Right To Life / Right To Death    rev. 04.03.2005 Back to Lessons List

Living Will Is the Best Revenge

By ROBERT FRIEDMAN, Times Deputy Editor of Editorials

Published March 27, 2005; St. Petersburg, Fla. Times

Like many of you, I have been compelled by recent events to prepare a more detailed advance directive dealing with end-of-life issues. Here's what mine says:

Contrary to the information which appears on and links from sites like these, one must consider that it was distinctly possible that any and all "responses" which Terri made to any outside stimuli did not come from any part of her brain which might be labeled as "conscious." The denial of this and the glossing over it by medical and political interests comprise one of the greatest sins committed in recent times. If an EEG could detect no brain activity in her cerebral cortex, she most certainly was not "alive" in any rational sense of the word. While it is a nice religious belief, all of the fervent imagination in the world would not in any way lead to any future in which she could form and speak a sentence or ever actually communicate with the outside world, in the sense of "here's a repeatable input and here's her repeatable response." Particularly in the sense of "are you too hot? if you are, do this; if you're too cold, do that." There was never demonstrated any "this" or "that" as a repeatable or predictable response from her body which could indicate that her conscious brain was involved.

One bit of good news is that many people today will be more conscious of and willing to put into writing their wishes for what should or should not be done for them if, God Forbid, any similarly horrible event befalls them.

So, all things considered, why weren't DeLay, Frist and the Bush Brothers
petitioning the Vatican to insert breathing tubes and feeding tubes into the pope?

Let me add some very thoughtful comments from my friend Win:

"Shame on the Tom DeLays of the world who would not honor her wishes if they contradicted with his own beliefs. It’s no more his decision to make than it was Terri’s husband’s or her parents’ – far less in fact.

I think the proper settlement of this case would have been to give the doctors who thought she could have been rehabilitated a three-month window to make their case. If they can’t meet agreed-upon improvements within and agreed-upon timeframe, then the plug can be pulled. But given the lack of therapy over the previous 15 years, there may not have been much to hope for – but a little is enough."

Amen, Win..... plusaf.

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© Copyright 2005 by plusaf. First rev: 04.01.2005; All Rights Reserved