Benny's World

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Right to Quality Life=Healthcare for Most of US

The Debate about Mrs. Terri Schiavo has definitely drawn some attention about right-to-life. It's the first time that Republicans and the very conservative Right have started looking at right to life from start to finish. The only problem with this, is that they don't really know when is the start, and when is the end. If doctors and scientists do not have all of the answers for this, I don't think our ultra-conservatives better informed than them or the rest of us.

When debating S. 286 and HR 182 (I think) last Sunday, Mel Watts, a Congressman from Charlotte, NC, brought up the issue of compassion for not only for Mrs. Schiavo, but what about the millions of African-Americans who have died from poverty, meaning starvation, lack of access to healthcare, lack of better funding for children or those who would like to continue their education beyond high school. His point got lost when he talked about increasing the CBC's budget when requested recently (and hasn't been decided I don't think), but I think he was right, because the CBC is best committee to be the voice of African-Americans.

A question I asked JRE for his podcast had to do with right to life for all of us, and not just one person whose parents has decided to bring in reinforcements to support their side in a family feud. Setting aside the constitutional ramifications at the moment, I asked JRE if right to life could also mean improved and perhaps I should have added, competent, healthcare for all Americans, especially those who cannot afford it, such as the case I last posted my blog: Wanda Hudson. This case truly was about the ability to pay, and no hospital was willing to take on the risk or the burden of a 6 month old baby who needed a feeding tube until they could figure out other means of rehabilitation. This also had to do with a state law that Bush signed when he was governor of Texas.

I believe that Mrs. Schiavo's wishes have overturned for political reasons, not for her right to end her life peacefully. But more important, if the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that she has been denied due process in the Florida State courts, then there is an opportunity to frame this: many of us have, like Wanda Hudson's son, have been denied due process--a right to quality life, which includes having competent, effective healthcare that should be affordable for all. Right to quality life also is more than just one law for one person who got the most attention.


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