Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, April 11, 2005

Well, We TOLD You So

      First, Terri Schiavo was murdered by 'rule of law.'  Now, another case has come up.  A case was just reported in Georgia a few days ago.  An eighty-one year old woman named Mae Magourik went into the hospital for heart problems.  She left a living will saying that unless she was in permanent vegetative state, or a coma, she was to receive medical care.

      But her granddaughter decided she wouldn't have a proper life any more, so despite the living will, and despite not being in a vegetative state, or a coma, or diagnosed as terminal, and despite not having a medical power of attorney, and despite not being the legally designated next of kin under Georgia law, the granddaughter transferred her to a hospice and told them not to give her a feeding tube.  The granddaughter was of the opinion grandma would suffer if she continued to live.  The hospice went along without bothering to check if this was legal. (Hat Tip: The Anchoress, who by the way has moved)

      Fortunately, her brother and sister found out, and the pressure went on.  Magourik was transferred to a hospital in Alabama, and is being nourished again.

      Meanwhile, the Anchoress has come across another euthanasia story, this time in Britain:
A CORONER is demanding a public inquiry into claims that 11 hospital patients were deliberately starved to death. He believes that it could be Britain’s first case of forced “mass euthanasia”.

Peter Ashworth, the coroner for Derby, will open an inquest later this year into the suspicious deaths at the city’s Kingsway hospital.

He considers the matter so serious that he has written to the Department of Health asking for the inquest to be superseded by a judicial inquiry with powers to investigate practices at the hospital.

There is now increasing concern across Britain about the way hospitals appear to be hastening the deaths of elderly patients. Police in Leeds and Hampshire are also looking into similar cases. [Emphasis added]

The 11 patients, all men aged between 65 and 93, died in the Rowsley ward for the elderly at Kingsway. A review of the cases, ordered by the coroner, found evidence that their deaths may have been speeded up by withholding sufficient food.

      Welcome to the Brave New World.  The elderly and the chronically ill are to die.  Keeping them alive costs too much.  We invented nursing homes to put them out of our sight, then we decide for them that the important thing is 'quality of life' -- our life, that is.  Ours will be much better if we don't have to support the old farts.

      Oh, remember all those bloggers like Glenn Reynolds, who said that the law has got to rule, even if we don't like the outcome?  They weren't very concerned.  There was a distinct tone of 'This sounds horrible, but it probably isn't really happening.'  But you don't put people into a hospice unless they are expected to die.  Mae's nephew has spoken in detail about the case, while Mae's granddaughter refuses all comment.  The hospice says nobody is ever denied food and water if they request it, but her nephew says that because Mae was receiving serious pain medicine, she didn't wasn't lucid enough to explain that she wanted to be fed.  When a judge ordered her examined, the doctors determined that she was not terminal.

      I say it again: if they get the chance, they will come for you.  Start fighting to change the law: unless there is a specific request, in writing, a patient must be kept alive -- no 'It's in their best interest to die' allowed ever.  And if there is any dispute as to the facts, the patient is kept alive until the dispute is resolved.



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