A Reply to a Chessmaster
I'm replying to a post on the palm tree pundit. I've paraphrased the content of each point.
1. There is doubt about TS's condition.
- Fact: the diagnosis is PVS. Much as you'd like for this inconvenient fact to go away, it will not. If things were different, then things would be different. Unfortunately for TS, this is not the case.
2. God wants TS to be alive.
- Think about 50 years ago: she would have died of her injuries. Her life is being kept going by man, not by god. If god wanted things differently, he would not have created such things are cardiac arrests, or given neurons the ability to regrow.
Note the early introduction of religiosity. Religiosity is the underpinning of all the arguments here. Faith is fine - but yet another thing that appalls me about this case is trying to take one's own personal faith and using it to control the life and death of another person.
3. This debate is ONLY about TS, and the people like her... Her husband - ad hominum attacks follows, which is ugly and not worth reading.
- You and yours are using TS to advance a religious agenda. And shame on you. No-one in their right mind can look at this and not believe that TS is the poser girl for the right to life movement in the
4. TS really does have dignity.
- Terri shits on herself. She also urinates on herself. I would choose to die rather than suffer this, however, I would agree that she presently has dignity within the confines of her room. A hospice that can keep her alive without a functional brain will keep her as dignified as possible. However, there is another however. By using her as the poster girl for the right to life movement, by showing us her vacant stare, and some of the rudimentary motions she makes, I would argue that the right to 'life' are robbing her of some dignity. Lucky for her, she has no content to her consciousness, so she does not suffer from anything, and, in fact, is unaware of the events she has generated.
5. You are saying TS is not a person. The use of 'creature' is questioned.
- We all agree she is a person. Why stoop to this straw man? Because you have to?
6. Resuscitation is different from feeding! Starving is cruel.
- Both resuscitation and tube feeding are artificial means to keep the body alive. Sometimes they are useful, other times they are medically futile.
7. TS does not have a legal living will, thus we should keep her alive.
- I myself have not signed a piece of paper, yet my wife knows if I am ever in the situation TS is - I would prefer no food and no water. This is my choice. I would not make it for anyone else. And I would respect those who would choose otherwise, and I have. Can you say the same? You are trying to control another person's choices, and this devalues her.
Note that the fact of the matter is that her husband states she would not have wanted to survive 15 years in PVS. Another fact of the case that some ignore.
8. TS is not getting good care. Like physical therapy. She also got skin ulcers.
- PT is not indicated for PVS. It will not make her better. She will not get better. A neurostimulater has been tried to make her better. It failed, yet you think that moving her feet around will magically give her the ability to move and talk?
The fact that she has survived 15 years is nothing short of amazing. Mr. Reeves had the best care that over one million dollars a year could buy, yet he died of a decub.
9. TS is not a vegetable, which is a loaded term.
- She is not literally a vegetable, but both share a few characteristics. Both are unable to move on volition. Neither have a conscious experience of the world. Both have cells which are alive and support functional tissues (unfortunately in TS case, her brain tissue is not at all functional). Both fight off rot. However, I agree it is a loaded term.
10. Death from starvation lacks dignity. This is followed by vivid descriptions that are written by someone who has obviously never stepped foot into a hospice. It does sound like many ERs I've visited: seizures, nosebleeds, vomiting. No ER is complete without a few drunken patients, but they are excluded, so my analogy is not quite apt.
- You have no idea what you're talking about. She would die a peaceful death. All people with end stage diseases die, many times of the salt imbalances caused by lack of ability to take liquids. Let me assure you that in the proper hands it is very peaceful.
11. Again, more guessing about TS's condition.
You should learn what PVS is. Go to pubmed and pull a review article from a respected journal with a peer review. The right wing masses would like you to forget that TS has PVS. They hate this term as it is applied to her. Yet the facts of the case are clear. Her doctors believe she has PVS. In every hearing this is consistent. They right wingers hammer away at this point because it contains enough information in three letters that makes all their efforts futile: PVS. She is in a Persistent (not going to get better) Vegetative (see above under the produce discussion) State (this is her).