In "How Liberalism Failed Terri Schiavo," Eric Cohen is one of many who are beginning to raise the debate to a broader, more philosophical level. I think this is useful and important stage in the debate, and it's a chance for conservative people of faith to win some hearts and minds. I also think it is there-- in hearts and minds-- where we have to win. Only after that can the legislatures (and finally the courts) follow.
Here's a Cohen excerpt:
FOR ALL THE ATTENTION we have paid to the Schiavo case, we have asked many of the wrong questions, living as we do on the playing field of modern liberalism. We have asked whether she is really in a persistent vegetative state, instead of reflecting on what we owe people in a persistent vegetative state. We have asked what she would have wanted as a competent person imagining herself in such a condition, instead of asking what we owe the person who is now with us, a person who can no longer speak for herself, a person entrusted to the care of her family and the protection of her society.
Read the whole thing. We need to have this discussion, whether or not that discussion is pleasant, messy, or bruising. And, as wonderful as discussion is, at some point the debating needs to lead to some conclusions-- and we'll need to fight for them.