Monday, March 28, 2005

OC Weekly

If you are looking for a critical perspective on the latest media frenzy, check out the Orange County Weekly. Here's a excerpt:
Pop quiz! In 1999, who signed into law the Texas Futile Care Act, which permits hospitals to make decisions to deny life support—over the wishes of family and guardians—to people whose illnesses they’d deemed “irreversible” (but more important, who don’t have the ability to pay)?

It’s hard, so I’ll give you a hint: he’s all up into the “culture of life” like Newt Gingrich is up in his secretaries.

Too hard? Another hint: he presided over 152 executions, including some retards and three minors. (Here’s a choice quote from Philly’s Daily News: “Two of the three [executed minors] each had suffered severe head injuries as children—one the result of alleged extreme child abuse—and were judged by experts to be mentally impaired or retarded. The third was sentenced to die by a jury because—according to his defense lawyer—‘he was a black man who killed a white woman, and he was very very gay.’”)

Oh, and Mr. Culture of Life then started a war that has killed a hundred thousand people so far.

Sh-t! I forgot we’re only supposed to refer to the 1,500 dead American troops! Okay, so Mr. Culture of Life then started a war that has killed 1,500 people so far.
Here's a bit more:
Are there times when you wouldn’t want an incapacitated woman’s husband to decide whether she lives or dies? Absolutely: say, if the husband were Newt Gingrich, who, when his wife was in a hospital bed undergoing chemo for cancer, told her he was leaving her and whipped out divorce papers for her to sign. I sure as hell wouldn’t trust Newt around a Do Not Resuscitate order.

But Michael Schiavo’s not that guy, no matter how many times former exterminator DeLay calls him a murderer and a "medical terrorist." He lived with her parents for four years, so they could all care for her together; he went to nursing school so he could better care for her; he brought her to California for experimental treatments that didn’t work because Terri’s brain has literally turned to liquid; and then, after almost a dozen years, he decided she would never come back. Her parents flipped, of course (it’s easy to say that everybody dies, but I’m in meltdown right now because my sister wants to move), and filed a suit that’s been litigated 19 times (activist judges), each time with Michael Schiavo prevailing. He’s her husband. Sanctity of marriage, you know.
For the record, I do not want any heroic measures taken to preserve my life if there is no reasonable hope to restore quality of life, and I definitely do not want Bill Frist making any judgments about my case. (As Amy Sullivan points out, Frist has been making all sorts of "medical" pronouncements during his time in the Senate which, if they had been actual diagnoses, could have provided grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. Although he is a heart surgeon by training, this has not stopped him from second-guessing the specialists of other fields. For example, he refused to deny that HIV could be transmitted through saliva or tears, and during the anthrax scare he reassured his fellow senators and their staffs that this biological agent was not powerful enough to kill (in spite of the fact that several people in Florida had already died as did postal workers in D.C.). He also claimed that "partial birth" abortion techniques are "rogue procedures" not taught in medical schools, which would be a good rhetorical point if only it were true. And now he is purporting to diagnose the brain-state of Terri Schiavo from a few minutes of home-video in spite of more than ten years of the most meticulous testing by professionals with actual training and experience which explains any movements on the video as random reflexes.)


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