Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"LIFE"? WTF???

What is up with these Schiavo protesters and their red "LIFE" stickers taped over their mouths? What the hell is that supposed to even mean? And how creepy is it that they all seem to have them now? It just makes the Schiavo kerfuffle look even more like the coordinated, manufactured event that it is. I see the courts keep saying no, the wingnuts keep pushing, and scream "Judicial Activism!" at every turn. And now they're using it to argue that the judiciary obviously isn't far-right enough.

Of course, their dream solution is to take the courts out of the equation altogether. Maybe they can get 3 or 4 senators in a room together and bang out a constitutional amendment decreeing that the feeding tubes of people named Terri Schiavo cannot be removed. That'd fix those judges' little red wagon! Ha!

Can we please put democracy's feeding tube back in now?

(okay, I really did not like the way the line breaks in the posting by e-mail - too many line breaks in odd places)

18 comments:

V said...

Didn't you know? Protest is trendy now. Get yourself some red LIFE mouth tape, one of those yellow rubber Lance Armstrong bracelets, and cover yourself in pink and yellow ribbons. Then you can be a cool kid, too.

It's like gang colors, almost.

Jeffraham Prestonian said...

Don't forget "Purple Heart band-aids."
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Jeffraham Prestonian said...

I, personally, hope that everyone wearing the stupid tape gets to spend the last 15 years of their respective lives in a PVS.
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V said...

Thing is, Terri Schiavo is NOT in a persistent vegetative state. She DOES show voluntary cognitive behavior and DOES respond to stimuli in her environment. The woman smiles, for gods sake.

From my POV (which is a Buddhist one), this woman is very much alive. She breathes on her own, her heart beats on its own. She is not on "life support". She is a living person, and no matter how mentally disadvantaged she may be, we have a responsibility to give her nourishment.

Starving to death is a pretty nasty way to check out, from what I hear. And that's what this woman's husband is doing to her.

What's next? Will we decide that autistic children don't deserve to live? Or otherwise mentally handicapped people? This isn't our call to make. The woman's not on full-out life support, she just needs to be bloody FED.

ps - sorry for writing a lengthy moralistic rant in your comments, dude.

Jeffraham Prestonian said...

Sorry, v. -- her doctors and 16 courts have determined otherwise. I don't think I'm going to take a non-neurologist's opinion to the contrary.
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V said...

I guess it all comes down to how you define life, and how much value you place upon it. And how much faith you have in medical science.

Speaking as someone who has in fact been in a coma, and was acutely, horrifyingly aware of every infinite minute of it, I have to say I have very little faith in neuroscience. As advanced as we may be, the human brain is still very much a mystery to us.

And again, speaking as a Buddhist, there's never a good enough reason to starve a womam to death.

Jeffraham Prestonian said...

v., if Michael Schiavo felt as I do -- that what remains of his wife is incapable of feeling or wanting anything at all -- I would simply turn over her care to her parents.

I think he's trying to save her memory this indignity, for whatever that is worth.
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V said...

I still say it's not his place.

Jeffraham Prestonian said...

... and he feels it's not his place to simply walk away, which is exactly what I would do, were I in his position.
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charley said...

hope that everyone wearing the stupid tape gets to spend the last 15 years of their respective lives in a PVS.

so the last of their life could be as it is now?

as for terri, really, would you want to live like she is? i don't care what her state of consciousness is (and i am certainly not qualified to make a judgement). V, you may have been in a coma but you are obviously alive and vital now (would be interesting to blog?) but we are talking 15 years here. i'm not making a moralistic judgement (except to piss on the freaks who have hijacked yet another tragedy to make political hay) but if it were me i'd want to check out.

one blogger has said, if me, "take the tube out, don't skimp on the morphine" that could work.

'yeti said...

--Thing is, Terri Schiavo is NOT in a persistent vegetative state.

Thing is, that's a lie. Michael is not only her husband, and thus more likely to know her wishes in adulthood, he's also her court-appointed guardian.

I don't think I understand what the matter is from a Buddhist POV. Speaking pyschologically/physiologically, Terri has no ability to create perceptions from her sensations, meaning she is unaware of all that's happening around her. (She may appear to to smile or move, but such motor movements are not voluntary - there's no pattern to them.)

What Buddhist principle does respecting her right to die violate? If that was indeed her wish - and I have to believe it was, as it would've been much simpler for Mr. Schiavo to simply walk away from it all rather than fight - allowing her to die seems to me the more compassionate, honest thing to do.

'yeti said...

(clearing that up - I realize the first paragraph there about Michael doesn't have to do with the original statement - it should've been on its own. But j.p. already cleared up the matter about the persistent vegetative state.)

Eli said...

Thing is, that's a lie.

Just so we're clear on this, V. doesn't lie. V. has seen enough on the site the Schindlers set up to be skeptical about the diagnosis of total brain death. If their site is a lie, it's one that V. finds more plausible and compelling than the alternative, particularly because it errs on the side of life, regardless of its "quality". V's perception from the Shindlers' videos is that Terri is not only aware, but is actually *happy*.

Obviously, I don't see it quite the same way, but I also acknowledge that it would really really suck to be wrong about this, which would mean that she can feel herself starving to death, without any understanding of what's going on or any ability to make it stop. Again, I don't think that's what's happening, but you have to admit it's a truly nightmarish thought.

Anyway, V. has pointed out to me that we have essentially based a large part of our fury on the word of neurologists who could be wrong. I sure as hell hope they're not.

Anyway, V. can speak for herself, I just didn't want anyone to think she was a troll.

V said...

Thank you Eli, you've summed things up quite nicely. I just haven't seen anything convincing enough for me personally to agree with this decision.

The Buddhist principle that this violates Yeti, is respect for all life. I've watched the video footage of this woman, and I don't see a vegetable. You don't have to agree with me. Frankly, I don't expact anyone to agree with me.

All I expect is that my opinions, however different they may be from your own, are respected. And please don't call me a liar, I don't appreciate that too much.

At the end of this all, when Teri Schiavo has starved to death (and the people who love her have to watch it happen), I hope you still think this was the compassionate thing to do. And I hope that Michael Schiavo can go to bed at night without thinking "What if we were all wrong?"

V said...

And that, friends, is the absolute last thing I'm going to say about it. Heated debate just isn't my scene.

'yeti said...

Well, I won't call you a liar, but the truth is that she has been in what the medical profession calls a "persistent vegetative state" for quite a while, and whether she moves or not has nothing to do with it.

If it absolutely comes down to being a moral issue, then we have to ask: does rule of law have a place in this country? If it does, there is absolutely no legal basis for keeping the feeding tube in, whether we agree with it or not. If we don't believe in rule of law here, well, that's anarchy, and a different interesting debate.

V said...

It seems very important to you to be right. This puzzles me, as everything I have stated is only my personal opinion and completely subjective.

You apparently completely missed my saying that I personally am not convinced that she is in a persistent vegetative state.

You're free to debate my personal beliefs and ethics all day long if it pleases you. Just be aware that it's a pointless waste of your time.

oldwhitelady said...

15 years is a long time to just lay there. She can do nothing for herself. Is that anyway to live? Do they think they can bring her back from the state she's in? If this is all she can look forward to in the future, why shouldn't she be taken off the feeding tube and be allowed to pass on to where-ever one goes when they die? One thing's for sure, she hasn't sinned in 15 years so she should have a clear conscience.