Praying the Post
Friday, March 25, 2005
From a Post article covering the Terri Schiavo case:
The Schindlers had been hoping that Jeb Bush could save their daughter by presenting an affidavit from William P. Cheshire, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., who says Schiavo may be in a "minimally conscious," rather than "vegetative," state, as court-appointed doctors believe.One of these paragraphs is not like the others. Can you tell which one?
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
A child of Singer
The Washington Post ran a letter to the editor today from a Wisconsin neurologist, who makes several claims.
PVS, or "cortical death," is the irreversible loss of the part of the brain controlling judgment and insight. Once cortical death occurs, personhood as we know it is gone.On this view, there is no such thing as "a person in a persistent vegetative state," since personhood and PVS are incompatible.
• Withdrawing a feeding tube causes dehydration, not starvation. A feeding tube is artificial life support; there is no enjoyment of food. Drugs such as morphine can help keep the victim comfortable and peaceful during the dying process.So let's tone down the rhetoric, Bishop Wenski; Terri Schiavo is not "starving to death." She will die long before that happens. And she does not enjoy food, which means all those right-to-life arguments based on how much she enjoys food are unsound. Furthermore, she can be put on artificial death support, if the assurances of well-fed doctors that death by
And think of all the money we'll save once that "life" terminates!
The letter was written to "help clarify the issues." I think it is extraordinarily successful in doing just that. The writer makes clear that, within the American medical community, it is acceptable to regard PVS patients as non-persons who should die for the good of others.