Fat Steve's Blatherings

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Weird Blogosphere and Political Comments in re Terri Schiavo

      Glenn Reynolds says he has no opinion on the case.  What?  We're about to create a precedent that a husband can say his wife should be killed, because she told him she wanted to be, and then have the govt. blindly take his word for it, and order her killed?  I would think that would concern a libertarian.

      Michele Catalano writes:
We've been discussing the Terri Schiavo saga in our house all weekend and it's prompted us to make living wills. I'm of the mind that laying in a vegetative state for fifteen years is not living at all and I would rather my family not try to keep me going in the hopes that one day I'll suddenly sit up and say "Hi mom and dad!" when in fact, if I did wake up, my first reaction would be to yell at my family for making go through that just so they didn't have to deal with my death.

Fifteen years of not being able to feed yourself, think for yourself, form a verbal thought, get dressed, tell anyone where it hurts, plead for medication, read a book, sit at a family dinner....that's not living. That's being kept alive. There is a difference, in my mind.

      Umm, Michele, nobody knows what Terri Schiavo can do, because her husband refuses to allow rehabilitation attempts.  There is at least one case I've heard of where a woman was allegedly being starved to death, because she was supposedly in a persistent vegetative state.  Then they changed their mind and fed her, and she eventually recovered.  It's claimed she later said she was aware and suffering the whole time, and wondered why the idiots weren't feeding her.

      Michele also has links and excerpts from other people who confidently assure us of what Terri Schiavo will experience, all without evidence that I can see.

      I note that neither Glenn nor Michele has anything to say about the money the husband stands to receive if he gets the State of Florida to kill his wife.  I would think that fact would be a concern too.

      I'm also astounded by all the doctors who say Terri's death would be painless.  It reminds me of something I was told in my respiratory technician days, that for a while doctors performed surgery on patients using curare derivatives.  Curare is a muscle paralyzer, and a patients who received it weren't able to move during surgery.  But when it wore off, they told the doctors they'd been conscious and in agony during the whole experience -- and the doctors, I'm told, didn't believe them!  It wasn't till a surgeon experienced this himself that doctors realized what they were doing.

      I remember watching a film of a fetus without eyelids move its forearm to block a light shining in its eyes, repeatedly, while being assured that the fetus was too young to have developed sight.  Yeah, sure, just a coincidence it moved its arm that way, and repositioned it when the light shifted.

      By the way, my wife K. is an RN, and when I was in respiratory I frequently worked with comatose and brain damaged patients.  Both of us, seeing Terri on TV, find it hard to believe she's in a "persistent vegetative state."

      And what's wrong with the Democrats who are blocking the House from acting?  Do they really think that this is a winning political move for them?  If so, why?

      Good God, Dems, you already have troubles with the "pro-life" voters, and there you have conscious, articulate women insisting that abortions are what they want, that they have the right to control their own bodies, and that the fetus is only dubiously human anyway.  Are you really going to double down by insisting on the right of a husband to control his wife's body, based on his unsupported word that this is what she would want?  I guarantee you, when Michael "When is that bitch gonna die?" Schiavo gets his hands on the loot and doesn't need to pretend anymore, the public reaction will be awful.

      Even more stunning is the Democrat's sudden worship at the shrine of due process of law.  For seventy years, Democrats have been willing to override state laws to achieve the results they desire, and now suddenly we are to believe they can't stand the thought of overruling a state court?  Who are they kidding?

      Finally, a legal issue.  Why isn't it standard, in a case like this, for the court to appoint a lawyer to represent the patient?  During the Elian Gonzales mess, that always seemed the obvious thing to me.  Instead, the courts pick one relative, and assume that they have the best interests of the child or patient in mind, and the knowledge to choose the best course.  This is plumb ridiculous.

      "Curiouser and curiouser."  Why are so many eager to judge without getting some facts?  There's no sign Terri Schiavo is in agony or anything.  So what's the rush?



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