You cannot tune into any media outlet in America and be free from multiple news stories regarding Terri Schiavo. Personally, I cannot imagine what the friends and family of Mrs. Schiavo are going through, especially in regards to the mental and physical state of Mrs. Schiavo. I pray that I never have to. However, I have experienced death in my family, I have experienced seeing a family member being kept alive by medicine, and I have experienced seeing a family member who had very little mental capabilities suffer for years before finally passing away. I think we all have had some experience with death and dying.
Of all that is going around in both mainstream media as well as with bloggers of various political persuasions, I think the best article on this issue is from Johann Christoph Arnold. Arnold, a senior pastor of the Bruderhof writes in the article “Whose Will Should Prevail?” that:
“The case of Terri Schiavo is once again making headlines and re-igniting a national debate over when and how medical treatment should be withdrawn. Many people see this case as a critical test of the political system and of culture itself. But the media attention it has received has also created an atmosphere of paranoia, and this has harmed Terri more than it has helped, and has clouded the real issues that are at stake. These issues are our society’s terrible fear of death and suffering and our over-reliance on medical technology in a desperate attempt to avoid both. In fact, God alone is in control of human life, and our idolization of science and medical technology needs to be subjugated to his much greater wisdom and love.” read the entire article here
Arnold is the first person I have heard making these statements, despite that fact that many “Christian Leaders” are being very vocal on this issue. I cannot claim to know the will of God on this issue, and I doubt anyone else can make that claim. However, I think this issue is best left to God, not the Federal Courts, not to the United States Congress, not to the President and not to the Governor of Florida. These people do not speak for God.
This is not an issue of Pro-life vs. pro-death as some conservatives would have you believe. Those fighting to re-instate the feeding tube are not truly “pro-life” or they would take up this fight for every person in a situation facing death (including those on death row, or those dying in Iraq). Those arguing that the feeding tube not be re-instated are not promoting a “culture of death”. Rather, they fear the implications that this has for America. They do not want Mrs. Schiavo to suffer, but they also do not want to let the US Congress interfere in something that is clearly not their business. I cannot recall the US Congress every passing similar legislation to this.
There are so many issues in this one case, but in the end the article from Arnold puts it as it should be, that God is in control. It is not for the Courts to decide, its not for Congress to decide, its not for the President to decide who lives and who dies.
For more on the political implications of this check out AmericaBLOG and be sure to read Drina’s take on this.