March 31, 2005

PHILOSOPHY: TERRI SCHINDLER SCHIAVO

WHAT IS A HUMAN BODY?
We do not HAVE bodies, we ARE bodies.
Terri did not HAVE a body, she WAS a body.

DID TERRI HAVE A RIGHT TO EXIST?
Terri's body had a right to exist regardless of her state of mind.
Terri's body had a right to exist because it IS Terri.
Terri THE PERSON is both body and mind. Body and mind are united in one PERSON.
Terri did not need to justify her existence. No human being does.

IS THE MIND MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BODY?
The body is not unimportant once the mind "goes" or is suspended.
The body is not just spare parts. The body has an integrity and a life of its own.

WHY DON'T WE AFFORD HUMANS THE SAME DIGNITY AS ANIMALS?
Veterinarians only consider animals dead when the heart stops beating.

WHY DON'T WE AFFORD HUMANS THE SAME DIGNITY AS HOUSEPLANTS?
What did it take to "keep Terri alive"? Less than it takes to keep me alive!
Terri needed a little nutrition and hydration. Folks, we do as much for houseplants.

THE TWO MAIN ISSUES: "EXTRAORDINARY MEANS" AND "TERRI WANTED TO DIE."

EXTRAORDINARY MEANS
"Artificial means" needs to be differentiated into "extraordinary" and "ordinary." Isn't a feeding tube so simple and commonplace that it could be called "ordinary" today? What if someone froze to death in their apartment because they didn't have heat. Would we say: "Oh, that's OK: electrical heat is artificial"?
Isn't that what modern progress is all about? Incorporating simple, life-preserving technologies and discoveries into our everyday lives?
TERRI WANTED TO DIE
If Terri indeed said: "No tubes for me," what did she mean by that? Did she mean heart/lung "tubes"? Did she really understand that she could live happily for years on a feeding tube? Would she have chosen to die of starvation? It's true that people don't have to be kept alive "artificially" if they don't want to, but shouldn't that decision be made early on in the process, not after the person has been living quite successfully for years? Even if Terri "wanted to die," do we allow euthanasia in this country? Do we allow suicide? Do we not stop people from jumping off ledges even if they really want to? Why do we have "suicide watches"?

DIDN'T TERRY HAVE A "RIGHT TO DIE" IN "PEACE" AND "DIGNITY"?
Didn't Terri's RIGHT TO LIVE come first? As Msgr. William Smith of NYC, a euthanasia expert, says: "The Bill of Rights has given us all the rights we need. If someone is handing out new rights: Don't get in line! It won't be good!"(See also above: "Terri wanted to die.")
Wasn't Terri LIVING in peace and dignity until she was starved to death? Are the disabled somehow robbed of peace and dignity and therefore should want to die (or should have that decision made for them)? Are there not healthy human beings deprived of peace and dignity in various ways? Should we kill them too? Exactly what is this "peace" and "dignity" that trumps the most basic of all human rights, the RIGHT TO LIFE?

ISN'T EVERYONE "DISABLED" IN SOME WAY?
I have a completely non-functioning thyroid. If I stop taking my synthetic thyroid hormone, I will die. Trust me, I tried it. As human beings, NONE of us is stand-alone "viable." Sorry. Did you raise yourself as a baby and a child? Even if you're living alone in the wilderness now, did you make the axe you use? How about the venison and berries you survive on? To be completely independent, you would have to have created first yourself, and then have created all the things that keep you in existence. Ex nihilo (out of nothing). Sorry. We are contingent beings. But this is not our shame, it's our glory! We are part and parcel of something, Someone way bigger than we are, with ALL the perks. And we are co-creators with the Creator! How cool is that?

Terri, you and I are the same age. I hope we all tried hard enough. Maybe we should have forcibly removed you en masse in a Joan Andrews Bell-type manuever.

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say: 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" --Proverbs 24:11-12

2 comments:

  1. Amen, Sister :-)

    It seems a weird excuse from a materialist society that the "person" is gone, if the body is still there. Since when did materialists become dualists?? At one moment they say a person is soley the chemical and physical processes the constitute their body, and the next that the mind is something beyond those processes.

    Man will justify anything in his pride and selfishness.

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