[Marxism] Re: Terri Schiavo: the right to live, to die, or to kill?

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at optonline.net
Mon Mar 21 08:04:57 MST 2005


As I mentioned before, I had a position similar to yours until I 
investigated the case more deeply.

Now some comments.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lueko Willms" <l.willms at jpberlin.de>

>   1. If some right-wing forces try to boil their own plate on this
>issue, should not determine the attitude to the concrete question and
>person involved;

I agree, but since onece opinion's in this case is a political opinion, the 
position of reaction must be an element to be taken into consideration and 
not to be discarded.

>   2. I hate it when someone talks about other human beings as
>"vegetables". This creates the impression as if these human beings
>could be disposed of.

The thing is, that "vegetable" here is a scientific term, not an off-handed 

 A "persistent vegetative state" is an accepted medical term that describes 
a nervous system that is no longer functioning conciously.


1. Concerned with growth and with nutrition.
2. Functioning involuntarily or unconsciously, as the vegetative nervous 
3. Resting, denoting the portion of a cell cycle during which the cell is 
not involved in replication.
4. Of, pertaining to or characteristic of plants.

The second definition is what applies here.

It is not a term meant to imply that a person can be discarded, but a term 
that describes the state of that person's nervous system as having the 
involuntary characteristics of a plant's nervous system. An apt analogy in 
form and content.

>   3. there is a difference between external supply of vital life
>functions which the body normally produces itself (e.g. breathing,
>heartbeat) and nourishment; babies, too, have to be fed. And it is a
>difference if a human being dies because the blood is no longer pumped
>thru the body, or if it starves to death.

Appleas and Oranges. A human baby must be fed because that is part of his or 
her life cycle, and furthermore, he or she will cry his or her lungs out to 
get fed.

In this case, with Terri in a "persistent vegetative state", with only the 
ideologically motivaded physicians of the family arguing against it, she is 
not even able to communicate hunger, and its argued by science that she 
doesn't even feel hunger.

The point the superticious teocrats deny is that death is also part of the 
life cycle, much like getting fed as a baby.

As such, if a person is not able to biologically perform as a social person, 
if it is uncapable of feeling, uncapable of "cogito ergo sum", who are we to 
keep a directionless mass of cells artificially "alive", reducing what could 
have been a beautiful if mournful excercise in remembrance to an ugly, 
hateful memory of court battles over a body that is no longer a person in 
any meaningful way?

>   4. if Terry Schiavo has actually ordered, so to say, that she
>should not be kept alive in such a situation is disputed; there is
>nothing in writing, and, as far as I know, the only source is Terri
>Schiavo's husband.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this is indeed a problem. But it is a 
collective, societal problem, only related to this case in the sense that 
her living will would make it a moot case.

This might be a subjective appreciation, but I would trust her husband over 
her family anyday of the week. He tried his best to get her the best medical 
treatment, and only decided to disconnect the feeding tubes after half a 
dozen medical doctors told him she would never get better.

There is no financial stake to speak of.

Some accuse hum of wanting to abandon her because he now has a new family. 
This I don't see as being the case, because Terri's family has offered time 
and again to take her up and set him free.

His constant and single-minded refusal for this to have any other outcome 
but the compassionate death of Terri goes a long way to explain this is 
really the case of a loving husband who wants closure versus a superticious 
family unable to deal with the fact that for all practical purposes their 
daugther is dead.

ANd if you look further into the case, you realize that the the potassium 
uptake that lead to Terri's heart attack, was created by an eating disorder. 
Psychology in general accepts eating disorders to have a root in the 
upbringing, in particular to how a family develops a person's self-steem. In 
other words, it is obvious Terri's family had an indirect hand on her 

In this context the 500 pound gorilla in the room is the family that was so 
selfish that they created a self-hating anorexic/bulemic and that once that 
harm turned deadly, refuse to own up to their responsibility and worship 
pile of biomass with a devotion they never showed before.

Terri's family are hypocrites of the first kind.

As such, I can only trust the husband when he says she had an expressed wish 
not to "live" as PVS, and her family has no credibility to say otherwise.


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