Peace through victory - the American way.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Preamble Says, "We The People" Not "We The Experts."

One thing that has been made clear by the Terri Schiavo case is the worry of some experts in bioethics and health law that the American people will alter the law regarding medical treatment at the end of life and for patients who live on life support. This post by a law professor is an example.

Giving what we've learned about so-called right to die jurisprudence as a result of Terri Schiavo's case, it's about time that the American people get involved. The law seems to have taken more than one wrong turn in this area. To give two examples, equating a feeding tube with life-support and an irreversible condition with an incurable disease.

It is my hope that Congress stays involved in this area of law and that states look again at the direction they have taken. I have to acknowledge there is some risk in this. Oregon's medical suicide law was passed by the voters of the state. It's quite possible that Oregon's law reflects a consensus of the American people. It's also possible that the shock of seeing Terri Schiavo's fate decided for her by her husband and the courts will move the public away from that direction. Whatever the result, it's better that this issue is debated with public involvement than that it is left to lawyers, bioethicists, and doctors to decide.




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