Thoughts on Terri Schiavo

I had a reader question me yesterday why I haven’t said anything about Terri Schiavo. After all, doesn’t her case present a challenging issue of family law, and isn’t this a family law blog?

Okay, here it is. I haven’t talked about the Terri Schiavo case here because I don’t think it matters. The most intriguing aspects of the Schiavo case have nothing to do with families or family law. Families deal with issues of life and death every day. It was about this time last year that my family and I dealt with them as my mother lay dying of congestive heart failure. Fortunately, all of us (including Mama) agreed on what to do, and we quietly allowed her life to end.

No, the challenges of the Schiavo case are political. First, it presents the almost comical image of the party that has trumpeted states’ rights for decades interfering in the most blatant and indefensible way into a state matter, exactly the kind of matter the states are supposed to resolve individually.

And by far the most painful reality to me of the Schiavo case is what it says about America. The American people (or at least the American media) seem obsessed with the life or death of one brain-dead (I guess she’s brain-dead) woman, yet we seem utterly unconcerned whether our war in Iraq has killed 200,000, 100,000, or only 50,000 previously healthy human beings.

I probably won’t say much more about Terri Schiavo.

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