Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Short and sweet

I need to stay at home more because the government seems to do some dumb-ass things whenever I leave town. Last time, a war broke out. This time, the Federal government passed a law it had no right to pass. In a remarkable display of hypocrisy and heartstrings Congress passed a (unconstitutional)law to take the Terri Schiavo case to the federal level, despite it being gone over ad infinitum in the Florida court system.

Despite the fact that Terri's husband is her guardian, despite the fact that she is a vegetable (as determined by 5 doctors), despite the fact that she stated she would not want to live that way, her family and many lawmakers and religious zealots feel that this woman is simply needs the right kind of treatment and would rather spend the rest of her life lying in a bed, fed by a tube as she has for the past 15 years.

They state that removing the tube is cruel, as she is essentially dying of dehydration. In this I am in agreement. This is not the way to go. She is able to breathe and her heart functions on its own. There is no 'plug' to pull. The answer is simple. A massive morphine dose. This is quick and painless.

Allow me to take a moment here and make a statement, witnessed by you the public. In the event I am injured in such a way as my brain functions are destroyed or damaged beyond recovery, I DO NOT wish to be kept on ANY form of life support. I am gone already. The bed I am lying in and the resources used to keep me alive could go to someone else who might recover. My organs could help save a dozen lives. Further, if my autonomic functions are still functioning, I DEMAND that someone take me out. Morphine, pillow over the face, whatever it takes. I, nor any member of my family will press charges (the state is another mater).

Doctors are limited by the Hippocratic oath, which forbids them from doing harm. But what is more harmful? A non-life in a vegetative state? Starvation/dehydration? Or morphine? Let me even expand this. I firmly believe in the right to die. I support Dr. Kevorkian and his attemots to let people take their own life with dignity in cases where there is no cure and death will be slow and agonizing. Have you ever heard of Lou Gehrigs disease? Take a look and tell me that sounds like fun. Life for the sake of life is a truly naive and stupid way to look at the world.

I know that some people feel very passionately about this on both sides. If I have offended you I am sorry. I love life. I strive every day to enjoy it to the fullest. But I feel that once the quality of my life is significantly diminished, it is an insult to prolong it. And if you feel the same way, you better write it down and get it witnessed. You better make sure someone other than your wife/husband knows your wishes. Rossana and I have already done so.

As one congressman said "I estimate the cost of casting this special vote to be about 5 million dollars, I wonder how much healthcare we could have spent that on, how much education."

Here endeth the rant...


Anonymous said...

Theocracy = plus 10
Democracy = minus 100

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are so right! What a pity our Federal government has chosen to make one family's private tragedy into a political issue (obviously for polical gain). Thank goodness the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case thus upholding the lower courts decision(s). Let her go in peace and end a 15+ year ordeal.


Goodman said...

I would like to state that I totally would not like to have life continued through technological means in the event of complete mental or physical incapacitation, and/or a really bad haircut.

Keep meaning to do a video to that effect. Mom's got a statement to similar effect that I've got a copy of somewhere...