Occassional reflections of a moderate (hey at least I think I am)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Something I wrote Re: Schiavo

This is something I wrote on March 18, 2005, the Friday before Congress enacted the Schiavo legislation.

I know too much ink has been spilled about the tragedy that is the Terri Schiavo matter but I wanted to chime in with a few comments about what the current manuevers say about Republican views on very important issues.

First, it reminds me that Republicans don't much respect separation of powers particularly as it relates to the judiciary. While this is not shocking I would just add that from what I have read about the legal proceedings it would take an "activist" judge "making" law to overturn the decision. If judge made law is bad, it should be bad even if a superior moral decision is reached.

Second, whatever happened to a respect for State's rights and principles of federalism? This used to be a major concern for Republicans but now they don't trust the legislature and courts of a states to have control over such an issue.

Third, they don't seem to have much respect for the institution of marriage. In Genesis it says: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." If there comes a time when I am incapacitated and a decisionmaker is allowed to listen to someone else to determine my wishes, I hope that they listen to my wife and not my parents.

I am not making light of the biblical passage. The situation is a painful one and I am not trying to make light of that either. In fact, I think that the husband is making a bad moral decision in this case. However, I think it is an extraordinarily dangerous precedent if laws are made after the fact to set aside the decision made by the husband once it is determined that he is in the best position to make the decision for the wife. If we are willing to step in and set aside his decision for her (based on the wishes she expressed) because of political pressure what would stop someone for seeking to overturn a true living will?


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