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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo's death

It's a sad event, for many reasons.

I firmly support a person's right to die, if he or she so chooses.

But what is unclear is whether Terri Schiavo would have chosen to die, in such a state, if she could have told us.

And as the President says, we should err on the side of life. I'll agree to that.

But it also seems to me that the Schindler family had seven years to convince any of several different courts that Michael Schiavo's case was in error. They did not.

What's left to determine is if Terri would have chosen to die through slow starvation/dehydration. If she is as incapable of cognition as the doctors tell us, it might not be a bad way to die at all -- drifting into a heavy sleep.

If she is as conscious as the Schindler's would have us believe, it would be awful and agonizing.

So what I really object to is the possibility that Terri's death was slow and painful. Once it has been determined that Terri doesn't, or wouldn't want to live, oughtn't we ensure a quick and painless death?


Blogger Gustav said...

And where are these self-righteous protesters when it comes to all of the awful unatural deaths in Sudan, for instance?

3/31/2005 11:34:00 PM  

Blogger David Charginghawk said...

The irony here is too much for me.

Accusations of hypocrisy from a Polish guy, who subscribes to the ideals of the same groups of people chanting for "peace in our time" while thousands of Jews, Poles, Croatians, Bosnians, and Iraqis died by the thousands ring somewhat hollow with me.

Yes, I agree, there's hypocrisy, gus, but Christians have no monopoly on it.

4/06/2005 06:22:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...


First of all, I'm not a Polish guy, although I'll take that as a compliment. I'm an American, from Michigan. I've only been here in Poland for 4 years.

Who's saying Christians have a monopoly on hypocrisy?

As Red can tell you, I'm no pacifist, in the strictest sense of the word (I believe that force can and should be used sometimes -- but I usually disagree with Bush's decisions to use it).

But force is probably necessary in Sudan, and I would support it, if the political will for it would materialize.

I count myself a Christian too. These people are certainly not representative of most Christians I know -- so please don't mistake me for confusing this small group with Christians as a whole.

Thousands of Iraqis dying? Interesting point. I also didn't see these folks out protesting when Iraqis were dying because of Saddam's iron fist, nor when hundreds of thousands of civilians were dying from American bombs.

So maybe the hypocrisy is this: Is life only sacred when it's an American, or when a precedent on euthanasia seems destined to be set? Is it only Americans (not convicted of a crime punishable by death) who deserve a "culture of life"?

4/07/2005 08:39:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

PS -- is it just me, or are you Johnnymozart's alter ego?

If not, what ever happened to him?

4/07/2005 09:17:00 PM  

Blogger David Charginghawk said...

Yeah, for some reason, blogspot won't let me be "johnnymozart" in certain places.

The fact is, gustav, that these people do protest, write letters, etc. You just never hear about it. Its never reported in the media how much "right-to'life" organizations participate in adoptions and post-natal care. Just another lie, like the "hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by American bombs" canard, which has been refuted so frequently I'm surprised you're not more embarrassed to suggest it. That number comes from Iraqibodycount.com (among other places) that figure is no more reliable than the 100% of the vote Saddam Hussein got.

And the fact that you do betrays your insistence of not being a pacifist, although if I mischaracterized your statement as an attack on all Christians, I regret the assumption.

4/08/2005 02:37:00 PM  

Blogger David Charginghawk said...

My problem was with the characterization of these people as uncaring for anything else but this. I think the furor over this was stoked by the concern over precedents and the inevitability of gradualism.

I have commented on RT's post more than once recently that these kind of cases bring a certain number of lunatics. All the people trying to give her water should be put away, if for no other reason but stupidity. (There was a reason she had a feeding tube, after all)

But gus, there is tragedy in the world enough to fill every hour of every day. And as I mentioned, there is hypocrisy enough on both sides. I think if you ask most of these people would be in favor of the military intervening in Sudan. But the reverse isn't true, and you know it. The same people worried about Iraqi deaths by American bombs were perfectly content to leave them at the mercies of Saddam Hussein.

4/08/2005 02:44:00 PM  

Blogger David Charginghawk said...

