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Tens of Thousands of Iraqis Demand U.S. Withdrawal

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Denise
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25 posted 04-13-2005 10:36 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Raph, there has been no evidence offered supporting your claims that I find convincing.  

Ron, I never said that they weren't convinced that they were right, just that they have a new government that they could work in and through, give that a chance first, is all that I was saying. That's what I would do. In that they are entirely different from me. In our passion for what we believe in, I'd say we are the same.

I don't think you need to be a lawyer to be able to see the corruption in the Schiavo case.

Noah, you should investigate the Zogby polls that I linked to in the other thread. The answers to polls all depend on the questions asked.

Kacy, I said mob is what comes to mind when I see large rowdy crowds. Rowdy wouldn't be descriptive of either the crowds at the Vatican or at the hospice.

Tim,

What's that old saying? A broken clock is even right twice a day!

I don't hold ALL judges in disdain. There are a few principled ones left (some even write some pretty good poetry), and there is even one here in Philadelphia who has her head screwed on straight, but they are a dying breed, I am afraid.

And rabbits and dolphins, I would suspect, are much cheaper for society to maintain than humans. And they don't collect medicaid!

Can anyone answer my previous question because I honestly don't understand it? What would the reasoning process be like to arrive at the conclusion that something is cruel and unusual for a criminal, and therefore illegal, but the same treatment is acceptable, and therefore legal, even desirable, for a disabled person? Because I don't get it.  

quote:
Most people of the liberal persuasion are against capital punishment, and are against the State ordered executions of criminals, and would most assuredly be up-in-arms if any State tried to starve and dehydrate them to death. But when the same thing happened to an innocent disabled person, they were, for the most part, silent. Why? How can starving and dehydrating a criminal be cruel and unusual but when it is done to a disabled person it is not? I haven't gotten an answer to that yet, not even one that pretends to be plausible.

Anyone here care to take a stab at it?



Balladeer
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26 posted 04-13-2005 11:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Interesting question, Denise.  I'd like to see the answer to that one myself....
Mistletoe Angel
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27 posted 04-14-2005 01:01 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Yes, Denise, I am aware of the Zogby polls you are referring to, where if you ask the question in a different fashion, a unanimous majority believe a patient should not food or water taken away in a situation like that.

Again, I really don't want to stray far off topic here, but you do deserve a brief response here. And that does indeed bring up a great point about there's always more than one side or way in how you address or present a question.

It's like the topic about gay marriage. Most Americans say they don't believe gay marriage should be legalized. Yet, if you phrase the question differently, in the form of "Do you believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to have these following rights..." and you speak a list of benefits that marriage offers citizens, a unanimous majority say "Yes!"

Thank you, Denise, THANK YOU for continuing to reinforce that point. I believe America desperately needs to hear that ringing of truth.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Ron
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28 posted 04-14-2005 02:14 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I believe I recall someone stating categorically that if information came from a certain web site, it was not even worth considering.

Tim, when you know someone has lied to you in the past, you learn to accept what they say only if it can be corroborated. When corroboration repeatedly fails, sooner or later you stop listening entirely. I'm not sure that means what they say is not worth considering, but at some point it becomes no longer worth the time and effort to consider. I think without some measure of objectivity, credibility is bound to suffer.

quote:
I don't think you need to be a lawyer to be able to see the corruption in the Schiavo case.

And I believe you do, Denise.

Case in point, most of your arguments assume the family of Terri has a legal standing. In my layman's opinion, I don't think that's the case. Not legally, not historically, not even Biblically. "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife." Presumably, and I certainly think legally, that works for the woman as well. Terri's family never stopped loving her, but when she chose, of her own free will, to marry Michael Schiavo, their guardianship passed to him. That is the very foundation of marriage. "And they twain shall be one flesh; so then they are no more twain, but one flesh." I don't think it was ever a matter of who was right or who was wrong, Denise. I think it was a matter of who had the legal right to decide. Like it or not, Terri chose Michael to speak in her stead. I think THAT, and not the right or wrong of the decision, is what was decided in court.

Then again, I'm not a lawyer either. All I really know about our legal system is that law and justice aren't synonyms.

quote:
Can anyone answer my previous question because I honestly don't understand it? What would the reasoning process be like to arrive at the conclusion that something is cruel and unusual for a criminal, and therefore illegal, but the same treatment is acceptable, and therefore legal, even desirable, for a disabled person? Because I don't get it.

