237 Death with Ignominy--ours"Terri is not kept alive by machines. She breathes on her own, and has ever since her incident in 1990. Being paralyzed, she does need help to eat. She is fed through a tube, although her parents believe she might be able to eat normally if given a chance.
The plan is to starve her to death by removing her tube and refusing to allow others feed her. This is supposed to allow her to "die with dignity." A woman in Prince William County, Virginia, just got jail time for starving her dogs. But our judicial system thinks starving is an appropriate end for Terri. Withholding food and water from terrorists is considered torture, but starving the disabled is how we "respect life."
One side of this story can be found at www.terrisfight.org. Terri did not sign a form saying she would want to die. If she had I would disagree with her, but at least it would be her decision. Her husband insists she would want to die, and her parents say she doesn't. There are doctors on both sides. There was a time when the benefit of the doubt would dictate that she be fed, but not today. The concept of "quality of life" as an excuse to end life is a product of the age we live in, to our detriment.
The idea of "death with dignity" is meaningless in this case. If Terri is brain-dead, she has no way to experience "dignity" or anything else. If on the other hand she is still cognitive, as the evidence shows, there is no excuse to starve her to death simply because she can't communicate.
Sarah Scantlin is a young woman who has been in a state similar to Terri's for the past 20 years¯unable to speak or move, and fed through a tube. But to the surprise of her doctors she just started talking again. She is thankful to be alive. It is possible Terri could have the same miracle, if given a chance and the appropriate treatment."
Full essay here.