One Additional Schiavo Thought
Honestly, this is a terribly hard case. No one really knows what Terry Schiavo would want. But if she is killed, what precedent does that set? Once it's settled that others can decide for Terry what quality of life she would want (or the quality of life society finds acceptable for her) just how slippery does that slope become? What other lives will we decide are not worth preserving, and how will we draw the line?
Pro-euthanasia types will shake their heads and say those are questions only an alarmist would ask.
I respond: Answer the questions.
UPDATE: Peggy Noonan offers her usual thoughtful views. So does James Q. Wilson (link requires subscription). Here is an excerpt from Wilson's piece:
[The] moral imperative should be that medical care cannot be withheld from a person who is not brain dead and who is not at risk for dying from an untreatable disease in the near future. To do otherwise makes us recall Nazi Germany where retarded people and those with serious disabilities were "euthanized" (that is, killed). We hear around the country echoes of this view in the demands that doctors be allowed to participate, as they do in Oregon, in physician-assisted suicide, whereby doctors can end the life of patients who request death and have less than six months to live. This policy endorses the right of a person to end his or her life with medical help. It is justified by the alleged success of this policy in the Netherlands.
But it has not been a success in the Netherlands. In that country there have been well over 1,000 doctor-induced deaths among patients who had not requested death, and in a large fraction of those cases the patients were sufficiently competent to have made the request had they wished.
This is not a matter of crazy religious zealots refusing to see reality. There are real issues here.