Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Revisiting Terri Schiavo

This story might have blown off the radar of most people by now but today I read an article from the NY Review of Books (link to follow when I get home) that got me thinking about this again, and in a new way. I hadn't thought of this in terms of sexism (maybe I live under a rock but it seems like this angle didn't get a whole lot of play when the Great National Debate about this real, human woman was happening) before but Joan Didion really makes some revelatory points in this article. Like how it was never actually concluded in the 15 years that she was "vegetative" that she had been bulimic and that this condition is what led to her cardiac arrest. THAT IS WHAT THEY TOLD US! All that was evident is that she had gained some weight and lost it. What was really interesting though was Didion's acknowledgement of what this fabrication covertly implied, and what at the time really sickened me: that if this woman was bulimic she was already on a path of self destruction and thus!
really brought this on herself. That is some truly messed up thinking. I recommend this article as CRUCIAL. The whole situation made me so sad at the time because there didn't seem to be a place on her side of the debate that wasn't evangelic-right wing-political. And yet I couldn't get behind the "suffering husband," right-to-die angle either because THERE WAS NO DIRECTIVE. After reading this article I am angry. It was wrong to remover her feeding tube. I just couldn't put into words WHY before I read this. Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry


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