Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Preserving Life at (almost) Any Cost

Yesterday the US Congress acted quickly and decisively to pass legislation to force reinsertion of the feeding tube into Terri Schiavo, the tragic Florida woman who is in a persistent vegetative state. The President, who returned early (yes, that's right, you didn't misread it) from Texas to sign the bill, said that "...it is wisest to always err on the side of life,". That Congress and the President were willing to override the established wishes of Ms. Schiavo and of her husband, and were willing to ignore separation of powers to take this extraordinary step, speaks volumes about their commitment to saving human life whenever possible.

Also in the news today, a Minnesota teen killed his grandparents, 6 students and a teacher before killing himself. His rampage used multiple weapons, including a shotgun and two pistols. I wonder what kind of rapid, special, sanctity-of-life preserving legislation could make it more difficult for this to happen again (and again and again)? It would, of course, have to be passed over the established wishes of those closest to the weapons.

In case you didn't catch the sarcasm in the opening paragraph (I was laying it on pretty thick though), I am dismayed to see the US Congress getting involved in this kind of matter. In my country of birth, England, government debates only weighty issues of national importance. For example, this morning I saw an interview with a Labour MP (one of those that used to devote their time to making life better for the working class) who was discussing his outrage that Camilla Parker Bowles might become Queen after she marries Prince Charles and after he becomes King. Note to the British government on behalf of my family who still live there: please put the antics of the anachronistic products of centuries of inbreeding further down your list than decent healthcare, education and law and order.
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