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Thursday, August 04, 2005

On Maria Korp: Silence and Some Dejection

I can't seem to find anything new about Maria Korp. Mainstream media hasn't said much about her except in regard to her attacker and her husband, who are both being prosecuted for Mrs. Korp's attack earlier this year. Then I found this article about the legal proceedings charging Mr. Korp with, I think, attempted murder. That could change to charges of murder should Mrs. Korp die. In that article, there's this bit about Mr. Korp's statements to the police from when he had first reported Mrs. Korp's disappearance:
Mr Korp was asked if the wife he claimed to have not seen since that kiss, might have harmed herself. "No, too religious, wouldn't do it," he had answered.
This is interesting to me because, by all accounts, Mrs. Korp would have shunned the idea of being preemptively terminated when all she needed was food and water. However the public advocate might argue otherwise, his decision is hardly consistent with Mrs. Korp's mind on the subject. Unfortunately, the public advocate is covered in such cases by a court ruling he managed to win in 2003 which classifies food and water, if given by feeding tube, as artificial life support. Blogging about Mrs. Korp can get my hackles up when I consider the injustice, but it is tinged with a bit of dejection because however much I voice objection to what the public advocate is accomplishing, there are two daunting obstacles before me: the law sides with the public advocate in how it regards food and water as medical treatment when given through a feeding tube, and the apathy of the Australian public. Marcel White expressed frustration particularly for the apathy. When he and others from Melbourne Uni staged a peaceful protest outside the Alfred Hospital, they were not joined by church leaders or ethicists. They were alone to carry the pro-life cause. I did not join them myself, and I regret that decision, though I am not a church leader nor am I a professional ethicist. I should have gone anyway. Public laws are hardly set in stone. It is almost traditional for public sentiments, based on higher ideals, to clash with laws of the land. It should therefore not be a cause for dejection when the law, even if only based on a court ruling, not legislation, goes contrary to what one believes. But public apathy for a woman who was not dying but has been sentenced to death by dehydration and starvation? When we have yet to hit half recommended period of time that must pass before concluding a permanent vegetative state (PVS)? And to be handed a fate that even animals are protected by law against? It boggles the mind and it wounds the heart. It is ironic for such apathy to exist in a society with an aging population. When public advocates like that responsible for Mrs. Korp's enforced dehydration and starvation start doing the same thing to that aging population, I wonder if people will have time to realize the tragic mistake that started with this public advocate in 2003.

1 comment:

Marcel said...

Maria Korp died on the tenth day after the removal of her feeding tube. Does that sound like someone who was teetering on the precipice of death before the removal of the feeding tube? Sceptics of this decision have been vindicated by recent events, including extended family crying for the feeding tube to be reinserted and holding prayer vigils for this purpose.

The pro life movement could have used this instance to highlight our society's march toward unregulated euthanasia. Instead many chose the path of least resitance. Everyone who went on the record, opposed to this course of action in straving Maria, including you Jeff, can be proud that despite a tragic end we did advocate the cause of life. I feel sorry for the so called moral leaders in our community who were 'deadly' silent on this case.