The Life of Pink

Not really much here to report on anything new since the weekend.

Which now brings me to...

Time for a Rant...

Yesterday's little spouting stemmed from death... well, Death, actually.
Today's perspective comes from life and death. One person's struggle with it: Terri Schiavo.
Yes, you know the name. She's the top story in all of the national news at the moment. However, in case you've been living off-world for the past few weeks, allow me to sum up with a quick precis: this woman has been in a vegetative state since a cardiac arrest and subsequent coma had somehow managed to destroy all but the autonomic control system in the brain, namely the brain stem (or as some are wont to call it, the "lizard brain"). She is, for all intents, purposes, and observations completely unaware of her surroundings. She is conscious, only just. Several years ago, a feeding tube was implanted in her, since she was unable to swallow food or water. Her ex-husband was given Power of Attorney over her health care. Thus, her life was at his whim.
Late last week, under orders from her husband and after a long court battle to prevent it, her feeding tube was removed, thus paving the way to her death by starvation.
Death by starvation. Let's just stop a moment and ponder that idea. No food or water. At all. We've seen the effects of this, especially by an incarcerated IRA operative some twenty years ago, when he went on a hunger strike. (I don't recall if he died from it, nor do I recall his name. I would like to say it was Barry Sands, but I'm most likely wrong in this case.) It's a horrible and torturous way to go.
That's right, I said torturous. This isn't a mercy death. This isn't quick. It's a slow, agonizing death.
From what one doctor said, though, with her lack of awareness of what's going on (including with her own body), it will be a peaceful death.
Peaceful, but certainly not quick.
To me, this is not evidence of mercy by anyone's actions. This is more like cruelty.
I don't care what kind of state you're in -- alert or vegetative -- but starvation is not the way to go.
You would think they would want her to go peacefully and quickly. Starvation is slow, and for most people agonizing. Wouldn't it be more merciful if Doctor Jack or one of his followers was brought in to help? (And where is Dr K these days? Haven't heard a peep about him in a good while. Can't remember if he's in prison or pushing up the daisies.)
It's hard thinking about something like this. It must've been even harder to consider this action. Then again, I don't know what's going through her husband's mind concerning this. I believe he just wants it to be over and done with, which is why I wonder he didn't consider the Dr K method.
Now the US Government has stepped in with a special voting session to force a federal court in Florida to hear the case once more. The judge has already decided not to reattach the feeding tube, even as a stopgap while he makes his decision. At the rate that the human body would pass on after staving to death, His Honor may not have much time left to say yes or no. She could go anytime between now and the weekend. She's been off the tube before, and survived a few days, but everyone's giving her a week after the tube's out.
I know she didn't leave a living will. Her husband is the only one who claims that she said that she didn't want to continue living in such a state.
And let's take a look at her parents. Obviously, they want to keep her alive. They believe that even after a decade of living in such a condition, she could recover. Experimental treatments have been done. Most doctors say that after five years of a vegetative state, the odds against recovery are astronomical. While I admire their dedication and loyalty to family and life, there may be a time when reality has to intervene.
These two parties have been fighting over Terri for years. Both sides want what they think is best for her.
Question is... which side is right?

Nothing more to report.
Carry on.


pfloyd: (Default)

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