Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Taking Exception

Aaron Margolis, a co-blogger at the late, unlamented Blogger News Network, once wrote:
The operative question in this case: should Michael Schiavo's rights as a husband be reduced or eliminated because his wife's parents do not agree with his legal right to make medical decisions on her behalf? The point of view of some conservatives on this issue is, I believe, incorrectly predicated. While we may argue Terri Schiavo's right to live or die ad infinitum, the broader issue is being ignored; it is not our choice....

This is not a pro-life related issue; Terri Schiavo is not an unborn child. Therefore, this aspect should not be brought into the picture. The fundamental issue should be about who has the ultimate right to make a decision, medical or otherwise, of this nature....

Conservatives fight hard to preserve not only the sanctity of marriage, but the idea of individual responsibility and independence of action. However, it would appear that as concerns this matter, some of our number have forgotten these basic tenets. Where may this lead us, and what should conservatives being saying or doing, ultimately? As with our defense of the sacrosanct right of free speech, while we may not agree with Michael Schiavo, we should be willing to support his right to act in accordance with his rights and obligations.
But the Schiavo case is about life, not about marriage. As I have written, "think about the 'progressive' impulses that underlie abortion (especially selective abortion), involuntary euthanasia, and forced mental screening -- all of them steps down a slippery slope toward state control of human destiny." (See here, also.) If Michael Schiavo succeeds in his court-aided quest to end his wife's life, the slope will become noticeably slicker.

I'm an ardent libertarian who's a staunch conservative when it comes to protecting the lives of the innocent. Without life, there is no liberty, no pursuit of happiness.