James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Schiavo or Reeve?

As her adulterous husband, and then the state of Florida, and then the United States of America seem agreed that Terri Schiavo should be killed for the crime of not dying, what came to mind is a comment by comedian Tim Slagle at Liberty magazine shortly after Christopher Reeve's death. Slagle said, in short, that he felt sorry for Reeve's condition and was glad that he passed on, that while being a quadripolegic can't ever be good, being one while still young and after living an active life of opulence, with sound mind, must have been torture.

How do we know that brain-damaged people like Schiavo similarly suffer? Between the two, perhaps I'd rather be Schiavo than Reeve - who knows what is going on in her head? Maybe she's quite content. We do not kill the mentally retarded, the mentally ill, the autistic. We are not entitled to kill life just because we fear it or don't understand it. On paper, it is easy to say that I wouldn't want to live the way Schiavo lives, but that is not to say that Schiavo in her present condition prefers death to life.

This case may be bigger than we imagine - it is empowering individuals to kill their spouses.


  1. We kill our pets to stop them from suffering, yet we squeeze out every little bit of life out of someone that isn't there. It's not a mystery, she has no cereberal cortex. She's been dead for 15 years. If she is aware...15 years with a gtube in a nursing home is pure torture.

  2. Terri has not been certified "brain dead" by any medical doctor. If she's been "dead for 15 years" where's the certificate?

    There's a difference between being "aware" of one's surroundings, and being alive. I did not say that she is aware, only that she is alive, in a state no one really understands.

    Damn it! Give her a lethal injection, if her death is so important and such a great step for human progress. But don't pretend that starving and dehydrating a person to death is anything other than cruel and unusual punishment, for the "crime" of staying alive far beyond the convenience of her husband.