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April 3, 2006

Terri's Death Need Not be in Vain

Topics: Moving Forward

Last year we noted a timely article on the important subject of where as a society, but most importantly those of us that strongly supported the value of human life regardless of it's "perceived Quality," go from after Terri Schiavo's death. We believe that the suggestions in this article offer a starting point to be added to, sort of a core set of minimum standards to proceed from methodically and with careful consideration, with the objective of helping those of us from all over the political and theological map that value life - to come together to turn back the culture of death.

Wesley J. Smith at the Weekly Standard reminds us that although TERRI SCHIAVO IS DEAD, her death by starvation and dehydration last week need not be in vain. He suggests that great good can still come from the harsh, two week ordeal she--and to a lesser extent, we--were all forced to undergo by the incompassionate and malicious court ordered death of a disabled woman unable to speak for herself (mostly my words, not Wesley's).

Wesley aptly writes that Terri's story generated a torrent of compassion. Hundreds of thousands of people who had never participated before in a major public event engaged untiringly in advocating for the sanctity and equal moral worth of the life of Terri Schiavo. And these many supporters were not, as the mainstream media took great glee in portraying, limited to the Randall Terry brand of religious activist or to orthodox Catholics. To the contrary, notables of the secular and religious left--Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, Nat Hentoff--joined in solidarity with their usual conservative opponents, such as President George W. Bush, Senator Bill Frist, and Rush Limbaugh, to declare that Terri should live.

Wesley suggests that deep political divisions can be overcome, at least for a time, in pursuit of a public morality that was sorely missing in the Terri Schiavo saga. Indeed, if Terri's supporters channel their passion into productive democratic reform, we can almost surely prevent future such miscarriages of justice.

What would such reforms look like? While great care should be taken in this important matter, here are a few initial suggestions(among the several items we would add would be the de-emphasis of "living wills - the tool of the euthanasia movement, and instead, the emphasis of the "Will to Live."):

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Posted by tim at April 3, 2006 2:05 AM

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