Wednesday, March 30, 2005

You Can't Save Terri Schaivo!

"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome." Isaac Asimov

My head hurts. When will people stopping flogging poor Terri Schaivo, and in the process, the rest of us? Will she, and we, ever find any peace?

The news has become stalled by "gaper delay." We cannot seem to take our eyes off this one horrible accident on life's highway. Yet so many more catastrophies are happening all around us.

Another natural disaster has hit already decimated tsunami victims. A 12-year-old Florida girl was kidnapped and butchered by a known sex offender who was allowed to live in her neighborhood. In Minnesota, a disturbed teenager killed his grandfather and a companion, then seven more people before killing himself. In my city alone, we're under siege: a bizarre rash of more than 20 murders have been committed in the past week.

Read the whole newspaper; suffering and death are happening all over the world, and probably in your hometown too. And there are other horrors on all fronts: atomic waste disputes, sex and age bias cases, more child pornography in the Boy Scouts, mob violence in North Korea at a soccer game, the list is endless.

But the Schaivo debate is even more endless. I'd like to ask all those people butting into one family's tragic debate: where are you while babies are battered and killed, seniors are dying from lack of food and health care, inner city neighborhoods and schools are crumbling, kids are blowing each other up with guns they bought on street corners, drugs are killing even more people than guns... and far too many soldiers and civilians are still being maimed and killed in Iraq?

Enough! If only they'd take their self righteous energy and devotion to Washington and tell Congress and the President to stop this indecent war. Bring that food and water to children in poverty stricken neighborhoods and schools. Carry those signs in protest of dozens--hundreds, thousands--of vital causes to address serious, urgent issues and inequities.

This will only end one way: Terri Shaivo will die. And none of the sanctimonious buttinskis will have played any meaningful role in her life or her death.

Mrs. Schaivo's most enduring legacy will be this: more people will create Living Wills and tell their loved ones exactly what they want.

The real tragedy is that if any of them make it into the news, their wishes may well be trashed by self-righteous strangers. I hope to God it never happens to me.

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