Now Is Not The Time For New Laws
Reposted as history. Originally posted in March of 2005.
Opinion - "Life and justice"
By Stephanie Duffey - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision to reject yet another appeal from Terri Schiavo's parents to have their brain damaged daughter's feeding tube reinserted, the future of disabled Americans looks anything but bleak. ..............Stephanie Duffey thinks this case will create the political passion to pass laws that she obviously favors. I wonder if she realizes how little concern for Terri she seems to have.
Just as the Lawrence v. Texas ruling that overturned the illegality of sodomy set the stage for arguments favoring homosexual marriage in Massachusetts, so too could the rulings from the Schiavo case set a precedent for the treatment of those with disabilities.
There is no question that this case has aroused heated passions. The issues of life and death always do. Parental and family love versus marriage "rights" is an issue that creates anger, especially with the court's fondness for simple black and white "rights". Just look at how they strip grandparents of visitation with their grandchildren when a custodial parent who dislikes their stepparents keeps their grandchildren from them. In this case a simplistic "right" of a husband to decide medical care for his spouse has been challenged by parents who have spewed such venom at the husband, and hurled so many as yet unproven charges, that the husband has retreated into a stubborn determination to deny them the ability to save their daughter.
Whether you believe that she is still alive or not no longer seems to be the issue. Everyone is more concerned with having their view of the right outcome jammed down everyone else's throats. Women rights advocates have jumped in over hatred of the concept that a husband should make this call. Right to life advocates have equated this to the right of an unborn child to live. Right to death advocates ignore that the decision is not being made by a sentient person and support the courts in their desire to see a new right to death created.
With all of this irrelevant side baggage and with the lack of any ability of our courts to solve complex matters, who thinks that a war to create new laws will accomplish anything productive? Laws passed in heat rarely are good laws. Is this really just about finding an issue that can create political heat and thus political contributions?
That is where we are headed. Poor Terri Schiavo. She has become a symbol for a lot of people who care only about their own opinion ....... and little for her. That will be Terri's legacy no matter what happens.