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During Baltimore assembly, bishops to consider revised directives on withdrawal of food, water
Catholic News Service ^ | 10/30/09 | Nancy Frazier OĺBrien

Posted on 10/31/2009 4:31:41 PM PDT by wagglebee

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To: BykrBayb; All

Thank you so very much for helping out!

41 posted on 11/23/2009 7:22:46 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

You’re welcome. Thank you for reliably running the ping list all the time. I hope your trip was enjoyable. I’m glad you’re back.

42 posted on 11/23/2009 4:08:06 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ ├×)
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To: EternalVigilance; Avoiding_Sulla; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; ...
Reading this sent chills up my spine.

Thread by EternalVigilance.

Patient trapped in a 23-year 'coma' was conscious all along

A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.

Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.

He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said.

46-year-old Rom Houbne was trapped in a coma for 23 years and had no way of letting anyone know he could hear what they were saying (pictured posed by model)

Rom Houben was trapped in a coma for 23 years and had no way of letting anyone know he could hear what they were saying (pictured posed by model)

'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46. . .

43 posted on 11/23/2009 4:25:06 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: moonpie57; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
If this doesn't constitute a death panel NOTHING does.

Thread by moonpie57.

Breaking: Emergency injunction filed to stop hospital from discontinuing baby's care

UPDATE, 3:45p: The ADF lawsuit and pro-life hubbub caused the "ethics panel" to decide today to formally agree not to withdraw care for Baby Gabriel. Thanks to all who reposted and called the hospital!

ADF writes:

The agreement between the hospital and Baby Gabriel's mother has not yet been put in writing. ADF attorneys are withdrawing their motion for a temporary restraining order but will not withdraw the complaint until a written agreement is finalized. Until then, the lawsuit is still active.

ADF legal counsel Matt Bowman said, "We are pleased with the ethic panel's decision but look forward to full resolution in writing so Baby Gabriel's life will no longer be in danger."

The Alliance Defense Fund just filed an emergency injunction and restraining order in response to the decision a couple hours ago by an "ethics panel" at East Tennessee Children's Hospital to discontinue care of 9-month-old Gabriel Palmer.

According to an ADF press release:

Baby Gabriel was born prematurely with a genetic abnormality, club foot, and narrow airway, but he flourished when he went home from the hospital in June, where he grew, played, and received physical therapy while going to regular doctor visits. He was fed through a tube and received some oxygen and medications.

On an October weekend when the baby's regular doctors were unavailable, Palmer took her son to the ETCH emergency room because of breathing problems. After interventions by the medical staff, the baby went into shock, developed pulmonary vascular disease, and was placed on a respirator.

Despite the complications, Baby Gabriel is in stable condition, and an ETCH doctor determined he could live "a long while." The child is alert, active, and responsive when not sedated. In recent days while awake, he spent time kicking his feet, tried to play with his stuffed animals, listened to his mother and grandmother, and responded to his favorite music.

The ADF press release continues:

ETCH recently began giving up on Baby Gabriel's care, and on Nov. 13, the head of ETCH's PICU, Dr. Kevin Brinkmann [pictured right], told Palmer that the hospital was going to stop feeding him milk and giving him his medications, as well as disconnect his respirator, because the staff considered his care "futile."

Brinkmann said a formal "ethics panel" meeting at 12p EST Monday would determine whether to stop treating Baby Gabriel, but he noted that the decision was already a foregone conclusion. Ethics panel members have already said they will decide to cease the baby's care despite his mother's objections. ETCH's policies declare that treatment can be withdrawn over the family's objections as soon as the ethics panel makes its decision.

After doctors decided that Baby Gabriel was not worth treating, ETCH started discriminating against him by denying his basic care. Staff stopped bathing him, ceased applying cream to alleviate his chapped skin, reduced his diaper changes, and have not allowed his physical therapy. ETCH doctors have also discouraged Palmer's attempts to have her son transferred to other medical facilities where he could receive treatment.

ADF filed the motion for restraining order and injunction in Palmer v. East Tennessee Children's Hospital Association... which has set a hearing... for 3::30p EST Monday....

Call the ETCH Community Relations Office at 865-541-8165 to express your outrage. I just did.

"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."

44 posted on 11/23/2009 4:29:26 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Here are some excerpts from Sarah Palin's new book about Trig and Down Syndrome.

Thread by me.

Sarah Palin: My Life With Trig, Our Down Syndrome Child; Excerpt From New Book

A couple of years ago I began to notice some peculiar yet familiar physical symptoms, like the smell of cigarettes making me feel more nauseated than usual. For a few weeks, I brushed these aside. Then I began to suspect something.

There was no way I could buy a home pregnancy test in Alaska. I was the state governor. The supermarket cashiers would know, the people in the queue would know, and the next thing I'd see would be a headline. There were still a few things that I thought were not for public consumption, at least not at first.

My chance came when I flew to New Orleans to speak at an oil and gas conference. I asked my security guy to drop me off at a pharmacy. Back at the hotel, before my speech, I followed the instructions on the pregnancy test box. Slowly a pink image materialized on the stick. Holy geez!

Todd and I had always dreamt of a big family, and he, especially, dreamt of having another boy — bookends for his three daughters.

I quickly prayed about this surreal situation. First, that I'd even be able to fathom it. I was happy but I could hear the critics:

“She'll be distracted from state business.” “She won't be physically up to the job.” “That’s what we get for electing the first woman governor.”

I sighed and stared at the ceiling. These are really less-than-ideal circumstances. And for a split second it hit me: I'm out of town. No one knows I'm pregnant. No one would ever have to know.

It was a fleeting thought, a sudden understanding of why many women feel pressured to make the “problem” go away. Sad, I thought, that our society has elevated things like education and career above the gift of bringing new life into the world. Yes, the timing of this pregnancy wasn't ideal. But that wasn't the baby’s fault. I knew, though, what goes through a woman’s mind when she finds herself in a difficult situation. At that moment, I was thankful for right-to-life groups that affirm the value of the child.

