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Terri Schiavo's story has our nation torn apart. My question is: When did God give the courts the right to decide who will live or die? I don't believe in keeping someone alive by artificial means, but I do believe one's wishes need to be in writing. In most lawsuits, a person has to have documentation in writing as proof; hearsay isn't enough. So why is it OK to let someone die because another person says that was her wish?

Regardless, starvation is no way to let a person die. If the courts are going to choose death over life, they should do it in a more humane way to hasten the person's death and let them die with dignity. Schiavo's slow death, even if there was no pain, is an atrocity. A prisoner on death row who has committed the most heinous crimes wouldn't be sentenced to die in such a fashion.

The only good that can come out of this tragic story is the importance of having a living will or health care proxy, so one's wishes are in writing and can be carried out.

Mary Jo Illuzzi

Town of Tonawanda