How do you get that, Juju? She had no higher cortical functions.
I worked with folks with IQ's in the high 40's who were certainly frustrating to deal with at times, but many of whom were better people overall that folks with twice their intelligence. There were also some fairly wretched folks among them as well, but on the whole, as people, I found them nicer and kinder than I was. I knew people with I.Q.'s a lot lower than that who were fine. I considered them friends at the time, and if I were to run into any of them today, I'd think of them as friends today.
Handicapped and comatose are two different things.
The logic you are working on here is your own. These are not the connections I have ever made, nor would I make them. No higher cortical functions, Juju, unlike people with low or even very low IQ. People without discernible consciousness, Juju, as opposed to people who can engage in some sort of mutual process of conscious communication. Being hated, for me, is sufficient conscious communication. I designed and implemented a therapy program for a woman once whose sole communication with the world was attempting to kill people she came into contact with. I not only had to sell the program to her, I had to sell the program to the other staff people, who wanted nothing to do with her.
I used to go in to feed people who would try to hurt me when I got close enough to feed them. I worked with people who would occasionally get jaws and noses and arms broken trying to feed people who didn't communicate all that well, but were still conscious. That was fine, Juju. Most of these people clearly wanted to live. Some of them wanted to die, but we were able to quarrel about that in a fairly straightforward way, even those who were "handicapped." Some of them wanted me to help them die, Juju, and I always refused, because I had feelings about that myself. Simply because they wanted to die, didn't mean that I had to help them. There was a person there inside in all those cases, though, and that made the difference to me.
Should you wish to starve any mentally handicapped people to death, I'd be upset with you, and I'd do what I could to stop you.
If there was a person with no higher cortical activity, though, and they'd been that way for many years, I would agree that the court had the right to make a determination. If the case was clear that this is what that person would have wanted, I would go along with it, though I would find the process very difficult, and I don't know that I would be able to be a part of the actual team that carried out those orders. I'd probably be too attached to my fantasies about who that person might be, were they not in a permanent vegetative state. But I'd also be clear that that's what they were ó fantasies.
As I recall, the cause for her injury was heart attack as a consequence of obsessive dieting, wasn't it?
Perhaps you'd like to try to hang that on the husband?
Perhaps you'd be interested in checking out the co-relation of anorexia and incest, and do some thinking about the various possible reasons why the family was trying so hard to go against what the court evidently believed to be Terri's wishes in this matter. Might guilt have been part of this? I certainly don't know, but as a theory it makes as much sense as some of the drivel I've heard spouted about the husband. Incest is apparently much much more common than folks generally believe. And it plays a fairly large part in lots of secondary psychopathologies.
Sincerely yours, Bob Kaven