Only individuals have right to end their own lives

Daily Kent Stater

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer the Daily Kent Stater’s editorial board my most profound sympathies for their apparent loss of respect for all of their fellow human beings. The editorial “Patients should have a right to die” from March 4 hit me with a very disturbing enlightenment as to your disregard for one of the basic rights we all enjoy each day: life. Remember, life is a gift. It’s not something we take.

In your editorial you wrote, Terri Schiavo “hasn’t been able to do much more than breathe for the past 15 years.” My question is, how do you know this for sure and certain beyond any doubt? It is to my understanding that Terri Schiavo has shown signs of response when she has been presented with certain stimuli, such as her mother. For more information I urge you to check out the Web site dedicated to Terri at Although, as a result of her horrific brain damage, she is profoundly mentally handicapped, Terri is still a human being who must be protected since she can no longer protect herself.

I am extremely familiar with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, my memory is slight fuzzy with the right to die. Surely, we will all die someday, and we don’t know when that day will come. In the meantime, we all have, or should have, a duty to live our lives to the fullest and help make this planet Earth we call home a better place. Each day you live, you never know how many people your presence might have impacted, either for good or not. Even poor Terri’s existence may be making an impact on people’s lives, and no one except those people will ever know.

In fact, she has most certainly left a mark on my life. Gee, that’s impressive for someone who hasn’t been able to do much more than breathe for the past 15 years of her life. The way I see it, and I don’t care if anyone else agrees with me or not, the only person in this sad case who has any kind of “rights” is Terri and Terri alone. Not the spouse, relatives and especially not the government. For some odd reason or another, I can’t believe that this woman would “choose” to die of starvation. YOU try even imagining the agony in that. Oh, the inhumanity! Go Terri!

Nicole C. Dunkle

Junior English major