Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terry Schiavo

Well, perhaps it's time I told you my opinion of this whole big deal. You know what I think? I think that you don't really care. So, that's the extent of my public opinion.

But I have linked to this great editorial piece on from a doctor. He doesn't really talk about the controversial subject, but all the things we can and should learn from having witnessed this, first and foremost, the importance of a living will. Do not leave it to your loved ones to try to figure out what you would have wanted. Instead, you must clearly specify which types of measures you want performed and which types of measures you do not want performed.

With that, I'll publicly go on record right now saying that the only organ I care about is my brain. If there is real, legitimate brain activity, use ventilators, feeding tubes, pacemakers, and lots of fricking morphine to keep me alive. But if I do not have real, legitimate brain activity going on (well, by my usual standards, that is), and no reasonable chance that it will return in a reasonable amount of time (2 years?), then there's no reason to spend money and grief trying to keep the rest of the system going. If I suffer some horrible disease and forget everything, but have the capacity to learn again, fine. But if the mental activity that makes me "me" is gone, if I can't regain me, or develop a new me (that is, I cannot comprehend or participate in my world beyond that of involuntary reaction), strap the body into a wheelchair, get it to a bluff with palm trees overlooking the ocean and just sit with it until it's completed shutting down.

Side thoughts... Did the pope go on a feeding tube to make a point? Or more likely he goes on the tube regularly but this is the first time they've publicized it to make a point?
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