Nor are you likely to get an acceptable answer, Denise, so long as you insist on inserting your own definitions into your questions.

Let's change your question slightly and shift the bias to the other side.

Why is something considered cruel and unusual for a criminal, but is acceptable for the toenails you clipped the other night?

You insist on labeling Terri a disabled person, Denise, but others believe that the real Terri died long ago, even though her living flesh, just like your living toenails, continued to survive. I'm no more a doctor than I am a lawyer, so I clearly can't know the truth. I only know that, when experts can't agree, someone has to decide. Honestly, I'm glad it didn't have to be me.

In short, Denise, your question has no answer, because it's the wrong question. It assumes everyone has already agreed on an answer to the REAL question, and clearly that agreement is very far from being reached.

Personally, I don't think there was a substantive failure in the legal system. If Terri sat up in bed and refused medical treatment (and a feeding tube IS medical treatment, unless of course you routinely install them on friends and family rather than cook for them), I would be horrified if our system didn't recognize her wishes. Terri could no longer sit up and say that, of course, but she did once say, "I do," effectively instilling her voice on her spouse. Did she make a bad decision in marrying Michael? In trusting him to speak for her? Maybe she did. Still, it was nonetheless her decision to make.

I would really and truly like to know the truth. I've heard accusations and allegations from one end of the spectrum to the other, but all are from such patently biased sources that I can't help but question their credibility. I've yet to see anyone even try to be objective. I don't know the truth, and sadly I too often feel that's because no one is willing to tell the truth. They seem much more concerned with proving themselves right.

  
JoshG
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29 posted 04-14-2005 11:31 AM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

Well said Ron, I had been wanting to find the right way to say exactly what you said.  Thanks for putting it very diplomatically and respectfully.  I think you did a great job of caring for everyones emotions, while stil exposing a bias.

Thanks

Josh
Denise
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30 posted 04-14-2005 08:27 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You're welcome, Noah. I would also agree with the poll about homosexuals having all the same rights and protections that married people do and that can easily be done through Civil Unions. I disagree with the redefining of marriage, that's all.

I disagree, Ron.

My arguments are not based on the presumption that her parents had legal standing. They did not, but were given legal standing by Congress, but we know how that turned out.

But the fact of the marriage was not the deciding factor either. What should have been the factor, under the law in Florida, in order for the judge to have issued the orders (prior to the last order, which was blatantly illegal) that he did, her wishes on end-of-life issues had to be shown as 'clear and convincing'. What judge worthy of the robe accepts hearsay (something that the husband  remembered only 7 years after the fact) as 'clear and convincing' evidence by a person who has several verifiable conflicts of interest, corroborated only by two of his relatives. And after the husband's deposition where he stated that he was the only one privy to such a conversation, his brother and sister-in-law suddenly remembered that they too had heard her comment about such things, just in time for the start of the trial, and rejects the testimony and sworn affidavits of serveral others to the contrary, including serveral affidavits from nurses who cared for Terri who stated that the husband would constantly be asking them "What do you think I should do, we never talked about this stuff, I have no idea what Terri would want"? And he said as much on the Larry King Live show the night of March 18, the day the tube was taken out. He said "We don't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want" toward the end of the second segment. That blows 'clear and convincing' out of the water. Or it would to a judge who was trying to the best of his ability to ascertain the truth.

And a feeding tube was just recently deemed 'medical treatment' (it still isn't considered 'life support', or 'extraordinary means') in Florida in 1999. Prior to that it was considered...food and hydration via a gastric or nasal tube, and food and hydration was mandated to be delivered by natural or artifical means, however possible.

But whether you consider the feeding tube as medical treatment or not, that is not even the issue with the last order. It didn't order the removal of the feeding tube as the earlier orders did. It ordered the removal of food and hydration, by any means, even natural, which is still today against Florida statutes to do to anybody, even the disabled, particularly the disabled who depend on others for their care and feeding. Florida doesn't so much need new laws (well, a few do need to be changed), but moreso needs judges who obey and honor the laws already on the books.

