Friday, April 01, 2005

Hypocrisy, Texas Style

A few folks have mentioned the case of Sun Hudson, a baby who was taken off life support against his mother's wishes. This act was seen as proper because it was legal, according to Texas law.

Here are a few excerpts from Jonathan Alter, who refers to the death of baby Sun as but one example of the hypocrisy of our President's claim to be a champion for life;

...I bring up that story because it's just one of several ironies that have arisen in connection with the Terri Schiavo saga, in which the president said that the government "ought to err on the side of life." Fine, but whose life... about Sun Hudson? On March 14, Sun, a 6-month-old baby with a fatal form of dwarfism, was allowed to die in a Texas hospital over his mother Wanda's objections. Under a 1999 law signed by Bush, who was then governor, cost-conscious hospitals are empowered to decide when care is "futile." The Hudson case is the first time ever that a court has allowed bean counters to override the wishes of parents. "They gave up in six months," Wanda Hudson told the Houston Chronicle. "They made a terrible mistake"...

...Congress did real damage to their own principles by sticking their nose in this mess. They replaced reason with emotion, confused law with theology and allowed politics and tabloidism to trump the privacy this agonizing family tragedy deserved.
I would suggest that the tension is not between law and theology, but law and ethics. The law is the best system we have, and is to be highly regarded, but it's not perfect. I get concerned when folks no longer reflect on the ethical implications of a legal decision because they figure the courts or the politicians have already done the ethics for them.

The irony in the first paragraph of Alter's article is rich. Governor Bush signed the death warrant for 152 criminals. He shortened his review time of these cases to 15 minutes. Why? "He trusted the courts to sort through the life-and-death complexities." Over the last month, in regards to the Terri Schiavo tragedy, he has flip-flopped, and supported attempts at an end run around the courts. Was this sudden switch because he champions life? His record on the death penalty, his signing the law that ended the life of baby Sun and his invasion of Iraq suggests that he has a lack of respect for life that should concern every citizen. It's about politics, plain and simple. As time goes on, I despise this man more and more.


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