Thursday, March 17, 2005

Terri Schiavo's struggle continues, at least for a little while longer

The House of Representatives passed legislation late Wednesday intended to delay the removal of the feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive. The brain-damaged woman’s husband has been given permission by a state court to remove the feeding tube and allow her to die.

"What's going on in Florida regarding Terri Schiavo is nothing short of inhumane," said House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who introduced the bill with Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla. But some House members criticized the bill, which Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called "a dangerously reckless way to deal with some serious issues." Both are correct. This is not the best way to address this issue, but under the circumstances, it may be the only way to save Schiavo’s life while the details of her case are being sorted out.

For years her husband has battled her parents over his efforts to allow her to die, which he contends she would prefer rather than live in a vegetative state. Her parents want her to live.

Here’s a question: What’s the hurry?

This is a question of life and death, and it is a question of how to confront such complicated moral issues. There is a party that opposes allowing her to die, and willing to take over responsibility for her care.

Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube can be removed any time, but once it has been removed, that is likely the end for her.

What’s the hurry?

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