She was disabled Ron. And whether some consider her to have been so disabled as to have been just a 'fingernail', a 'vegetable', or as her husband affectionately referred to her as, a 'houseplant', that we'll never know now since, first her husband and then later the judge, steadfastly refused to give her the rehabilitative therapy and care (against medical advice, since she was showing signs of progress in response to therapy when she briefly had it in the first two years following the incident) that could have led to her improvement, and the medical tests to validate the diagnosis of the husband and the judge and the euthanasia doctor selected by George Felos to testify that she was vegetative.

And do we now embark on some sort of sliding scale for the determination of the level of disability, where it is okay to starve and dehydrate those that are deemed severely disabled, even on such flimsy evidence as was produced in Terri's situation? With a 43% error rate in the diagnosis of PVS, who is really qualified to make such life and death decisions?

But I do agree with you that law and justice are not synonymous. We should strive to close the gap as much as possible though, in my opinion. Law is supposed to serve justice. If it doesn't, it's worthless. No, worse than worthless, it's deadly.

Thanks, Michael. I'd be very interested in someone trying to answer it too. And my question still stands. I think it is very valid, especially in light of the fact that medicine is not an exact science, despite the obvious god-complex of so many physicians, and since especially with PVS, neurologists admit the diagnostic error rate is quite high.
Tim
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31 posted 04-14-2005 11:34 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

It is not hard to disbelieve someone, especially if they present a view opposite to one's own.  

If someone suffers from what I perceive as credibility problems, then it is easy to not believe.  It is harder to gleen the truth.

On the other hand, if someone presents a view in conformity to your own, then it is easy to believe the truth and harder to distinguish a falsehood.

I do not recall the last time I referred to someone as a liar or indicated a person lied.  In fact, I consider it a red flag when someone indicates someone else is lying.  The other "better look out on this one" is when someone indicates they are fair and unbiased.  

That in no way means someone is engaging in purposeful deception, other than in self-deception that they know the truth and believe in their own lack of prejudice and bias.


Denise
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32 posted 04-16-2005 10:02 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Tim, could you please email me? I have a question to ask you, privately, but I don't have your email address. Thanks.

snyder.denise@att.net
Denise
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33 posted 04-17-2005 11:13 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

No attempt to answer the question from the liberal perspective?

How about this:

It is okay to starve and dehydrate the sick, elderly and disabled, but not criminals, because we say so, that's why!

Absent a well thought-out, reasoned, and logical explanation, that's all I'm left with. And I don't think one will be forthcoming simply because I don't think there is one that can possibly be made. But I could be wrong.  
Ron
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34 posted 04-17-2005 03:27 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Denise, what did you do with your toenail clippings last week?
Denise
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35 posted 04-17-2005 04:46 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

So are you saying that liberals generally see the elderly, sick and disabled as toenail clippings, less than worthy of the protection of the right to life, which is really only reserved to the able-bodied, able-minded and criminals?

Sounds kind of Hitleresque to me.
Mistletoe Angel
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36 posted 04-17-2005 06:41 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Denise, I absolutely respect that you have cared so much and from the bottom of your heart have done all you could to save poor Terri's life. I absolutely believe and support those efforts you made and I am heartbroken by the end result.

But I think this "liberals see the elderly, sick and disabled as toenail clippings" and "Hitleresque" sort of rhetoric is just well over the line here, and I am saddened that this sort of attitude has developed in response over her tragic loss.

I'm a liberal. I absolutely believe that care and compassion of the elderly, sick and handicapped is something that must be done.

Liberals didn't kill Terri, Denise, politics in general did.

And besides that, according to multiple polls I've reviewed, it's not just liberals who believed it was right for Terri's feeding tube to be removed, many conservatives also shared that position. An ABC News one for instance on March 21st revealed 54% of conservatives supported the removal of the feeding tube, and also revealed 46% of evangelicals believed likewise, while 7 in 10 moderates and liberals agreed.

Besides that, we have to confront the difficult truth that since 2003, time and time again, polls consistently reveal a majority of Americans believe the husband has the right to make life decisions in cases like that and backed Michael. I am among the minority who doesn't believe the husband or wife should have the sole say, but I suppose in the end it's just a difficult pill I have to swallow and the most important thing for us to know is see we don't find someone like Terri in that same tragic position.

