Terry Schiavo is starving tonight.
But, she will go into shock from dehydration in the next few hours before she ever dies from malnutrition.
Regardless of your views in this matter, those are the facts. The United States Congress has acted along with the President of the United States and the Governor of Florida on her behalf. Tonight, U.S. District Judge James Whittemore twiddles away precious hours considering an appeal filed Monday by Schiavo's parents with no indication of action. (Fox News)
Opinions abound on this confusing moral issue. That's not surprising in a nation so utterly confused and divided regarding moral issues. Even given that, one can understand the passion inspiring those who wish to save Terri. In a culture that celebrates life, protection is afforded the living and decisions are rendered that ere in favor of life. What is deeply troubling, is the contrasting passion spewing from those who wish this woman dead. Read for instance, Captain Ed's criticism of a New York Time's piece for misrepresenting Terri's condition and the efforts to save her. Or Michelle Maulkin's curiosity about the attacks from Leftwing Bloggers. ABC News circulates the results of its own 'push poll' in order to conjure a bogus image of public opinion in the case (HT: Captain's Quarters and Hugh Hewitt). The L.A. Times goes so far as to compare Republican Congressman in this matter to Stalin. And Congressmen Barney Frank, John Lewis, and Robert Wexler railed in fits of public outrage against Republican political opportunism, ignoring completely the Democrats who erased the political line when it came to a judgement in favor of life, joining the President and the public to uphold the fundamental sanctity of human existence. What then does the Left uphold as a fundamental sanctity... this perhaps?
James Taranto effectively neutralizes the opposing defense of the husband's right as guardian to relinquish his wife's life in her behalf
Supporters of Michael Schiavo's effort to end his wife's life have asked how conservatives, who claim to believe in the sanctity of marriage, can fail to respect his husbandly authority. The most obvious answer is that a man's authority as a husband does not supersede his wife's rights as a human being--a principle we never thought we'd see liberals question... But it is equally unreasonable to let Mr. Schiavo have it both ways. If he wishes to assert his marital authority to do his wife in, the least society can expect in return is that he refrain from making a mockery of his marital obligations. The grimmest irony in this tragic case is that those who want Terri Schiavo dead are resting their argument on the fiction that her marriage is still alive.Even as I complete my thoughts on Terri Schiavo's case this morning, the News has arrived of a judgement on the appeal siding with the Husband, denying a resumption of feeding. Hugh Hewitt has posted a brief summary of Judge Whittemore's ruling:
The Schiavo decision is lending credibility to a suspicion of mine that I have held for some time. In this case, one wonders why the Left is either profoundly silent on Terry's situation, or are ardently in favor of letting her die despite her parents' attempt to preserve her life and assuming parental authority over her being. Granted, her case has become obscured by rhetoric and conjecture. Review it yourself (TerrisFight, SaveTerri, Wall Street Journal) and come to your own conclusion. And while I have suggested we ere on the side of life in any case, my extended concern revolves around the urgency given this matter, not from those who wish her to live - that is quite understandable. No, the more curious degree of urgency comes, as I have said, from those who wish her dead.
Terri continues to die this morning.
In order to understand the passion in this case, it might be necessary to review a more comprehensive context of contemporary socio-political conflict. I believe that this matter is related to other critical 'judicial' issues currently at play in the United States. Do let's look at the same sex marriage issue, or at least the fundamental considerations of that issue for the Left. The case in defense of traditional definitions of marriage are expressly concerned with the biological and historic relationship between a man and woman regarding the potential for offspring. For those on the Right, the issue is ultimately about the fundamental nature of existance and additionally citizenship. In this matter, the Left ignores natural law and the logical confines of reality, choosing instead to embrace arbitrary determinations of preference. They find no rational basis against expanding the traditional definition of marriage to include, at first phase, two men or two woman. Therefore they neglect (refuse) to identify natural reproduction as a legitimate biological condition worthy of consideration. Legal guardianship in the form of unions and adoptions are to be the priority conditions of human relations. Children happen, therefore parents exist. Parents posess children, so therefore anyone who comes into posession of a child is a parent. Parenthood, regardless of biological propriety, should therefore be a singular manifestation of government, rather than an historic institution of civilization respected by government. But, the flaw in this line of reasoning is that it neglects the nature of reproduction entirely, and likewise ignors the natural preconditions of relations as a factor of existence. It thereby erradicates the idea of "Family" as a natural condition, and recreates it as a legal condition with an arbitrary set of preconditions subject to consensual whim. Natural law has, therefore, become irrelevant to the Left in favor of... whimsical preference. Clearly, so to has the concept of Family.
If, in this case Terry's parents prevail and the courts rule in favor of parental rights, then that decision sets a precedent that will later be hard to overcome regarding the posession of children. Marriage establishes a relationship among a man and a woman in the context of reproduction. It also establishes a state of mutual respect and responsibility between a consenting man and woman. It does not, in this culture however, surrender one spouse's will and life to that of the other. While the Constitution cannot define Marriage ( it must however respect it), it does forbid the oppression of individuals. And in light of the situation that exists with Terri Schiavo, it must defer to the best interest of the individual's continued existence. It is not, nor should it ever be the State's role to evaluate the quality of existence for the purpose of approving or rejecting a continuation of that existence. Nor should it be the State's role to supercede the fundamental relationship of natural family in the absense of consent or criminal activity. Once we undermine the conditional aspects of parenthood in terms of marriage in law, as it relates to children, we nullify parental posession by natural right... by means of negating natural right as a state of precondition.
The Groningen Protocol is another case in point. According to the process of euthanasia established in the Dutch hospital, parental preferences in the matter of life and death can be overruled by 'Committee' authority. It is a case where the interests of the State or State-sponsored deliberative bodies exercise manifest authority over individual existence in defiance first of natural relations, and ultimately in defiance of inalienable rights. With American Courts looking increasingly abroad for legal rationalizations for desired rulings, the Groningen Protocol sets a chilling precedent to be followed. (See also the following articles: Here, Here, Here)
If the State becomes the final authority over ownership of individuals, inevitably parenthood will be afforded and regulated by the State and only the State. Once that is established by judicial precedent, as I think is happening in the Schiavo case, children can be managed as a resource according to State interest, and reproduction likewise controlled by judicial and ultimately legislative authority (Note: abortion is NOT reproduction). What, then are the implications of natural law when it has been thoroughly subjugated to arbitrary manifestations of popular consensus? That which was inalienable becomes manifested by leave of the State and We become the people of a government... that is not the government of its people. Not only is this the consequence of judicial activism, I believe that it is the goal of Neo-Marxist progressives. Biologic relations, individuality, and the notion of an inalienable existence must be denied in order for their goals to be applied assuming that it indeed takes a village to define a new collective order.
Collectivism is not a natural condition of human existence. Individual existence is the state of natural entropy that must be entirely subdued in order for the Village of humanity to flourish. For that goal to occur, Natural Law must end...
... and Terri Schiavo must perish.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Terri Schiavo is to die under the burden of moral confusion. The virtue of a Nation will die with her unless we reject the course this sets before us and the people - lawyers, judges, legislators and progressive(?) activists - that wish to offer us the affliction of protocol for the sustenance of liberty.
Over at OKIE on the LAM, DB has been keeping vigil on this issue.