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Posts Tagged ‘Euthanasia’

Terri’s passing

Posted by MDViews on April 1, 2005

What is there to say about this tragedy? It was the perfect storm of liberals, lawyers and laws that resulted in her loving parents being denied the opportunity to care for their disabled daughter.

I pray that somehow, her parents and family can find purpose and peace in this loss.

And I pray that this will highlight and underscore the raw power possessed and exercised by the imperial judiciary. That by bringing this to light, citizens in these United States will vote in a way to limit that power and restore some balance to our government.

And I pray that those defending life will not be discouraged by this event and will continue the work for life with resolve, steadfastness and zeal.

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The end draws near for Terri

Posted by MDViews on March 25, 2005

Terri Shiavo is dying. Slowly dying. By the time your read this, she may be gone.

I’m having a hard time with this one, as many are. I don’t generally pray for people in the news, but I’ve prayed for her. And I’ve prayed for the family. This event has touched me deeply.

I know all about abortion. I’ve heard a woman say without batting an eye that she aborted her baby in May, conceived again in August because she didn’t want to pregnant through the summer. I was horrified and chilled.

I’ve been through the holocaust museum in Washington, DC and seen the bins filled with shoes, filled with eye glasses of those who met their death at the hands of that madman, Adolf Hitler. It was sad and moving and terrible and horrible all at once.

I’ve had a woman berate, scold and physically kick me when I suggested that her 70 year old mother undergo surgery for an ovarian tumor which was likely cancer. The poor soul was quite ill already but alert and able to think for herself. The daughter, however, was a domineering personality, and brow-beat her mother into no treatment, scaring her with stories of a painful death. She inadvertently gave a glimpse into her own heart, however, when she told me out of ear shot of her mom, that she wasn’t going to allow surgery and expensive care for her mother as her mothers savings would be depleted by the treatment and she, the daughter, would lose her inheritance. The poor woman died a painful death one month later and never received treatment.

I’ve read stories of babies being born alive in abortion clinics and then left to die with no treatment. The barbarians of the abortions chambers would have no trouble making that moral leap.

But, somehow, this is different. This pulls at me in a different way.

She’s not in pain. She is not “suffering” in the terminal illness sense of the word, or the chronic cancer pain sense of the word.

She has had doctors certify this “Persistent vegetative state” which the Christian Medical Society calls a pejorative term. Persons, regardless of their disability, should not be compared to plants. The word “vegetative” is only there to help justify ending the persons life, because no one wants to live like a “vegetable.” Even then, 30 some odd docs have disputed this finding just by watching videos of her. Is there doubt about her disability? YES.

Her husband stands to gain financially from her death.

Her husband may have already tried to cause her death by overdosing her with insulin, according to a nurse who was providing care to Terri at that time.

Her husband took money from a malpractice settlement earmarked for her rehabilitation and then did not spend it on her rehab.

And he is the one calling the shots on her care. This makes no sense.

The Jews were gassed by a madman. There is no madman here.

The babies are aborted by abortionists and woman who buy into the concept and the idea. Terri isn’t buying in to this idea. She didn’t pull her own feeding tube.

A family member who brow-beat her mother into refusing care was despicable, but her mother could have stood up for herself and asked for treatment and didn’t.

But this woman has family willing to take over her care. She has a disability, but is not (was not)suffering. Surely, one cannot place the Florida courts, the appeals courts and supreme court into the same category as Hitler.

But yet, all who would want her to live and be provided care have been thwarted, turned away, left with nothing but helplessness, hopelessness, grief and despair.

All appeals appear to be exhausted. Oh, man… This makes no sense.

Peggy Noonan, as usual, has a wonderful piece on regarding this senseless tragedy. Where does the liberal left get its zeal for this act? How does one so callously disregard a mother and a father’s plea to save their daughter? These things are beyond my grasp.

God, please comfort Terri and her grieving family.

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Terri Shiavo’s plight–the Court’s shame

Posted by MDViews on January 25, 2005

Terri Shiavo, the woman in Florida who is in a “persistent vegetative state” (or just neurologically impaired depending on who you believe) from an event in which her heart stopped beating, lost a battle to the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) today when they allowed to stand a decision by the Florida supreme court overturning “Terri’s law”.

