On Sunday, I commented on AP’s tasteless comparison between Terri Schiavo and Kismet the robot. Today economist Steven Landsburg gives us this passage in a Slate column titled “Imagine Terri Were a Toaster…”:
Now, Michael Schiavo, it seems to me, is in something very like the bluenose position here. If he had a use for his wife’s body—if he wanted to cook it up for dinner, let’s say—then I’d have more sympathy for him. (On the other hand, I don’t think we should make a habit of letting people cook their spouses up for dinner, because it creates very bad incentives with regard to keeping your spouse safe and healthy.)
Update: Some bioethicists are now arguing that Terri is not a human being:
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Wesley Smith: Bill, do you think Terri is a person?
Bill Allen [a bioethicist]: No, I do not. I think having awareness is an essential criterion for personhood. Even minimal awareness would support some criterion of personhood, but I don’t think complete absence of awareness does.
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