Bioethics Discussion Blog: If Schiavo Why Not Jones? (2)

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

If Schiavo Why Not Jones? (2)

From today's The New York Times : "Representative Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas and the House majority leader, who is at the center of the Congressional intervention, said on Saturday: ''We should investigate every avenue before we take the life of a living human being. That is the very least we can do.'

In Crawford, the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, said: ''Everyone recognizes that time is important here. This is about defending life.'"

All political motives by the Republicans and the President are denied and only the moral, humanitarian motivations are stressed as the basis for this unusual congressional and presidential action. If that is so, there seems to be some ignorance of facts by these parties. Shouldn't they be aware that termination of life support is going on every day in hospitals all over the country. Mostly the requests come from surrogates since the patients usually are in a mental state where they have no capacity to make medical decisions at that time. Mostly, there may be no advance directive to read. So where has the Congress and President been in these past years to "investigate every avenue before we take the life" or sign laws to "defend life"? Where will they be tomorrow and the day after to make sure that Mr.
Jones, a 33 year old man unconscious with a massive cerebral hemorrhage and who has been on the respira tor for 3 months can be prevented from having his respirator life support terminated even though his wife reports that he told her that he would not want to live if he was unable to have the quality of life he had described to her?

And then there is Joanie, Grace, William, Mary... What are you going to do about their requests? Sorry, they have no advance directive except they do have a legal surrogate who speaks for them and, by the way, their surrogates are approved by the patient's physician and the courts. And if the Congress doesn't know where they are located, they should check with any hospital. ..Maurice.

1 Comments:

At Sunday, March 20, 2005 5:46:00 PM, Anonymous Frank said...

Thanks for your thoughts,caring and reason--regardless of ones feeling about the issue of "right to die" I have seldom been so troubled by the politization of a judicial decision--it represents a profound disrespect for the courts and due process. I truly see this as one of the most egregious abuses of "majority rule" I have seen in recent years. Thanks

 

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