Or perhaps he has died by now. As many people have noticed, it is a remarkable concurrence of events to see him moving towards death as Terri Schiavo was being forced in the same direction, and that in the shadow of Easter. God speaks to us in these times and helps us to see what we would have missed otherwise. As Pope John Paul said, we live in a culture of death, which seeks to conceal human weakness and frailty by killing those who can be killed and packing the rest off to nursing homes where they can safely be ignored until they obligingly die or reach a point where we can kill them off. But the Pope would not go that way, and the Schindlers did not allow their daughter go that way either. National Review Online has a beautiful article on what we can learn from the Pope's public silence.
The question is unmistakably before us; will we learn to see the value of those who are frail and cannot defend themselves, or will we find new ways to "mercifully" get rid of them? California is presently considering a law legalizing euthanasia. Some may consider this an improvement on the starvation and dehydration that Terri Schiavo endured, but wouldn't food have been a better option than murder? Joni Ericson Tada has been wearing herself out these days on behalf of those who cannot feed themselves on their own; she is a quadraplegic and cannot feed herself on her own either. If euthanasia becomes acceptable, how long will it be before the government decides that it is better to mercifully get rid of people like her than to allow them to continue to live?