A Two-Pronged Tragedy

I had all but resolved to let the Terri Schiavo story go over the weekend. But here we are again, now facing a two-pronged tragedy.

First of all, there’s the painful tragedy of Terri’s dehydration and starvation, all too graphically described by Nat Hentoff in today’s Washington Times. Some who disagree might choose to listen to Hentoff rather than to me, unless it has been deemed that he has also joined the “radical religious right-wing” conspiracy.

The other tragedy is the one of near anarchy brought forward so clearly by Captain Ed, that his post is essential reading today for those of the center-right persuasion: especially supporters of Terri’s right to live. I agree with Ed that Randall Terry has begun hijacking this case for some other agenda since this is no longer about the family’s wishes. The mobs have taken over in their demands to reinsert the feeding tube, but Ed also linked to an interesting CNN story describing the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade’s own rabid counter-demonstrations. This is getting out of hand now.

I’m not sure what to say to do now that Judge Greer, in the dogmatic rush to death, has left too many shadows of doubt hanging over this case which has fomented many passionate (and sadly, many extreme and illegal) responses. Maybe demand an autopsy be done – though I’m not sure how effective such demands will be. Definitely, it’s time for a national dialogue on rights of the disabled and “right-to-die” issues.

But I also think it’s time for the demonstrators to go home – at the behest of her parents, whose intimate interests as potential caregivers we do not share. As one who has supported their legal fight to keep Terri alive, I hope my voice of reason makes a difference.

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