What’s Airing on Pro-Life Perspective Today? “Nat Hentoff’s Reflections on Terri Schiavo, part 3”

By Dave Andrusko

Nat Hentoff

National Right to Life President and Pro-Life Perspective Host Carol Tobias continues her series on Nat Hentoff’s remarkable Human Life Review article investigating the tragic death of Terri Schiavo on Thursday’s edition of PLP.

Nat’s article, as befits a careful writer who researches diligently, addressed a bevy of issues leading up to Terri’s tragic court-ordered starvation and dehydration death. Mrs. Tobias talked about some of them Tuesday and Wednesday. Today she comments on Nat’s analysis of the influence and impact of  bioethicist Peter Singer.

Singer’s anti-life advocacy goes back decades. In his Human Life Review story, Nat quoted from a 1983 article Singer wrote for the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“If we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal – a dog or a pig for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication, and anything else that can plausibly be considered morally significant.  Only the fact that the defective infant is a member of the species homo sapiens, leads it to be treated differently from the dog or pig.”

In the nearly three decades since Singer has not backed away from that position. In fact he has actually advocated that parents of children born with disabilities should have the right to ask for euthanasia for their child up to 28 days after birth.  As Mrs. Tobias notes,

“If you’re thinking Singer is advocating for a new version of history repeating itself–that is, killing off those deemed ‘inferior’–you would be correct.”

Building on the insights of Nat Hentoff, Mrs. Tobias reminds us that Terri Schiavo left a legacy regarding the definitions of “futility” and “quality of life” and what is “morally justifiable.”  She asks,

“Where do we draw the line?  How far will medicine and man go?

These are all questions we will continue to face in the coming years.  Will ethics professors like Peter Singer speak for us and for our children?  Or will we make our voices heard loudly far and wide?”

In addition to being able to hear PLP at www.prolifeperspective.com, you’ll also find there links to the latest information from National Right to Life’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics. 

You’ll be able to educate yourself on the current trends in bioethics that are affecting the treatment of the medically dependent and disabled at the site.  While you’re there, you can download the “Will to Live,” the pro-life living will.

You can go directly to the “Will to Live” 

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