BTW, I knew you were from Michigan, I guess I assumed because of your name that you were of European background.

What is your background? No polish blood at all?

4/08/2005 03:58:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

Not a drop of Polish blood. Disappointing, now that I know about the bravery of the Poles that RT mentioned in an earlier thread

I am indeed of European extraction, northwestern Europe mostly: a long lind of Vikings, krauts and leprechauns.

The same people worried about Iraqi deaths by American bombs were perfectly content to leave them at the mercies of Saddam Hussein.

I beg to differ. Those folks were also Bill Clinton supporters, and he's the one who established the policy of regime change.

The problem with conservatives is that they believe that an unwillingness to go to war = "content to leave them at the mercies of Saddam Hussein". To me, the question is much more complicated, and it's much less clear whether living through war is better than living through the same period of time being ruled by Saddam, while peaceful mechanisms for his removal still existed. There are many more like me.

And the "hundred-thousand" number comes from a study done by Johns Hopkins. Of course, look up the "Lancet" report, and you'll find many who discredit it (Because their range was between 8,000 and 140,000). I find it hard to believe that the well-respected academics at JHU were content to just average those numbers. You can believe what you want.

Iraq body count puts the number between 17,000 and 19,000. Even if you take the most conservative estimate of 8,000, that's still over 5 civillians for every American death.

The Hopkins report claims the invasion in Iraq made the risk of death 2.5 times higher (than previously, when Iraqis were left to the mercy of Saddam)-- only 1.5 times higher not counting Falluja, et. al.

And that these folks who were protesting outside Terri Schavio's hospital come out in the SAME NUMBERS to protest other worldwide injustices is indeed news to me. A great lie too, if it hasn't been reported.

As for their adoption and post-natal care participation: It is laudable, but hardly impressive -- and not much of a news story. So much for the "great lie".

And can that participation somehow make up for their silence on the chance of dying in Iraq now 250% what it was under the reign of Saddam?

I don't think so.

"Content to leave them at the mercies of Saddam" my ass.

4/09/2005 09:52:00 PM  

Blogger Redneck Texan said...

Iraq body count puts the number between 17,000 and 19,000. Even if you take the most conservative estimate of 8,000, that's still over 5 civilians for every American death.

I hope you are not suggesting the American body count should have been much higher to bring freedom to the Iraqis.

Like it was in France, Germany, and Poland.

We killed 26000 people to "liberate" Saipan.

Can you think of any other example where so many where liberated from the oppression of a dictatorial government, with so few civilian casualties. What a striking success eh?

4/10/2005 11:53:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

And I hope you're not suggesting that there ought to be more civilian deaths than military ones. The figure shows that this war was 5 times more dangerous for Iraqi citizens who we are there ostensibly to liberate, than for foreign troops fighting against ruthless insurgents. The American body count should not have been higher, of course. The civilian body count should have been lower. Is everything really being done to prevent "collateral damage," as civilian deaths are so humanely called?

Can you think of any other example where so many where liberated from the oppression of a dictatorial government, with so few civilian casualties?

Iraq: 25,374,691 liberated, 8,000 civillians killed.

Poland: approx 38,000,000 liberated, hundreds of civilians killed.

Ukraine: 47,732,079 liberated, 0 civilians killed.

4/14/2005 03:11:00 PM  

Blogger David Charginghawk said...

Likelihood of what happened in Ukraine happening in Iraq.


Number of people dying in the meantime while liberals pretend that that isn't the case with failed "diplomacy"-


"Content to leave them at the mercies of Saddam" my ass.

And yet, you do. How many Iraqis died at the hands of liberals AND conservatives, as we tried to convince ourselves that there was an alternative to force to get rid of Hussein? Thousands? Millions? I guess I struck a nerve there, huh, Gus? Not all conservatives believe the solution is to go to war, Gus, but neither to we try to pretend that there is another course, when there clearly isn't.

But by all means, defend The "Clinton Policy of Regime Change", for all the good it did.

4/15/2005 07:19:00 PM  

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