Cows Have More Protection Under The Law Than Terri Schiavo

Over the last few days we’ve seen a flurry of articles designed to assuage the guilt of the people who favor starving Terri Schiavo to death. Here’s an excerpt from a typical article in Newsday:

“In the evolving saga of Terri Schiavo, the prospect of her suffering a slow and painful death from starvation has been a galvanizing force. But medical experts say going without food and water in the last days and weeks of life is as natural as death itself. The body is equipped with its own resources to adjust to death, they say.

“What my patients have told me over the last 25 years is that when they stop eating and drinking, there’s nothing unpleasant about it – in fact, it can be quite blissful and euphoric,” said Dr. Perry G. Fine, vice president of medical affairs at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Arlington, Va. “It’s a very smooth, graceful and elegant way to go.”

Schiavo, who hasn’t had any food or water since Friday, has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years that makes it impossible for her brain to recognize pain, doctors say.

“Her reflexes with respect to thirst or hunger are as broken as her ability to think thoughts or dream dreams or do anything a normal, healthy brain does,” Fine said.

But even if her brain were functioning normally and she were aware of her condition, she would be comfortable, doctors say.

“The word ‘starve’ is so emotionally loaded,” Fine said. “People equate that with the hunger pains they feel or the thirst they feel after a long, hot day of hiking. To jump from that to a person who has an end-stage illness is a gigantic leap.”

Aside from the fact that contrary to what the article says, Terri Schiavo does feel pain — she cries out when a sharp piece of wood is applied to her back — don’t you find it convenient that all these doctors are coming out of the woodwork to assure us that starvation isn’t a painful way to go now that a pro-death lobby is working so hard to starve Terri to death?

I mean, who knew we were denying so much bliss and euphoria to starving kids in Africa by sending food to them? Heck, why have we been giving people on death row lethal injections when starving them to death would obviously be a much more humane way to kill them?

But on the other hand, there’s this story brought to us today by the Times Argus:

“A Cabot farmer convicted of starving his cows to death has begun serving a reparative sentence imposed by Washington County prosecutors as part of a plea bargain.

Christian DeNeergaard pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in January. He received a suspended one-year sentence as well as 30 days of work crew assignment as part of a deal with prosecutors. DeNeergaard, 47, may not own or possess livestock during his year of probation and must also undergo alcohol-abuse counseling.

In October, then-Washington County State’s Attorney Tom Kelly said he would seek at least some jail time for animal neglect, which claimed the lives of at least 11 cows.

“We think some jail time is appropriate,” said Kelly in an October interview. “The cows suffered tremendously.”

Somebody tell that Washington County State’s Attorney that those cows enjoyed starving to death! Apparently it’s a “very smooth, graceful and elegant way to go.”

Isn’t it sad that we’ve gotten to the point in this country that the State will prosecute you for starving cows to death, but will help you starve a woman to death over the protestations of her parents?

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