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Danny

This argument presumes that Terri Shiavo's parents are "right" and that their daughter is being "killed" instead of being "allowed to die" as she certainly would have already done 15 years ago if this had happened at a time before science could intervene and keep feeding her.

I share your self-torture on this subject but I think when people say that returning her to her parents is the simple, humane answer, that this is all about the agonizing and understandable desire on the part of those people to keep Terri alive at all costs for THEM, not for Terri Shiavo or what her wishes might be. It's too bad she didn't have a living will and frankly I'm surprised the courts haven't reverted guardianship to the parents considering all the machinations going on, but I just cannot bear the constant slander being leveled at the husband. Obviously I don't know him or if there are any less-than-pure motivations on his part for his actions, but I can imagine being in his exact position and engaging in such a fight with the desire to let my poor wife MOVE ON. I think it's often the case where a spouse would have a better understanding of a person's wishes about something like this than her parents would, and from every bit of medical evidence I've read this woman, who has been like this for 15 long years, is NOT coming back in any shape, way, or form. The whole fight over her is an obscene travesty in my opinion, and she should be given a two-second morphine injection and allowed to die already.

But who am I--who are any of us who are NOT her doctors or family members--to butt in with my opinions and judgments? I just know for a fact that if I were Terri Shiavo I would NOT want to be kept alive in my parents' care, and the one good thing from this sad case is that I and many like me ARE going to write living wills ASAP.

True Ancestor

Danny: well put. Part of what's been vexing about this is that, on one level, it really is a difficult issue (and another great excuse for self torture), and on another level, political maneuvering of the most obscene kind. It's sure to lead to harder Republican positioning on the appointment of judges to the Federal courts, for one thing.

This is also going to have a big effect -- I predict, although in what direction I'm not sure -- on the 2006 elections. And, most of all, estate planning lawyers should reap huge rewards from this.We should all be getting things squared away on that front.

Ally

I have a living will but I'm going to rewrite it to be as ambiguous as possible. Better to be famous as a vegetable than never famous at all!

Seriously, as I commented on Amba's blog, this case is driving me to despair. Obviously the underlying issues here are of vital importance. But please, people. The two trends that cause me despair are the sick media feeding frenzy culture that has developed, and which, I'm afraid, blogs exacerbate, and the accelerating trend toward a Christian fascism that we seem powerless to stop.

amba

Al - read the journal entry of Whitley Strieber's that I link to in my latest post. He blames the media more than the politicians -- calls this "the sickest media frenzy I can remember" and "the ghastly pornography of our decadent media."

Yes, being a vegetable (at least a contested one) could be a surer route to fame than writing a novel.

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