Next week marks the anniversary of the murder of Terri Schiavo. She was deprived of food and water, as police officers stood over her bed to make sure nobody gave her any. She did not have any terminal disease and was not on life support. Her loving parents and siblings were ready to care for her for the rest of their lives. Yet through the actions of her estranged husband and the erroneous decisions of the courts, she was killed anyway. It is perfectly logical and moral to forego useless treatments.
But that’s not what Terri’s case was all about. In this case, it was not that treatments were considered useless; it was that a life was considered useless. And that type of judgment is dangerous to us all.