To be or not to be…

Obviously everyone and their uncle Ted is talking about Terry Schiavo right now. But so far I’ve heard and read very little that isn’t tainted with some sort of overwrought emotionalism.

On the one hand the so-called right to lifers and the GOP have hijacked Mrs. Schiavo’s case as some sort of rallying point for their pet cause – elimination of women’s reproductive rights. On the other hand you have the same sorts of hysterical ninnies on the left who are trying to make this into some kind of monumental test case about the right to die. About once a day I sort of wish that someone would offer executive relief to both camps.

Ultimately this is about a woman who suffered severe brain damage as the result of a heart attack in 1990. The brain damage was so severe that she no longer has any motor control and must be fed through a tube to be kept alive. So far the only sensible person I’ve heard address this case is Dr. Jay Wolfson. Dr. Wolfson was appointed by the Florida Courts as Mrs. Schiavo’s guardian ad litem and was given the uneviable task of trying to get the parties in the legal dispute, Terry’s parents and husband, to agree to abide by the results of observations and tests of her condition that Dr. Wolfson and others performed. You can read Dr. Wolfson’s report here.

What Dr. Wolfson concluded was that Terry Schiavo is, in fact, in a persistent vegetative state. Her apparent reactions to outside stimuli are merely reflexive and there are no higher brain functions occurring. For all intents and purposes, she’s dead. You can listen to an NPR interview done yesterday with Dr. Wolfson here.

Now before you get your panties in a bunch I’m not saying that I think Dr. Wolfson is one of the few people involved in this case making sense because he thinks they should pull the plug. If you listen to the interview what you’ll hear is a man who is very saddened by this whole spectacle and who has a great deal of sympathy for Terry’s parents while at the same time maintaining his medical objectivity. That’s the thing here. There’s very little objectivity going around and the reason for that is that politicians are like hungry sharks. When they smell blood in the water they go nuts. In this case, our political leaders have gone bonkers.

I just wish they’d let the poor woman, her husband and her parents alone. And I feel terrible for Terry’s parents who just don’t want to let go.

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