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Monday, March 21, 2005

Tar baby

Sisu blogs on Terri Schiavo:

The intolerable-life argument has support from many doctors and bioethicists. They claim that a person can be "socially dead" even when their brains can engage in some functions. By "socially dead" they mean that the patient is no longer a person in some sense. At this point their argument gets a bit fuzzy because they must somehow define what is a "person" and a "non-person." That is no easy matter.

If the new bioethic standard for an intolerable life is "socially dead", then we're soon going to see mass emigration on the part of engineers and programmers that will rival the Irish fleeing the potato famines. Not that scintillating conversationalists who habitually frequent cocktail parties will ever notice....

A number of you have asked me why I haven't commented on the Schiavo case. There's a few reasons, the primary one is that I don't find it either surprising or very interesting. What else would you expect once the usual drums began booming and it became obvious that the step from abortion to euthanasia was in the cards? Second, I view this as a lose-lose situation. Increasing central government power in order to save "just one life" strikes me as the usual liberal-socialist tactic and doing the wrong thing for the right thing usually doesn't turn out very well. If it is determined that the ultimate power over life and death rests with the federal government, well, that just doesn't sound very positive at all.

In the end, I suppose I see this sort of thing as a tar baby trap for conservatives.

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