I didn't want to tell Todd on the phone, and when I arrived home after the conference, he was away. Between my job and his, we kept missing each other, so it was a few weeks before we were in the same room, and I told him about the baby. He was ecstatic. For him, it’s always been: the more, the merrier.

We kept our news to ourselves. We had always been private about our pregnancies. Our lives were an open book in virtually every other way, so for us this was just a special, sacred time - the one thing it seemed that just we two could know and enjoy together.

At 12 weeks, I saw my doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, or CBJ, as we called her. She looked at me kindly.

“Well, you're 43, so there’s a higher chance of certain abnormalities.”

Then she showed me some statistics, one of which said I had about a one in 80 chance of having a child with Down syndrome.

I wasn't worried. I was healthy as a horse, with four perfectly healthy children. Besides, my sister Heather already had a special-needs son, Karcher, who had autism. He was our family’s angel boy. In our family, we always said God knew what he was doing when he gave Heather the child with special needs. She was the one with the tender spirit, who could not only handle but even thrive with a child with “challenges”.

CBJ said she'd like me to have an ultrasound scan, so I walked into the office across the hall. The technician was a sweet, funny older lady who'd been doing the procedure for decades. She prepped me, and we joked about a lot of things while she pressed the wand across my belly.

Then she got a little quieter. Suddenly I flashed back to a grim ultrasound I'd had years before, when a stoic doctor had said: “There’s nothing alive in there” — a miscarriage.

Then the technician smiled. “I see boy parts ... would that be good?”

“Yes, that would be perfect!” God is so good, I thought. He knows what’s best.

She kept passing the transducer across my abdomen, more slowly now. It seemed to be taking a long time. “Oops, sorry. Not sure on the boy parts after all. Your baby might be a girl.”

By then she was taking so long that I didn't care whether it was a boy or a girl. A healthy fourth daughter would be great. Yep, just fine. Please tell me all is fine.

Then the technician said: “The baby’s neck is a little bit thicker than what we would normally see . . .”

My first thought was, 12 weeks along and you can already measure the baby’s neck? Amazing! Then, a bit more somberly, I remembered that somewhere along the line I had heard that that was a sign of Down syndrome. A whisper of fear tugged at my heart, but I brushed it away with a thought: God would never give me anything I can't handle. And I don't think I could handle that.

God knew me: I was busy. Got to go-go-go. I'd always yapped about how lucky I was that my kids were all healthy over-achievers, self-sufficient. Now, I thought, I've got a tough job and other kids who need me. I just couldn't imagine how I could add a baby with special needs and make it all work.

Unless He knows me better than I know myself, I thought a bit dismissively, God won't give me a special-needs child.

CBJ called the next day. Combined with my age, she said, the ultrasound pictures meant there was now a one in 12 chance the baby had Down syndrome. “So?” I thought. That still means about a 90% chance everything’s fine.

“There’s a doctor in Anchorage I want you to go see, a geneticist,” she added. “I'm also offering you an amniocentesis” — the common prenatal test for genetic abnormalities.

I had always flippantly declined the amnios before, thinking they didn't matter, since I confidently asserted I would never abort anyway. But this time I said yes. This time I wanted information. If there was something wrong, I wanted to be prepared.

Todd was out of town on the day of the appointment, so I visited the geneticist alone — through a back door, under my maiden name. I felt a bit of fear. Three days later, I was in my Anchorage office when CBJ called from her office in Wasilla, my home town. I still remember what time it was: 2:22pm.

“I have the amnio results,” she said. “I think you should come to my office ... Can you come now?”

“No, no, just give me the results over the phone,” I said, indulging in a little denial. If I just steeled myself, I thought on some wishful level, if I just took the medicine straight, maybe God would reward my guts with good news.

CBJ hesitated, then said, “No ... I really think you need to come out here.”

“Cathy, I've got so much to do here today. It’s okay ... whatever it is, it’s fine, just go ahead and tell me now.”

“Okay,” she said softly. “This child will be born with Down syndrome — ” “I'm coming to Wasilla,” I interrupted and hung up the phone.

I was shocked beyond words. Shocked that this was happening. How could God have done this? Obviously He knew Heather had a special-needs child. Didn't He think that was enough challenge for one family? I drove the 45 minutes to Wasilla gritting my teeth. I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry.

My stoicism in difficult times had always bugged and puzzled my friends and family. Bristol, my eldest daughter, once asked: “Mom, why don't you ever cry? The rest of us are watching some movie, crying our eyes out, and you're just sitting there.”

Though I didn't tell Bristol this, I choke up all the time — at The Star-Spangled Banner, at any military event, seeing newborn babies — but secretly, where no one can see. Maybe it was because I'd grown up hunting and fishing with the guys, throwing elbows on the basketball court. Even when my heart was breaking on the inside, I just never wanted to seem weak. Now, as I pressed the accelerator past the speed limit towards Wasilla, my eyes stayed dry and my mind raced.

Maybe the test is wrong. Maybe my results are switched with somebody else. Maybe it’s a mistake. God ... are you listening?

But when I got to CBJ’s office, she showed me the pictures. There was an extra copy of chromosome 21.

“It’s a boy,” she said.

“A boy? You're sure? Thank you, God.” For me, that was a glimmer of light, and I let it warm me as CBJ walked out of her office and returned with a book for expecting parents of babies with Down syndrome. I thanked her and laid it in my lap, unopened.

I just wasn't ready; my sisters were the ones who could handle this, not me. Did I have enough love and compassion in me to do this? Don't you have to be wired a little differently to be gifted with the ability to raise a special-needs child, a child who isn't “perfect” in the eyes of society? I didn't know if I should be ashamed of myself for even thinking these things.

