Skip to comments.[BitPig]Life Unworthy of Life
Posted on 03/18/2005 8:12:20 PM PST by B-Chan
Life Unworthy of Life
Until now, I have refrained from commenting upon the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. The issues are well-understood by all, and I figured there was no point in adding more heat to an already hot fire. I comment on the issue tonight for one simple reason: this afternoon, at the order of a state judge, the feeding tube was removed from the body of this paralyzed human being with the express intent of starving and dehydrating her to death.
The Nazis had a word for it: lebensunwürdigen Lebens. "life unworthy of life." The idea that a life of paralysis, helplessness, and suffering is not a life in any real sense is a logical idea, to be sure, but let us not kid ourselves: it is not a Judeo-Christian idea. It is an idea based upon the unproved and unprovable assertion that the material world is all their is, that people are merely highly evolved animals, and that suffering is the greatest of all evils. Again, these ideas may make sense to many in our modern world, but they do not and cannot apply in a Judeo-Christian civilization. Jesus and the Prophets embraced helplessness and suffering -- they did not kill themselves in an effort to avoid it.
Right now a woman is being parched and starved to death in the name of compassion. I can't stop it and neither can you. You may believe that people have a right to die, that suffering people should be helped to die, and that you yourself would prefer to die were you to ever become helpless. I disagree. I think that human life is sacred, that suffering is not the ultimate evil, and that human beings have neither the right nor the wisdom to determine who does and does not qualify as being "life unworthy of life". I'm not going the able to convince you of the rightness of my position based upon sweet reason alone. Believing in God requires a leap of faith. If you're not willing or ready to make that leap, it's not my business to force or trick or cajole you into it. That's God's business. All I'm askng is that as we slowly watch this woman waste away, we consider the question of the future. After all, if people are just animals with no intrinsic sanctity, then why stop at Terri Schiavo? Suffering is everywhere. Maybe it will be you or I or someone you love that will someday be deemed lebensunwürdigen Lebens and left to die of thirst and hunger in the name of mercy and morality.
Make no mistake: if we as a society choose this route, if we choose to play God and determine for ourselves who among us is and is not worthy of life, we will be committing auto-genocide; we will become become humans unworthy of being called human.
I agree with this article 100%
I made a similar point in an email to Mort Kondracke this evening after he pulled out the old chestnut about "quality of life" in this case. I asked what would be the "right" position if a judge ruled that Millie Kondracke wasn't living a life "worth living" 10 years ago shortly after being diagnosed with Parkinsons.
I also invoked the NAZI eugenics program, alluding to the trials fictionalized in the Spencer Tracy vehicle "Judgement at Nuremberg" which dealt with this question very directly.
There is one MUCH more dramatic and profound gesture that might be yet thrown into this debate in the next few hours or days. Pope John Paul II has made mention of this case and the dignity of all life. What if he were to declare that, so long as Terry Schiavo is not receiving nourishment or even water, he would not accept any.
What if he made this declaration on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday?
How would the world react then?
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