Dead or Alive …

That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind about the Terri Schiavo case going on in Florida. This case has been generating heat for quite sometime. And for those of you not following it or those not in this continent here is the gist …

Terri Schiavo has been brain dead for the last fifteen years, she can breath on her own but she gets food through a tube. Her husband wants this tube removed so she can die with dignity, he claims that she had mentioned to him that she would never want to be kept alive artificially. While her parents want her to be artificially kept alive hoping that someday there would be a cure for her. The courts have ordered the tubes removed thrice, the latest was last week. The government doesn’t want to do that, they have brought in laws and used other tactics to reinstate the tube and keep Terri alive. The doctors meanwhile claim that she is in a “persistent vegetative state” with no hope for recovery

The politicians aren’t wanting to keep the feeding out of concern for Terri but more to pander to their electorate. There have been lots of bizarre twists in this case, the Florida law that was passed last time by Jeb Bush was deemed illegal by the state’s supreme court. And a few people had also offered Terri’s husband upto 10 million to let go of his rights and divorce her. Right now there are candle light prayers being conducted outside the hospital and the governor’s mansion. The irony of this situation is that most people who want Terri to be kept alive artificially would also support the death penalty, which is claimed by some to be state sponsored murder.

What it all ultimately comes down to between the “right to die cases”, death penalty and abortion, is who decides on what is murder and what is not. It many not be all black and white, actually its grey mostly. Take for instance the death penalty, I personally think that its a good deterrence, heck as the women’s organization in India want, we need to hang all rapists. And I think most of the religious right would agree with me. The Catholic church is one of the strongest opponents of the death penalty i.e they don’t want anybody hanged unless they have been charged with heresy or during the process of inquisition(Joking about the later part).

Joking apart, this is a real ethical issue. You want to keep a person alive in a vegetative state and want to save the unborn embryo but at the same time hang criminals (That after keeping them alive at considerable cost to the tax payer). As this statement applies mostly to the religious right (to which I belong some of the times) in most countries, I wonder whether God has given them (I am also included in ‘them’) a special right to decide on when a person is fit to live. The previous statement does not apply to the catholic denomination of Christians as they oppose the death penalty. But their support needs to be taken with a pinch of salt as the church has been on of the strongest and most wide users of the death penalty during the middle ages. The politicians do not lag behind, even their stand has been dependent on the mood of the nation, pandering to the electorate. They want to keep alive a person who is in a vegetative state with their ‘righteous indignation’ while half of them support abortion (Killing of embryos) and the other half support the death penalty.

to be continued …

Fish Count for the day – 12/20 – Day 7

“The death penalty can be tolerated only by extreme statist reactionaries, who demand a state that is so powerful that it has the right to kill.”
Noam Chomsky


6 thoughts on “Dead or Alive …

  1. Anonymous

    It’s a Clint Eastwood movie. It’s about a female boxer… but I can’t give the story away! That would spoil it! You could read summaries online, but that would not do it justice.



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