I did not closely follow the controversies surrounding the death of Terri Schiavo. If I knew all of the facts and you knew all of the facts, then I suppose we could have a sensible discussion, but why should we? We live in a more or less civilized society. I'm willing to let the people who are properly involved in difficult situations like that make the decisions.
I do know, from watching TV crawls for a few minutes while making myself a cup of tea before returning to my basement headquarters, that some politicians have been orgiastically grandstanding over the issue. President Bush has been involved, sweet, kindhearted guy that he is. ;) In response, VDare.com posted an excellent article, Death As a Part Of Life, by Joe Guzzardi discussing the weird politics surrounding the Schiavo case.
Our entire political culture is incapable of displaying any intelligence about issues relating to the later years of our lives. It's all private lobbying and public emotionalism. Now, I'm sure when I hear the old banshee screeching outside my window I will be shivering with dread, but for now I accept the simple fact that some day I won't be here. No public policy driven by mass fear of death can change that. Death, ultimately, is beyond the reach of any policy, public or otherwise.
I would like to be part of a society where issues like retirement, health care, death, estates, care for the aged, etc., etc., could be rationally and meaningfully discussed. When the implementer of such policies is the federal government of the United States of America, that simply can't happen. I have no idea what laws Washington will pass about death related topics, but I do know this: They will not make us immortal, but they will further complicate the lives we are trying to live.
Here are some of my favorite poems about death:
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