Skip to comments.They Made a Desert and Called it Mercy - Hubris, Projection, and Dehydration Therapy
Posted on 03/19/2005 9:02:18 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum
We make a lot of assumptions about those who have been brain damaged the way Terri Schiavo has. We see them lying there, changed from the person they used to be to something different. No one wants to be there. We are repulsed, turned away, and think it is perhaps the worst of fates.
And yet how little we know about what's going on inside a person's head during all of this. We could learn more, like by using MRIs to see how much cognitive ability is really left, but too often in our rush to disassociate ourselves from the person lying there in the bed, we make judgements that are incorrect. Doctors are not immune to these feelings. There is case after case of persons who were encouraged to to what Michael Schiavo is finally getting to do to Terri, but they refused, and their loved one got better. The largest study of this problem was done in Britain, with a 40 percent misdiagnosis!
Hubris. To project our distaste about a certain life condition and then to declare, that the person cannot feel, cannot hear, cannot know what is happening because they cannot communicate. Lots of cases say this may not be true. Look at the case of Kate Adamson, who underwent something similar:
A decade ago, Mrs. Adamson, then 33, suffered a double brain stem stroke that left her completely paralyzed, unable even to blink. Inside though, she was fully cognitive, able to understand doctors telling her husband she would either die or wind up "a vegetable." She wanted to, but couldn't, scream out when "people talked about me as if I wasn't a person, as if I didn't exist. . . . It was like being trapped underground and you're praying that somebody is going to be able to find you."
During 70 days of intensive care, doctors fed Mrs. Adamson through a tube. Then her digestive system failed, forcing them to remove the tube until her body could again eliminate waste. For the next eight days, she learned what it feels like to starve.
Unable to communicate, she remembers the terror of being "on the inside screaming out, 'Feed me something! I don't want to die! . . . I'm alive! I'm a person in here! Do not let me starve!' The hunger pains were unbearable," she said. "I thought I was going insane."
On the ninth day, doctors reinserted her tube. Now at age 43, Ms. Adamson has regained most of her physical abilities and become an advocate for the disabled. Source: World Magazine
Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance: There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris (McGeorge Bundy).
Like Oedipus calling down the wrath of the Gods on the man who murdered the former king, when he himself did the deed and would end his life blind and moving accursed through the landscape, so do we, who think we know everything, stand at the cliff's edge, ready to step off, and into the darkness of a new barbarousness.
And no one has pointed out that the FemiNazis have been utterly silent as "Judge" Greer has made Terri the chattel of Michael. Where is the NOW vermin protecting an innocent woman from judicial murder?
Re: "The Hubris is that of the liberals. The liberals deserve nothing less than to be utterly politically annihilated."
You need to face it it is not just the Liberals on this one. A large number of GOP politicians are guilty as well. They are the worse because they have the reigns of power and could do something but I doubt they will. It is pointless to scream the dims are worse when they do not have the power.
In Europe, they had the hubristic idea that materialism was all there is, and therefore, the state was more important than the person.
Currently, they are importing huge numbers of guest workers who hate the values they believe in because one of the side effects of replacing God with secularistic statism has been a huge drop in birthrates, but a huge increase in the needs for people to be there to work to support the cost of government nanny plans that allow people to be willing to tolerate the concept of statism in the first place.
In Denmark, old folks who can go to the doctor out of the country, lest some doctor decide it's time for them to be put down.
In the Netherlands, people who were raised to believe that it is wrong to ask people to get assimilated into mainstream Dutch culture so that the state doesn't fall apart are migrating in record numbers because they woke up one day and realized the mess they made.
And in our country, we have allowed a parallel form of legislation to arise in a judicial ogliarchy that pushes the inbuilt checks and balances of our constitution to the point where, without some means to redress this, it will crack and break into who knows how many shards.
This is part of a neat blog article I just read, called "Oscars for the Culture of Death"
Living flawed lives
From London, Jane Campbell, a commissioner for the Disability Rights Commission, spoke of her experience suffering from spinal muscular atrophy. Writing in the Times on Dec. 2, she explained what happened when in January 2004 she was admitted to hospital with severe pneumonia.
The consultant who was treating her commented that if she were to go into respiratory failure "he assumed that I would not want to be resuscitated on a ventilator." She replied: "Of course I would want to be ventilated." The same scenario was repeated the following day with another consultant, and Campbell feared for her life. Scared that the doctors would let her die, she refused to sleep for the next 48 hours.
"This incident, and similar ones that come to the attention of the Disability Rights Commission, reflect society's view that people such as myself live flawed and unsustainable lives and that death is preferable to living with a severe impairment," she explained in the article.
She also noted that the concept of terminal illness is not easy to define. More than a quarter of the doctors who authorize assisted deaths in Oregon said that they were not confident they could give an accurate six-month prognosis.
Another recent testimony came from Spain, where a champion of the Athens Para-Olympics, José Javier Curto, described to the newspaper La Razón that after 11 years of living in a wheelchair, due to a muscular disease, he is firmly opposed to euthanasia.
Our lives belong to God, he said, with or without suffering. Moreover, he affirmed that the case of Ramón Sampedro was not typical. In fact, he calculated that the great majority of paralyzed want to keep on living and are opposed to euthanasia.
Another case from England is that of Baroness Chapman of Leeds, reported in the Telegraph on Feb. 6. Baroness Chapman sits in the House of Lords, where the British government's Mental Capacity Bill at the time of writing was being debated. The bill, it is argued, would open the doors to euthanasia.
The baroness was born with brittle bone disease. At her birth, the doctors maintained she would be unable to communicate and would have no noticeable mental function. She took her seat in the Lords last October, and in her maiden speech condemned the Mental Capacity Bill, saying, "If this bill had been passed 43 years ago, I would not be here."
After a few months of her birth in 1961 she said the doctors sent her home, saying there was nothing more they could do for her. "They sent me home to die," she said, "and I'm still waiting."
Born with 50 bone fractures, she has suffered 600 fractures in all, and at only 2 feet 9 inches tall she has had to overcome serious obstacles. Yet, "I think that in any situation a person should be given every chance to survive," she argued.
In a speech Nov. 12, John Paul II outlined the ethical principles that should guide medical treatment. "Medicine is always at the service of life," he told participants in the International Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.
And when treatment cannot overcome a serious disease, then efforts should be directed to the alleviation of suffering. In every case it is important to remember "the inalienable dignity of every human being, even in the extreme conditions of terminal illness," the Pope said.
Euthanasia can be motivated by sentiments of compassion, or by a false idea of preserving dignity. But instead of relieving suffering it just eliminates the person, the Holy Father pointed out. A lesson Hollywood needs to learn.