Letter to the Editor: A skewed perspective on life

By and

Editor:

In the Oct. 29 column “A vegetative state is bad,” Craig Froehlich and The Daily Utah Chronicle continue their murderous assault on the culture of life and proclaim their dogmatic obedience to a culture of death constructed on the graves of immediate gratification, egoism, materialism and other objectively disordered behaviors.

What is this legal fiction that a common-law bigamist and adulterer is permitted to claim the rights of guardianship and inheritance over a medically disabled person and her estate? Why are the claims about this allegedly oral living will only coming from the inheritor or his agents? All living wills that I have seen prohibit a person’s beneficiary from acting as witness to the execution of those same documents.

Why hasn’t Michael Schiavo been brought up on charges of common-law bigamy or adultery? Why are Michael Schiavo and his agents permitted to redefine the term “persistent vegetative state” in such a way as to include people with the physical and vocal ability of a Stephen Hawking, Terry Wallis or Christopher Reeve? The only things that separate Stephen Hawking, Terry Wallis, and Christopher Reeve from Terri Schiavo are the time and money invested in the requisite physical therapy, mobility devices and communications devices that have permitted those gentlemen to partially recover (to the degree that they have) from their respective disabilities. Interestingly enough, Michael Schiavo was supposed to have used Terri Schiavo’s monetary awards for malpractice in furtherance of those goals of rehabilitation.

To aid in his efforts to kill his first wife, Michael Schiavo and his agents of death have been pursuing a demonic reconstruction of our language: Mentally disabled quadriplegics or paraplegics are now considered to be in a persistent vegetative state. Providing nourishment in the form of a liquid diet is not to be considered as care for comfort, but medical treatment to prolong life akin to an artificial heart and lung machine. If Terri Schiavo was truly in an authoritative and verifiable persistent vegetative state, then no amount of comfort care could prevent a person without functioning nervous and cardiopulmonary systems from dying.

The New York Times proclaimed, “True respect for life includes recognizing not just when it exists, but when it ceases to be meaningful.” This philosophy is why we get judicial majorities to assert that when a pregnancy is not meaningful to a mother, the child can be ripped from her womb. Leaders of the Third Reich used similar rationales for mandatory euthanasia of mentally and physically disabled persons. The definition as manufactured by The New York Times distorts our role in the creation of life: God is the author of life and we are the procreators. The question is not whether life ceases to be meaningful for the individual or society, but for God.

James Snow

Sophomore, Political Science

and History