Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 36882
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2020/07/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2005/3/25-26 [Politics/Domestic/Abortion, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:36882 Activity:kinda low
3/25    Why is it that the pro-life crowd is so worked up over the
        Schivao case, but can't be bothered with what happened in
        Texas because of a law signed by Mr Pro Life himself, Bush
        Jr?  Despite the pleas of his mother, a hospital pulled the
        plug on a six month old boy because they were unable to pay
        for treatment, a move made possible by the law Bush signed
        while governor of Texas.
        \_ Because they're hypocrites.  Yes, it's that simple.
        \_ Those so-called pro-life people should concentrate their energy on
           children in this world who are really dying from hunger, rather
           on one individual who has less than 1% chance of recovery.
              \- add "malaria, cholera, TB". Amen. --psb
                      \_ Malaria would be largely solved if we simply used DDT
                         in developing nations.
                         \- Fair enough. Significant progress can be made on
                            each of the above for modest policy reforms and
                            financial outlays. In contrast to AIDS, which
                            appears to be a hard problem. --psb
           \_ Sheesh.  You all know, just like the ACLU, they're
              really interested in precedent.
           \_ I guess technically "less than 1%" is correct. The correct
              number is 0. Large parts of her cortex are gone.
              \_ Eh, even so, it's not quite 0.  People have gotten along
                 with very low percentages of their brains.  There are a
                 few recorded "miracle" cases.
                 \_ And yet, with Bush's plan for Medicaid, more people
                    will be denied life support based on a corporate profit
                    assessment, instead of a medical one.  Life is important,
                    but the dollar is fucking *sacred*!
              \_ I work with medical images all the time, and I have seen no
                 serious proof of this.  Certainly not lately.  Furthremore,
                 the more I work with doctors, the more I distrust them.  They
                 can be sloppy and capricious when lives other than their own
                 are one the line. -emarkp
                    Some commentary on the medical issues, and a link to
                    another site that has actual cat scans. There are large
                    portions of her head filled with fluid where her brain
                    used to be. It isn't a question of interpretation.
                    \_ Not very useful.  It's just a reassertion.  A CT (CAT)
                       scan is almost unusable for distinguishing structure in
                       the brain.  An MRI is far far better.  Furthermore, the
                       one tiny CT image I've seen is from years ago, and we
                       don't actually know the state of her brain today.
                       \_ Clearly you did not read anything from that link,
                          since it addresses precisely the red herrings that
                          you are spouting.
                          \_ No, it doesn't.  It simply reasserts that the
                             cerebral cortex is gone.  I disagree with that
                             assertion (that is, I haven't seen enough evidence
                             to conclude the same thing).  How much time have
                             you spent looking at medical images of the brain?
                             \_ OK Dr. Ping, what is the alternative
                                explanation for what appears to be a large
                                fluid-filled area where her cerebral cortex
                                used to be?
                                \_ Without seeing the entire data set, I can't
                                   answer that.  The single small grainy image
                                   I've seen isn't enough determine the
                                   condition of the entire cerebral cortex.
                                   I've worked with enough doctors that I don't
                                   trust one analysis when others have
                                   disagreed.  Oh, and sign your name. -emarkp
                                   \_ Hey guys, I think emarkp's point is that
                                      not all of the cerebral cortex may be
                                      gone, and what's left may be sufficient
                                      to qualify as "life", especially if the
                                      leftover brain takes on a heavy load.
                                      \_ If that's his point, he should say so.
                                         So far all he's provided is red
                                         herrings that avoid the central point.
                                   \_ You failed to answer the question or
                                      provide any useful insight. Oh, and fuck
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took my breath away today: I have also noticed that two values that BushCo likes to fling around ar e "life" and "freedom", but I have also noticed that the two are opposi te values in their rhetoric. They are pretty consistent in this viewpoint, and if they evoke freed om, you can be sure they are covering up for someone's death, and if th ey evoke "life", you can be sure they are trying to take away your free doms. National Review article condemning the medical handling of Schi avo's case. Cranford's reply addresses the quest ions about additional scan techniques: An MRI was never recommended because, in this case and other patients in a permanent vegetative state, the CT scans were more than adequate to demonstrate the extremely severe atrophy of the cerebral hemispheres, a nd an MRI would add nothing of significance to what we see on the CT sc ans. Plus the MRI is contraindicated because of the intrathalamic stimu lators implanted in Terri's brain. A PET scan was never done in this ca se because it was never needed. The classic clinical signs on examinati on, the CT scans, and the flat EEG's were more than adequate to diagnos e PVS to the highest degree of medical certainty. Cranford's complete Terri Schiavo report," but it's obviously a summary article, not a medical report). He discusses the series of CAT scans taken between 1990 and 2 