Saturday, November 15, 2003

Latest on Terri Schiavo

Here is the latest news. Here is a link to the last time I talked about the issue. Here is what some of the comments to that post, and further reflection, made me realize: although many people seem to have recognized that quality of life judgments are relevant to the positive duty to keep a person alive, everyone still seems to be subscribing to some weird views about positive versus negative action -- the real argument, as everyone knows, is about whether to keep this woman alive. That question has manifested itself into a question about whether it's ok to remove her feeding tube. This brings up complications about causing undue suffering; it's at least plausible that she'd suffer as a result before dying of starvation, and it's certainly an unsavory mental picture. If the decision is that Terri Schiavo ought not to continue to be alive, then I suggest that her life be terminated, as painlessly as possible. More people ought to realize that there is no morally significant difference between killing and letting die.

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