March 26, 2005

Succuming to the masses: Terri Schiavo


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The Terri Schiavo debacle is yet another mind boggelingly silly media feeding frenzy that I feel compelled to comment on solely because everyone else is doing it, and everyone else is wrong. Honestly though, I don’t think this matters all that much, because to me, the alternatives are pretty similar. On one hand, Terri Schiavo dies, on the other, she remains in an irrecoverable state that’s as close to death as you can get. In neither case is she ever going to dance the tango again, let alone speak a single word in the english language. I’m not without my leanings, however. Terri Schiavo has been a vegetable for 15 years. The first few years of this, her husband tried several methods to recover her, including a particularly aggressive and experimental treatment that involved electrodes being implanted in her brain. The result? I quote: “According to physicians who have actually diagnosed her in person, she displays no awareness of her surroundings, is unable to swallow, and any consciousness or personality died in 1990.” (Ars Technica) So in 1998 he gave up, and decided, based on comments to this affect that she had made, to pull the proverbial plug. 7 years later this may finally be happening. I say about time.

Now to answer the dissention. A contributing factor to Terri’s current state was medical malpractice, the result of which was a $1.3 million settlement. $300,000 of this went to her husband, the rest to her medical bills. Her husband has subsequently turned down offers for book deals, as well as multi-million dollar offers to turn over guardianship to her parents. He’s not in it for the money. He claims that his position is based upon her wishes that she related to him while she lived, and I see no reason to doubt that. I can honestly say that were I in Terri’s position, I would not want to continue to live how she lives. Does she have a chance of recovery? Modern medical technology says no, and as far as I know, there’s no magic bullet on the horizon, but I could be wrong. This point seems to be the only arguable one in my eyes, but it begs the question of how far we are willing to go to preserve people who could be saved by advances in technology at a later date. If we’re willing to keep people like Terri alive indefinitely in hopes of a cure, should we also be listening to the proponents of cryonics and flash freezing and storing the heads of the recently deceased? It’s the same rationale after all.

Anyhow, there is a real tragedy here. I think Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die, and so far every court that has ruled to this affect has agreed with me. Yet they accomplish this by removing her feeding tube and letting her starve? I’m pretty sure we didn’t even starve the prisoners at Guantanamo, and we were blatently violating the Geneva Convention there. We certainly can’t get away with that sort of thing anywhere else. So why does she starve? Because euthenasia is still illegal in this country, and for no good reason that I can see. How could this not be a shining example of where a simple lethal injection would make a world of sense?

I’m not the firm believer in democracy that our government would like me to be, because I don’t think most people are well informed enough to be making decisions that affect people they’re not in direct contact with farther than 5 minutes into the future. Instead, it seems that the parts of our “democratic” system that the people have the most control of seem to gravitate to the lowest common denominator: i.e. Mr. Bush. Whoops! Did I just mention the president? That pretty much means I have to weigh in with his opinion on the subject, and subsequently show how he’s a blithering idiot. Let’s see… because federal judges refused to hear the Schiavo case citing lack of jurisdiction, Bush rushed back from *gasp* another vacation in Texas to sign some legislation into law because it’s important to have, and I love this phrase, a “culture of life.” And now for the hypocracy! In ‘99 Bush signed legislation in Texas that allows Hospitals to, for fiscal reasons, withdraw treatment of terminal patients regardless of the wishes of the family. This guy makes it way too easy sometimes. What I’m really getting at here, though, is that this is yet another area where the government really doesn’t belong. If I don’t want to be a vegetable, who are they to tell me otherwise? Dubya can have his culture of life, but if it interferes with how I live mine, I don’t dig it, plain and simple.

That was way too serious, so I’m going to end on the Uniblow auto-inflating suit!

Hooray for inflatable suits!

Posted by MrWonton at 3:00 am |

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22 Comments »

Collapse Comment by Doug
2005-03-26 15:27:36

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I dont think you could of putit any better. I too enjoy the ‚Äúculture of life.‚Ä? saying. Did you read about the man who offered a contract to kill her husband? Now that is irony!

Collapse Comment by Doug
2005-03-26 15:28:18

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article http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/wyff/20050326/lo_wyff/2644176

Collapse Comment by MrWonton
2005-03-26 17:26:40

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Oh shit, that’s priceless! I hadn’t seen that. This guy is so angry about the concept of letting someone who’s been a vegetable for 15 years die that he’s willing to kill someone who’s living a full and regular life to save her!? Well actually 2 people, he wanted the judge who ruled not to intervene dead too. There’s no irony there. Goddamn psychos.

 
 
 
Collapse Comment by joanna
2005-03-29 15:19:30

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i just have to say that the suit thingys really took me back and im still giggling.

Collapse Comment by MrWonton
2005-03-29 15:31:41

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Awesome! That picture blows my mind. I want one of those suits.

 
 
Collapse Comment by *~Baarandii~*
2005-03-31 16:18:58

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I went to your LJ profile so I could send you a snide remark about how creepy it was you were always lurking in my journal but you never post anything and I came to find out you have a giganto blog. I haven’t purused it yet but I will. I think you should download the LJ Client so you can copy, paste, and tada cross-post your entries. Then I will read them more because I’m lazy.

Collapse Comment by MrWonton
2005-03-31 16:37:02

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Yeah, so fact of the matter is that you’re queer for not commenting back! Wtf gives sir!

Yeah, that’s right, your sudden discovery served merely to make you a target of my guilt trip.

That’s not a half bad idea, but I do like the flexability of my own little site here. I’ll look into it… or I’ll find someone with a paid LJ account to add my RSS feed to it, then it’d grab the posts all by itself. Sorry, blatent nerd talkage. Guilty as charged.

Collapse Comment by Brandi
2005-04-02 04:57:41

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I’m sorry I understood your nerd babble.

Collapse Comment by MrWonton
2005-04-03 01:02:41

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You should be.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Collapse Comment by Barbi
2005-04-04 11:44:11

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I GOT IT FOR ONCE!

Collapse Comment by MrWonton
2005-04-04 12:30:29

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AHHHH! I’m surrounded by NERDS! Do you not think it’s bad enough that all the people I WORK with are nerds?!

I should have stuck some cool acronyms like XML-RPC in there.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Collapse Comment by zensation
2005-04-01 02:08:00

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It’s over!

(sorry if that sounds rather harsh)

Collapse Comment by MrWonton
2005-04-01 11:18:18

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Huzzah! Doesn’t sound harsh to me at all, but then again, I’m practically the devil. I just hope it’s not all an April Fool’s hoax, you never know these days. I hear you’re comin’ with Jon at the end of April? That right? Dane Cook man! Dane Cook! I’m looking forward to it.

 
 
Collapse Comment by Seneca
2005-09-21 11:57:37

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The people that most wanted to keep her alive, are generally some of the people most opposed to stem cell research. Interestingly, fetal stem cells would be the magic bullet closest on the horizon. And I do mean fetal stem cells, it’s been shown adult stem cells don’t work well for neurological repair.

 
Collapse Comment by Illiam
2008-03-02 12:44:20

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I did not really understand the bolg but the inflatable suits are cool where on earth did you get them

 
Collapse Comment by Ronnell
2012-02-12 02:32:04

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… and about time too, eh? This Schiavo case is mikang me nuts! I can’t stand hearing about it much longer without joining Aaron in “civil disobedience!” Count you in GBW? ;-)

 
Collapse Comment by cjtdgrb
2012-02-13 03:54:45

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KL0Y67 nccbosbndtkf

 
Collapse Comment by jbgqyfusr
2012-02-14 12:40:55

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A5z2yA pjiosuctyxup

 
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