Should life or death be prolonged in extreme cases?

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Should life or death be prolonged in extreme cases?

Post by admin » Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:22 am

[quote]On Sunday, Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, the Republican congressional leaders, convened an emergency meeting of Congress to pass a bill that that interferes with the Terri Schiavo tragedy. And although in five years no other issue has prompted President Bush to return to Washington during a vacation—including the tsunami—Bush flew back from his ranch in Texas to sign it.[1]

Bush, Frist, and DeLay claim that they're acting out of concern for Ms. Schiavo. But a memo intended only for Republican Senators—uncovered by ABC News—reveals Republicans' true concern: "The pro-life base will be excited...this is a great political issue...this is a tough issue for Democrats."[2] This story also takes the heat off Tom DeLay, who is facing a number of serious ethics charges and legal scandals.[3]

Americans can have different personal opinions about what should happen
to Terri Schiavo—life is precious, and this case raises some important ethical questions. But we can all agree that that's what the courts are for: to make the call in difficult circumstances. That's why Congress' interference is such an ugly and shameful incident of political grandstanding. There's no legislative purpose here, just a blatant attempt to play politics with someone's life.[/quote]

Would you care to discuss the spiritual or religious issues in this or similar cases? I deliberately place this in the "Spirituality and Religion" section, because I sense that it should be a matter of Law and Ethics, and not an issue that can be trusted to the Executive and Legislative branches, which are more concerned with partisan politics.

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:28 am

Well Guy, they sure are playing politics with such a complex issue.

Myself, I wish that I knew the right way to comment on that one. I am playing the husband who is been living and supporting his wife in this condition for a while now. Then, on the other side, letting someone die from hunger, I don't know???

I know that a lot of Pro-life advocates are going to compare it with the Abortion issue. Personally, I don't think that both have any similarity whatsoever. I may be wrong. But, I am thinking, I wouldn't want to live that way with no chance of improving. Which can be another debate on pro vs con suicide or terminal illness etc.

Well, I can almost read Gelin's mind on that issue. If you love someone, can you watch him or her suffering? Again, for a non-believer like myself, I am very afraid of diying. Cause, I know there is no other life. - What about you Gel? You believe in the Afterlife, why are the believers so afr
aid to die? Or why the so-called believers are dropping bombs on their enemies or shooting them? Do they want them to go to Paradise first or is it something else???

I worry very much about death. Even though a co-worker used to say: "Don't worry about life, cause nobody gets out alive anyway". It's the final destination for some, except the Believers...

The question is who is right in that Florida case? Florida again???


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Post by Jonas » Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:34 am

Why are people who profess to believe in an "after life", seem so afraid of dying?

For example, the Pope travesl with the most elaborate security. He is also accompanied with one of the most modern mobile clinics.

Is there some doubt in the Pope's mind that just maybe after life it's the deep sleep without dreams?

I chose the Pope as an example, but I could make the same speculations for the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of this world.

In the Schiavo case, what disturbs me is the way they are trying to bring closure. Starvation is one of the most atrocious ways to die. What if the portion of the brain that controls pain is still functioning somehow, some way?

I don't think there is any simple answer, in this case.


Post by T-dodo » Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:19 pm


I am with you on this one. I don't know which group is right and which is not. I am always against injustice. But, I cannot say in this case that there is an injustice being committed against Teri Schiavo. In her place, I would want to go. That is not a life. I believe in living life to the fullest.

From an ethical standpoint, I can understand the worry of some that any precedent by her case can be used in the future to commit injustice. But her case was so public and survived all the legal processes availble in the US that I have problems believing that the parents and their supporters are claiming lack of due process.

The part that ticked me off the most is the hypocrisy of those radicals on the religious right. There are thousands of children and people suffering and dying around the world because of hunger, malnutrition, diseases, abuses of power by government, economic greed by the so-called more meritorious, or
just plain economic disparities between rich and poor or whites and non-whites, etc. Yet, I don't see them going into a crusade to save these people, or try to alleviate their suffering, or lift any finger at all to help them, all of that because those people are considered minorities and many other lesser categories of people. How do those religious rights justify these contradictions in their behaviors is beyond my intelligence to understand.

Where are the Republicans who think it is wasted money when you spend it on the poor to help them getting out of poverty, yet they go out of their way to pay for medical care with no chance of improvement, as far as scientists told us? In the end, which group is right or worng in the Sciavo's case? M bwè pa! But, some of the actions in this case are purely political.