I read that almost 90% of Down syndrome babies are aborted — so wasn't that a message that this is not only a less-than-ideal circumstance, but also one that it is virtually impossible to deal with? Now, just a couple of hours into this new world, I could not get my arms or heart around it. That fleeting thought descended on me again, not a consideration so much as a sudden understanding of why people would grasp at a quick “solution”, a way to make the “problem” just go away. But again, I had to hold on to that seed of faith.

Todd finally returned a few days later. He plopped down on the bed, still in his winter coat. I handed him the ultrasound pictures, and that’s when the dam broke. I could let my guard down.

“It’s a boy,” I said between the tears. “It’s definitely a boy.”

He looked up at me, and his eyes filled with tears. “See, Sarah? God knows what He’s doing! This is great.”

I stood beside the bed. I didn't know how to say it any other way but straight. “The baby has Down syndrome.”

Todd didn't speak. I remember him lying back on the bed, holding the ultrasound pictures and flipping through them. He'd look at one, put it in the back of the stack, look at the next. Over and over, silently, as though looking for answers.

Finally I sat down next to him. In his subdued way, he did not offer a reaction. So I had to ask. “Well ... what do you think?”

“How can they tell?” he asked quietly. “Are they sure?”

“Yes. There’s an extra chromosome.”

He set the pictures aside and turned his face towards mine. “I'm happy, and I'm sad,” he said.

I thought it was pretty perfect the way he said that, because that’s the way it was. That’s the way I felt, too.

Todd said, “It’s going to be okay.”

I asked if he had the same question I had: “Why us?”

He looked genuinely surprised by my question and responded calmly: “Why not us?”

From that moment, Todd never seemed to worry about it. Instead, he'd think out loud, wondering what the baby’s gifts would be. “What will he want to do?” he wondered. “Will he want to tinker with me in the garage? Will he want to ride on the four-wheeler and drive the skiff? I bet he'll love to fly with me.”

He started asking other people with special-needs children a lot of questions: what does your kid do? Does he play any sports?

From the start, my husband was much more accepting and optimistic than I was. His attitude was kind of like, “Well, okay ... here we go!” But I was still having a hard time wrapping my head and heart around it. So we didn't share the pregnancy with anyone else, even our children, Track, Bristol, Willow and Piper.

It was such a tough thing to explain, and I just wasn't ready to grapple with it yet or answer any questions. I had always faced life head-on, but here was something that had humbled me into silence.

I began writing a letter about the baby to our family and closest friends. In my research on Down syndrome, I learnt that these special kids most often bring joy into their family’s lives. While they had developmental challenges, they were also affectionate, generous and cheerful. Rather than focus on what could be perceived as negative, I wanted our loved ones to focus on the fact that this baby, every baby, has purpose, and that not only would he learn from us, but we would learn from him.

I decided to write the letter as though it were from his Creator, the same Creator in whom I had put my trust more than 30 years before. I hoped that even though this new baby would present challenges, we'd trust that God knew best.

Among other things, I wrote that “every child is created special, with awesome purpose and amazing potential. Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome. Doctors call it Down syndrome, and Down kids have challenges but can bring you much delight and more love than you can ever imagine . . .”

Writing that letter was the best and most loving way I could find to share our news with the people we loved. I had no idea that a year later during the vicepresidential campaign a hostile journalist would use it to mock my family and the Christian faith, saying I was so selfabsorbed that I even wrote a letter “in the voice of God”.

Before we knew it, I was seven months along. I hadn't put on a lot of weight and with winter clothes and a few cleverly draped scarves, no one saw my girth or suspected I was pregnant. But a blazer was getting tight enough that Willow looked at me one day and said, tactfully: “Geez, Mom, you're porking up!”

“Oh, hush,” I said. “Now pass me the Häagen-Dazs. Chocolate, with peanut butter.”

I hadn't quite finished writing my letter about Trig. But we shared the news with family and a few close friends that I was pregnant. The kids, of course, were overjoyed.

Shortly after that, we decided to go public, so I invited over three reporters, whom I knew well. I knew I could have just spoken candidly and said, “Hey, I'm going to have a baby . . .” Instead, I decided to have a little fun.

“Hey, guys,” I said with a grin, “I wanted to let you know that the first family is expanding.”

They all just looked at me. Dead silence.

Okay . . . let me try something else.

“Remember when I promised to ‘deliver’ for Alaska?”

Nothing. But now they took out their notepads and pens. Big scoop coming, they could feel it.

Finally, I gave up on the jokes and went direct: “Guys, I'm pregnant. I'm having a baby in two months!”

Three mouths fell open, and three pairs of eyes dropped straight to my stomach. I laughed out loud. The guys whipped out their phones as I waved goodbye. Within 10 minutes, the news was all over.

The next month, Todd and I checked into a hotel in Dallas. The following day I was scheduled to address another oil and gas conference. My pregnancy was going fine, and with five weeks to go, I felt great. But at 4am a strange sensation low in my belly woke me and I sat up straight in bed.

It can't be, I thought. It’s way too early. Moments later, I shook Todd awake. “Something’s going on.”

He sat up in bed, instantly alert. “I'm calling CBJ.”

“No, don't do that. It’s 1am in Alaska.”

I didn't want to call anyone yet. I just wanted to take stock and see whether this baby was really coming. I also wanted time to pray and asked God silently but fervently to let everything be okay. Desperation for this baby overwhelmed me. Please don't let anything happen to this baby. It occurred to me, once and for all: I'm so in love with this child, please, God, protect him! After all my doubts and fears, I had fallen in love with this precious child. The worst thing in the world would be that I would lose him. God knew what He was doing.

Over my protests, Todd called CBJ. I told her that I felt fine and absolutely did not want to cancel my speech and disappoint the folks at the conference. We agreed that I would take it easy, give my speech, then catch an earlier flight back to Alaska. I still had plenty of time.

Later that afternoon I spoke on the urgent need to tap conventional supplies and innovate on stabilizing renewable sources. The audience graciously gave me a standing ovation. Then I handed the mic back to Governor Rick Perry of Texas, my co-host, and walked off the stage.

