Powerful stuff Piney, and I understand completely.
As for me, since the moment I was able to, I have had a Do Not Resuscitate, Power of Attorney, and Living Will should the unavoidable occur a little sooner than expected. So basically, "keep the plugs out, let him fizzle, then pass the organs around!"
In reference to Terri, euthanasia has always been a topical issue. If the supreme court made a ruling on euthanasia tomorrow, then high schools would have to revert to old abortion for their issues discussion. My grandmother was a complete vegetable, and there is no real way to describe the torment you see in someone lying there, dead, but alive. She faded, and eventually died. She was completely unresponsive to everything. It's just a part of life, but if we had a choice, she would not have sat there, cold, hard, rigid, for 8 hours a day in front of a television for weeks, maybe months of her life.
And the Pope? Well, we had a "Breaking News" report today about it, that interupted regular programming, basically to say that one of his assistants was quoting as saying that jesus had already opened the gates, and that he was expecting the pope tonight or tomorrow.
But you know what, it's just what happens when you peg so much hope, love and dependence on one man. He's mortal. Deal with it.