physically removing sustenance. This is qualitatively--and morally--different than removing Karen Quinlan's life support. Again, the latter lived ten years in a PVS, with no proactive efforts taken to kill her.

- There were still ample circumstantial reasons for doubting Michael Schiavo's motives at the time, even if those doubts proved (at least partially) unjustified. Given that, the law should have presumed Terri's innocence and hence not imposed a de facto death sentence on her.

- Actively killing the helpless based on subjective quality of life criteria in the absence of clear directives from the person in question is still morally wrong and ethically dangerous and always will be, regardless of circumstances.

It is a road the left in this country wishes to drive us down, however, because it feeds the left's religious concept of man: only the individual's ego is sacred and inviolate (hence the "right to choose" to kill an emerging human life without a developed ego); that ego has no existence outside the physical body (there is no "soul"); absent the ability to consciously lobby for its rights, a human's worth is no different or better than that of a plant, insect, or lower animal (cf PETA on "lobster liberation") and that worth is largely determined by group membership status anyway (bourgeois, Jew, WASP = "bad;" proletarian, palestinian, Amerind = "good;" etc)

The fact that such killing is now common is Europe is an argument against allowing the left to continue down this path, regardless of what Justice Ginsberg may think about that. The fact that many western EU nations have decided on this path is testimony to their moral decadence. The continent that gave the world naziism, Soviet communism, existentialism, Darwinian nationalism, and so on, has no right to lecture the US on any moral matter. If us cowboys ain't had time to examine a complex moral issue, chances are the Europinkies have (with their 25-hour work weeks) and a handy rule of thumb should be: 'are they fer it? Then I'm agin' it. Are they agin' it? Then I'm fer it!'

My bottom line: I'm thankful to God that she was in a PVS. The mind that might have perceived the pain and the cruelty of what was being done to her was long gone, and that should be a relief to all who supported Terri Schiavo's cause.


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