You can see I have something of a timelag going on here ... so, weeks later than every other blogger, I have a thought about the Terri Schiavo case.
It concerns the fact that she entered the vegetative state as a result of an eating disorder. Now there's a supreme irony: such global cacophony as to whether she should be 'starved to death' when in fact this was all as a result of her starving herself.
But that's not the only irony.
I knew someone very well who developed anorexia as a young adult. (She died too.) In her case, and I suspect in many more, the anorexia was partly a way of resisting, avoiding adulthood - adult womanhood. Being thin makes your body look more childlike, pre-pubertal - you lose your breasts, you stop having periods, you look more like an adolescent boy.
Reverting to childhood - now what's that about? Who's the most important figure in your childhod - your mother, of course. An adult woman.
There's an extensive literature on anorexia and the mother-daughter relationship.
In Terri Schiavo's case, it seems terribly ironic that her parents wanted to assert their parenthood - and her status as their child - to the bitter end, against the wishes of her adult partner, her husband. Maybe they were only mirroring what she'd been doing via her eating disorder - making herself more childlike. It makes me wonder about their family dynamic - the guilt they must have experienced about her eating disorder, the mother-daughter rivalry manifest in the eating disorder (played out finally as parent-husband rivalry), above all, the huge level of denial inherent in their actions in wanting to prolong her life.