But do we actually believe that loving parents -- parents who would eagerly trade places with Terri in an instant -- would place their own comfort above their daughter's? If not, how can we possibly believe they would fight to prolong her suffering? In examining this case from a distance, isn't it much easier to believe Terri's parents' assessment of her desire to continue living than that of her adulterous husband, whose conflict of interest should disqualify him from guardianship in this case and participation in this decision?
And isn't the essential argument of those wanting the tube removed that Terri's wishes ought to be honored? Since Terri left no legal document directing her death in these circumstances, shouldn't the system require clear and convincing evidence that Terri indeed would want to die in these circumstances? Yet the court is relying on the hearsay evidence of Terri's estranged husband, Michael.
The question is whether as a society we want to resolve these very difficult, doubtful cases in favor of death.
I detect more than a bit of intellectual dishonesty among many favoring Terri's death. They are claiming they merely want to honor Terri's wishes, yet they rely on her tainted husband, callously discount the testimony of her loving parents, blindly accept the disinformation that Terri is in a purely vegetative state, and ignore multiple firsthand accounts, including from examining physicians and nurses, that Terri is responsive, sometimes animated, and definitely wants to go on living.
Could it be that something besides Terri's wishes motivates many of the death-soldiers, such as an allegiance to the culture of death, or some abject, inhumane resentment that we spend so much money keeping severely disabled people alive? I've received appalling e-mails from people complaining about the financial burden on society in keeping Terri alive.
I'm not pointing fingers at anyone specifically, because I know that many who want the tube removed are motivated by their perceived compassion for Terri and even honoring Terri's wishes. But I fear that many arguing for tube removal are doing so with complete disregard for Terri's actual wishes in this case. To the extent that is going on, we are witnessing up-close the face of evil.
We must fight on ? More prayers for Terri.