Thursday, March 31, 2005

Occam's Razor: Terri Schiavo

The most baffling thing to me about the Terri Schiavo situation is how difficult people make it to be in the face of such simplicity.

1. The government is executing a citizen that has not been accused of a capital offense.

2. This is not permitted by the US Constitution

Alright, I have corresponded with many people about this. The responses tend to fall along the lines:

i. She is not a person
ii. She is not being executed
iii. Florida law says she can be executed
iv. You are a right wing theocrat
v. It all depends on the meaning of the word 'is'.

Frankly, no response above is both true and sufficient to refute the simple two point argument. If you are able to do this, I would be greatly obliged.

UPDATE: The closest consideration of this fundamental issue that I have read to date comes from Alec Rawls at Error Theory and a discussion of the Supreme Court's role in breaching individual sovereignty by Matthew Franck.

UPDATE: This summary by William Anderson is also well worth reading. My sole disagreement is over the rectitude of withholding fluids from those in an "irreversible deep coma". Anderson is a neurologist, so I understand that there may be some meaning to the phrase that escapes me. However, I would draw the line only at "brain death" as the irreversibility and true nature of a "deep" coma is not knowable at this time.

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