I must disagree with Ed Brayton, who calls it hypocrisy for supporters of Terri Schiavo’s parents to threaten the use of deadly force against people on the other side. Brayton says that Florida Judge George Greer is
getting death threats from those who are allegedly “pro-life.” There is so much irony here on so many levels that it's hard to know where to begin. Pro-lifers threatening to kill people.
I see nothing ironic here. Assuming for a second that Terri Schiavo is an innocent person being murdered by her husband and government confederates, it is perfectly understandable that bystanders would seek to use deadly force against those who are murdering her. The same goes for abortion-clinic murderers. Assuming that abortion clinics do indeed perform mass murders of innocent beings with a right to life, it would seem to follow that it is perfectly morally justified to use deadly force to stop that from happening—or to punish those who have committed the act. If abortion is murder, then women who have abortions are murderers and deserve the death penalty. I’ve never understood how a person who believes in the moral propriety of the death penalty and who believes that abortion is murder could possibly avoid this conclusion, or could possibly distance himself from the views of those who kill abortion doctors.
Obviously I do not believe that Mr. Schiavo or Judge Greer ought to be killed, because I do not believe that removing the feeding tube from Mrs. Schiavo is murder; and I do not believe that abortion is murder, either. These propositions are based on irrational analyses of the issues involved. That’s where the lack of “concern with truth or consistency” is to be found—not in the conclusion that deadly force is warranted to prevent or punish the loss of innocent life. That conclusion does indeed follow from the (faulty) premises.
The end of the brain, or the replacement of the brain by a liquefied and shrunken void, is…if not the absolute end of “life,” the unarguable conclusion of human life. It disqualifies the victim from any further say in human affairs. Tragic, perhaps, unless you believe in a better life to come (as, oddly enough, the parents of this now non-human entity claim that they do).