And as far as those Zogby poll results you share are concerned, which I absolutely agree with and am absolutely proud of you for continuing to reinforce those facts to everyone, I also hope you're not bending those poll results in building your liberals-are-against-life case. That poll tells me that when as many as 78% believe food and water should be provided to people like Terri period, most liberals would be among most conservatives and evangelicals who believe in that.

The bottom line is we have to cooperate together in approaching this matter rather than generally speaking throwing labels like "Hitleresque" at one another. I'm disappointed too, but I believe we'll only be prone to more disappointments should we fail to unite on life issues.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Denise
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37 posted 04-17-2005 07:12 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Noah, I am talking about the liberal perspective in general, I'm not talking about all liberals, and I'm certainly not speaking about you, because some liberals actually did speak out against the killing of Terri, as you did, but not many did, whereas the majority of those of the conservative persuasion voiced their outrage. And I merely posed a question based on Ron's statement about toenail clippings. And I can't know their thought processes until they are willing to share them, which they don't seem willing to do. Given that they deem it cruel and unusal treatment for a criminal, why is it not cruel and unusual treatment for the disabled?

But if someone considers someone with a disability or infirmaty as nothing more than toenail clippings and not worthy of continuing to live, well, then yeah, that is Hitleresque, because that was his mindset about the disabled, the retarded, the sick, the aged and infirm. And then he incrementally expanded from there until he was killing anyone and everyone he deemed not worthy to live in the society that he envisioned.

It's a dangerous mindset that has to be challenged and named for what it is. But if that is not the general liberal mindset, then I'm willing to be enlightened.

And those polls that you mentioned, Noah, misled the people by saying she was on life support (which for most people conjures up images of machines breathing for someone and keeping their heart beating) and in an irreversible coma or PVS state according to doctors (without mentioning that 33+ doctors submitted sworn affidavits to the exact opposite medical opinion), neither of which was accurate.

When people were given the FACTS of the case, as Zogby did, the results were quite different. And if, in fact, liberals were well represented in their affirmation that Terri should not have been killed, given the facts, then they need to publicly speak out about that and encourage their representatives to speak out against what happened and join the conservatives, led by Tom DeLay, in calling for a complete investigation into the matter and to also speak out against Dean's proposed plan to use the republicans' involvement in the Schiavo matter to decimate them in 2006 and 2008.
Tim
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38 posted 04-17-2005 09:37 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

I'm afraid the toenail clipping comment was a bit esoteric for me.  

Could this dummy have an explanation of the point being made?
Denise
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39 posted 04-18-2005 07:29 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:

You insist on labeling Terri a disabled person, Denise, but others believe that the real Terri died long ago, even though her living flesh, just like your living toenails, continued to survive.


Tim, Ron was referring back to his earlier statement to me that some viewed Terri only as alive as toenails after they have been clipped...so I guess just as one discards clipped toenails, it's no big deal to discard the Terri's of the world...I guess that's the reasoning.  
Brad
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40 posted 04-18-2005 11:49 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

*Sigh*

The toenail reference is to show how some people, a lot of people, see her. I have no idea what a liberal response is here, I do not think she was disabled, I don't think she was there for at least the last decade or so.

Some have talked about the judicial process and the dangers this represents, others have discussed her bolemia (dismissed so easily here though I don't understand why), still others have seen this as a political charade and nothing more.

How many of us even knew who Terry was in 2000?

With that said, I had no problems keeping her alive, not for her sake, but for the sake of the parents who seemed to have derived some satisfaction from the fact that she was still, technically, alive.

My earlier comment on two religions (defined as belief systems) is basically just that. One believes Terry's corporeal existence was a slap in the face to her life (dignity and all that), the other believes that she's still there and there's still a chance.

Yet, there's no evidence to believe that, at least according to the transcript summaries. Sure, there's a lot of rumors going around, a lot of conspiracy talk (How big does it go? Fifteen years and how many judges, lawyers, family members, how many doctors, specialists, activists and who else?).

Maybe is a great word, but last time I checked it also required a reason. Saying maybe is easy if you can make up stories based on campaign contributions from a company where somebody worked at a certain time -- does the paper trail go any further.

Have you ever tried to get ten people to agree on anything? It's hard work and to do it for fifteen years is a very difficult thing to do.

