I don't know how much clearer I can make this..I've never said anything about DISABLED PEOPLE...I'm talking about people who are clinically dead, who are being kept alive by artificial means.
1. If you are only speaking about the dead, rather than the disabled, why were you speaking out in this thread and the other thread about this issue at all? The people seeing results from the Ambien therapy are decidedly not "clinically dead," yet your reaction to the revelation that they're still "in there" was to complain about the cost of keeping them alive. So explain the contradiction.
2. Clinically dead people don't laugh at Polish jokes:
Something's rotten in Pinellas Park
March 3, 2005
A priest walks into a patients room on St. Patricks Day and offers to sing When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, in Polish.
Does that sound like a joke to you? It got a laugh out of Terri Schiavo.
Schiavo, as youve no doubt heard, is a patient at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, who suffered brain damage after collapsing in 1990 and is the focus of a long court fight between her husband Michael and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Barring a legal win for the Schindlers, her feeding tube will be removed on the 18th. Michael claims she will never recover and would want the tube removed; shed expressed worry about being a burden or living on a machine. The Schindlers say shes been denied treatment, has a chance to recover, and would be no burden at all, because theyll take care of her.
One of the Schindlers supporters is Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, the Polish priest I mentioned. He filed an affidavit swearing (among other things) that Terri recognizes him, and that one Saint Patricks Day he really did walk into her room and offer to sing her an Irish diddy in Polish. Her response was to laugh. Thats a remarkable response from a person who supposedly is operating on little more than a brain stem, a vegetative person. Quick, go to the fridge and tell a cucumber a knock-knock joke! OK, did you get a laugh? I didnt think so.
The problem is, for every piece of evidence like that, theres one that makes it look like Terri might just be vegetative, and so on in circles. But I submit there are at least two things we know for sure.
First, this case at its core is about whether we will cause a woman to die of starvation. Thats Terris most likely fate if her tube is removed, and its one of the most horrible deaths any human can endure. It is so drastic that this alone should be reason enough to let her live; nothing so horrible could ever be merciful or dignified, and to be quite frank, feeding isnt exactly a heroic measure.
Second, Michael Schiavo has been acting so weird he makes Hunter S. Thompson look like Joe Friday. If we believe his court testimony, the timeline goes like this: Some years prior to Terris collapse she told him that she would never want to live on a machine or be a burden. Yet in 1992, his lawyer told a jury Michael might need enough money to take care of her for another half-century. Michael proclaimed from the witness stand that he would become a nurse and take care of her for the rest of [his] life. By 1993, he had stopped rehabilitation (which was showing promising results), had put a Do not resuscitate order in her chart, tried to deny her antibiotic treatment for an infection, melted down her wedding ring and euthanized her cats.
In other words, he ignored what she said about being a burden, then swore in court to take on the burden, but decided a few months later it was too much of a burden.
He isnt doing it for the money that was awarded in the malpractice suitsits all been used up in legal fees. Sure he could be a loving husband trying to carry out her wishes, but then why risk her death through sepsis and whack her cats? A woman may die based on the testimony of this one man, and our best hope is that hes loopy and greatly misunderstood.
This isnt about turning off a respirator or carrying out a living will, this is about a court deciding that casual, decade-old conversations about life support translate into begging to be starved. If the judicial system can make that leap, are we far from the days when the judges just go ahead and decide our fates for us? Why bother with a living will when you can have some black-robed potentate decide for you?
Some people think Terri is a very special person, but shes not. Shes just like the rest of us.
Thats the part that scares me the most.