Friday, March 18, 2005

Terry Schiavo

As I said last week, I wish people would just stay out of this, since I don't think there are many people who really have a good idea of what the facts are. I really don't know how I feel about it, because everytime I think I know something there is a different story that contradicts what I thought I knew.

Anyway, as for the basic situation, I gather that her husband is in control of her care and wants her feeding tube removed because she has no hope of recovery, no quality of life, and being kept alive artificially is not consistent with her wishes. Her parents, on the other hand say that she is aware and tries to respond to them and could get better with therapy. Now, I don't know who is right or wrong, but I really think the system is messed up in this case.

Everytime the husband makes any progress in his quest to have her feeding tube removed, it seems to be blocked, whether by the courts, the legislature, or the governor stepping in, which is fine with me if the parents are correct about her condition. However, it seems rather pointless to make such efforts to keep the feeding tube in if the people who do it aren't just as committed to getting her the therapy that they would seem to believe could help her. Why is it that the husband is trusted with her care enough to deny therapy, but not enough to remove her feeding tube? It seems to me the people making the decisions in this case should pick which side they're on, and their rulings should reflect that. They should go see her, talk to her doctors, find out directly what her condition is, then if they think that she can be helped with therapy, they should order that therapy. If not, they should decide what her quality of life is, and whether her husband can be trusted to speak for her. Either way, this should not be a political issue, and it shouldn't be decided by people who have never even seen Terry Schiavo.

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