What really nailed it for me was Denise's question to me. What would you want if you were in Terry's position?  People have badmouthed Michael for living with another woman, but if there was any love between them wouldn't she want him to move on?

Doesn't that make sense?  

Denise
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41 posted 04-19-2005 06:00 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad, I have dismissed the allegations of bulimia because there was no proof that she ever had bulimia. No mention of it ever surfaced until Michael hired an attorney in a quest to file a malpractice suit against two of her doctors when her health insurance capped-out. Michael never made mention of it before then, and her parents, brother and sister, and friends and co-workers never saw evidence of it, and neither did her treating physicians (for which they were sued, but later vindicated, because there was no evidence of bulimia.)

I don't think most people had a problem, per se, with Michael "moving on", nor do I think Terri would have, if that had been the extent of it, but I wonder how many people would want their spouse to retain guardianship rights over their life and death decision making after they have, in effect, moved on?

The problem that I had with it was that his new cohabitative relationship presented a conflict of interest in regard to his wife. Under those circumstances he should not have retained guardianship authority over her life and death decisions, just one of many examples of Judge Greer's lack of prudence and reason.

Is it merely coincidence, for example, that Schiavo's effort to remove Terri's feeding tube to end her life, and the hiring of a euthenasia advocate attorney, came at the same time as the announcement of his engagement to Jodi? He stated his wishes to be free to marry Jodi. A divorce would have given him that freedom, if that was all he  wanted, would it not?

Should it present a problem to anyone that Jodi and Michael are partners in their own life insurance company, and that their life insurance company, and associated holding companies, held fund raisers for the hospice, and that there is the possibility that they entered into a viatical settlement, with either the hospice board or Felos, in which the holder of a policy receives a cash settlement in exchange for the third party becoming the holder and receiving the benefits when the 'insured' dies, and that the value of the policy delcines the longer the 'insured' continues to live? Or that Senator King, and Gus Bilrakis, both members of the hospice board, were instrumental in  the passage of the amendment that changed the legal definition of life prolonging procedures to add “including artificially provided sustenance and hydration which sustains and restores or supplants a spontaneous vital function”, that became law on October 1, 1999. And that Sheriff Rice, a friend and employer of Schiavo and Jodi's mother, and George Felos were also on the board of directors at the hospice, and friends and campaign contributors, all, of Judge Greer?  Should any of these issues raise a red flag of suspicion in reasonable people?

And if, in your opinion, you find that there was no evidence to support that she was 'there' and that there was hope, where is the evidence that her corporeal existence was a slap in the face to her life (dignity and all that)? And don't forget, Judge Greer dismissed out-of-hand any evidence that Terri was 'there' and shouldn't have her feeding tube pulled even to the extent of firing her first guadian ad litem, who found that Michael was severely conflicted and shouldn't retain guardianship.

I think there is vastly more evidence of corruption and conflict of interest of those on the side who were seeking to end Terri's life than there ever was of the allegation of bulimia, or the diagnosis of PVS, or her alleged 'wishes'. And all the 'judges' is a specious claim, since NONE of the judges ever investigated Greer's findings of fact. And I think a probe into these matters is more than warranted.
Tim
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42 posted 04-19-2005 08:24 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Had to smile at the "sigh".

I guess one for two isn't too bad.  The poor attempt at interjecting a bit of lightness to the philosophy thread was recognized but my attempt at subtle sarcasm failed.

I considered the response a tad flippant and somewhat insensitive under the circumstances.  

I had a friend die from cancer a few days ago who requested she be removed from oxygen as she was ready to die.  I doubt I would have appreciated it if someone would have came up to me and said, don't feel bad, she is just toe nail clippings now.

The issue in Florida is not an easy one as issues of life and death generally are not.
My fear is a we are on a slippery slope and I may not know where we need to anchor on the side of the hill, but I don't want to be at the bottom of the hill.

Brad
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43 posted 04-19-2005 08:29 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

There is proof. Potassium depletion.

I don't understand why you reject that.

Strangulation does not cause that. Denise, I am still your friend, no matter what, but you have to state the fact, not pretend you know them.
Brad
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44 posted 04-19-2005 05:38 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Tim, are you talking to me?

Don't confuse a reaction that you didn't want with a lack of understanding. I know you're tricks at least as well as you know mine.



