Thursday, April 14, 2005


I have moved to, and i have also migrated all posts and comments. YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE SO CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARLS/BLOGROLLS ACCORDINGLY!!!!
Going through my inbox yesterday I cam across this:

I notice you never commented on the issue of Terry Schiavo and I was just wondering why, and also what your stand was



Interesting question. Why didn't I comment, and what is my stand.

Well, Winnie, Some discussions revolve around issues that are highly polarized. Think Religion, (Islam vs. Christianity, Catholicism vs Protestantism, Atheism vs Organized Religion, etc). Think life (Pro life vs Pro Choice, Capital Punishment, etc). Some topics are so highly polarized that it is difficult to have a discussion about it without people getting hot under the collar. The Schaivo case is one such.

My stand is very simple -- a principle I hold very dear is that your life is not your own. It is not yours. You are responsible for it, yes, but it is not yours. Ergo you cannot take away your own (or anyone else's for that matter). So capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion, etc are out the window. If a crook comes to your house and you set out deliberately to kill him you have a case to answer for. If in the course of defending yourself you end up killing the cretin, that is another case altogether, but as long as you set out to kill him -- you have given yourself the role of judge, jury and executioner. That is a no no.

On to Mrs Schaivo. One of the most striking things I have seen in defending the withdrawal of her feeding tube was that it was concluded that her life was not worth living, and she was not truly alive. This beggars the question of what is a life, and when does it begin (another polarized topic!) Your beliefs are already cast in stone, so I shall not try and convince you to see mine. In fact, for this particular issue, it does not matter! If you give me some leg room, I will show you what I mean

March 2005: In a coma
April 2005: Researchers discover a culture that regenerates brain stem cells. This is administered
May 2005: She walks out of the hospital

Bottom line: much as it cannot be proved the culture could be developed, it also cannot be proved that it could. T

Then there is the issue of "her life was not worth living, and she wouldn't have wanted to live this way". Large chunks of time were spent debating whether or not she wanted to live in this way. People on the verge of jumping off bridges have precisely the very same sentiments, which they deeply believe. Should we helpfully shoot people who feel their lives are not worth living? Again I get back to my first point: your life does not belong to you, therefore you cannot terminate it.


Because every last thing on this earth, and every human being has his and her purpose. A small number are aware of their purposes. The rest of us may have inklings or not. It is the height of audacity to purport to know what purpose another human being serves. You simply have no idea. To make things even muddier is that you may actually have several purposes for being on earth, some overt and some covert.

Jesus Christ came to Earth to save Man from his sins (Overt). Along the way he also taught forgiveness and tolerance (Covert). This did not strike people until he had left.

You may think your purpose is to go to school, go to uni, get a job, get married and have kids (Overt). You may not be aware that your little rural cousin has been observing you and has decided to go to school and become just like you, and become an example to his village mates (Covert).

You cannot purport to know why other people are on earth -- it may not be as obvious as it seems. It is audacious for you to say "She's just lying there, not talking, not doing anything, not responding to anything. Besides, she's costing us money so her life is not worth living."

Not so fast

Shortly after the 2002 elections there was a plane crash, and one of the passengers, Dr Kihoro is in a coma until today. At face value there is a woman in a coma. But the reality of the matter is that even in her coma she has had effects, some of which are lasting, on many people. The most striking things that I have gotten out of the situation are that:
- Her family has been brought together, and not just the immediate family, by the adversity. I was reading in a newspaper that her family take turns to sit with her in the hospital pretty much all the time
- Soul searching and self discovery for many, including her daughter MJY, triggering a whole new set of activities and initiatives that without a doubt have made some difference. Ask some of the people in Belize
- Those who have never come across faith and hope ought to have a pretty good idea by now about what they are
- Greater awareness amongst the public of neurological issues

And the most striking thing for me is what I have observed in her husband, Dr Wanyiri Kihoro. He's been on TV and the papers a time or two. One thing that is without a doubt is that this man loves his wife. It is strikingly apparent. He visits her tirelessly and spends hours and hours with her. He misses her but it is not lost on observers that he loves her deeply.

Now I cannot say how many people have observed this and been moved by it but I can for a fact stand up and say that I have, and I hope that I will be love my wife half as much as he loves his.

So no, I do not for one second believe we should withdraw life support because someone cannot talk to us. We never know what God intended for them. Your benchmarks as to the value and purpose of life are not the ones that count. God has been in the business of life for millenia. Let him decide.

Someone, whose "life is worth living", has a blog here that makes me wonder about humanity