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Spring '05 Articles:
Terri Schiavo & Euthanasia
God & School
The Thought Police
The Muddlemarch: 1
The Muddlemarch: 2
Ward Churchill's Sins
TV Journalism
(music reviews)

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Schiavo Case Shows It's Time to Again Address the Issue of Euthanasia

No disrespect intended, but I hope that, by the time you read this, Terri Schiavo has died. This political chess game has become obnoxious and hypocritical and, for me, is really missing a good opportunity to bring the debate over euthanasia back to the forefront.

The hype is so out of control, I feel like it's the countdown to the new millennium all over again. I'm surprised FOX News Channel doesn't have a "Minutes Without Food" clock. Crap, maybe they do; I don't know. But every news network is following this as if the passing of Terri will mean the stock market will crash and nuclear weapons will be launched. It's news crisis mode to the nth degree.

And, frankly, I'm sick of it. What are we learning from this? We already knew the Bush family is fanatical. We already knew that politicians will use people–dying people, even–for their own gain. The only thing I've learned thus far is that I need to have a living will and I need to stop just saying I should have one and actually prepare one.

I also already knew the Bush brothers were hypocrites. Take our president's own March 21 statement on the Terri Schiavo case: "In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life."

It's almost laughable, as this is the same president who authorized the bombing of an entire nation, killing tens of thousands of innocent people (maybe hundreds of thousands) over highly questionable and substantially doubted intelligence. When did George have a "presumption in favor of life" with regard to Iraq? If George had the same compassion for the Iraqi people that he has for a half-dead woman, thousands of people would still be alive.

Instead, he overstepped the boundary of the law both to wage war on Iraq and to try and "save" the "life" of a woman who has less hope of improving than Saddam has of getting a fair trial.

It's time to change the focus of the discussion over "saving" Terri. It is time for Americans to again address the issue of euthanasia. Throughout this Schiavo marathon, those who support keeping her on a feeding tube have argued that law enforcement in this country would arrest someone for starving an animal, but wrongly allow it in the case of a brain-damaged woman. I argue, instead, that we need to legalize euthanasia to allow people to be humanely put out of their misery so the issue of starving someone to death isn't even valid.

We must recognize that quality of life is something everyone is given the right to and that, as intelligent beings, we also have the right to end our lives–or have them ended for us–when they no longer have any quality. Instead of selfishly denying the severely handicapped and terminally ill a dignified means with which to end their lives, the United States needs to legalize euthanasia and give real options to those who may later in life find themselves in the unfortunate position Terri Schiavo is in.

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