John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Saturday, March 19, 2005
Hungry Vegetable Soup

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Everyone is talking about poor Terri Shiavo.  Living in Metro Detroit during the heyday of Jack Kervorkian and Geoffrey Feiger's right-to-die activities, I saw some pretty underhanded shit by the so-called moral majority camp.  Kervorkian may be in jail, Feiger may be left to be animated about legal issues on cable news, but at least I got to exercise my electoral right and toss the Oakland County persecutor, Richard Thompson, into the has-been category of politicians.

I'm torn by the Shiavo case.  As a Libertarian, I don't want you or the government telling me how to kill myself, when to kill myself, or praying about why I feel like doing it.  At the same time, I know there are people like Scott Peterson running around our spinning ball of mud who think killing their spouse is a better option than coughing up half their cash in a divorce.  Whether or not this poor woman's husband falls into that category of sociopaths is not something I can answer.

If you think a Living Will will magically solve this Shiavo conundrum, think again.  I asked my mother to make her wishes known in a Living Will.  I spent hours going through the matrix of medical scenarios and actions to be taken on the Living Will with her.

Even though she expressed her wishes to have all life saving methods be used (She even said, "I don't care if they break all my ribs giving me CPR, do it, the ribs can heal"), signed the form, and it was even notarized -- some months later her doctor pulled her off all pain medication one day.  He allowed her to suffer and then asked her if she wanted to end the pain, and if so, sign here -- with a fucking X -- reversing her wishes on her Living Will, under obvious duress.

I got a voicemail message from the attending physician about it.  Even though I rushed down to the hospital to dispute the situation with the staff -- Living Will in hand -- she died.  If you think politicians are slimy ass-covering trolls, try dealing with the healthcare industry in Florida.  The only reason Shiavo is still alive to be argued over is because of a multi-million dollar lawsuit and some headline-grabbing, vote-hungry politicians eating this shit up like free hot wings at Hooters.

[Headphones] :: Democrusader - JfZ   NEW

Posted at 01:59 pm by John Furie Zacharias

March 19, 2005   09:09 PM PST
I would probably be a bit sophomoric of me to even really say anything, but I all I can say with confidence is that son of a bitch should have called you. How many more Floridians have trusted this man with their lives?
March 20, 2005   01:59 PM PST
The thing about your mom- I'm really sorry :( people suck. There's a reason I keep saying that.

About Shiavo.... I was an RN for several years. And I believe in God. So. My basic theory is that if you can't sustain life by yourself, and it's not a temporary emergency situation (like Terry) I really think you should die.

Do you believe your mother would have wanted to live the life Terry is? Would you want to be her? I am positive I don't ever want to live like that.

I believe her parents are being totally selfish and don't want their child to die and don't mind letting her suffer for unknown years just to keep her "alive."

I also think it's wrong to kill yourself. (and to assist suicides)

Taking away a feeding tube isn't killing her. Feeding her is FORCING her to live beyond what her body is capable of sustaining by itself.

And I don't think death is such a bad thing. Living in misery is worse, and who knows what living in altered mental states is like? The question, if it could be asked, is whether or not Terry wants this to continue.

I dunno all the details, but that's what I think and where I'm coming from.
March 20, 2005   02:02 PM PST
"Keeping people alive" ain't so grand, as far as I'm concerned. It's more about quality of life to me, not quantity.
March 21, 2005   03:12 PM PST
I agree with Curiously on many points. The right to live or die is a very sensitive issue for me since my mother had expressly designated that she didn't want any extreme life saving measures taken and instead they allowed her to suffer an excrutiating death for weeks until they finally had the mercy to put her in a drug induced coma.

I have taken all measures to make sure medical professionals KNOW I have a DNR -- even thinking about tatooing it in an obviously place should I get ill enough.

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom and I'm right with you on dealing with medical professionals. The medical professionals killed my mother. Unfortunately, they weren't quick about it or merciful and left her no dignity. It's amazing that I'm not perched on the top of the hospital with an AK47!

With this case I'm disgusted by the fact that the government would get involved in what is clearly a family matter and excuse me -- but doesn't her husband have the right to say what happens to her? I think I've said enough. Sorry for rambling on my very first time visiting.

Very thought provoking stuff.

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