A posting at Harrys Place discusses the statement of a Tory councillor who
... argues that severely disabled children are a massive drain on resources; that they soak up money that would be better used for “reducing NHS waiting lists” rather than on those who are labelled “unproductive”.
So, as some foresaw, Terri Schiavo may have been the harbinger of a growing movement brought on by excessive rationality and a monopoly of health care by the state. I recall reading recently that doctors in the Netherlands were thinking of expanding their own proposals along these lines, with similar reasoning and rationalization. See this article in Time Europe, Europe's Way of Death, for other examples. I can't help thinking that Europe falling away from Christianity has something to do with this. Whether superstition or not, I believe the Christian teachings about the sanctity of life and the bearing of life's trials had a value in itself that informed European civilization and accounted for much of its success. The loss of Christianity may have unintended consequences. Perhaps Pope Benedict will have the role of reconverting the barbarians -- if he can. This moral challenge and developing debate may even shed some light on Bush's recent choice of Miers to serve on the Supreme Court.