Some history. Terri is married to Michael, a man who now lives with another woman and has two children with her. Michael and Terri’s parents have been battling for over a decade over Terri and her feeding tube. Michael wants it removed so she will dehydrate and starve to death. Her parents want to keep it in so she can continue to receive food and water.

They dispute how aware she is. Michael says she’s a vegetable with no value, at least not enough to warrant food and water. Her parents say she responds and is quite aware of people and her surroundings.

When Michael won a court battle in 2003 allowing removal of the feeding tube, Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature passed “Terri’s law” which mandated the tube be replaced and her food and water continued. Later, the Florida Supreme court overturned the law saying the legislature overstepped its bounds. The case was appealed, and today the SCOTUS sided with the Florida Supreme Court by refusing to hear the case and allowing the ruling to stand.

Hmm, I wonder. Does Michael have a motive that may not be altruistic?

It’s hard to place this into a perspective that will impact your ordinary wishy-washy, I’d-rather-not-think-about-things-like-this citizen. After all, who can oppose helping some poor vegetable a trip to a better place?

Well, people need to know that these cases are seldom so clear cut. The science of neurology is part science and much art. Thus the differing opinions on Terri Shiavo’s state of health.

I once had a patient who was in a motor vehicle accident and sustained a severe head injury. She was in a coma on a ventilator for one month when she “woke up”, as she put it. When I saw her, it was several years after that episode. She could walk and think and lived in her own apartment. She was disabled from her injury, but she certainly appreciated being alive. If her state had allowed euthanasia, she could have legally been removed from life support and killed. She was a “vegetable” by anyone’s definition, but now is a functioning human being.

And so it goes. Once the state allows life to be ended by withdrawing food and water, it is participating in euthanasia. The distance between withdrawing life-saving treatment (antibiotics, blood products, medicines) and withdrawing the basic substance of life (food and water) is short. How short, then, to hemlock and mercy killing? Very, very short, indeed.

And is recoverability or mental functioning a requirement for human life? What if Terri is in a vegetative state? Does that disqualify her from existence? Who decides what life is worth living, what life has value?

History is replete with those who thought they could decide. Hitler was one. Six million Jews lived (or died) his value system.

My prayer is that President Bush and the conservatives in Congress will bring some jurists to the court who will support life. It can’t come to soon.

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…At The Extremes

Posted by MDViews on January 6, 2005

Yahoo! News – Study: Extreme Preemies Have Disabilities

AP trumpets a study from this weeks New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) about severely premature infants from 22 to 25 weeks and their development over the first 6 years of life. To no one’s surprise, these most tiny of the tiny often survive with some disabilities, sometimes profound disabilities when they do survive. About 1/2 have what are described as moderate to severe disabilities including CP, vision or hearing loss and learning problems. One third are mildly disabled and 20% are OK.

I don’t have access to the NEJM having let my subscription lapse. However, the purpose of the article, I think, is mentioned in the fourth paragraph: “Guidelines call for not resuscitating the most severely premature babies…”

Some thoughts come to mind…

First, none of this information is new, so why the big splash in Yahoo? Why state the obvious with such a sense of discovery?

Because an article this big and this important and this authoritative will provide cover for doctors and parents who want to pull the plug on the very premature.

I’ve worked with neonatologist angry, upset, depressed that a couple said, “Yes, doctor, do everything you can to save our baby.” This article will give them cover. It’s easy to see the conversation. “Well, Mr. and Mrs. Jones. I know that your baby’s heart is beating and lungs are breathing and we would like to do all we can, but we have guidelines that show your baby will be a vegetable, so just give up and say good-bye. There just isn’t any hope.” The parents will recoil at the thought. There will be anger and tears, but the doctor will prevail and “do what’s best for the baby.”

Then, think of the premature baby that has been in the nursery for 2 months and has had a stormy course and is certainly looking at a life of disabilities. How long before the “guidelines” get stretched to include that soul into the final solution.

Either life is precious and valuable or it’s not. Either life at the extremes should be protected and defended or not.

Do disabilities disqualify one from life? Is a potential learning disability a reason to pull the plug? Do we have to be perfect to be loved and appreciated on God’s green earth?

Pray that they don’t come for you, dear friend, if perfection is the criteria.

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