Thursday, March 17, 2005

A sad tale

What's happening in Florida right now is a perfect example of what can happen when religious conservatives get full control of a state, and there's nothing to keep them in check. Witness the sad story of the Schiavo family. Terri's been essentially dead for 15 years now, and her husband (who has legal guardianship over her), finally decided some years ago that enough was enough, she would never recover, and it was time to move on in life. He also states that she did not want to be kept around as a rutabaga. Her parents, on the other hand, with no legal say over her, have tied this up for years, mobilized the Florida legislature and every far-right wacko around to do battle, and simply refuse to let go.

Their love for their daughter is admirable. But she's already dead. her body is just still chugging along, propelled by the more resilient reptilian parts of the brain that regulate the autonomous nervous system are still running. She's not aware, she's not conscious, she's not capable of thought or voluntary interaction. Those parts of her brain no longer exist - they were killed by the heart attack that left her in this limbo and cannot ever regenerate. Stem cell therapy will not save her. Prayer will not save her. It's too late for anything else - the window of opportunity to save Terri Schiavo ended on February 20, 1990, about an hour or so after she had her heart attack. Which sucks. But it's a fact.

And it's time for everybody to move on and let this tragedy end. Of course, in the state of wackos that is Florida, that's not going to happen. What I expect now is that the feeding tube will come out tomorrow, a week or so later Terri's body will finally shut down and join her mind, and then about 30 seconds later her parents will file a wrongful death lawsuit against her husband. Which will drag around in court for another few years.

No comments: