Culture of Life

If the concept of a campaign on the “culture of life” weren’t so frightening and hypocritical, it’d be funny.
Oh man.
Those wacky pseudo-republican neo-cons bowing to pressure from a freak minority. Wow.
I think, and this was shown with Roe v. Wade over and over, that Americans, no matter which side of the fence they fall on, find decisisions about life and death should be private, within the family, and that family unit should not be threatened by governement intervention regarding their most private decisions.

DeLay called on the Senate to pass a broader bill, championed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.,
The proposed Protection of Incapacitated Persons Act, which the House passed before agreeing to a narrower Senate bill that dealt only with Schiavo, would give jurisdiction to federal courts in any case in which there are questions about withholding food or medical treatment from an incapacitated person.

I feel completely bulldozed by a small group of creepy fanatics and those who pander to them. Thank god the judges stuck to the letter of the law and evidence as presented ad infinitim.
It seems, if the “culture of life” fanatics have their way, you wouldn’t be able to make end of life decisions at all, even if they were in writing! Either that or they’re *cough* hypocrits. If it is murder for the husband to make the decision when one in writing is lacking, is it not murder to make the decision yourself beforehand? Can you never “pull the tube”? Funny, Tom DeLay has had to pull the plug on loved ones. But that was different. Right.

“I never thought I’d see the day when a U.S. judge stopped feeding a living American so that they took 14 days to die,” De Lay said yesterday.

Um. Asshole, it happens EVERY DAY. There are tens of thousands of people in a persistant vegetative state in this country, and their families (and yes, sometimes judges) have to make this decision every single day. Not to mention the gazillions on other forms of life support.

On Wednesday, Judge Stanley Birch Jr., a conservative appointed by the former President George H. W. Bush, wrote a rebuke of Bush and Congress. He said the action by the White House and lawmakers was “demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers’ blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution.”

The utter hypocrisy of campaigning for a culture of life while cutting medicaid, school lunch programs, food stamps et al makes my little head spin. You want Terri Schiavo to live in a vegetative state for the rest of her life, but do they want to pay the $80,000 a year it costs for the bed and care? Her parents TRIED to take care of her. They had her at home and it was too much. They couldn’t do it.
Barring the lack of a living will, who has the right to make the decision for you, your husband or Tom DeLay? Your parents or Dubya?
Fuck that.
In any case, the past two weeks have been horrifying to watch. I don’t think it matters what your personal feelings on the matter are, most people are sickened at the idea that the goverment can just step in, willy nilly, and make these decisions for you.
And for the record, if it had been me? I would have let her parents have her, disagree as I might. Terri isn’t/wasn’t suffering any more. The parents and family clearly were. However, I do believe Michael Schiavo was doing what he thought was right.
The usual SF Chronicle articles:
DeLay blames judicial system, promises new legislation
Sen. Kennedy calls Republican leader’s words ‘reprehensible’

btw – I write these entries all the time, I just don’t usually post them. Why now? I think I’d like to go on record as saying “you people are NUTS!”
Also, you should read Andrew Sullivan every day.
NOTE: If you actually read this post all the way through, please leave even the briefest comment.
If my comment fields are empty I’ll keep it to myself (mostly) in the future. Heh. Or maybe not. Nyah!
EDIT: Oh, and my juiciest nugget didn’t even make it in. Bush, as usual=HYPOCRITE

The Texas law, Mayo said, tends to keep such cases out of court, allowing life-support decisions to be made privately. However, within the last month two Houston cases went to court. One case resulted in a baby being removed from life support; he died soon afterward. The other led to the transfer of an elderly man to a nursing home.

9 thoughts on “Culture of Life”

  1. “while cutting medicaid, school lunch programs, food stamps et al”
    Those are about quality of life, not “perserving” it. Well, unless someone dies of starvation or not getting their meds but that sort of thing can’t possibly compete with a high profile case like this one. People hear “they are trying to murder a disabled woman!” and that get’s them fired up, where they are desensitized to everyday injustices.
    Acording to the newspaper, the case has encouraged people to make living wills and tell people what they actually want done. Good to hear something positive is comming from it.

