Friday, March 18, 2005
Thirty Pieces of Silver
Has anyone thought to offer Michael Schiavo thirty pieces of silver? Maybe that’s what he’s holding out for.
(I’ve got a few silver dollars I could donate toward the collection. Old dimes and quarters will do, too. Anybody up for it? There's an email address on the Essays page.)
I am not pleased with what I heard on Fox News this afternoon. They are not paying attention.
Blogs for Terri points out some flaws in Shepard Smith’s misinformed remarks on Terri’s condition.
Doctors are not infallible. We like to think that they are, because when we’re seriously ill, we want help from demi-gods – not mere humans.
A distressing number of reporters and newscasters seem to know little about Terri’s case apart from what they’ve read in their Cliffs Notes. Almost automatically, they chant the mantra of all the appeals and reviews and opportunities that Terri’s parents have had, and nobody seems to want to stop and say, “What if the ‘facts’ used in the judgments aren’t facts?”
Instead, we get the same old refrain, like an endlessly repeated dirge from a vending machine: drop a quarter in and listen, drop another quarter in and listen again, drop another quarter and another and another and another, over and over and over again.
It’s like a demented country song:
She’s a mindless cauliflower with old broccoli for a brain
She’s a-droolin’ and she doesn’t know her name.
She’s as dumb as a potater
Or a shiny red tomater,
And she’ll never, never think a thought agaaaaiiinnnnn.
I may not have a string of letters beside my name, but I do know that if you aim a rocket at the moon and have just one wee tiny error in your calculations, by the time that rocket gets to the moon’s orbit, it’s going to miss the target by quite a few miles.
There are many large errors in the equation that is the Cliffs Notes version of Terri’s condition.
My brother’s near-death experience with acute respiratory failure, i.e. ARDS (see story below) began with a visit to the emergency room due to what appeared to be severe bronchitis. He didn’t want to go to the hospital, but a friend bullied him into it, fortunately, because he was already there when the ARDS hit, thus saving precious time.
One of the ICU nurses – a very nice man named Michael, oddly enough – told me later that it had been a struggle to get my brother on the respirator. He kept yelling at the nurses to let him die and he had the strength of the temporarily demented.
Now if my brother had had a wife who was bent on killing him, all she would have needed was George Felos and Judge Greer and she’d have been in business: “He said he wanted to die! You heard him! You heard him!” And they would nod solemnly and that would be that. Respirator switched off.
Fortunately, he had a sister and a brother-in-law to stand his back. And that is why he is alive today.
A few weeks after my brother began his delayed recovery from lung failure, he was fitted for a plug for his tracheostomy so that he could talk. His memory was still very faulty, both short-term and long-term, but there came a day when I felt it was time to tell him something of what had occurred. So I did, and when I got to the part where the doctor had wanted me to let him die, my brother piped up angrily:
“That’s when you tell ‘em to go to hell!”
I wonder what Terri would say if they’d let her talk?
Update: Blogs for Terri has an interesting personal tale regarding Terri, which also points out the media problem I reference above:
I had to share some of these facts - the news never really reports the truth nowadays. Each day, our local news stations continue to refer to Terri as in a vegetative coma and it infuriates me. Not one journalist, not the local TV news nor the big stations, Larry King, Barbara Walters, etc., has thoroughly sleuthed out all the facts, even the ones I described here, and reported them to the public.
I cannot help but mention to all of you reading this - with so little truth being reported on this case . Do you really think you are getting the truth about everything and that Terri's case is an isolated incident of lies and deceit and poor reporting?
Update 2: Killed because their lives are not worth living.