By: trevino · Section: Social Issues
The results of Terri Schiavo’s autopsy are in, and it appears that the poor woman was in even a more frightful state than was assumed: she was blind, her brain was shrunk to half size by weight, and she could not have ingested sustenance without the infamous tube. What, then, does this change in hindsight on the pro-life case for keeping her alive?
Those claiming vindication for their advocacy of Schiavo’s killing by virtue of this autopsy must ipso facto accept one of several monstrous premises: either that humanity is not something intrinsic, but dependent upon function; or that humanity’s intrinsic nature is irrelevant as it is not worth preserving per se; or that humanity is worth preserving per se, but not so worth preserving as to grant its existence the benefit of the doubt in doubtful cases. This is, in turn, a utilitarian evil, a nihilistic evil, and an apathetic evil. Ronald Reagan, in explaining why those who doubted the humanity of the fetus should be against abortion, asked whether, if one did not know what was in a paper bag, if one would nonetheless kick it. We know: there are those who would kick it, and kick it hard. They won this fight, a woman is dead – a woman, not a “vegetable,” nor a “shell,” nor a “body,” nor any other euphemistic noun meant to distract from the essence of what was done to whom – and the proponents of that death are claiming the vindication of their victory. Because, you see, she wasn’t much of a woman. Not much of a person. Not much of a soul. The pitiable irony is that in asserting this, the continued existence whose justification they most undercut is their own.