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Questions of life, politics

Don Rogers

Consider the irony of commentators railing against the notion of big government keeping someone alive.Even the life-or-death question surrounding a feeding tube and a patient in a vegetative state is just another political spectacle. Line up with your party, folks. Dems with death, GOP with passing a new law if they can’t persuade any of a legion of judges to rule the right way. And please, keep the aisle clear. There’s already too much ambiguity here. Meantime, Terri Schiavo starves as her parents fight to resume feeding her and her husband tries to finish what he claims were her wishes. That is, he says she once told him that she would rather die than be kept alive artificially. The personal tragedy and partisan travesty arise from our feelings about feeding tubes and taking someone’s word for what a person who no longer can communicate might have said. There’s no living will to settle it.The court-appointed doctors have been reasonably clear. This gal can’t hold a sentient thought, although she is otherwise healthy. The judges have been consistent in their interpretation of the law. It’s the husband’s call. He’s clear, too: Remove the feeding tube. If it were a respirator, this would be a different story. But a feeding tube, which has kept Schaivo alive for the past 15 years? Just as clear as the doctors, judges and husband is a body that responds to nourishment and a soul dearly loved by her parents. So here’s some blasphemy: Have the husband divorce his wife and marry the woman with whom he has had two children now. Give the parents custody of their daughter, whom they know better than a newlywed husband ever did. Besides, if she’s truly unaware of anything, what’s the problem, really? Her parents and some medical professionals still see a spark. That counts for nothing? Maybe we do need a new law. Vail, Colorado


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