Ben Shapiro

If the state of Florida had not acted, Terri Schiavo would soon be dead. She would have died because liberal secularists value death over life.

Terri Schiavo is an innocent woman. In 1990, at the age of 26, she became brain damaged as a result of a sudden medical collapse. Oxygen flow to her brain stopped, and she lost the ability to move or communicate with any regularity. But she is still alive. She breathes on her own. Her heart beats on its own. She smiles, cries and responds to family members.

While Terri's parents wished to keep her alive, Terri's husband, Michael, wanted to pull the food tube from Terri's mouth and allow her to starve and dehydrate to death.

Why? The reasons are unclear. Michael said that Terri would not want to live as she does now -- that it would be better for her to die. Some evidence suggests that Michael wanted Terri to die because he would have gained financially from her demise. Michael would have received the remainder of Terri's $750,000 medical fund, as well as possible life insurance money.

This case is nuanced enough that pro-lifers and pro-pull-the-pluggers should not have split along political lines. But strangely enough, the pro-Terri vs. pro-Michael debate did divide along political lines. In broad terms, those defending Terri's right to life are anti-abortion; those defending Michael's plug-pulling are pro-choice. Those defending Terri's right to life are religious; those defending Michael's plug-pulling are secular. Those defending Terri's right to life are politically conservative; those defending Michael's plug-pulling are politically liberal. Why?

Because America's conservative religious community constantly strives to find reasons for preserving life, in accordance with the biblical text: "Before you I have placed life and death, the blessing and the curse. You must choose life, so that you and your descendants will live" (Deuteronomy 30:19). For the religious, every life is worth living, even if we do not know the purpose of a given life. Terri Schiavo is a life -- therefore, Terri Schiavo is worth saving.

Those who are liberal and secular focus on "quality of life." What kind of life is worth living? Is the mentally disabled child worth keeping or aborting? Should the elderly, in pain, riddled with disease, be allowed euthanasia? Not only are these questions asked, they are all answered in the same way: Those kinds of lives are not worth living. Terri Schiavo's life is of limited quality -- therefore, Terri Schiavo is not worth saving.

Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro is an attorney, a writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He is editor-at-large of Breitbart and author of the best-selling book "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV."
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