Post by Gelin_ » Mon Mar 28, 2005 2:31 pm

[quote]...Well, I can <U>almost</U> read Gelin's mind on that issue.[/quote]
leonel, you are right about one thing....the word almost. You can't read my mind on this issue because myself I don't know what to think of it. It's really tragic to see somebody's life either remaining that way until death or just fading away because of starvation and thirst. I have no opinion about it except to say that it's tragic and painful for everyone involved.

[quote]I am very afraid of diying. Cause, I know there is no other life. - What about you Gel? You believe in the Afterlife, why are the believers so afraid to die?[/quote]
All of us can be afraid of dying or we can also show unbelievable courage in the face of death. It depends on how death itself is approaching us, on how the angel of death is making his move on us. Oftentimes the circumstances or cause of death play a r
ole in how we respond. Believers are humans, simply humans who happen to believe</B> in something. That faith does not change them into superhumans or angels.

[quote]I worry very much about death.[/quote]
Well, don't worry about it because it will surely come and there is very little you (we) can do about it. Death comes for the good, for the bad, for the unbelievers, for the believers, for the criminal as well as the victim. Just a matter of timing...! leonel, if you have to worry about something, worry about life because that's all you have. Let death worry about you because it will have you one day.....a scary thought, isn't it?



Post by Gelin_ » Mon Mar 28, 2005 2:35 pm

[quote]...What if the portion of the brain that controls pain is still functioning somehow, some way?[/quote]
I just heard in the news that they were going to give her some morphin to help with the (possible) pain of organ collapse. I don't know if it's true or correct. Yes, morphin to help with the pain of death by starvation and thirst.


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Terri's Final Irony

Post by admin » Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:54 am

[quote]Terri's Final Irony
By Jane Fleming, AlterNet
Posted on April 5, 2005, Printed on April 5, 2005

Why is it ironic that Terri died of starvation? Because the reason she had a heart attack, which resulted in her 15-year life and death struggle, was her life and death struggle with an eating disorder.

The saddest part is Terri is not alone, one in 10 people who struggle with anorexia will die because of starvation, cardiac arrest or other complications, yet Republican leadership continues to block legislation to ensure full and equitable access to mental health treatment.

If you watch TV or skim the papers, you would think the reason Terri was on life support for over a decade is because of some rare genetic disorder that did not have a cure. When I tell people it was because of an
eating disorder, they are shocked.

Years ago, if Terri received the right treatment and recovery plan, she would be living a healthy life. Many people with eating disorders who get early and effective treatment fully recover within eight years--I did.

It was not because my insurance plan or a government sponsored health program helped me or my family with the costs associated with treating my eating disorder--it was mostly out of pocket and cost my family over $50,000. Not a bill many families can afford, not to mention how hard it is to admit their loved one struggles with eating and everything that comes along with a mental illness.

It is ironic Terri died of starvation--but you know what is worse, Republicans who disingenuously stood up for her life are the very ones who have blocked legislation that would have granted access to treatment of her eating disorder and not only to Terri but to millions of women and men who suffer from anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder.

p. Hastert, who is speaker of the House and who decides what bills come to the floor for a vote, has blocked the bi-partisan Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act year after year from coming to the floor for a vote. The bill even specifically mentions the treatment of eating disorders. According to Hastert, passing this bill would cost the taxpayers and insurance companies too much money. The government and many independent studies have cited otherwise. It is the untreated mental illness that costs us--financially it is estimated at about $113 billion annually, emotionally it is the look of individuals like Terri every day who never received the right care. This is not about taxpayers for Rep. Hastert and other Republican leaders. It is about winning a political battle. But guess what? People who struggle with mental illness are not a political battle to win or lose--we are human beings who deserve the right and access to affordable and effective treatment.

I hope, as a person who ha
s recovered from an eating disorder, that we now force Rep. Hastert and Sen. Frist to bring the Mental Health Parity Bill to the floor of the Senate and the House for a vote so millions of Terris can get early access to the mental health treatment they need.

Recovery is possible, but it can't be done on will or God's love alone--early and effective medical and mental health treatment is necessary for a full recovery. Stop the irony, stop using Terri has a poster child for claims on morality and start saving millions of lives who need access to medical and mental health treatment to live their life fully and with integrity.

© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:[/quote]

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