Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Saletan on the "Culture of Life"

In Slate today, William Saletan's column on the "culture of life" is an absolute MUST-READ. Here are a few choice paragraphs...

If Congress makes such decisions, here's the kind of judgment you'll get. At a press conference Saturday, one Republican congressman said his colleagues were intervening in the case "so that this young woman can continue to make her parents as happy as she has"—as though that were the purpose of her existence. DeLay accused Democrats of starving Schiavo to death. He called it "medical terrorism." One day DeLay said she'd die slowly of starvation; the next, he said Congress had to move fast because she'd die quickly of dehydration. Frist, who has asserted special credibility "as a physician," claimed that "neurologists who have examined her insist today that she is not in a persistent vegetative state"—neglecting to mention that neurologists who testified in court concluded the opposite. On the Senate floor, Frist claimed to have "been in a situation such as this many, many times," when in fact he had never made such an evaluation. On the basis of the family videos, he challenged the assessment made by doctors who had examined Schiavo in person.

... [snip]...

And here's the culture you'll get. Schiavo's parents have filed a motion to divorce her from her husband. Protesters at the hospice have suggested that the husband should be starved and the judge should be beaten. On the Senate floor, Frist has challenged the husband's right to make the decision because he has "a girlfriend." What about the judge's confidence in the husband's account of Schiavo's stated wishes? Unless Schiavo "had specifically written instructions in her hand and with her signature," scoffs DeLay, "I don't care what her husband says." This from an out-of-state congressman who got his legal training in campaign-finance creativity and his medical training in pest control.

If I were Terri Schiavo and saw what was being done to my body, my honor, and my country in my name, I'd sooner die.


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