March 20, 2005

The Night of the Living Dead

The feeding frenzy around the Terri Schiavo case is absolutely sickening. Digby points out that people who read liberal blogs know how hypocritical the Republicans are as they rally around this case while doing everything they can to cut off legitimate access to the courts, to decent health care, and they think nothing of having the government stick its nose into our most intimate and personal decisions.

Julia's post about the waitress who was revulsed by this display is what needs to be put front and center in this affair.

'Two years ago,'' she said, ``I had to make the same decision for my son. It was the hardest thing I ever did. You don't plan on your children dying before you do. You don't even want to think about it.

''But if you love your child,'' she continued, tears welling up in her eyes, ``sometimes you have to let them go.''

Shorty's son, Jerry, was 36 when he died in 2003 from pancreatic cancer. He wasn't married. He had one child who was a minor, so the decisions fell to her.

''Toward the end, he didn't want to be kept alive,'' she said. ``But I wanted him to live. I didn't want him to go. The hospital, they had to tie his hands down so that he couldn't pull his own tubes out.

'After a while, I realized he was ready. I told him how much I loved him and I didn't want him to continue to suffer because of me. He couldn't talk anymore, so he wrote me a note. It said, `Forgive me.' And I looked at it and I said, 'For what? For dying?' And he shook his head yes.''

Her son was lucky, he at least could indicate his wishes to his mother. And she cared enough about him to let him go. There is something terribly obscene about believing a life extended beyond the soul of the person is somehow an indication of loving life.

The parents have been used by the right wing in this ghoulish crusade. They have been conned into thinking there is hope when every realistic assessment of her condition is there is no one left at home. And the money that is behind this con is part of that VRWC we know and love.

Imagine a world of people kept alive, but only as zombies, without any ability to ever think or feel or love or care, and then imagine that is you or your loved one. What would you want? To have your body linger on decades after you have left? Without a spinal cortex, you would never come back. How does this honor life?

Posted by Mary at March 20, 2005 09:04 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |