I’ll write about it once, and then forget it

Hopefully my writing has made this clear already, but in case it hasn’t, you should know that I don’t particularly thrive on writing about the hot topics in the news. I already hate the news media enough as it is, so I really don’t need any more reasons to hate it. But I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time now, especially since it has been the primary news story for the past week or two. What rights does Terry Schiavo have?

I’ll start off by giving you my opinions, and then tell you why I’m right and let you know why you’re wrong if you disagree.

1. I believe that not only does Terry Schiavo have the right to die, but she should have been disconnected from her feeding tube ten years ago. Yes, her family claims that she has responded to them at times. She has cried, laughed, and even looked at them (woo). My dog can do more things than that. My dog not only recognizes my voice, but she will sit, speak, shake, lie down, and even roll over (again, woo). For a dog, their life expectancy is about 10-12 years, give or take. They grow from a puppy to an adult in about two years or so. Proportionally, human children are expected to live 75 years, give or take. And while humans grow mentally, socially, and emotionally for their entire lives, by the time a human has reached 2-3 ‘dog years’ (15-22 years old) they have for the most part reached an adult level of physical development. What am I saying? That in fifteen years, if Shiavo has failed to develop past her infantile level of physical acuity, then logic would say that we shouldn’t expect her to develop a whole lot more by now. I admire that her parents have never given up hope for their daughter, but I’m a realist (not a pessimist, a realist). I’m sorry your daughter suffered brain damage. It’s a terrible thing. But at this point in your life, your ‘optimism’ is merely a way of covering up your inability to let go. You fighting for your daughter is not an example of hope shining through the darkness. It’s an example of emotional damage which has never healed, and will continue to bleed as long as your daughter is alive.

2. If you were living on life support, you wouldn’t want to live that way for that long, either. Think about what Terry can do. She can lie in bed all day. She can’t watch tv, because she doesn’t comprehend it. She can’t be relational, because she can’t communicate. She cannot take care of herself, because she doesn’t even have the ability to move of her own volition. Terry Shiavo is not living, machines and nurses are living for her.

It would be one thing if Schiavo was a quadrapalegic, unable to physically take care of herself but still mentally, emotionall, and socially a healthy human being. If that were the case, then I believe her husband would have no right to take her off of life support (not to mention the fact that she probably wouldn’t be on it). This is not simply a matter of a man wanting to get rid of ‘unwanted baggage’ so he can marry and live a normal life. The man has stuck with her for fifteen years. If his only goal was to get married and rid himself of the troubles of caring for his incapacitated wife, he would’ve gotten divorced a decade ago. Don’t make Michael Schiavo out to be the bad guy (although I don’t know him, so he could be…but you don’t know him either, so don’t). This woman is only considered living because machines keep her alive. Let this be my written statement to my family: if I ever am declared brain-dead and am living on life support, give me some time to recover. But if after a little while it’s clear that nothing is going to change with me, then take me off of life support. I don’t want to live that way. I’d much rather die and be in Heaven.

3. Think about the amount of money this has cost us. Our taxes are going to help keep Terry alive, and are now also paying our Senators $160,000 a year to make bogus legislation to try and keep Schiavo alive. Let’s crunch some numbers. At the least, it is costing $2,000/day to keep Terry alive, and I would guess it’s probably a whole lot more than that. But for the sake of safe estimation, that amounts to $730,000/year. Over 15 years, we’re looking at almost $11m in hospital bills to keep her alive. Regardless of whether her insurance or the government is paying for it, and I would guess they both are, that $11 million dollars has been paid for by me. By my taxes, and by my insurance money, and by my social security.

Now, as Christians we would always claim that life is worth more than money can place an amount on. And, in theory, that is true. But realistically, $11 million dollars is a lot of money. There are very few people on the face of that earth that would be able to pay that. I love my family, but if they were being held for $11m ransom, there’s no way I could pay. I’m sorry; I just don’t have any way of paying an $11 million dollar bounty. And that would be to recover them, still a functioning human being. We have paid that bounty for Terry Schiavo, only for her to be just as brain dead as she was 15 years ago, and as much as I value human life, there has to be a point where we accept the things that happen in life. I don’t know why she went brain dead, and I wish she wouldn’t have. But she did. It’s a part of life. It’s time to accept that, and move on. Life isn’t things being perfect. Life is dealing with the imperfect things that happen throughout our days. That”s why I’m so glad my hope is in the Lord. If it wasn’t for my hope that he came to be my salvation, and that his blood atones for my sins, then there would be little purpose to life.

I would like to go on, but I need to go. Hopefully I’ve made some clear, well-presented arguments in the last few paragraphs. If not, I will certainly expound on my standpoints later. But for now, I look forward to your comments, thoughts, and responses.

What do you think?