Star Trek v. Schiavo

I’ve had a few intense conversations with friends and family over the course of the last week or so regarding the eventual fate of Terry Schiavo. I come solidly down on the side of “leave the tube in, because there’s always a chance”. In the absence of a living will and any evidence that Terry actually wanted to die in such a circumstance, I think it’s unacceptable to just starve her.
Today’s Bleat perfectly crystallizes my views using the metaphor of Capt. Pike from the original Star Trek:

But wouldn’t it have been easier for Spock just to come back and kill Pike for his own good? Wouldn’t it have been logical?
I’ll stop here before someone feels compelled to send an email comparing Terry Schiavo to Spock in that horrible episode in which his brain was gone – but even then, you’ll note, they beamed down and looked around for the damn thing. In short: err on the side of life is not a bad motto to keep in mind. This seems simple enough. I respect those who nod, count to three, and offer a soft “however” so that we may refine the particulars. But I don’t have much time for those who hear “err on the side of life” and automatically bristle, because they hear the voice of someone who, damn their black and God-addled brain, once sent $10 to a politician who opposed parental notification law that did not have a judicial review.
You may not always agree with that sort of person. You may have no need for them. But you never think you have need of any chocks until you’re in the truck, and you realize it’s rolling down the hill. Backwards.

I am constantly amazed by Lilek’s talent with words and metaphors and I, too, believe that “Err on the side of life” perfectly encapsulates the attitude we should be taking in this matter. Go and read the whole thing, as it’s well worth your time.

One Reply to “Star Trek v. Schiavo”

  1. This case is a ping pong game in my head where one side is saying, I wouldn’t want to live like that, I would be miserable. But the other side saying, hey the lady in Kansas came out of her coma state, and go along with your “it could happen” perspective. I find myself agreeing with the leave it in crowd though, but the thought of being trapped in her situation without communication and all would just piss me off, I guess she enjoys the little things now instead of the big picture.

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