Monday, August 24, 2009

Distorting The Terri Schiavo Case

Via Memeorandum:

If the Left wishes to bring the heart breaking case of Terri Schiavo in to the health care debate something more honest than The Schiavo Saga and “Death Panels”. The author attempts to smear those who tried unsuccessfully to protect Terri as hypocrites:

This isn't just an amusing example of hypocrisy, however. It's worth noting that both the demand for federal intervention in the Schiavo case, and the "death panel" smear, have largely emanated from the Right-to-Life movement (the latter via their most prominent spokesperson, Sarah Palin), which routinely suggests that legalized abortion will eventually lead to government-sponsored euthanasia. Indeed, though it hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as the "death panel" talk, health reform opponents have often claimed (without any real evidence) that reform is intended to promote publicly-financed abortions as well as euthanasia.

The abortion-euthanasia connection matters because the people promoting the "death panel" meme are not, in fact, opposed to government intervention in end-of-life decisions, any more than they are opposed to government intervention in a woman's decision whether to carry a pregnancy to term. They simply want the intervention to follow their own absolutist views about human life.

First, Conservatives are not now nor have they ever been opposed to advanced directives. Making end of life decisions when healthy spares loved ones from guessing at what somebody might desire when they are no longer able to speak for themselves. Had Terri Schiavo had a Living Will, none of the drama that occurred after her heart attack would have taken place. Unfortunately, she had not made her feelings known and her family disagreed. Her husband, who had been living with another woman and fathered two children with her, wanted Terri disconnected from life support. Her parents disagreed and contended that Mr. Schiavo had forfeited his rights to Terri by living in a ‘marriage arrangement’ with another woman. In the absence of any directive by Terri, conservatives agreed with the parents and felt that if there were an error to be made, it should be made on the side of life.

There is no hypocrisy. Conservatives consistently favor preserving and protecting innocent life. Liberals consistently have shown no interest in preserving life, at least not human life. Perhaps if Terri had been a whale, things would have been different.

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