Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder

I know I promised, but I can’t resist one more post on Terri Schiavo.

Nat Hentoff is a left-leaning civil libertarian, but a lot more principled and consistent than (say) the ACLU, of which he is a sometimes critic.

His article in The Village Voice is an impassioned condemnation of the process, and the judge, that has decreed that she must die. It’s also a condemnation of the way the mainstream media has covered the issue. Hentoff concludes:
What kind of a nation are we becoming? The CIA outsources torture—in violation of American and international law—in the name of the freedoms we are fighting to protect against terrorism. And we have watched as this woman, whose only crime is that she is disabled, is tortured to death by judges, all the way to the Supreme Court.

And keep in mind from the Ralph Nader-Wesley Smith report: “The courts . . . have [also] ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, they have ordered her to be made dead.”

In this country, even condemned serial killers are not executed in this way.
The simple truth about this issue is that anti-abortion conservatives were in the forefront of people working to save Schiavo, and a lot of liberals (most certainly including the mainstream media) reacted in entirely knee jerk fashion. But not all liberals are callous in the face of a woman being starved to death. The wonder is: why are so many of them? The simple answer: they are fighting the Culture Wars.

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