Thursday, October 16, 2003

Suicide by Court Order

The Barrister has posted an interesting 'blog on the legal ironies surrounding Terri Schiavo, and how under certain circumstances, Governor Bush could actually commute Terri's efective death sentence.

For the sake argument, however, let's say Terri's dirtbag of a husband is to be believed, and that she actually did express a clear desire not to be kept alive should she ever be in a permanent vegetative state (which, btw, I don't believe she is in). Would this make the decision by the Florida courts to have her feeding tubes removed so she can slowly die credible, or even correct? Absolutely not. People in a permanent vegetative state are not, per se, suffering from a terminal illness that would normally kill them without the aid of artificial life support. As such, what Terri has allegedly requested to do here is commit suicide on the subjective premise that being in a permanent vegetative state is undignified and less than human. From a rational and moral standpoint, this is not something the state of Florida should be condoning, much less assisting. But it is, and as long as it does so, one should not be surprised to learn one day that licenses will be available for anyone who is interested in running a business specializing in assisted suicide. Jack Kervorkian isn't a deranged criminal. He was just ahead of his time.

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