Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Veritable Cornucopia Of Polysyllabic Utterances

First, I want to thank Colin Powell for being so forthright regarding what everyone should have already known about one of the main reasons for the problems with our European allies in the last couple years. Rumsfeld, it's about RESPECT, and by not giving any, you made the Iraq war more difficult, and you gained us untold enemies within countries that we need to be able to work with. Even if you did correctly have questions about their motives, it is incredibly stupid to handle it like that. I have my doubts about the war, but the jury is still out on the final results. Maybe it will work out in the long term, and maybe it won't, but it has definitely been harder because of the pathetic display of "diplomacy" toward Western European countries. W, you should have listened to Powell more. He was the only moderate you had.

Just as I am writing this, I read that Terri Schiavo has just died. May she rest in peace. Now people in our country can finally stop beating each other up about it, and soon the conservatives that have been bleating for weeks about murder and some sort of a "precedent" should be proved wrong by the autopsy and by the lack of other cases like this that become such a huge issue, respectively. All of the armchair doctors, speculators, pundits, and protestors can go home. It's over. Stop pretending you knew better than all of the doctors and judges.


corpus callosum said...

"Now people in our country can finally stop beating each other up about it..."

I'm afraid the verbal fisticuffs will continue for a while longer on this. And even after the overt passions die down, reference to her case will become a "shorthand" for how the legal system doesn't properly protect right to life.

My own POV:
There's clearly a connection between brain function and cognitive function. But no one has come up with a convincing explanation (much less a proof) of the mechanics of how you get from brain function to awareness/consciousness/spiritual existence. (I.e., how do the physical processes of the brain result in the spiritual awareness of "I am"?) And until science can actually demonstrate where consciousness comes from, no autopsies, or doctor's or judge's opinions, will sway the feeling by many that a "person" and not just a "body" was allowed to die.

Erik Grow said...

Yes, I know there will be some hand-wringing and sparring on the issue for awhile, but this will be the point where it begins to subside, and I am relieved. I'm sure the case will be referred to a lot, but luckily her name doesn't lend itself to being turned into something else, like "Schiavoized" or something.

Science has come a long way in finding out what is known in the brain. Yes, there are still vast amounts to be learned, but there certainly seemed to be more than enough evidence in this case. It's time for everyone to move on.

AndiM said...

Just a provoking question ...
Concerning the question if she still felt pain or not: Wouldn't it have been more humane to "kill" her than to let her die for 12 days? Dying of starvation seems to be the worse option for me ... As long as we don't know if those patients still can feel some sort of pain it is in my opinion.

Two Dogs said...

You still don't get it. This is one of those slippery slope type things. Michael clearly wanted her to die and the judge allowed him to make decision regarding her life. It is bad law and needs to be changed. Michael should have given up his right after siring two kids with another woman while married to Terri.

At some point we will have to revisit this when kids want to kill their elderly parents.

Erik Grow said...

No Two Dogs, my whole point is that the current law works with few issues or disagreements 99.99% of the time. There is no slippery slope, because there is no impetus to change the laws which to the point of view of MOST Americans, including this case too, works well already.

Andi, there are no laws except in one state that govern being able to die in a way that seems more humane, because Republicans will not allow it. Then they get mad when people are starved. Terri, according to nearly all doctors that saw her, felt no pain. You should have seen her brain scan. I never even saw it until today! A lot of her brain is just GONE, right in the middle. Does the method of death matter when you can't feel anything? A "persistent vegetative state" is by definition a condition where you can't feel anything.

Two Dogs said...

For some reason I was thinking that you were something other than a radiologist.

As far as changing laws is concerned, from the time that I was born until present day, all we have done is change our laws. (think Roe v. Wade) I think that you would really surprised with an unbiased survey of citizens on the murder of an innocent woman. I think that only fringe groups would think that Michael Schiavo should have been in charge of Terri's health care.

And for the HUGE most part, I think that the overwhelming majority of Americans are staunchly conservative. Just because our "mainstream" press is extremely liberal does anyone develop the far-fetched idea that those who believe in abortion are mainstream.

nicnerd said...

A few quick thoughts. Starving a person is wrong. It does not matter if the person "feels" it or not. It is undignified, we would not allow that to happen to a pet dog. We are a backward country in that respect. I have seen terminal illness at its worst as I am sure many of you have. I am sure that I am opening Pandora's Box when I say that this country needs reasonable, legal euthanasia.

I think two dogs brings up a good point, that her spouse really lost his obectivity in the matter when he started a new family.

May Terri finally rest in peace, and those that killed her find peace as well.