Terry Schiavo and Death With Dignity

They are still carping about the Terry Schiavo case. (See here) this Washington Times article by Paul Greenberg that discusses this unfortunate case.

Why do people get so upset about this case? If they do not want to be in Terry's shoes, and do not want their spouse to make the decisions for them when they are incapable, then all they have to do is draw up a legal document designating that someone else, such as their parents, be given the responsibility.

Who I see as the victim in this case is Terry's husband, you know, the guy the conservatives try to paint as being a demon. How can I say such a thing? Because I try to envision myself as being in Terry's shoes (or between her sheets) with my spouse making the decisions for me. What would I want done? What decision would I want my spouse to make?

I would want my spouse to do what Terry's spouse did. That is why I did not get fired up and rush out and draw up some legal document because I feared "What happened to Terry could happen to me." You see, as I understand the law, my spouse will be the one making the decision. Not my deceased parents, not my siblings, not my children, it is my spouse. My spouse knows my feelings on this as we have discussed this. We are pretty much in agreement on how we stand. If I am ever the one faced with this horrendous decision, I know what standards I will use to reach a conclusion. If it were me, what would I want my wife to do, and then I would do that. I hope if my wife is ever burdened with such a decision she will use the same criteria.

But what if my wife wins a large court judgment that could be used to take care of me? I would be saying (if I were capable of it, which I guess I would not): "Good for her. Now don't waste any of your good fortune on taking care of a near hopeless case and use some of that money for something good like educating our kids. But please be sure to spend at least a little bit of it on yourself." If her conscience would bother her, she can take some of the money that would have been wasted on me and donate it to a worthy cause in my name, like paying for scholarships for orphans or something. But by no means would I have wanted the money wasted on me, if it had been me in Terry Schiavo's situation.

So that is why I do not get worked up about what happened to Terry. If it had been me occupying Terry's bed, I would have wanted my spouse to do as Terry's husband did. I most certainly would not have wanted American society to put my spouse through the wringer for carrying out my wishes like happened to Terry's husband. If this were to occur, I would hope my spouse has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to all the moralistic finger wavers and carry out my wishes anyway. But I would ask everyone else to butt out just the same. I know my wife is the one making the decisions, and I think her decision is going to be tough enough as it is without all the rest of you sticking your noses in where it is not wanted.

If you do not want your spouse making decisions for you, then appoint someone you trust. Perhaps you might want to designate Dr Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell or even the Pope. But for those of us who do trust our spouses, please leave our spouses alone. My wife knows me better then anyone else. I also know she is capable of making the tough decisions. My wife is a strong woman and she is perfect for the job. I am sorry if others do not have spouses whom they trust as much as I trust mine. There is a legal remedy for you, go see a lawyer. As for me, I do not have to do anything, because the law says my spouse makes the decision, not Jerry Falwell. I do not see a problem with that, as long as religious leaders like Jerry Falwell, and newspaper columnists like Paul Greenberg, mind their own damn business.


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