Monday, March 21, 2005

"Remove Life Support!" Says George W. Bush

Digby:

By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient's family's wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother's wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday


Mark A. R. Kleinman gives the details:

Sun Hudson, a six-month-old boy with a fatal congenital disease, died Thursday after a Texas hospital, over his mother's objections, withdrew his feeding tube. The child was apparently certain to die, but was conscious. The hospital simply decided that it had better things to do than keeping the child alive, and the Texas courts upheld that decision after the penniless mother failed, during the 10-day window provided for by Texas law, to find another institution willing to take the child .

Where, I would ask, is the outrage? In particular, where is the outrage from those like Tom DeLay, who referred to the withdrawal of Terry Schiavo's life support as "murder"? If it's appropriate to Federalize the Schiavo case, what about the people being terminated simply because their cases are hopeless and their bank accounts empty?

Sun Hudson is dead, but 68-year-old Spiro Nikolouzos is still alive, thanks to an emergency appeals court order issued yesterday. However, his life support could be cut off at any moment. A nursing home is willing to take him if his family can show that he will be covered by Medicaid after his Medicare runs out. Otherwise, the hospital gets to pull the plug.


Mr. Kleinman has more on this and his analysis on his page.

Where was the very concerned pro-life movement when G.W. Bush passed this law?

Where was the pro-life movement when this conscious 6 month old's life support was removed just this last week?

There has been enough disingenuous behavior as it is, IMHO.

I have mentioned previously that the situation is sad enough as it is and to make a public spectacle of what should be a private moment for family is unbelievable. We do know for a fact that the RNC has sent talking points out and called this a great political opportunity. The Florida Bishops on Feb. 15, 2005 have already made it clear that the subject threshold of burden lies solely with Michael Schaivo.

More recently Bishop Lynch has said:

Statement of Bishop Robert N. Lynch

The bishops of Florida have once again addressed the issue of the withdrawal of the artificial feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. As in the past, I join them in addressing this complex and tragic situation. As the local bishop and pastor for all the family parties involved, I would like to add the following. At the end of the day (the judicial, legislative days) the decision to remove Terri’s artificial feeding tube will be that of her husband, Michael. It is he who will give the order, not the courts or certainly the governor or legislature or the medical personnel surrounding and caring for Terri. In other words, as I have said from the beginning of this sad situation, the decision will be made within a family. A significant part of that family feels they are outside of the decision-making process and they are in great pain and suffering mightily.

I urge and pray that before the finality, one last effort be made for mediation. Normally, at the end of life, families of the person in extremis agree that it is time to allow the Lord to call a loved one to Himself, feeling that they have done all they possibly might to provide alternatives to death, every possible treatment protocol which might be helpful has been attempted. There is a peace. This will not happen in this instance because of the seeming intractability of both sides. I beg and pray that both sides might step back a little and allow some mediation in these final hours. The legacy of Terri’s situation should not be that of those who love her the most, loathing the actions of one another, but of a heroic moment of concern for the feelings of each other, guided by moral and ethical considerations, with a single focus of achieving the best result for Terri. I ask the Catholics of the Diocese of St. Petersburg in the waning days of Lent to pray hard to the “Author of All Life” for Terri and for her family.


Democracy Cell Project has a Blogswarm going on of which I have decided to participate. Tutterfly at DCP has a nice and eloquent post on the issue which I recommend.

This is a sad issue and the last thing we need is a public spectacle to serve political grandstanding needs.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Rick Albertson said...

Ono, I just wanted to let you and your readers know about the latest updates to our Terri Schiavo case coverage at the Democracy Cell Project (the parent source of the call-to-action Schiavo blogswarm story that you were kind enough to mention in your piece, and that has since been picked up on by a number of other progressive blogs as well -- thanks!)

Our frequent blogger Tutterfly, who wrote the original post that first inspired the Schiavo blogswarm story on our site, has just posted a follow-up essay on the case that is very well worth the read. Please drop by the Democracy Cell Project blog and tell us what you think of her remarks: http://www.democracycellproject.net/blog/

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Blogger Xpatriated Texan said...

Thanks for the history of our illustrous President and how he is flip-flopping.

I'll like to you on this and the blogswarm. It's a topic I've covered twice now in the last week.

XT

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