“Hey,” Rick drawled over the sound system with a chuckle, “we're not finished with the program!”

I turned around, smiled, waved and kept moving.

“I know you're pregnant,” Rick said, joking into the mic. “But don't tell me you're going off to have the baby right now!”

The audience laughed. I smiled and waved goodbye. I thought, if you only knew!

I reached Todd at the exit, and he eyed me with a grin. “Love this state, but we can't have a fish picker born in Texas.” It was a calm, relatively restful flight home.

Many hours and two flights later, with Todd and our daughters nearby, I delivered Trig Paxson Van Palin into the world at Mat-Su regional medical center. When the nurse placed him in my arms, I was overwhelmed with love and with wonder. I knew God had answered my prayer so completely. He just nestled softly into me as if to say, “Aaaah ... I'm here, Mom.”

I was glad God brought him to us early. We were so anxious to meet him. I hadn't known what to expect. I didn't know what he would look like or how I would feel. But when I saw him, my heart was flooded with unspeakable joy. I knew that not only had God made Trig different but He had made him perfect.

The girls gently cooed and cuddled and quietly helped swaddle their new baby brother. Todd beamed. I heard him whisper to CBJ: “Hmmm, he doesn't look Down.” CBJ looked up at Todd and gave him a kind, knowing smile.

When I look at my beautiful son today, I know what her smile meant. She sees it in the eyes of other parents who have a child that perhaps our world doesn't consider precious or prized. I see photos of Trig and can recognize the physical traits that let all Down children look like brothers and sisters, the characteristics that may puzzle some who, just like me a few months prior, don't yet understand. But looking at these children in real life, we see only perfection.

During the presidential election campaign in 2008 I visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a slice of Americana, with its quaint town square with mom-and-pop stores; red, white and blue bunting; moms and dads; kids in strollers; seniors; and people of every color.

I was moving through the crowd, shaking hands and signing posters and hats and shirts, when I suddenly came to a stop. Standing on the other side of the rope were a woman and two teenagers whom I could not miss. The kids had Down syndrome. A boy and a girl.

“Hi, what’s your name?” I said to the girl, smiling.

The girl stammered for a minute and finally managed to say, “Sarah.”

“Sarah!” I said. “That’s my name, too! It’s so great to meet you, and we have the same name. Isn't that amazing?”

Then I turned to the boy, and my heart just melted. Trig’s face flashed into my mind, and I thought: this could be my son 15 years from now.

By then, Trig was going on five months old and we were still learning the ropes of having a child with Down syndrome. We were so enjoying this little guy with his just-happy-to-be-here demeanor and his silly smiles, and watching him get stronger, chubbier and more fun every day, just like any other baby. Still, we were curious about what was ahead. We were managing well with him as a baby, but what about a toddler? As a teenager?

I reached over the rope and laid my hand against the boy’s face. “Let me look at you,” I said. “I want to get a good look at how beautiful my Trig is going to grow up to be.”

That was a turning point for me. At that moment, I realized in awe that these precious ones are all brothers and sisters. Before Trig was born, I didn't know what to expect and we had a natural uncertainty about perceived “imperfection”. There, on the rope line in Cedar Rapids, I realized that my Trig is part of a large and very special community.

Look how their mother was making it work with these two precious teenagers. She cared so much to bring them out to a crowded, hectic but fun rally and give them what might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a presidential campaign event in their own hometown. I just knew there was no need to fear any more. At this rowdy rally in Iowa my world became a more peaceful place. Todd was right: everything was going to be all right.

As it turned out, the number of special-needs kids and adults who began showing up at events along the trail was spectacular. It was one of the absolute best parts of the campaign. I heard from experienced staffers that organizers would typically need maybe a sign-language interpreter and a handicapped area large enough to accommodate a few dozen wheelchairs. But it seemed that at all our stops, the number of wheelchairs multiplied, as did the number of kids and adults with various challenges.

On rope lines across the country, I remember making eye contact with special-needs families and careers. This connection was a kind of mutual acknowledgment that said, yes, their lives are precious. They're worthy. And now we're going to let America know that there’s no need to be afraid or hesitant. Instead, let’s work together to make this world a more welcoming place for everyone with special needs.

I remember another rally down in Pensacola, Florida. Up in the stands, I spotted a group of 15 kids with Down syndrome wearing shirts that said, “We love Trig!” and, “Trig in the White House!”

It was after meeting all these amazing people that Todd and I proudly displayed the bumper sticker a very cool group from Arizona sent us. It read, “My kid has more chromosomes than your kid!”

45 posted on 11/23/2009 4:35:11 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: All; wagglebee

From my email from the Terry Schiavo Schindler foundation:

“Rom Houben was paralysed but had no way of letting doctors know that he could hear every word they were saying. “I dreamed myself away,” said Mr Houben, now 46, who doctors thought was in a persistent vegetative state. He added: “I screamed, but there was nothing to hear.”

Doctors used a range of coma tests before RELUCTANTLY (emphasis mine) concluding that his consciousness was “extinct.”

But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.”

It seemed his doctors had that: “Don’t bother me with the facts, I already made up my mind.” mentality. That’s why we all need to be advocates for our loved ones. Have them raise a finger, or wiggle their nose, or find a spot on their body that is alive to help you convince doctors. Maybe Rom Houben didn’t have the ability to move anything, but always try.

46 posted on 11/23/2009 7:50:52 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks for the ping!

47 posted on 11/23/2009 8:31:34 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: wagglebee

Read the letter Sarah writes as from God introducing Trig to her kids.

There were a bunch of others around me also at their lunch, and I had to get up and go elsewhere for a few minutes to wipe my eyes.

‘Powerful stuff indeed.

48 posted on 11/23/2009 8:49:48 PM PST by onedoug
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To: GonzoII; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
Baltimore is taking the first step in forcing abortion.

Thread by GonzoII.