At any rate, it's probably best not to attempt sarcasm when grieving over a friend.

Or when you don't understand or refuse to understand the intent of a metaphor.
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45 posted 04-19-2005 08:03 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I get depleted of potassium very easily myself, Brad, even almost passed out once, and bulimia has nothing to do with it. It proves nothing but that she had a low potassium level.

She also did not have a heart attack, secondary to bulimia, according to the E.R. discharge report. Her enzyme levels were normal and there was no damage at all to the heart muscle.

She also had a stiff rigid neck according to the E.R. discharge report, consistent with strangulation (only discovered by her parents in 2002 when their attorney obtained a few medical documents during Discovery, over Michael Schiavo's protestations).

The police report had recommended that the case be sent to the homicide division for further investigation as a possible attempted homicide, but it never made it to the homicide division, and nobody knows why it didn't. Maybe Michael's friend Sheriff Rice intervened. But neither one is talking, so maybe we'll never know for sure.

She also had 17 bone fractures, some quite serious, including a broken femur and back, in various stages of healing, prompting the physician to notate that she had a history of severe trauma, but only discovered at the time of her admission to a nursing facility about 50 weeks after the incident when the admitting physician ordered a full body scan, and who was incredulous that one had never been ordered or requested prior to that in light of the fact that she gave evidence of pain during therapy (again, only discovered by her parents in 2002 during Discovery).

In light of these facts there should have been an investigation a long time ago. Maybe someday there will be.
Ron
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46 posted 04-19-2005 09:45 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
So are you saying that liberals generally see the elderly, sick and disabled as toenail clippings, less than worthy of the protection of the right to life, which is really only reserved to the able-bodied, able-minded and criminals?

I don't speak for anyone but myself, Denise, and I certainly would never try to speak for a group so nebulously defined. This issue, like most important issues, shouldn't be an "us agin them" thing. People who want to root and boo on that basis should get themselves a sports team and stay out of politics.

We weren't talking about the elderly, sick or disabled, so no, I wasn't comparing them to toenail clippings. We were talking about Terri Schiavo, who was neither elderly, nor sick, nor disabled, and as Tim rightly reminded me, my toenail clipping remark was inappropriate to the situation. It was also poorly conceived, since the remains of the living correlate badly to the remains of the dead.

So let me try again, Denise, to answer your question.

I believe Terri was afforded a different standard of legal protection than criminals for the same reason we don't (generally) put criminals in a box and bury them. I haven't heard anyone complain about Terri's treatment since she stopped breathing (even though an autopsy seems far more callous to me than removing a feeding tube). Does anyone really think the ability to breath is the sole criteria for life?

I will certainly agree that we need to be VERY careful in establishing the point at which hope is abandoned. Nonetheless, that point must be established. Science and technology have long since blurred the boundaries of death beyond easy recognition, and while I find myself very uncomfortable with the directions being explored (I actually trust doctors less than I trust lawyers and politicians), there is no possible way we can just close our eyes and return to simpler times. Decisions must be made.

Personally, I think the Terri Schiavo case was less about life and death than it was about the responsibility of making those decisions. Who is to take responsibility for another when responsibility MUST be taken? The courts decided, rightly I believe, that a freely chosen spouse supercedes the vagaries of a few shared strands of DNA. Blood may be thicker than water, but marriage vows -- if they are to mean anything at all -- must be thicker still.

Everything else, in my opinion, is wholly and completely irrelevant. The allegations and suppositions are confetti thrown to obscure and shroud the only thing that really matters. You don't have to believe Terri's husband deserved to speak for her. You don't have to believe he acted honorably and in her best interests.

Terri believed those things, and that should be enough.

quote:
I had a friend die from cancer a few days ago who requested she be removed from oxygen as she was ready to die.  I doubt I would have appreciated it if someone would have came up to me and said, don't feel bad, she is just toe nail clippings now.

You're absolutely right, Tim. That Denise uses inaccurate and inappropriate nouns to describe Terri Schiavo is a poor excuse for me to push the scale in the other direction. You have my apologies and my condolences.