  2. Agreed, agreed. I just typed a long spiel elaborating on my manner of agreement, but I got a “Your comment was denied for questionable content” error, so I’ll keep it at “agreed” =)

  3. ha! sorry… my spam filters have to be really stringent to keep the blog from being over run with spam. So words like ph+armacy and t+exas had to go!

  4. I just think it’s awful how she died.. it’s illegal to starve an animal and keep it without water until it dies, so why is it ok to do that to a person? This is where my argument for legal euthenasia comes in. I guess I just mean that it would have to be a horrible way to die, and if her family wanted to look after her, why couldn’t her husband just let them do that? (Hmm.. didn’t he get a big insurance settlement or something?) We don’t even treat psycopath murderers like that, at least they get to die painlessly… If the only life support she was on was her feeding tube, then she obviously wasn’t brain dead.

  5. I do understand how you feel, it IS awful. You don’t need brain death for a “persistant vegetative state” … she had brain damage, enough so that whatever it was that was Terri Schiavo wasn’t there anymore. The scans they did back in 96 show that nearly her entire cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for conciousness, had been replaced by spinal fluid. Now, we need to wait for the autopsy to be sure, but poor Terri didn’t suffer, as awful as it is for us to think about it, she had NO CONCIOUSNESS. Yes, enough of her brain survived to keep her heart beating, her lungs pumping… but that is it. Hence the feeding tube. Her parents tried and FAILED to take care of her. They couldn’t do it.
    Granted, I personally would have turned her over to her parents, but Mr. Schiavo was only carrying out her wishes, something that happens every day in this country. There are thousands of people in similar states, and some of them are taken off of their support so they can pass naturally into death.

  6. If nothing else, this case has prompted me to write a living will indicating that if such a tragedy ever befalls me, my husband can and should pull the plug or tube or whatever, and let me go. Let him fall in love again and have kids, and live his life without the millstone of my breathing corpse around his neck.

  7. While this whole thing has been awful, I can understand Terri’s husband’s decision. Those of us who have or have had elderly relatives (I am aware Terri was not that old) in a nursing home in a vegetative or otherwise un-dead state for years on end have been relieved when they finally die. It is saddening to see someone you knew as a healthy individual reduced to such a degenerated state.
    That being said, I think it is more humane to give someone a lethal injection or be but in the chair than starve for two weeks, I mean seriously – which is more humane?
    Finally, I was very worried that something would happen when Mel Gibson spoke up; that just because some celebrity had piped up, the Courts would actually listen to him and do something when they had ignored everyone else.
    If I end up like Terri, I want to die, and let someone who needs them more have my organs, while the rest of me can be donated to that exhibition where they display bodies where the fluids have been replaced with (was it?) plastic?
    Over and out…

  8. I heard on NPR yesterday evening that her heart attack was brought on by overdosing on diet pills. They spoke with a few of her childhood friends and they all mentioned how shy she always was. Imagine how she would have felt if she had ever regained consciousness, knowing that her own parents used her this way. And I mean *used* her, it’s disgusting.

  9. Don’t even get me started. I’m caught somewhere between blind horror that the government feels they have a right to tell us how and when and if we can die, and sheer rage at the hypocrisy of the “‘cult’ of life”. And, just like with the Roe v Wade opposition, they will stick their noses in it just long enough to make a decision for you, then at the end of the day go back to their own dinner table while you spend years, if not the rest of your life, dealing with the result of that decision.
    While I find the Terri Schiavo case very sad indeed, it is by no means the one and only case of its kind. It just so happens to have a few squeaky wheels. My own family has been in just such a situation in the past – where were the cameras then? The movie stars, the politicians? Having seen the reaction to Terri’s case, I’m more than relieved that they were nowhere to be found and that my family could deal with it all on their own, within our own personal group, with the people whose lives were actually affected.
    As it should be.

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