Blog of Obscurity

A Very Munchkinly Blog

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Value of Life

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan:

Our children have been reared in the age of abortion, and are coming of age in a time when seemingly respectable people are enthusiastic for euthanasia. It cannot be good for our children, and the world they will make, that they are given this new lesson that human life is not precious, not touched by the divine, not of infinite value.

Once you 'know' that--that human life is not so special after all--then everything is possible, and none of it is good. When a society comes to believe that human life is not inherently worth living, it is a slippery slope to the gas chamber.

I don't know anyone who is "enthusiastic" about the death of Terry Schiavo. In fact, one thing all seem to agree on is that this is a tragic situation.

I believe that every human life does have value and that it has been touched by the Divine. However, that Divine touch does not make life so precious and so sacred that we must exhaust all our resources to keep it in place when it no living is remotely possible. Last week in Houston, a baby's breathing tube was removed because their lungs would never develop to be self-sustaining. The baby only lived moments after the breathing tube was removed. A hundred years ago, the child would never have survived long past birth. With today's technology, it would have spent years in the hospital - but not much else.

Yes, it's a slippery slope. Our technology has reached the point where we can be sustained almost indefinitely. However, that puts the burden back on us to make choices about that technology and how it is used. The Divine touch we have received is what gives us those choices.

Every day I make choices that affect how I live and how I will die. Every hamburger I eat clogs my arteries just a little - making the moment I have a heart problem just a small bit closer. If I were to automatically put "infinite value" on my life, then I would exercise more and eat less meat. Those are my choices, though, and society can't make them for me.

One can acknowledge the uniqueness and worth of human life above other things, but still realize that nothing can be of "infinite value" in a finite world.

The real tragedy of this case is that Terry and her husband did not prepare for something like this. That is the lesson we must all learn. We must decide what we want for ourselves if this situation were to ever happen to us and make those choices known.