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The cartoons and contemplations of a twentysomething copy editor.

Monday, March 21, 2005

On Terri Schiavo

President Bush has signed into law a measure calling for a judge to review the Terri Schiavo case. Terri, 41, has been in a coma since 1990. Bush's action comes after Terri's husband, Michael, successfully petitioned to have his wife's feeding tube removed. If it stays removed, Terri is expected to die within two weeks.

Many people in this country are following this situation. Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal, views this as a simple case of life or death, and I agree. Terri Schiavo should be kept alive by any means necessary. I don't think we should give anyone the power to terminate life.

I'm disturbed that Michael Schiavo wants Terri's life to end. No matter what his relatives say, I don't trust his motives. He has another child with another woman, and in trying to end his wife's life, he has battled her parents in the Florida courts.

If Michael wants to start a new family with someone else, let him. But let Terri Schiavo live, too. Maybe Terri will recover from her coma, maybe not. However, it's not for anyone but life itself to determine when she will do that.

As for those who are upset that Bush and Congress have intervened in a situation they opposed: I think their work achieved a good result, and I would have been dismayed if someone did not intervene. Does this set a dangerous precedent? No, merely a dangerous continuance. In the nineteenth century, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall decided against President Andrew Jackson's plan to forcibly move the Cherokee Nation out of its lands in the South. Jackson went ahead with his plan anyway, and said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!"


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