We Make No Sense

My friend Jen sent me an article out of the newspaper. It was about this woman who had some kind of chemical imbalance 15 years ago that caused her heart to stop for a few minutes. They managed to get it started again, but it left her severely brain-damaged. She can breathe on her own, but she has to be fed through a tube. And she has been kept alive like this for 15 years.

Now here comes the fun. Her husband claims she never wanted to be kept alive this way, said so, and says they should let her die. He’s been fighting for years to have this happen. Her parents claim she is not completely hopeless in the brains department because they think she does respond to their voices, and they think she will get better. It’s been 15 years, but that’s beside the point. They don’t think she should die, want the husband to no longer be her legal guardian, think he just wants her dead so he can go marry his girlfriend that he’s had for a few years and has kids with. Both sides think the other is after some money from a malpractice suit, and it’s become a bitter battle.

It gets better. Wanna guess how they propose to let her die? By removing the feeding tube! Isn’t that absolutely disgusting? Not by a shot of something, not by quick and merciful means, no. Let her starve to death, which could take a month! I agree that it’s ridiculous to keep someone alive who had said that she didn’t want to be kept this way for so long, and that it’s probably best to let her die because let’s face it folks, her brain is not going to spontaneously heal if it hasn’t done so for 15 years, but let’s be humaine about it!

And here’s where things really start to not make sense. The most vocal of protesters who have all kinds of ridiculous signs up like “Execution: it’s not just for the guilty anymore.” are also heavy religious people, anti-abortion activists and pro-life advocates. If you really think about that, they’re always against us taking an active role in ending lives or deciding whether people should live or die. But didn’t we take a rather active role in keeping her alive for 15 years? God didn’t put that feeding tube down there. It just pisses me off when I see these people choosing when cases help their cause and when they should just keep their mouth shut. Wasn’t it religious people out there trying to say that Robert Latimer did a good thing? Hell they wanted to give him some kind of award and elevate him to Mother Theresa status! In my opinion, what he did was so much worse, in principal, than this, even if the means here is absolutely horrible. But the point is how can a group support one assisted suicide and be completely against another? Granted they aren’t the same physical people, but I always see this with these groups.

Another thing that gets me mad is protesters out there trying to defend someone, and they don’t even know if that someone wants their defense. I doubt the lady in a coma wanted 30 people to keep a vigil outside the hospice where she is, hold up those ridiculous signs, and just get generally involved in the private matter of her life. It’s one thing if she asked for support and people took up her cause. It’s completely another when people do this of their own free will because they think it’s the right thing. Stick to causes where you have been enlisted to help, folks.

And then there are her parents. I understand a parent’s need to save their child, and that infinite hope that they will get better. But they make a point of saying they are devout catholics. Then they say they’ve been urging her husband to divorce her and let them take care of her. Isn’t that, like, completely against the “til death do us part” part that religious people get so anal about? I just love how everybody picks and chooses what suits them from a given set of convictions.

They’ve removed the feeding tube now, so this crap begins. I just don’t understand why it has to be the way of the feeding tube that she has to die. With all the stuff we have now, and how deeply the courts have been involved, it’s not like her death would be criminal. Hell they’ve made it legal that the tube be removed. How about finding a better way for her to die? The whole case just bothers me, and a lot of it just makes no sense.

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