Friday, March 25, 2005

it's not quite rain on your wedding day, but it is ironic

People are talking about the irony of the fight over Terri Schiavo's PEG (feeding) tube being withdrawn when the whole reason she was initially admitted to the hospital in 1990 was due to an electrolyte imbalance secondary to an eating disorder. There are other ironies in this case as well:
  • Bush and "Prolifers" say removing the feeding tube is cruel as she will now "starve to death" which they consider humane
    • In the United States, 13 million children live in households where people have to skip meals or eat less to make ends meet. That means one in ten households in the U.S. are living with hunger or are at risk of hunger. This is an increase since 2002 [USDA]
    • Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and the large majority are children under the age of 5. [Millenium Project]
  • Bush and "Pro-lifers" believe that all life is sacred, hence Terri Schiavo must be kept alive
    • The Texas medical futility bill was enacted under then Gov. George Bush (with the assistance of "prolife" organizations), this bill was applied this past week to the case of Sun Hudson - the child was extubated under the law and died shortly thereafter. [full disclosure: I do support withdrawal of life support in cases of medical futility]
  • Bush and "Pro-lifers" want to ban abortion in most, if not all cases (except in cases in which a mother is in imminent danger of death)
    • Sun Hudson had thanatophoric dysplasia and the case was medically futile. Bush and the "pro-life" movement would ban abortion to force a woman carrying such a child to take the pregnancy to birth and then either refuse treatment or force withdrawal of life support after the child was born
  • As a long-term sufferer of the debilitating disorder of cranio-anal inversion, House Majority Dictator Bill Frist, MD remains dedicated to save Schiavo's life (at least long enough to testify about her care) and is adamantly opposed to abortion because all life is sacred
    • Dr. Frist also authored a book in 1989 in which he suggested including anencephaly as in indicator of brain death to facilitate harvesting of organs for transplant


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Public Theologian said...

Glad you're back Cranky. Do they really have those special waffles over there or is that a marketing thing like Canadian bacon?

The Republicans have completely shot themselves on the foot on this one. They cannot backtrack fast enough from the bad polls.

Ol Cranky said...

They really have Belgian Waffles (even have some kiosks that sell them on street corners). ..of course I spent more time drinking the beer (after the conference sessions that is).

It's amazing how the vitriol is rising from the save Terri" camp and the new stories of abuse that people buy without substantiation. There are people saying Michael Schiavo should be forcred to divorce her & let her parents take her home all while going on about her $1M life insurance policy. If there is/was such a policy, it would have been one obtained well prior to her admission and I'm sure once this all happened the premiums would have increased substantially to make it unaffordable. They also claim they've just noticed she was the victim of some head trauma caused by her husband while in the hospital that caused the initial neuro problems. Patients with significant morbidities can develop neuro deficits quite easily without having a physical blow to the head - hypoxic/anoxic brain injury is not a sign of physical abuse. For them, it's all about vilifying those who disagree, the actual facts mean nothing.

Matthew Broudy said...

You've been watching the media too much. Don't pay attention to these overexposed issues designed to detract from real news. Like the prepackaged news story the New York Times ran a week ago. Or the increase in violence in Iraq since the so called elections. Or the fradualent elections here in the states. If your going to rant against something, don't let the mainstream media tell you what to rant about. My professor has a theory that the Jackson family are really secret agents. Whenever serious news breaks one of them does something crazy or gets arrested to detract from it. They're working for the man, I tell you. Good post nonetheless. Keep it up.

Ol Cranky said...


I've thankfully been out of the country most of the week, so what little news I saw & read was not the propaganda our mainstream media shove down our throats here. I have done my share of ranting about the other topics you reference, but have actually been watching this story for some years (despite not blogging about it until I got fed up with the Randall Terry BS).

Your prof has an interesting theory, maybe Britney's in on it too.

The Good Reverend said...

The thing is, I don't think many mainstream politicians would argue that it wouldn't be fine for Terri Schiavo to have made the decision to do this herself, say, in a living will. If we then accept that it's fine for someone to opt to either prolong one's life or take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them, the question becomes, what would Terri have wanted? Since we don't know, somebody's got to take a guess. As a general rule, should we say that the guesser in such situations should be the legislature, the doctors, the parents? I think, as a general rule, it should probably be the spouse. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd trust my spouse to make the choice I'd have made more than I'd trust anyone else, including my parents. So it's Mike Schiavo's decision, and even if it's not the one we'd have made, we should allow him to make it.