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sg1 poke

A Political Rant

I read the Washington Post in the mornings with trepidation these days because who knows what inanity I will find. The latest is Jeb Bush, governor of the great state of weird called Florida who forced the legislature to override the wishes of a husband to let his vegetative wife die in peace. Here is a story of grief. I want to know who is more brain-dead--the anti-abortion guys who force a husband to watch as his poor wife is moved from Hospice back to a hospital to re-insert a feeding tube that has been keeping her in twighlight zone for 13 years or this poor woman. The fact that the poor husband has to fight numerous court battles with the woman's parents over her right-to-die has be cringing in sympathy. Imagine what this man is going through--four separate times he's has been given permission to let her die in peace (you can see where my sympathies lie) and each time the parents have countered. Media doesn't help---CNN playing tapes of twitches and smiles that these poor vegetative souls produce, world-wide and 24/7. Now we have a media circus and that governor steps in and overrides everyone. Gaaah. Terry Randal is now involved. Just let her go, please. Don't hope for miracles because it is cruel.

Then there is the stupid sniper trial taking place in spoonishly's turf. Mohammad is insane or a sociopath and is acting as his own lawyer. Cross-examining his victims (I guess I should say alleged) and grandstanding. Our legal system is really strange. I am afraid he might get off scot-free if he succeeds in convincing a jury that the evidence is circumstantial. My only condolence is that it looks like the Prosecution has done their homework.

Then there is that Malayian President who says that the problems in the world are all caused by a Jewish cabal. I know that Malaysia is far away and this guy has been hiding out since the turn of the century when Protocols of Zion was proved a forgery of the Tzar's secret police, but the fact that his Islamic leadership audience stood up and cheered him gives me the willies and a woody. Thankfully the Western leadership wrote copious letters to this guy telling him that he was smoking something. What worries me is that poor Israel is isolated in a sea of folks who see conspiracies and hate us as a people. It is not a national argument over states' rights, but a jihad. There can be no good ending.

Ok, I've stepped off my soap box. Thanks for listening. These are just my opinions and I by no means wanted to step on anyone else's ideologies.


Fully Agree

I keep wondering at the level of guilt in the parents to keep this being alive and not let her die. Several years ago the hospital I work in had an elderly patient who was in a similar situation. Her husband would let life support be removed. None of our physicians wanted to take care of her, no other hospital in the area would take her. None of our nurses wanted to care for her as she was basically rotting in her bed (in spite of fantastic care - she really was dead). We petitioned for guardianship and lost. She eventually died. The husband kept saying that God hadn't taken her, so we couldn't stop any and all extraordinary measures. And I won't go down that path!

As someone who has worked with people in biomedical ethics, I am aware that it is more important to communicate to your family and loved ones, your desires about medical decision making if you are incapacitated. This woman did - she communicated to her husband. Unfortunately she failed to communicate to her family. By the way, even if she had a living will, her family could still have gone down this same path, probably with the same results. I've made sure that everyone in my family - sister, husband, children - are fully aware of what decisions I would make in the event I cannot. It's an interesting conversation and I encourage all of you to have it with your loved ones.

End rant, kc.

Re: Fully Agree

Hi Operalover! Thanks for responding.

Interesting post. We recently lost my father-in-law to a heart attack very suddenly and that got all the children thinking about living wills and these very important discussions. Yes, we went to an estate attorney and prepared all the papers and had these difficult discussions with our siblings and mothers. It was hard, and you are right, very rewarding.

I agree with you--I keep thinking of that poor husband who finally was able to let her go and having to go through all those court appearances, and the money, emotions, and all. I had a hard time letting my father die of cancer--but Hospice and passing away at home was the best and we were right to listen to his requests for nothing extraordinary. Those parents can't let go of the hope. And it is sad that the State felt it had to step into this mess.

I look forward to future discussions. Thanks.

Re: Fully Agree

Great editorial in the NY Times this morning - found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/23/opinion/23THU2.html?th (I haven't learned how to make that a "hot spot")

My grandmother died of breast cancer when I was in my teens -- in the days of not telling the person they had cancer, but telling everyone else around them. She never was informed she had cancer, but she had to know. In three years, she went from a 160 pound vibrant woman to a 60 pound corpse - broken bones and in incredible pain. No one should live like that either. I'm so glad that Hospice is a choice for those with extremely limited life spans. It is a much more humane way to die.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment, kc.

Re: Fully Agree

Saw that "right to die" story in the two minute rush to get out the door this morning. Jan and I both stopped what we were doing and just watched; it's a damn train wreck. I told him flat out if anything like that happened to me, yank the plug and get on with his life, and do NOT hesitate. My bros and sisters know this would be my wish, too.

My mom passed away from cancer three years ago next week. We did the home hospice care with our family the last two months of her life. She didn't want heroic measures or treatment--she was 76 years old and had already survived a broken hip--and it was her choice to basically let go and let nature take its course. And it was the hardest thing I've ever done to watch her go through that and NOT tell her to fight. But it was her life, and her wish, and it was our duty as her loved ones to honor it. Like you did with your dad.

I hope that poor woman's family finally comes to the same conclusion.

Stepping off soap box now--thanks for the loan, Rita.

As for Mohammad the lawyer--when a person's his own attorney, he has a fool for a client.