Terry Schiavo: The Case for Living Will Legislation  

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Everyone who reads this blog already knows what I think of Scott Peterson. My rant last week just about said it all. My question for the world (not for the trolls, but for reasonable people) is this:

Why in the world would we allow a man, convicted of killing his wife and son in a pool of blood, to die peacefully under a lethal injection administered while asleep, and at the same time force an innocent woman, who has committed no crime (and from some of the scuttlebutt I've heard, may well have herself been a violent crime victim), to die a slow, painful death by starvation?

I know I am not with the majority on this, but somehow I cannot see how anyone can ignore the blatant equal protection and due process issues involved here. Why has this woman been sentenced to die without being convicted of a crime? If she had stated that she wanted to be allowed to starve to death if she were so disabled, where is the written statement with her signature saying so? Why are we now allowing people to be killed in this fashion based on hearsay?

If people are going to have this kind of power over other people's lives, it should first be spelled out in a living will. Many people do this already, and I applaud those folks. This should be a legal requirement in cases like this. The government's first responsibility is to protect the lives of the people. Living will legislation is an absolute imperative. I strongly encourage Congress and all the State legislatures to enact such laws. This would clear up most, if not all, gray areas in cases of this type. A living will law would require someone to set forth these things, and thus would provide CLEAR and CONCISE and, I would hope, UNIVERSALLY acceptable answers to my questions above.

I also cannot see any harm in such legislation. Whose rights and/or freedoms would be violated by simply requiring that such wishes be put in writing in advance? I think it would make everyone's lives a whole lot easier, and this poor woman's situation would have been resolved a long time ago. Please keep Terry and her family in your prayers. This has been a really rough go for all of them.