Ron
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47 posted 04-19-2005 09:57 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

p.s. I already deleted several comments that were directed at posters instead of at posts. Those not wise enough to recognize the difference should probably remain silent voluntarily, lest their silence become involuntary. I'm growing very tired of people who take these things both too seriously and too personally. Play nice, or play somewhere else.
Cloud 9
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48 posted 04-20-2005 01:47 PM       View Profile for Cloud 9   Email Cloud 9   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cloud 9

Ladies and Gentlemen hold on to your seats!!!!

I just poked in here and read all of these responses. Ron......

You have made valid points.
Denise
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49 posted 04-20-2005 08:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron,

There is no evidence that Terri, under the circumstances of her husband having moved on with his life with another woman and children, would have wanted her husband to continue speaking for her. He violated those marriage vows himself going back to at least 1992 with the first romantic relationship he had after Terri's incident. Understandable, perhaps, but he did violate his marriage vows. Why should he then retain any of the privileges of those vows, or any of the authority that those marriage vows may have granted?

There is evidence based on her religious beliefs, and based on comments to friends, that she did not take to herself the right to end her own life, under any circumstances, nor would she, by extension, grant that right to another. She disagreed vehemently with Karen Ann Quinlin's parent's decision in removing her from the respirator.

In refusing advanced medical technology when one is terminal, yes, I agree, decisions must be made, and it is legitimate in such cases, as with Tim's friend, when considering whether or not to extend the dying or to allow nature to take its course. I believe it is a highly personal decision though, and not one that should be mandated by society or law. That is an entirely different topic than withholding food and water from someone who is not in a terminal condition.

Advances in medical technology are not relevent to Terri's situation because she was not taking advantage of any advanced medical technology. Feeding tubes have been around for over a hundred years, at least.

I also believe that there was enough evidence and testimony and sworn affidavits over the years (from family, friends, doctors and nurses) to, if not convince the most resolute skeptic, at least produce a vast amount of reasonable doubt, regarding the husband's assertion that she was nothing more than a 'houseplant'. She made attempts at communicating verbally. She opened her eyes on command. She always smiled when her mother spoke to her. She swayed her head back and forth to the music that she liked, and frowned at the music that she didn't care for. She followed people and objects with her eyes. In her earlier days at the two previous nursing homes where she resided, before she was moved to the hospice five years ago (an illegal act since she wasn't terminal with less than six months to live) and where her husband issued the order that she could never be taken from her room, she would sit with the nurses at the nurses station and say "Hi" to the people coming and going. She was also able to say 'yeah' and 'no' and 'pain', back when she was still receiving speech therapy. I would classify her as mentally disabled, and don't think I am misusing the term.

Why does 'responsibility' have to be taken about life and death decisions when one is not terminal, and when there is evidence that someone is not merely an empty shell of a human being, who just happens to be able to breathe?

In this case, for it to have been legitmate for the judge to order the removal of her feeding tube, he had to find, in the affirmative, two things, and two things only:

1. Under Florida Law, was she PVS and
2. In the absence of a written directive, could it be established, by clear and convincing evidence, that she wished to have the feeding tube removed.

The judge erred in his findings of fact since she did not even meet the definition of the PVS diagnosis in the Florida Statute, and he accepted hearsay evidence, by the husband and two of his relatives, and discounted the testimony to the contrary by several others. And I have no doubt that a de novo hearing would have found that he erred.

But that is even beside the point because his final decree did not authorize the removal of an artifical feeding tube (remember, one leg of this case was that he found that Terri wouldn't wish to have anything 'artificial') but instead ordered the withholding of any and all nutrition and hydration, by any means, even by natural means (and she could swallow, even if only minimally, and numerous doctors stated that if she had been allowed to have therapy over the past twelve years she wouldn't even have needed a feeding tube). And he increased her suffering when she was dying by even forbidding the minimal hospice comfort care of a wet sponge for her mouth and lips.

I can find no justification for his orders, legally or morally, and I can't see his actions as anything other than criminal. And I can't see his order, or the mounds of evidence of perjury, corruption and collusion as irrelevent.

And I can't help but take this seriously and personally. I don't think it's possible to take something like this too seriously or personally. I can't see how one cannot when they investigate all the circumstances. But I'll play nice.

And I agree, this shouldn't be an 'us vs. them' argument. That's not profitable.

And I distrust the medical profession SO MUCH that I refuse to register as an organ donor.



 
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