Monday, June 20, 2005

No Right To Die

The Lord of the Schiavos continues to spawn spin-offs. Now Jeb Bush is attacking the NYT for its "grotesque and chilling disrespect for the sanctity of life." Let no one call Bush heartless; he is in fact immune to reality:
Terri Schiavo was a deeply loved daughter, wife, sister and friend. The fact that her brain was atrophied or that she was blind or could not have been rehabilitated doesn't change that fact.

While many medical professionals said she was in a persistent vegetative state, still other highly respected neurologists said there was a chance that she was not.

In cases where patients do not have an expressed written directive regarding end-of-life decisions and where the patient's guardian has a conflict of interest, it only makes sense to err on the side of life....Despite claims of cynicism and being "agenda-driven," we will continue to strive to protect our most vulnerable citizens. All innocent human life is precious, and government has a duty to protect the weak, the disabled and the vulnerable.
Slow down, guv. Surely the autopsy results are significant of something. That her brain was atrophied, that she was blind, and that she could never have recovered: that does not, indeed, change the fact that she was loved as a "daughter, wife, sister, and friend" (though now that you acknowledge her husband's love for her, you might find it in good taste to cease investigating him for domestic abuse).

I'm not sure, however, that anyone is alleging that our certainty that Terri Schiavo died in 1990 (cf. Terri Schiavo vs. "Terri Schiavo") improving from 99.8 to 100 percent has any bearing on the feelings of her friends and family for her. Nor indeed, is anyone suggesting that the metaphysical thisness of Jeb Bush is altered by the autopsy results; to be Jeb Bush is now and forever to be chock full of eight different kinds of shit. But there is an epistemic fact that has changed. Prior to the autopsy, the obfuscations of the Terri Troupe cast a haze over the whole affair: as somebody on the Daily Show said recently, was she in a persistent vegetative state or was she one pilates class away from joining Riverdance---ya just didn't know. Now, however, the fact that Bush & co. are repulsive lying cynics is plain for all to see.


At 2:18 PM, Blogger Nostradamus said...

Love the focus on Schiavo. Thanks.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am the president of the robert nozick appreciation association. i approve of this hard-headed political commentary. you induction the correct answers to the problems of our polity.


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