002 (not just the 1996 one which has been widely reproduced on the net), the EEG evidence over the same time period, and Schiavo's clinical reco rds from her attending physicians - correcting the widespread misapprehe nsion that Schiavo's neurological condition has not been re-evaluated si nce the 1998 trial. The article also provides this searing dismissal of the parents' "experts" who testified that there were treatments which co uld restore Terri Schiavo's brain function: The following is a sample of the completely fallacious opinions rendered about Terris medical condition by Drs. Twelv e years after an hypoxic-ischemic insult, and serial CT scans showing e xtremely severe atrophy of the cerebral hemispheres, both doctors said there was a chance for recovery, with the potential for response to t reatment. He f urther stated that the most recent CT scan shows improvement. They ga ve no published data to support their opinions on their proposed treatm ents of HBO and vasodilator therapy but instead presented an infomercia l style approach of anecdotal cases of dramatic responses to their ther apies. There are no credible articles in the peer-reviewed medical lite rature on HBO or vasodilator therapies as effective treatment for patie nts with chronic brain damage. The articles on the internet on vasodila tor therapy, including those by Dr. Hammesfahr, are extremely poorly wr itten, and only a cursory examination of these articles would tell any medical professional that they could not have possibly been peer-review ed. "Abnormal brain dissolves, so what's left is normal, functioning brain." If this is the best the Schindlers' experts could do, it's no wond er the trial and appeals courts have found so consistently for Michael S chiavo. Among the expected due process claims was the argument that Sch iavo's rights to the free exercise of religion were being trampled: Gibbs said that "fairly dramatic developments," including a statement by Pope John Paul II that removing a feeding tube would be a sin except i n rare instances, are proof that Schiavo's constitutional rights to fre ely practice her religion are being infringed upon. Ann Althouse paraphrases the argument succinctly: The federal religion claims assume that she must now want what the doctr ine of the Catholic church requires, because, when she was able to thin k about such things, she was a Catholic. The Schindler family is arguing that, regardless of what has been determi ned in court about Terri Schiavo's actual wishes, the courts should be r equired to place a higher weight on what the Catholic Church wants her t o have wished. If the Appellate Court agrees with them, it sets up an en ormously disturbing precedent in which religious doctrine is presumed to trump individual conscience. Hundreds of thousands of US Catholics have Living Wills - would they be rendered legally invalid if they include provisions to refuse artificia l nutrition? It's hard to imagine anyth ing so theocratic happening in the United States, and yet the argument i s being made, in federal court, that the Vatican's opinions should be al lowed to intrude upon personal family decisions. Needless to say, the proposition that "she must now want what the doctrin e of the Catholic church requires" is entirely specious. The last link is to a rec ent ABC news poll which found that 63% of American Catholics supported r emoving the feeding tube. So much for the Schindler's argument that, bec ause Schiavo is Catholic, the court is required to determine that her wi shes are identical to the Pope's. ") are being thrown around a lot in the Schiavo case, I wanted to write about where I see the differences. What is at issue in the Terri Schiavo case is not whether it is legitimat e to kill her or actively promote her death (for example, by an overdose of morphine), but whether it is legitimate to refuse medical treatment intended to prolong her life. No one has the responsibility to submit to everything that medical scienc e could potentially do to prolong life. As individuals who own and have sovereignty over our bodies, we have a fundamental right to bodily integ rity. No one has the right to invade our bodies without our consent, eve n if their purpose is apparently benign. If we are competent adults, we have the right to refuse medical treatment at any stage of an illness. T hat might mean opting out of a second round of chemotherapy after a firs t round of cancer treatments has failed, preferring to focus on preservi ng quality of life for the time we have left. It might mean deciding to die of a terminal illness at home, even if hospitalization could add a f ew extra hours or days. It might mean requesting aggressive pain managem ent, knowing that it might depress respiration and shorten our lives. We have the right to say "enough," and let the natural dying process take its course. We have the right to have the integrity of our bodies unviol ated by unwanted medical treatment - just as we have the right to insist on aggressive efforts for life extension. And when we are no longer able to exercise that right ourselves, we have the right to designate our closest others to do so on our behalf. To define the exercise of that right as "killing" is to pervert the end o f life unimaginably. My grandfather died at home at the age of ninety, a fter a slow decline from Alzheimer's disease. He died in his own familia r bed, surrounded by people who loved him. If it is "killing" to refus e life-preserving medical treatment, then my grandmother murdered my gra ndfather when she failed to call the paramedics. The others present at h is death were accessories to murder. But who would have benefited had my grandfather been forced to squeeze out a few extra days in an intensive care unit, on a respirator, confused and disoriented? In what way would that have furthered a culture of life? To allow that natural process to take its course is profoundly different than hastening it along. Ask ing others to refrain from interfering with nature is profoundly differe nt from asking them to make, or be complicit in, the decision that natur e is not progressing quickly enough - as in euthanasia or physician-assi sted suicide. Euthanasia asks the physician to play God, to decide wheth er another person's life is sufficiently without value that it should be actively terminated. The cessation of life support asks the physician t o stop playing God, to refrain from intervening further in a disease pro cess which has its natural terminus in death. Terri Schiavo is under no moral or legal obligation to stay alive at what ever the cost to her bodily integrity, in order to assuage our fears of death or nuture her parents' unrealistic hopes of a miraculous recovery. A court has determined, based on the tes...