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March 29, 2007

Terri Schiavo-- Enduring Questions

Topics: Remembering Terri

If the sad case of Terri Schiavo has demonstrated anything, it has pointed to a horrible set of legal precedents and court decisions. The courts have increasingly identified a "right to die" as a matter of legal protection and, in some cases, of constitutional right. In so doing, the courts have put themselves into inevitable conflict with larger moral questions.

When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its infamous Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion in 1973, it based its decision on a medical structure of pregnancy trimesters that is now thoroughly out of date and should have been discredited from the start. Similarly, in its 1990 decision, Cruzan v. Director, the Court determined that hydration and food were forms of medical treatment that could be denied, either by the patient or by the patient's legal agent. These precedents set the stage for the tragedy experienced by Terri Schiavo.

Amazingly enough, those pushing for Terri Schiavo's death now champion her case as a triumph of "judicial supremacy." A myriad of commentators, political analysts, and editorialists have suggested that, in Terri Schiavo's case, the courts were a bulwark of sanity, process, and the avoidance of political considerations. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the courts were deeply imbedded in a political process, and the refusal of a U.S. federal judge to follow the clear will of Congress and the President constitutes a threat to the separation of powers.

Read the rest by R. Albert Mohler

Posted by tim at March 29, 2007 2:02 PM


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