I am listening to NPR coverage of the Schiavo case and I continue to feel lost and frustrated. This case will have all kinds of repercussions. Fundamentalists are saying that decisions made during this case will affect such issues as abortion in the future. But they don't seem to realize that it could also affect whether or not people have the right to decide how they want to die.
If we knew Ms. Schiavo's wishes, would it make a difference? If we knew for sure that she would want to die, would there still be all this protest? There should be....because the same issues are at hand. The only difference would be that we would know, without a doubt, what the individual wants.
I have a living will. And I do not want an extraordinary measures taken on my behalf. If I cannot survive without the help of machines, then let me go. And if I am brain-damaged or no longer conscious with no hope of coming back, I want to go. I wouldn't be myself anymore. And if my personhood is gone, I don't want to continue. There would be no point. It is so hard to let loved ones go. To make that decision to quit hanging on. I think sometimes we cling to loved ones who are already basically gone for our own reasons. Because then we truly have to face our grief. But is that really helping them? Gary has said to me that he wouldn't want to turn off my life support. This is why I have clearly stated in my will what I want. So that he won't have to make those decisions.
This Schiavo case is so sad. I think about her starving to death and I think about how awful that must be for her and for her family. But I wonder if she would really want to continue on in the state that she is in. Is she still Terri Schiavo? Or just the shell she left behind? I wonder.
In any event, I wish peace for Terri Schiavo and her family.