Thursday, April 07, 2005

Blinded By The Right


Blinded By The Right, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

Peggy Noonan And The "Life Fetishists".



They know the value of....nothing.

An interesting dichotomy appears on the side of the “pro lifers”, when it comes to their position on end of life choices. To pro lifers, it would seem an amoeba should have as many rights as a full-grown human being. When it comes to quality of life versus subsistence, they seem to know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. To them quality of life means nothing, and only a literal interpretation of the definition of life has any value. Take for instance Peggy Noonan’s March 24th article on Terri Schiavo in Wall Street Journal.com, where she professes to understand the emotionalism of the “pro lifers” fighting for Terri’s “right to live”:

“They do not want an innocent human life ended for what appear to be primarily practical and worldly reasons--e.g., Mrs. Schiavo's quality of life is low, her life is pointless. They say: Who is to say it is pointless? And what does pointless even mean? Maybe life itself is the point.”

No Mrs. Noonan, not according to this motto: “Navigare necesse est, vivere non.” (To navigate is necessary, to live is not.) But to put it in less stark, more human terms, to navigate, to have a purpose, to give meaning to your life is more necessary than to simply just live.

If life itself was most important to Mrs. Noonan, to President Bush, to Tom DeLay, then why save only the life of Terri Schiavo? A little boy named Sun Hudson’s life also had value. But the doctors said that he had an incurable form of dwarfism that meant his heart was too small to sustain him. The condition could not be corrected. His mother was just as unwilling to let little Sun Hudson’s life be ended as were Terri’s parents, the Schindlers, yet it made little difference thanks to a state law in Texas that gave the hospital the right to pull the plug in hopeless cases, over the parent’s objection. Little Sun Hudson, in his blue pajamas, was in his mother’s arms as he looked up one last time, smacked his lips, and died. The law that allowed this to happen was enacted in 1999 by then Governor, now President George W. Bush.

Tom DeLay’s father’s life also had value. He was a 65-year-old drilling contractor who suffered an accident during a mishap on a home-built tram, that left him brain damaged. He never came out of his coma. His organs began to give out. An article from the LA Times said:

"There was no point to even really talking about it," Maxine DeLay, the congressman's 81-year-old widowed mother, recalled in an interview last week. "There was no way [Charles] wanted to live like that. Tom knew — we all knew — his father wouldn't have wanted to live that way.

Doctors advised that he would ‘basically be a vegetable,’ said the congressman's aunt, JoAnne DeLay."

The DeLay family had no problem with ending Charles Ray DeLay’s life when the “Do not resuscitate “order was given, and no dialysis was permitted for his failing kidneys.

Why was it alright to force brain atrophied Terri Schiavo to live, when so many other cases, equally as hopeless, equally as heartbreaking are allowed to end?

The answer can only found in the slavish “life fetish” of the “pro lifers”. It stands to reason, that if a zygote has the right to live, a non cognitive “entity” cannot die.

But just building materials themselves don’t make a skyscraper, the building blocks of existence do not themselves a life make.

We live our lives by fulfilling dreams. We live by having hope. “Cognito ergo sum”. I think therefore I am. We feel, therefore we are.

Wasn’t that the reason why George W. Bush enacted that law in Texas? Could it be that life with meaning and purpose is the only life worth living, and death with dignity is preferable if it is the only real choice?

E.J. Dionne would remind that everything that was put to the sustenance and rehabilitation of Terri Schiavo, Charles DeLay and Sun Hudson is now under threat by the very same Congress that “erred” so valiantly “on the side of life” to keep a tube inside Terri Schiavo.

Republican in both houses support cuts in Medicaid. Health care is a life issue. It requires money. Ah, but that is why we pay taxes. We all know how Republicans feel about taxes.

There is a disconnect between the “life fetish” of the right, and it’s devaluation of human beings. If people have value then why can’t Mrs. Noonan and the rest of the right treat people as if they had value at every second of their lives?

Keeping Terri Schiavo’s tube in would not be the same as making chemotherapy more affordable to a cancer patient, or rehabilitating a quadriplegic. And what about the severely retarded whose only wish is to gain some self-esteem? Would the right put as much value on their lives, as it would on the sperm and eggs of a future fetus?

Where is Noonan’s ire on the attempted sabotage of Social Security? Is she still the slightly confused yet supporting Bush cheerleader of February? Or has she seen how the “quality of life” will be made to suffer from the high costs, benefit cuts and suicidal private accounts that we would be afflicted with?

I find it sad to think that the “life fetish” of the “pro lifers” indeed only allows them to see the price of everything – and the value of nothing.

Wall Street Journal Online - Peggy Noonan - "In Love With Death"

LA Times - "Delay's Own Tragic Crossroads"

The Washington Post - E.J. Dionne - "A Thin View Of Life"

The Washington Post - "Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo"

ChronWatch - "A Passion For Death"

1 comment:

Whazdat! said...
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