The reason for this public support of removal from ordinary sustenance, I believe, is not that most people understand or care about Terri Schiavo. Like many others with disabilities, I believe that the American public, to one degree or another, holds that disabled people are better off dead. To put it in a simpler way, many Americans are bigots. A close examination of the facts of the Schiavo case reveals not a case of difficult decisions but a basic test of this country’s decency.
Besides being disabled, Schiavo and I have something important in common, that is, someone attempted to terminate my life by removing my endotracheal tube during resuscitation in my first hour of life. This was a quality-of-life decision: I was simply taking too long to breathe on my own, and the person who pulled the tube believed I would be severely disabled if I lived, since lack of oxygen causes cerebral palsy.(I was saved by my family doctor inserting another tube as quickly as possible.) The point of this is not that I ended up at Harvard and Schiavo did not, as some people would undoubtedly conclude. The point is that society already believes to some degree that it is acceptable to murder disabled people.
I can't argue with someone who's had these experiences. Although I wouldn't label those on the other side of the debate "bigots," his perspective is one that those that want to end Terri's life should read. I honestly just believe that many don't know all the facts about Terri's case. In Canada most people base all their opinions unfortunately on a handfull of news organizations that don't exactly have the highest news quality - ahum - I mean they have a bias - ahum - I mean a huge bias - ahum - I mean they might as well call it Soviet Propaganda.
That being said if that's how he views the people of a country that had two legislatures, a President, and a Governor that pushed the limits of the law to try to save Terri's life, then I wonder how he would judge us Canucks.
By the looks of public opinion here, I wouldn't doubt that Terri would have been dead a long time ago if she was Canadian. Joe Ford if you think Americans are bigots, then Canada is on the fringes of fiery hell.
If the courts wouldn't get her the healthcare system here sure would. The socialist institution would have probably made her wait 5 weeks just to get the surgery performed to insert the tube in the first place. Either that or they would make her wait 2 weeks then tell her OHIP doesn't cover that procedure. And of course, heaven forbid, she try to go to one of those private clinics to pay to get the work done, because as we all know politicians can do that but regular Canucks can't live in a "two-tiered" healthcare system.
Tip 'o the hat to The Curt Jester.