March 27, 2005

Perhaps Dr. Jack was Right

I think reading some of the comments attacking Rev. Donald Sensing finally woke me up from my holier-than-thou, Shiavo-based stupor. Sadly, we've reached a point where Terri Shiavo the symbol has far overshadowed Terri Shiavo the person.

I'm backing away, and hopefully recapturing some perspective in the process.

One thing I'm taking away from this sad affair is that Dr. Jack Kevorkian was likely correct in some of his theories regarding the right to die, a stance that has led to his incarceration in a Michigan prison. He was sentenced on March 26, 1999 for second-degree murder by administering a video-taped lethal injection of ALS sufferer Thomas Youk and will not be eligible for parole until 2007.

I'm not going to try to guess what Terri Shiavo would have wanted--far too many people are involved in that already--but if we take away something from her over week-long death process it should be that we must, as a society, revisit end of life issues head-on and acknowledge that their must be far more palatable ways to die than by slow starvation.

To borrow from Rev. Sensing, who has far more experience with such issues than I shall ever want:

...the idea that the only truly Christian position is to keep someone alive by artificial means against his/her will when every medical opinion is that there is no hope for recovery is repugnant...

...At bottom, all these cases in all their sorrows come to be matters of faith - faith that the doctors are skilled and truthful, faith that there is a hope for the stricken even if death comes, and faith that for those who love the dying that life will continue worthwhile come what may.

We should find a more palatable way to transition between this world and what lies beyond. I hope we can at least find some agreement on that.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 27, 2005 07:01 PM | TrackBack