Sunday, April 10, 2005

Terri Schiavo

Orson Scott Card is the author of one my favorite books: Ender's Game. He writes a regular column that I enjoy reading. In a recent entry, he worries about the impact that the Terri Schiavo story will have on us as a society.

The part of this whole story that has confused me the most is this: why, in the face of a family that is more than willing to care for her, would her husband refuse such care? In other words, I don't understand the position of Michael Schiavo. I understand if he's no longer willing or able to care for her. I understand if the toll of constantly caring for has brought him to the end of his rope and he wishes to be done with it. But that's not what he wanted. He didn't just want this particular part of his life to be over so that he can move on, he wanted her dead. And he got his wish. Steve Landsburg says something similar.

I find this to be truly distasteful. I find it refreshing to have read Orson Scott Card's view. My own view is that none of us should be playing God. It was not the responsibility of Michael Schiavo to determine when Terri's life should end. Nor, for that matter, was it the responsibility of Terri Schiavo to decide when her life was complete (*). That decision is for God alone, and when we pretend that we can make it, we are pretending to be God. This is the same reason I am opposed to abortion and the death penalty. I'd rather God's will be done. I'd rather that we all stop pretending to be God, and instead let God be God.

(*) That we can't effectively prevent someone from committing suicide does not mean that people are doing a God endorsed action when they commit it.

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