Baltimore to be center of abortion debate

Both sides of the abortion debate will be focusing on Baltimore today, when the City Council is expected to approve a first-in-the-nation law imposing new regulations on faith-based organizations that try to steer women away from the procedure.

The measure, introduced by council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake at the behest of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, would require that crisis pregnancy centers that do not provide abortions or birth control post signs saying so.

Proponents frame the effort as a matter of public health. They accuse the centers of giving false or misleading information about the effects of abortion and birth control. Pregnant women, they say, should be told when they are not being given access to all of the options legally available to them.

But officials at such centers say they make their mission clear. They say the information they give is accurate, and making them advertise the services that they don't provide would be an unprecedented form of harassment.

"It really impugns our integrity," said Carol A. Clews, executive director of the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, which has two locations in the city and a third in Dundalk. "We are very forthright about what we do here and what we don't do. To put us in a position where we would have to put up a sign is offensive." . . .

49 posted on 11/24/2009 4:15:25 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
This is an incredible commentary!

Thread by me.

Commentary: The Significance of that Case of the Man Trapped in a "Coma" for 23 Years

November 24, 2009 ( - Many people will have read the story of Rom Houben, the Belgium man who was diagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) for 23 years, but who in fact had a condition known as Locked-in Syndrome. A person in locked-in syndrome is fully aware of all of their surroundings and they hear and remember the conversations that take place around them, but due to their cognitive disability they are unable to respond.

The case of Rom Houben is significant given that many bioethicists are attempting to redefine the status of people in PVS as being similar to "brain death," meaning that it is being argued that these people have lost self-awareness and therefore should be treated as non-persons or dead people. Non-persons do not have the right to live and in fact many bio-ethicists suggest that these people should be treated as organ donors.

Dr. Steven Laureys, the prominent neurologist from Belgium diagnosed Houben as being in a locked-in syndrome rather than PVS based on a brain scan that indicated that Houben's brain was functioning at near to normal response.

Dr. Laureys has released a new study concerning PVS stating: "Anyone who bears the stamp of 'unconscious' just one time hardly ever gets rid of it again." He also stated that: "There may be many similar cases of false comas around the world," and "patients classed in a vegetative state are often misdiagnosed."

The concern about misdiagnosing PVS is not new. Professor Keith Andrews in the UK stated several years ago in his study that 43% of people diagnosed as PVS are misdiagnosed. This is a significant concern in the UK ever since the 1993 court decision that determined that Tony Bland could be dehydrated to death, even though he was not otherwise dying. Since that decision, many people in the UK, who were not otherwise dying, have died by dehydration because it had been determined that they were in PVS.

For instance, Terri Schiavo was dehydrated to death in 2005 based on her diagnosis of PVS and the insistence by her husband that she did not want to live in this manner.

In March 2004, I had the opportunity to be at a presentation in Rome by Dr. Laureys concerning people in a vegetative state. At that presentation Dr. Laureys showed us brain scans of people in PVS and compared them to people who were healthy. By analyzing the brain scans he was able to show us the injured parts of the brain of the PVS patients. He then compared the brain scans of people in PVS to healthy people who were sleeping. There were incredible similarities between the scans of the healthy people who were sleeping to the people who were PVS. He concluded that other than the identifiable injured areas of the brain, medical experts know less about PVS than they would like to admit.

At the same Congress I heard a presentation by an Italian physician who operated an "Awakening Centre." Awakening centers are places that focus on recovery for people who are in a coma state. This physician explained how the use of stimulation techniques have resulted in incredible successes at regaining consciousness for their patients. At a similar Congress in Rome in 2007 I listened to a Polish physician explain about his incredible success at awakening his patients who are in a coma state. How many awakening centers exist in the world? How many in North America?

As executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition I have received many phone calls from friends or family members of people who are in coma. My experience is that medical professionals are too quick to give up on people who are in a coma or cognitively disabled. Family members are often pressured into withdrawing medical treatment or pressured into removing food and fluids from the person in coma, even before they were given a reasonable opportunity for recovery.

Medical professionals need to be far more careful before diagnosing a patient as PVS. If society rejects Hippocratic medicine and accepts euthanasia, the time would come where people in PVS would be treated as non-persons, euthanized out of a concept of false compassion or used as an organ donor based on utilitarian ethics. Since approximately 40% of PVS cases are misdiagnosed, and since the PVS diagnosis is often treated like a death sentence, therefore society needs to reject the current paradigm by once again treating people in coma states as human beings deserving of care.

We must reject the dehumanizing of the PVS patient and develop new techniques to offer them new opportunities for recovery.

50 posted on 11/24/2009 4:18:37 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
This is Mikey Schiavo all over again.

Thread by me.

Eluana Englaro's Father Now Making Waves as a Euthanasia Activist

ROME, November 24, 2009 ( - The father of Eluana Englaro (known in the press as "Italy's Terri Shiavo"), Beppino Englaro, is making a name for himself as a euthanasia activist, and is continuing to claim justification for his successful decade-long court battle to have his daughter's food and hydration removed last year. 

At the same time, according to a report commissioned by the prosecutor of Udine, the town in which she died, Eluana was in an "irreversible coma" at the time of her death.

Eluana Englaro was an Italian woman from Lecco in northern Italy, who was diagnosed as being in a "persistent vegetative state" after a car accident in 1992. The Udine report by neurologists Fabrizio Tagliavini and Raffaele de Caro said she had suffered "irreversible neuropathological damage."

The 330 page study said, "The situation of the brain was consistent with persistent vegetative state."

Italian law allows a patient to refuse medical treatment, but, as yet, the delivery of food and water by feeding tube is not defined as such. The prosecutor of Udine is considering whether Englaro and the physicians who allowed her death can be charged with homicide under the current law. 

All of Italy was in an uproar late last year when the Court of Cassation in Rome agreed to allow the removal of Eluana's food and hydration tube, the only form of "life support" she was receiving. Eluana died three days after the tube was removed.

