Tuesday, March 22, 2005
On Terri Schiavo
The Schiavo case has attracted national attention. In this post, I will give my views on the matter.
I am a libertarian. I am pro choice, and I feel that, if somebody has signed an advance directive, their wishes should be respected. However, there is no advance directive in the Schiavo case. All we have is the word of an adulterous husband. If Michael Schiavo has his way, Terri will die a slow death by dehydration and starvation. If a murderer were condemned to die this way, the ACLU would be raising holy Hell. Where are they now that an innocent woman has been condemned to die this way? Michael Schiavo is living with another woman, and has had a child with her. Let him divorce Terri, who he does not seem to care much about. Then, guardianship would pass on to her parents, who would allow her to continue receiving the “extraordinary” treatment of food and water, and allow her to receive therapy that might allow her to communicate and swallow on her own, without the aid of a feeding tube, treatment her “husband” has denied her.
As a general matter of law, I think that, absent an advance directive, the presumption should be that the person wants to live, because all beings naturally preserve their own existence, insofar as they are able.