In the most recent news regarding the case of Terri Schiavo and the issue of life and death, many startling questions have arisen. First, how did the federal government become involved in such a personal matter? Secondly, what are the rules and guidelines of marriage? Also, when did the United States government decide to act on issues that involve marriage, family and private matters?Even though the Supreme Court denied that the federal government should have any role in the case, it is frightening that even such a case could have possibly been decided by federal authorities. How longwill it be before the government begins making all decisions for its people? They have already decided to check personal records without notifying the individual.
With the Patriot Act in effect, authorities have the power to question those individuals who “look suspicious” or check out certain library books. As technology continues to become increasingly computerized and the threat of terror consistently lingers, I guess it?s only a matter of time before a citizen?s information is completely stored on one little card or some type of computer chip.
Maybe that will keep America safe; authorities will know where you are at all times, at least. America?s founding fathers made giant leaps to keep the Federal government disconnected with private matters, and even though the federal courts decided not to intervene with the Schiavo case, it was a possibility, and the possibility was even questioned, and that is frightening.
Furthermore, despite the pleas of Schiavo?s parents, the decision to withdraw the feeding tube that was keeping Schiavo alive was left in the hands of her husband legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, and that is who should be responsible for making that decision.
When Michael and Terri married almost 15 years ago, they became legally bound by a contract that stated, “Through sickness and health…and to death do us part.” This legally binding contract can only be made between two people.
Traditional Americans believe that this is the time when the bride?s family “gives her away” to become united with the groom. Therefore, when Michael and Terri became united, it was entrusted in him that he would be responsible for his wife and do what is best for her. Michael even stated that his wife told him she would not want to be kept alive artificially.
Therefore, her right to a death of her choosing is being denied. Consequently, despite a great deal of compassion for Schiavo?s parents, the decision to let her go or continue to sustain her in a constant vegetative state should be kept in the hands of her husband, the person who was legally entrusted to do what is best for his family.
Shane Daniels is a student at West Chester University.