"They wanted to make me a scapegoat, and I was charged with homicide, aggravated further because I was the father of Eluana," said Beppino Englaro. "But I did nothing but act with due respect for legality and transparency."

"What the case has proved is that we live under the rule of law, and that ordinary citizens can trust the judiciary to defend their rights and freedoms. In front of anybody."

Since his daughter's death, Beppino Englaro has become an activist for the legalization of euthanasia in Italy, promoting his book "Life Without Limits," that calls for a change in the law. In his book, Englaro has presented his daughter's death as a symbol of the struggle for the "right to self-determination."

"I can only continue to fight for a law that respects the person ... the right to decide for their own body," Englaro wrote.

Englaro, now the head of an association dedicated to the cause of legalized euthanasia in his daughter's name, spoke in Cagliari on Saturday at a seminar on living wills and the "Freedom to Choose" organized by the local chapter of the Union of Atheists and Agnostics and Rationalists.

"The problem is respect for and protection of rights," he said.

"Nobody, not even those who represent us in Parliament, can substitute our will. These are decisions to be made, not for me but with me. Any other way of legislation is unconstitutional," he said.

However, anti-euthanasia activists have recently highlighted the much-publicized case of the British man, Rom Houben, who was misdiagnosed for 23 years as being in a coma-like state. That Houben was actually completely conscious but unable to respond challenges "the pro-euthanasia mentality which exists regarding severely incapacitated patients," said Janet Thomas of the campaign group No Less Human.

Thomas, who had championed Eluana's right to life despite being in a coma, said, "This case highlights the huge dangers in assessing profoundly disabled people as having lives not worth living."

But others have said that the condition of the patient, whether conscious or not, is in fact immaterial in the debate. Monsignore Ignacio Barreiro, the head of the Rome office of Human Life International, and a key figure in the fight to save Eluana, told that the condition of the person can never "warrant the termination of a human life."

"Whatever condition that Eluana Englaro might have suffered, that never grants the right to terminate her life. It's as simple as that."

Msgr. Barreiro said that he had opposed the argument that because Terri Schiavo had some limited consciousness she should not be dehydrated to death.

"That is immaterial," he said. "It doesn't change the issue. Even if she had an absolute type of coma that was totally irreversible, that there was medically no way, no hope, nevertheless, that gives the right to no one the right to terminate the life of that person."

"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."

51 posted on 11/24/2009 4:21:45 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks for the ping!

52 posted on 11/24/2009 10:16:16 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: MNDude; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ..
Everyone should take a look at the Manhattan Declaration.

Thread by MNDude.

Sign the Manhattan Declaration

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:

1.the sanctity of human life 2.the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife 3.the rights of conscience and religious liberty. Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

53 posted on 11/25/2009 5:40:38 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Klan Barrenhood doesn't believe we can truly be thankful until more babies are killed.

Thread by me.

Planned Parenthood Thanksgiving Dinner Conversation Guide: Promote Abortion

Washington, DC ( -- When Americans gather around their dinner tables with friends and family tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving, they will catch up on the latest family chatter and probably talk about sports and the weather. But, Planned Parenthood's president has a suggestion for those who need a topic for discussion.

In an email today to supporters of the abortion business, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards unveiled her own Thanksgiving dinner conversation guide.

"I don't know how things are at your Thanksgiving table, but in my house we don't just make small talk," she writes, saying she is "committed to having real conversations" that invariably turn to abortion. It is Thanksgiving "conversations like these that help" promote her pro-abortion agenda, she says, suggesting that abortion advocates follow her lead.

"If your family is anything like mine, you'll want to be prepared to converse thoughtfully. Here's some help — a guide to dinner table conversation," Richards says.

Richards links to a Planned Parenthood web page urging members to help their family "avoid dirty politics by sticking to these points. If 'turkey talk' turns to health care reform, stand ready -- we've got you covered."

The page lists several talking points on the topic of abortion funding in health care that covers the Stupak amendment added to the House government-run bill to remove abortion funding and the phony Capps amendment Harry Reid put in the Senate bill to include massive abortion funding in it.

"If Uncle Bill wants to debate, here are a few points he will have a tough time responding to: Stupak amounts to nothing less than an unacceptable 'middle-class abortion ban,'" Planned Parenthood advises saying. "If this bill becomes law, millions of middle class women will be prohibited from buying, through the exchange, private insurance that covers abortion, a legal medical procedure."

The Planned Parenthood page urges activists to tell their family that some members of the House who supported the Stupak amendment are experiencing "buyer's remorse" and that "President Obama has indicated the Stupak goes too far."

"Members of Congress have been saying in public interviews that they didn't realize the impact of Stupak before they voted for this proposal. Now that they have come to fully appreciate the impact of the Stupak ban, they are indicating that Stupak went to far," it continues.

The Thanksgiving dinner conversation suggestion page urges activists to tell their family that health care reform "must include abortion" and that "Planned Parenthood must be part of the Exchange."

Richards says the conversation guide is great for responding to occasions where "Aunt Gladys asks you questions," but given polls showing most Americans oppose being forced to pay for abortions under their health care plan, Richards's suggestions for answer may give Americans an upset stomach.

54 posted on 11/25/2009 5:44:30 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Breakthroughs terrify the death mongers.

Thread by me.

Euthanasia Backers Discount Rom Houben, Man Who Spoke After False "Coma"

Brussels, Belgium ( -- No sooner did Rom Houben make international headlines than skeptics and euthanasia advocates attempt to discredit the story of a man who says he was falsely tagged as being in a coma for 23 years. Houben has been embraced by those who say physicians are too quick to label patients as in a vegetative state.

As noted, Houben shared his story this week of how he is now able to talk with the world now that a scientists retested him, found his brain to be functioning normally, and provided him with therapy allowing him to communicate.

However, euthanasia proponents are attempting to discredit the story.

The Huffington Post’s resident utilitarian bioethicist, Jacob Appel, contends that Houben can't really be communicating and suggests a test to smoke out the supposed chicanery.

