:: 3.24.2005 ::
Terri Schiavo was bulimic, and managed to deplete the potassium levels in her body until she had a heart attack.
So isn't it just a little bit ironic that the big argument now is over whether or not to feed her?
Also, I really dug Jon Carroll's column from yesterday's SF Chronicle:
Did any of them care about Terri Schiavo for the first 14.5 years of her vegetative state? They did not. Did they offer to pay for the extraordinary expense of keeping her alive? They did not. Did they sit by her bedside, read her books, play her music, bathe her bedsores? They did not. There's nothing to be gained from unpublicized compassion.My knitting circle had a long conversation about the case on Tuesday night over beer and fries, and one woman talked about a conversation she had with a friend who is a nurse - it was quite edifying:
There are elderly people all over this country dying every day from simple neglect. People just forget about them. Maybe Congress could subpoena them! That way, when they didn't show up, they'd be in contempt of Congress and someone would have to go find them and at least change their sheets and give them some hot broth.
There are children in this country dying every day of preventable diseases. Would George Bush care to fully fund all family clinics, so that a baby would not die simply because it cannot be given antibiotics in time? Would George Bush care to spend as much money fighting HIV-AIDS in the African American community as he does building large bombers? Yeah, I know, it's a tired old liberal argument, and it's been discredited because well, you're gonna have to remind me again why it's been discredited.
a) patients in vegetative or comatose states whose families can no longer afford to pay for their care become wards of the state, and are assigned a caseworker who assumes responsibility for making decisions about that person's care.
b) the caseworkers are paid per patient. Hence, they are incentivised to keep their patients alive as long as possible, regardless of their quality of life or chance of recovery.
c) nurses end up spending several hours each day caring for these patients (changing bedpans, checking IVs, etc). This is time that they therefore cannot spend caring for patients that are actually conscious.
:: Deb 5:47 PM :: permalink ::
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