Schiavo illustrates that even facts don’t matter for some

Sean Hackbarth’s entry in The American Mind provides a synopsis of the autopsy report and comments with some good links.

The report exonerates the husband and the legal system and disputes many of the allegations made by the parents. Schiavo had lost nearly half her brain mass including those areas needed to see. There was no evidence of abuse.

But that is not enough for those on the parent’s side. They refuse to accept the autopsy findings and seek to find loopholes or other rationale for their views. They completely bypass the real issues at hand and wallow about in the mud of emotion. The issues that need to be clarified and rationally discussed include the following.

1) Who speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves? Is a husband really one with and for his wife? What criteria should society use to render asunder the marriage vows?

2) How much should society value life using what criteria? The fact is that resources do have limits. When resources are used for one then they cannot be used for others. Where are the limits? How to we determine where the line is?

3) What is death? If half of your brain is gone and you cannot function, are you still alive?

There are many falsehoods being used as givens in this debate as well. One example is that the manner of Schiavo’s death was “cruel” or worse. This flies in the face of the fact that her death was via a process she imposed herself and caused her condition to exist because intervention prevented final death. It also flies in the face of the many seniors whose main health problem is a failure to eat and drink sufficient for their needs.

The issues are important. They will become more important as the population ages and we are faced with health cost limitations on care. The process used in this case was carefully formulated with much consideration and the husband, the courts, and other state agencies did follow that process. Those who dislike the outcome in this case need to go back to that process and how it was formulated and start their own process of change, if that is what they really think is needed.

However, they should probably avoid the kind of silliness the House of Representatives recently illustrated in exempting book and library record searches in Patriot Act provisions. This was a knee jerk ‘keep em happy’ solution to a problem that didn’t exist.

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