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A curious op-ed appeared during the weekend in The Dallas Morning News. The author began by telling readers that, "Barring some kind of miracle, the forced starvation of Terri Schiavo will begin Friday." The op-ed writer called Michael Schiavo a faithless husband, adding, "The sordid fact that Michael has been living for years with his girlfriend, and has two children with her, has not moved the courts."

The author reiterated the bill of particulars against Schiavo (didn't allow medical treatment, stands to inherit money from a liability suit, etc.), then launched into the Florida courts, which have ignored "laws drafted by the state Legislature" in favor of "'judge-made' law."


Under a curious interpretation of privacy rights, this case lends more weight to the will of a man who is likely to gain financially from Terri's death rather than provide adequate due process to those who have no voice to speak for themselves.

American society is about to enter dangerous territory, in which the slow-motion killing of a woman by her faithless husband will have been sanctioned by the court. After Terri's death, where will we draw the line between one's right to privacy and another's right to life? Are our legislatures to have no say in the matter?

It is inconvenient to Michael Schiavo and to the Florida courts that Terri Schiavo continues to live and that her parents won't relent and let her die of thirst and starvation. If Mr. Schiavo prevails, then every person whose life is considered of negligible quality by a court or a legal guardian could be condemned. There is more at stake here than the fate of one solitary woman. After this Friday, it becomes possible that, in this country, if the unwanted and the weak are simply too burdensome to us as individuals, that the right to rid ourselves of inconvenient lives will be our courts' guiding principle.

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