Life is God's alone to take

Nancy Stephan
Staff Writer

   Having always considered myself an advocate of the “right to life,” I found it difficult recently to listen to the news media without forming some kind of an opinion with regards to the Terri Schiavo case.

   I appreciated the comments in the Arkansas Catholic recently by Cathy Cleaver Ruse who said, “Her death, often being refused food and water for two weeks or more, which exemplified horrific treatment in my opinion, became perhaps the longest execution in our country’s history.”

   As a Catholic, I couldn’t help but notice a correlation between this case and that of the issues on abortion. Many women choose abortion when they are told that their unborn child may not be perfect in some way. They choose death for their baby, just as Terri’s husband and the courts chose death for this poor, disabled, helpless human being.

   Do we have this right? Can we justify our actions by creating laws that give people the approval to choose death for another person?

   Would Terri have wanted to continue her life as it was until she died naturally?

   I strongly feel that in the case of life or death, only God has the right to decide! He gives us life and only he decides when it will be over.

   While listening to the continued coverage of Terri’s plight, it became quite evident that miles away, across the ocean, another human being was facing a life-death situation.  Pope John Paul II, leader of the Catholic Church, suffering from recent infections, faced the rapid decline of his own health.

   Throughout his papacy, this man urged Catholics to preserve the sacredness and value of human life. 

   As people across the U.S. argued, protested and prayed about the removal of Terri’s feeding tube, the pope chose one.  He was determined to send a message to his followers and to the world:  “Life is God’s alone to give and God’s alone to take.”  .

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