This article was published by Wesley Smith on his blog on March 31, 2015.
By Wesley Smith
During the Terri Schiavo debacle, I would often debate bioethicists and others who claimed that Terri’s death would be gentle.
These advocates either intentionally or ignorantly conflated two different circumstances.
1. The first, taking food and water from someone whose body readily assimilated sustenance. That is an agonizing death.
2. The second, people dying naturally whose bodies are shutting down. In such circumstances, people stop eating and drinking on their own as part of the process of passing on. That does not cause suffering, and indeed, it is medically inappropriate–and can be cruel–to force sustenance into their bodies.