Thursday, February 24, 2005

Color Me Tactless, Tasteless And Insensitive

Editor's Note: The struggle to determine whether Terri Schiavo continues to live, or has her life support withdrawn is a heart-wrenching story. The following piece on that subject is from Buffalo's Path, a blog managed by my blog friend Buffalo Brown. Buffalo writes with incredible sensitivity, and has a special way with words. I urge you to visit his site.

I am so weary of the Terri Schiavo Saga. Every day the news reports run the same film clips showing this poor woman. Every day it is the same sound bytes from the same people. One side moans about Terri's wishes. The other side chants that she is aware and her husband wants to condemn her to a horrid death by dehydration and starvation. The talking heads appear properly somber and Gloria, (Fox News), has a panel to dissect the story.

I'm sure her immediate family is hurting. They have been hurting for years. Regardless of the outcome they will continue to hurt. They love the girl. The amount of pain you feel in any given situation is in direct proportion to the amount of love you feel.

There are those that feel removing the feeding tube is the equivalent of playing god. To those good people I say, "Leaving the feeding tube connected is playing god. If it is removed she dies or she lives according to the will of god."

I certainly don't know what Terri Schiavo's wish would be were she capable of voicing them. Obviously she can't voice them. If she has any true cognizance the lady has to be living in a hell that would defy even Milton to describe. Can you imagine what it would be like to be aware if you were in her circumstance? Have you tried to put yourself in her place? Imagined it was you laying on that bed?

A doctor described death by dehydration and starvation as being "uncomfortable" and taking anywhere from a day to two weeks. The doctors I have known are capable of incredible understatements. I don't know if his uncomfortable meant she would suffer the torments of hell or if it would be uncomfortable like, oh, a nasty head cold

Doctors claim they can manage the pain felt by terminal patients with the judicious use of drugs. If the feeding tube is removed I would think the pain issue could certainly be addressed.

Life is more than the act of breathing. Life without quality and dignity is not life, it is existence. Death is something that comes to us all. I would like to think we are entitled to a little dignity when we die.

The Florida Courts need to get off the fence, quit playing the stall game while they hope it all goes away. Let it be over, one way or the other.

Buffalo's Path

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