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Why the morphine'

Occasionally local authorities seize starved and neglected animals from their owners, who are fined and even may serve jail time for this offense. Yet unwanted human beings, like Terry Schiavo, can be legally deprived of food and water until dead from natural causes, and judges look on and applaud. Even death row convicts are spared this cruel and unusual punishment. So, now, why the morphine, if Terry is not suffering from a prolonged, agonizing death? ' Fred Harrison, Central Point

Setting a precedent

Yes, indeed, the Schiavo case does set an important precedent for Oregon. It gives us a way to make Oregon's assisted suicide law perfectly legal.

All the doctor (or court) needs to do is order that food and water be withheld from the person who wants to die. The family of the person would be bound by the order. After all, we have the word of Michael Schiavo that this is not painful. ' A. K. Thompson, Rogue River

Republicans did too much

When it comes to individual rights I think that the Republicans have now zigged when they should have zagged. To watch their ridiculous and tawdry machinations to prevent Terri Schiavo from dying peacefully was, and is, an awful Greek tragedy for the depths of its undeserved interference.

I now believe there will be a political price to pay, not because Republicans didn't do enough to prolong Terri Schiavo's life, but because they did too much.

I voted Republican in the last election to reduce the size and intrusiveness of the federal government, to reduce our tax burden and lower government spending. I voted Republican to defend us against threats from abroad and to defend our personal property rights at home. I did not vote Republican to facilitate a government takeover of my rights to choose to die with dignity, nor to interfere with the reproductive rights of American women, nor to establish a theocracy.

— I want the Republican Party to get out of my personal life and to start paying attention to the things that matter, such as spending and tax cuts, school choice, national defense and individual liberty. That is if they want to keep my vote. ' Doug Forsyth, Ashland

This shouldn't be

I sit stunned at the ruling on starving Terri Schiavo until she dies. I am sickened that in America a helpless woman would have to go through that horrible death.

Even death-row murderers have the benefit of a painless death by lethal injection. (Not that she should even have to die.)

But Terri gets to endure days, maybe weeks of torment. Does she feel no pain? Her eyes sunken, her tongue swollen and dried out, her lips parched, while her mother and father have to sit by and watch that. What torment that must be!

Giving food and water is not extraordinary means to keep someone alive. America? No, this shouldn't be! Judges need to be reigned in! ' Angie Vermillion, Talent

This is murder

We all need to speak out against what is being done to Terri Schiavo. This is not assisted suicide or turning the ventilator off when a person has no brain function, this is murder ' slow, painful murder.

When my dog is old and her quality of life is less than 100 percent, should I just stop feeding and giving water to her?

Is this humane? No! I imagine I could face criminal charges if I did this to my dog.

In the absence of a Living Will, Terri Schiavo should be given reasonable care in prolonging her life. Food and water are not extraordinary medical treatments ' whether given by mouth or feeding tube!

When we start making assumptions that people who are not functioning at 100 percent would want to die and we allow the acceleration of the death process by withholding food and water, we as a society have become inhumane. ' Alison Davis, Medford

Conclusion puzzling

Doesn't the Bible say that God so loved the world that he gave his only son up unto death that we could be saved?

Isn't the central Christian message that we must order our lives by love, not through the coercive powers of the state?

How then do we come to the conclusion that the state (this same state we want to keep out of our corporate boardrooms) must intervene at every opportunity to prolong life by artificial means? ' John B. Richards, Ashland