"I confess that I am still highly suspicious of the details of this alleged medical miracle–and particularly of the messages that Houben purportedly types with the help of his aide," he writes.

He wants to know whether "his story is authentic, a matter of wishful thinking, or even a cruel and manipulative hoax" and, until that time, "the media and the public should retain a healthy skepticism."

Apparently, that has been done.

The Associated Press indicates the team of British neurological expert Dr. Steven Laureys showed Houben an object while his aide was not present and he was able to write it down correctly.

“So all that has been checked and confirmed, so we are sure it is him who is talking,” Prof. Audren Vandaudenhuyse, a colleague of Laureys, told AP.

Houben’s mother, Fina, told the AP her son has been communicating with him for three years.

“At first he had to push with his foot on a sort of computer mouse which only had a yes-no side,” she said in a telephone interview. “Slowly he got better and developed through a language computer and now communicates with this speech therapist holding his hand.”

Also, Dr. James Bernat of Dartmouth Medical School called Laureys “a very rigorous scientist and physician" who is "one of the world’s leaders” in the field of brain imaging in people with consciousness disorders.

American bioethicist Wesley J. Smith responded to the charges from the euthanasia backers and skeptics.

Although he believes skepticism is warranted in some cases, "there comes a time when skepticism becomes something else, an ideological tool to keep society from drawing ethical conclusions that the skeptic might oppose."

"I think we have reached that point in the Rom Houben case," he said and alleged that Appel "worries that the Houben good news might prevent similar patients from being dehydrated or euthanized."

"The Hougens case unquestionably gets in the way of the utilitarian agenda to rid us of burdensome cognitively and neurologically disabled people and/or to gain a license to use them as natural resources in organ harvesting or experimentation," he said.

"But Houben rehumanizes a subset of patients–the unconscious and those apparently so–who have been denigrated and marginalized for many years by the dehydration crowd. I think his story just might cause enough pause to keep us from writing these people off, and in the process, save some lives," he added.

55 posted on 11/25/2009 5:46:54 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Above everything, this must be stopped.

Thread by me.

Beware: Senate Bill Threaten Seniors, Disabled With Health Care Rationing

The U.S. Senate is poised to begin debate on the 2,074-page health care bill, crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.), when senators return to Washington next week.

In a release last week, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states, noted that Senator Reid's bill would authorize the federal government to pay for any and all abortions through a huge federal health insurance program, and also to subsidize purchase of private plans that cover abortion on demand.

Further analysis finds that the Reid bill, like the House bill approved earlier this month, puts the lives of older Americans and persons with disabilities at great risk.


Under current law, Medicare recipients have the legal option, if they choose, of adding their own money on top of the government contribution in order to obtain "private fee-for-service" Medicare Advantage plans that can use the additional premiums to avoid "managed care" limitations on treatments and tests and to ensure access by paying providers market rates. Presently, the Medicare statute prevents the government from second-guessing or imposing limits on the premiums for private fee-for-service plans, allowing beneficiaries to balance cost, benefit, and affordability in making their own decisions whether to purchase such plans.

However, Section 3209, on page 920, amends that provision so as to empower the federal government to exclude from competing in Medicare Advantage those plans whose bids it does not like. The consequence is to give the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the discretion to deny older Americans the choice of plans whose premiums CMS disallows. This amounts to the imposition of price controls, thus limiting what older Americans are permitted to spend for health insurance. Again, being prohibited from paying what may be needed to obtain unrationed health insurance amounts to government-imposed health care rationing.

The provision duplicates the little-noticed section 1175 of the bill passed by the House of Representatives. Neither provision was in bills reported by the committees of either chamber; at the last minute, both were slipped into the versions sent to the floor for action.

The fundamental question is whether seniors will be prevented from using their own money, if they wish, to gain access to insurance that will not ration medical treatment. The significant cuts that the Senate and House health care bills make in Medicare increase the importance of protecting the right of older Americans, if they choose, to use their own money to save their own lives. It is critical that seniors retain this right which would be eliminated by the Reid bill as introduced.


Also, for those eligible to participate in the insurance exchange Sen. Reid=s bill limits their right to spend their own money to save their own lives. Beginning on page 37, Section 1003 empowers the State Exchange Commissioner to exclude from the exchange plans offered by health insurance issuers whom the State Commissioner considers have a pattern of Aexcessive or unjustified premium increases.

It is noteworthy that this provision will even have a chilling effect on health plans offered outside the exchange, since insurers will be fearful that if they fully meet the demand for health insurance by employers and others, it may be held against them so as to keep them out of the exchange. While the exchanges are to begin by serving individuals and small businesses, ultimately they are intended to cover even the largest employers, so the possibility of exclusion from so large a market is likely to be a significant deterrent.

This parallels a similar provision inserted in the House bill when it went to the floor, Section 104.

This essentially grants government bureaucrats the discretion to limit what people are allowed to pay for health insurance. Being prohibited from paying what may be needed to obtain unrationed health insurance amounts to government-imposed health care rationing.


The Reid Bill contains a section titled "Shared Decisionmaking." The Reid bill does not include provisions paralleling those in the House bill designed to create incentives for Aadvance care planning.

But Section 936, beginning on page 1106, provides funding to develop and disseminate "patient decision aids" which are to include "relative cost of treatment or, where appropriate, palliative care options" and to "educate providers on the use of such materials, including through academic curricula" (p. 1110).

Money is to be awarded to establish AShared Decisionmaking Resource Centers . . . to provide technical assistance to providers and to develop and disseminate best practices . . . (p. 1112).The concern with this section is the same as that with the promotion of advance care planning. Given the strong views many in the medical community have about poor quality of life and the considerable emphasis on saving costs (along with the Reid bills defective process for selecting the materials the patients receive), the danger is great these measures will in fact subtly or otherwise "nudge" patients in the direction of rejecting life-saving treatment to save costs.


