Fundamentally, is it not better to build our slippery slope on the side of a beating heart?
It is better not to build a slippery slope with the intent of removing power from our judicial system. One hard to believe argument is that Terri's federal rights were not protected - they WERE protected in federal courts.
"I pose this strictly as a philosophical question...thousands of people living among snarls of medical tubing and industrial machinery, or medical and insurance costs, or even family hardship, which all combined might incite a riot for euthanasia."
This is not a philosophical question it is a question from a Fundamentalist who fears the word 'euthanasia'.
"..Michael Schiavo's..."common-law" marriage to another woman with whom he has children. Common sense tells us that Michael Schiavo's personal interests vis-a-vis his new family were in direct conflict with those of Terri Schiavo..."
Fundamental nonsense. Michael Schiavo vowed to stay married to Terri till death do us part and that is what he did. His in-laws, before the scrabble over money, knowing Terri could no longer be a wife to Michael, approved of his dating. The kink here is the inability...maybe even fear...of the reality we are faced with - a person CAN and often does love more than one person at a time.
"Mute and brain-damaged, she couldn't object or divorce her husband, who insisted that she die while refusing to divorce her"
So you are saying divorce is better?
"...though he lived with another woman in a no-fault state that also doesn't recognize common-law marriage."
So there was no common-law marriage as you stated above.
"At this point, everyone asks, 'Yes, but would you want to live that way?' No, most of us wouldn't..."
And if you were in her shoes Ms. Parker would you want your braid dead body flashed over the media for days on end - neck extended, wrists curling up, legs spread, feet extended? If the show had lasted a couple years longer we would have seen her fingernails press into her hands as the wrists contracts more, her arms contracted to her shoulders and her knees contracted to her chest - a fetal position except neck and feet more extended - a very very slow death and near impossible to keep the crevices cleaned.
"Whether Terri Schiavo was conscious of her suffering is the question of essence."
And here is the answer. Collectively, nurses working in any institution, are there 24/7 and they write notes of their patients condition which include how responsive or non responsive they are on any give day.
As a retired registered nurse I have been witness to people dying after a feeding tube was removed, some who had even more live brain cells than Terri, and never never did I witness physical suffering of the patient - what I did witness was a new measure of peace.
Putting your first statement last:
"...Terri Schiavo's death.... What are we to make of it?....something went terribly wrong here."
What if Terri's Spirit was hovering above...not unlike stories we have heard of a patient being out of his body and watching the doctors perform surgery...and was witness to the warring of her beloved husband and parents - her city, state, and country all watching...
...the way she was compared to the suffering of Jesus and the Pope, the way her father, on Good Friday, announced that she only had hours left - was he convinced Terri and Jesus and the Pope made a trinity?
What if, once on the other side, a person is able to see thru motives, understand the truth (even the ones we hide from ourselves, and retain the right to face the liars with their lies when liars reach the other side?
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