is pain better than death

01Apr05

Terri Schiavo has finally breathed her last. May she rest in peace. At least now!

I was talking of Science and Religion some days back. And the whole story about euthanasia opens the cork on a similar debate, all along mercilessly suppressing the arduous pain that a mid-aged woman has been undergoing for years. Terri collapsed in 1990. What followed since was excruciating physical and mental torture, having been reduced to being no more than a vegetable.

Medicine and science have their limits. It speaks of wonderful philosophy to say 'life is precious' and 'humankind is all about protecting life'. But with the extent of pain and suffering that Terri underwent for over a decade (and seven of them in legal battles!), she better had found peace in death long back.

I wonder from where do all these religious ascetics creep up with their own philosophical rantings on life and living and protecting living. Her parents felt she would improve with 'better' treatment. But there is only so much medicine can do. And given that the medical chances of her sitting back in normal life was utterly remote as told by most of her physicians over the years, letting her to suffer all the while with a godly hope of a miracle is the height of religious dogmatism prevailing over earthly pragmatism.

Death has its sensations. Perhaps evolution has sensitized the human olfactory system to the scent of approaching death. It's a tussle between conscience and the dogmatic primitive religious instincts that has crippled man trying to come to terms with the inevitable mortality. The case of Terri is more of a conscience issue rather than religious. If this means killing and against what the humans must preach, then ask a soldier to show consideration and think and pray and meditate and praise god before he decides to shoot down his enemy.

Religion and law literally toyed around the inexplicable pain that a body had been enduring. All the trash talk was on who decides – her parents or husband – and what was forgotten was a pathetic soul undergoing what might have been least meant for her. If what was eventually committed was a sin, the greater sin was forcing a human unto undue pain.

There needs to be a line where conscience rules over narrow minded assertiveness. A medically incurable unbearable pain for years at length in the hope of a miracle is no religious salvation. God is not a magician. But that's what religions seem to be wanting people to believe!

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2 Responses to “is pain better than death”

  1. 1 Jax

    Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.

  2. 2 Anoop

    Hope is what life runs on……
    Its only a hope that there will be a tomorrow…

    Its only a hope that tomorrow will be better……

    PROBABLY the PROBABLITY of a new better tomorrow is higher for a priviliged few, but surely the PROBABLITY is not 1!!!!!

    Medical science will not have grown if all accepted defeat…

    Only a personal view anyways…–>


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