In Section 3403, beginning on page 1000, the Reid bill provides for an "Independent Medicare Advisory Board," given the task of ensuring senior's Medicare meets budget goals that will tighten each year. For fiscal years 2015 through 2019, the bill sets a target rate of growth for Medicare midway between medical inflation and average inflation; for subsequent years the target is the growth in Gross Domestic Product per capita plus 1%.To the extent the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that Medicare growth rates would exceed these targets, the Board would have to act to reduce the gap by specified percentages varying by year. This gap-reducing would likely come through reductions in payments to health care providers, leading those providers to skimp on care or leave the Medicare program altogether.

The recommendations of the Board would automatically go into effect unless Congress, through an expedited procedure, adopted another means resulting in the same reductions; to waive this would require a 3/5 vote.

Further details and documentation can be found at:

56 posted on 11/25/2009 5:49:53 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: All; wagglebee

So if they don’t help the elderly, or the very sick or disabled at any age, what good is this govt. insurance?

57 posted on 11/25/2009 7:55:01 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks for the ping!

58 posted on 11/25/2009 9:56:01 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Schnucki; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
Interesting thread on eugenics.

Thread by Schnucki.

How eugenics poisoned the welfare state

A century ago many leading leftists subscribed to the vile pseudo-science of eugenics, writes Dennis Sewell, and the influence of that thinking can still be seen today

We live in a country where the poorest members of society are literally trapped. We pay them millions not to work, simply maintaining them at subsistence level like prisoners of the state. Tied up with bureaucratic regulations and subject to crazy marginal rates of tax, there are few chances to escape for Britain’s welfare-dependent. A million of those out of work have been jobless for a decade or more. They see their chances of getting a job in the future as so remote as to be barely worth considering. The chances of their children ever finding work are beginning to look slim too. The neighbourhoods in which they live are falling apart. The squalor is palpable; crime rampant; local schools are very often failing or ‘sink’ schools. If you think I’m exaggerating, choose any area with a high level of welfare-dependency and go and look for yourself.

So what went wrong with a welfare state that was supposed to make ‘ignorance, squalor and want’ things of the past, and guarantee greater social integration? Or have we simply misunderstood what that project was really about? . . .

59 posted on 11/28/2009 4:45:13 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
I've posted two threads on the miraculous breakthrough of Ron Houben and how it ties into Terri's case.

Humans are never vegetables

If Rom Houben's case proves anything, it is the arrogance of those who think they can pronounce upon the state of a patient's consciousness, and determine his subsequent fate--when humility should force them to admit they cannot possibly know what that patient may be experiencing.

Houben is the Belgian man who spent 23 years misdiagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state when he was actually conscious and suffering from locked-in syndrome as the result of an auto accident. Locked-in syndrome means the individual is paralyzed, but retains full consciousness.

The misdiagnosis was discovered thanks to state-of-the-art brain scanning technology which neurologist Steven Laureys at Liege University Hospital used to discover that Houben still had activity in his cerebral cortex.

One has to wonder how many other patients through the years have been wrongly diagnosed as being in a coma or cruelly labeled "vegetables"-- a term which should be banished from the language as a reference point for discussing human beings.

Terri Schiavo's case comes to mind. Doctors argued for years over the level of consciousness they thought the Florida woman was capable of -- and their conclusions varied, whether they sided with Schiavo's husband, Michael, who wanted her feeding tube pulled so she would die or whether they sided with Schiavo's parents, who insisted she was conscious, recognized them and expressed emotions, including joy. Schiavo had suffered brain damage in 1990 after cardiac arrest, and she died in 2005, almost two weeks after her feeding tube was removed -- forcing her to undergo a slow death by starvation and dehydration.

Bobby Schindler, Schiavo's brother and executive director of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, commenting on Houben's case, told"We are learning how unscientific the diagnosis is. It's completely subjective and we are using it to sentence people to death, and it's dangerous."

It is indeed dangerous. Had that gross misnomer "the right to die" been at issue in Houben's case, this fully conscious man would have had to undergo the agony of people debating whether he should be allowed to live, and he could have faced the agony of knowing he was being starved to death, unable to communicate with anyone to let them know there was indeed a fully aware person inside his paralyzed body. Particularly poignant was Houben's description, via a special keyboard and computer, of how he tried to alert his caregivers to his conscious state: "I screamed, but there was nothing to hear."

He characterized the day the misdiagnosis was revealed as a rebirth for him: "I especially felt relief. Finally to be able to show that I was indeed there."

The lesson from Houben's case--and reinforced, sadly, too late by Schiavo's case-- is that if doctors and courts must err, it should always be on the side of life, and on the assumption that despite all outward appearances, the "I" is "indeed there."


Belgian Case Reignites 'Brain Dead' Debate as Catholics Order Force Feedings

The family of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who was artificially kept alive for 15 years, say they feel both heartbreak and vindication over the news this week that a Belgian man thought to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) was fully conscious for two decades.

Schiavo, who had been diagnosed with a profound brain injury, was at the center of a seven-year legal tug-of-war that involved Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and even President George W. Bush before a judge granted her husband the right to allow her to die in 2005.

In a strikingly similar case this week, Belgian doctors revealed that Ron Houbens -- thought to have no brain activity since a 1983 car crash -- had actually been paralyzed and was fully conscious, able to hear everything around him but not respond.

With the news that patients can be mentally "locked in" -- unable to breathe or eat on their own or communicate, yet fully aware cognitively --- some religious and ethical groups are saying, "I told you so."

And now the Catholic Church has weighed in, ordering doctors at its hospitals to ignore patients' advanced directives indicating they do not want artificial feeding if they are diagnosed as permanently unconscious.

"This is why we created our foundation, for stories like this man," said Bobby Schindler, executive director of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation.

"Tens of thousands of people with cognitive injuries like these are using PVS to diagnose and kill," he told "We are learning how unscientific the diagnosis is. It's completely subjective and we are using it to sentence people to death and it's dangerous." . . .

"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."

60 posted on 11/28/2009 4:51:35 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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