Terri Schiavo

How much is a human life worth? That's the question posed by this article by a Harvard student with cerebral palsy:
“Misery can only be removed from the world by painless extermination of the miserable.”

—a Nazi writer quoted by Robert J. Lifton in The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide

The case of Terri Schiavo has been framed by the media as the battle between the “right to die” and pro-life groups, with the latter often referred to as “right-wing Christians.” Little attention has been paid to the more than twenty major disability rights organizations firmly supporting Schiavo’s right to nutrition and hydration. Terri Schindler-Schiavo, a severely disabled woman, is being starved and dehydrated to death in the name of supposed “dignity.” Polls show that most Americans believe that her death is a private matter and that her removal from a feeding tube—a low-tech, simple and inexpensive device used to feed many sick and disabled people—is a reasonable solution to the conflict between her husband and her parents over her right to life.

The reason for this public support of removal from ordinary sustenance, I believe, is not that most people understand or care about Terri Schiavo. Like many others with disabilities, I believe that the American public, to one degree or another, holds that disabled people are better off dead. To put it in a simpler way, many Americans are bigots. A close examination of the facts of the Schiavo case reveals not a case of difficult decisions but a basic test of this country’s decency. ...

Read the whole article at Discarded Lies.

Also read Victory Soap to find out what this is not about:
Here is a review, in case people need a refresher, of the many side issues that have nothing to do with Terri Schiavo's case:

Your aged and terminally ill relative who voluntarily refused food and nutrition and so died "peacefully" a couple of days later has nothing to do with the Schaivo situation. People dying of terminal diseases reach a point where they can no longer take in nutrition; in fact, it becomes a torment to them. Terri Schiavo was not dying from a terminal disease.

Your dying relative/friend/patient who was hooked up to a heart/lung machine but who showed no signs of brain activity after extensive tests, and who therefore had their "plug pulled" because they were not going to recover, have nothing to do with the Terri Schiavo case. Terri Schiavo's heart and lungs worked just fine.

The many people talking about how awful it would be to live "like that." Since none of these people really have any way of knowing exactly how awful life without much of a brain would be, this sort of speculation comes down on the side of "idle notions" and we should not be basing life and death actions on such twaddle. ...

Read the whole thing at the link. Also please read this post which takes up Victory Soap's last point on "idle notions".