Terry Schiavo

Ok, so I feel like I ought to think this is a much bigger deal than I do, like I ought to be upset, like I ought to be raging against the machine and all that. But I’m not. Or, well, maybe I’m just avoiding all of the hard thinking it would do to really figure all of this out.

Quite frankly, I don’t know what to think.

On the one hand, there’s something to be said for God’s sovereignty. Really. I mean, he did create us, and he is perfectly capable of taking us when he’s good and ready. On the other hand, if he has the power and will use it (which seems to be part of the assumptions of this argument)to take the life of someone who is on life-support like Terry, why don’t we assume that he has the power to keep her alive, and would use it, if we take her off life support against his will? Also, where does our free will, his mighty and scary and all-of-that, gift to us come in? I mean, he lets us make choices that are against his will. He lets us sin, for instance, which is decidedly against his will. And so wouldn’t he maybe let us keep someone alive whose time had come to die, if we had the appropriate medical technology? And if so, aren’t the people trying to keep Terri alive the ones going against God’s will, and not the ones removing her feeding tube?

And what about the Scott Rae/J.P. Moreland view, from their applied ethics text Body and Soul, that a feeding or hydration tube is intervention that it would be acceptable to remove, because the person would be dead without it? Because Terry could have died, would have even, if they had not placed these tubes in her. So what is wrong with allowing that to happen now? Are they TAKING a life, or are they letting nature, and God through nature, take its course?

In the end, I care about Terry, and I want what’s best for her. I just don’t feel like either side has completely thought these issues through, or at least, I haven’t heard it. Christians who just assume that this is wrong aren’t thinking, in my book. It’s a lot harder than all that, I guess.

Thus I rage against the machine of Christian unintellectualism.


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