Peggy Noonan writes eloquently in today’s Wall Street Journal about how mystified she is at the passions and fevers of the “pull-the-tube” people in pursuit of Terri Schiavo’s death:
I do not understand the emotionalism of the pull-the-tube people. What is driving their engagement? Is it because they are compassionate, and their hearts bleed at the thought that Mrs. Schiavo suffers? But throughout this case no one has testified
that she is in persistent pain, as those with terminal cancer are. …
I do not understand why people who want to save the whales (so do I) find campaigns to save humans so much less arresting. I do not understand their lack of passion. …
I do not understand why those who want a freeze on all death penalty cases in order to review each of them in light of DNA testing — an act of justice and compassion toward those who have
been found guilty of crimes in a court of law — are uninterested in giving every last chance and every last test to a woman whom no one has ever accused of anything.
I’ll add another “I do not understand” to the debate. I do not understand how we can excuse Michael’s efforts on her request to not be artificially kept alive. If we assume that she really said it and meant it, we still have no legal obligation to honor that wish.
People suffering from depression, cancer, or any other disease where their minds are still functioning well enough to make decisions in our society often desire and even attempt to kill themselves to escape. But when someone steps in and helps in those efforts, we still consider it illegal. So tell me how this is any different.
How can we justify killing someone because she at one point said she wanted it when we cannot justify helping to kill others who also say they want to die? That tells me that we still know there is a problem with assisted suicide and just don’t have the strength to say it.
Thank you to everybody who is willing to stand up for what they know is right.