Yesterday I blogged my views on the right to die. In summary:
- I should have the right to refuse medical treatment, even if I would die without it. [* * *]
- If I’m incapacitated, my wife should have the right to decide whether I receive medical treatment, even if I would die without it. [* * *]
- If my wife has caused my incapacitation, she should not have the right to decide whether I receive medical treatment. [* * *]
Although I then discussed complications in apply points 2 and 3, I failed to address a more basic question regarding point 1: What is medical treatment? Most would agree that surgery, ventilators, IVs, and drugs are medical treatment. In Terri Schiavo’s case, some have argued that a feeding tube is not medical treatment. Let’s get more basic: Is feeding someone by the mouth with a spoon medical treatment? I say no.
Amazingly, the judge has ordered that Terri cannot be fed by mouth, essentially equating normal feeding with medical treatment and thereby ordering her death.