Nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas argued that the Terri Schiavo case is "part of a flow" that will eventually lead to euthanizing the elderly as a solution to Social Security and Medicare's future solvency problems.
From Thomas's March 21 column:
The Schiavo case should not be viewed in isolation. It is part of a flow that began in [sic] with abortion-on-demand and will continue, if not stopped, with euthanasia. When one category of life is devalued, all other categories are soon vulnerable.
Girls who became pregnant by a drunken father and sought abortions were the symbolic beginning of a process that resulted in abortion for any reason at any stage. Now we target the infirm, and soon the elderly will be in our sights because of the pressure on Social Security and Medicare. The "reasoning" will be: Rather than raise taxes, reduce benefits or raise the retirement age, let's eliminate the biggest "drain" on retirement resources -- that is, the elderly and infirm.
Having been conditioned to accept killing, even killing by the state according to an arbitrary standard of who is "fit" to live and who is not, it will be a short step to killing Grandma and Grandpa in their "assisted living" centers, which quickly will be transformed into centers for assisted dying.
Someone will produce a document or hearsay testimony that the elderly person would have "wanted to die" in such circumstances and never intended to be a "burden" to their children. The lawyer will be called, the will read and the inheritance distributed. It will be larger than what would have remained if spent on the recently departed.
These are the stakes, and how the Schiavo case is decided will determine what many of us face in the future.
Thomas's column is syndicated by Tribune Media Services. It is published in more than 540 newspapers, making him the most widely syndicated political columnist in the United States.