The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Schiavo dilemma

In this morning's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer has written an excellent column that clearly illustrates the conflict that Terri Schiavo's case presents for the many of us who care deeply about both life and federalism. Unfortunately, it appears as though the rule of law may force a most undesireable outcome that results in a helpless woman being starved to death.

In our civilized society, it is abhorrent for such a brutal death to be forced on any innocent human being, particularly when their will in the matter is subject to such uncertainty. Yet, the overreaching hand of Congress in this matter has even more frightening precedential effects. Should Schiavo die, at the very least we can hope that State legislatures will respond accordingly to prevent her fate from befalling any other Americans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot more strongly disagree with your argument. The rule of law is not more important than a person's life; nor are principles of federalism. The law, the government, and everything else humans enact to govern their lives are artificial constructs. There's nothing eternal, or universal about them. We may admire the US form of government for its durability or the fact that it just works, but that does not make it more sacred than any other form of government. I'm sure Canadians think they have a better system, and Saudis probably think the monarchy is grand.

A human life, on the other hand, is beyond any of our comprehension. The dignity and worth of humanity as a fundamental principle applies to all people, regardless of where they live. It transcends our "artificial" government.

Where fundamental principles of life conflict with our artificial constructs, life must prevail. It's simply a higher authority. Your argument about the rule of law and principles of federalism basically amounts to saying that it is better for Terri Schiavo to die, for otherwise the rule of law would be imperiled. I seem to remember Caiaphas making a very similar argument two millenia ago.

12:01 PM

Blogger Paul said...

What if the human life is just a mush of mechanically fed vegetable person?

1:58 PM

Blogger Old Zach said...

Please, don't mistake my expectations about how this case will ultimately turn out for a belief that it would be better if Mrs. Schiavo died, as that is certainly not the case.

Incidentally, I am pleased to see folks like Deacon at Powerline agree with me on this difficult issue.

4:06 PM


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