News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Now let's put same effort into health care reform

Terri Schiavo's death Thursday leaves the nation with a gigantic emotional hangover.

Excessive behavior causes hangovers.

Her family is guilty of excesses. So are Congress and President Bush and his brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida where Ms. Schiavo lived, and right-to-life advocates.

Only the courts, both state and federal, kept these highly charged emotions from raping the Constitution to further a cause.

Let us grieve or celebrate Ms. Schiavo's death in accordance with our personal beliefs of sustaining life at any cost or allowing death to come when life no longer has meaning.

After that, America needs to reflect on the meaning of actions whirling around this unprecedented struggle.

Do we really value a government of three co-equal branches? Or have we become a nation of myopic people who would subscribe to mob action?

This tragic drama played out on three levels. Ms. Schiavo's parents vs. her husband; right-to-life advocates vs. those they accuse of having too little respect for life; and the political angle social conservative Republicans worked until they saw the nation didn't want their intervention.

The politics of Ms. Schiavo's case should disturb every citizen who respects the Constitution. For political gain, Washington would have trampled on that wonderful document which the Founding Fathers adopted.

And certain politicians still will if given the chance.

While some in Congress went to extraordinary measures to reverse court rulings and restore her feeding tube of 15 years, there is no outcry from Washington about the adults who die prematurely every year because they can't afford medical care.

Where is the outrage for universal medical care that equaled that for Ms. Schiavo?

Her death could have greater meaning if Americans were to have a conversation among themselves as to why so much concern for Ms. Schiavo and so little for the forty-something males who die of stroke because they lack health care.

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