Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terry Schiavo

I respect some of the people who are arguing that Terry Schiavo should be kept alive, at least the ones whose views come from their own experience caring for their own severely disabled children. Therefore a story I found first in an article in Newsweek hit me particularly hard. On March 14 a 5 month old baby with a fatal form of dwarfism was allowed to die in Texas, against his mother's wishes. Why could doctors withhold further intervention despite the wishes of the parent? Because of a law signed by George Bush when he was governor of Texas, which gave hospitals the right to decide when care is futile in cases where parents do not have the money to pay for the child's care (parents who have money are likely to be able to find another hospital to care for their child, as the bill requires they be allowed to do). One of the co-authors of the bill argues that such measures are sometimes necessary. But I have read parents write so movingly of the quality of life of their children and experience of love they have had with children like Sun Hudson.

No comments: