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Mama Deb
.:::.:....... ..::...:
Mama Deb [userpic]
Thoughts shallow and deep

There is a young Marine lieutenant in the office. He is tall and redheaded and in a dark blue uniform, and I keep sneaking looks at him. Especially when he left to make a cellphone call...

1. The Federal government has absolutely no place in this, and no one should make political hay out of a family's tragedy.

2. To my husband and others: If I am *ever* (God forbid!) in such a position, do not do anything to hasten my death. Do not starve me to death or deny me essential care. Maybe do not do anything prolong life other than essential care and whatever is needed for comfort, and please consult our rabbi at every turn, but do not hasten it.

an only vaguely related tangent.

Not that I'm disagreeing with you in principle, but neither Christopher Reever nor Stephen Hawking are/were in persistive vegetative states.

They are, however, both miracles.

I used to work for a pharmaceutical company that was trying to get a drug for ALS (what Stephen Hawking has) through the FDA. The FDA didn't let it go through on the basis that there wasn't a signfificant enough improvement in lifespan or quality of life from the medication. If I were diagnosed with ALS tomorrow (chas v'shalom), I'd pray to be hit by a truck. Stephen Hawking, admittedly, is a miracle. But he is an exception to the rule that generally means that you've got about 2 years from the date of diagnosis left. And that's not two years of getting your affairs in order... much of that two years is spent unable to move, unable to brush your teeth, unable to communicate. But your mind stays sharp and watches as the rest of you deteriorates.

Like I said, I'm not disagreeing with you in principle. But really, a diagnosis of ALS would be worse than death to me.

Re: an only vaguely related tangent.

I'm aware of the differences in diagnoses, and the exceptionality of both the examples I mentioned. I'd be terrified if I had ALS too, but I don't think I'd pray to be hit by a truck, I'd pray to be given the grace Stephen Hawking had. That's just me, though.

The thing about persistent vegetative states is we really don't know what's going on. It may be a very small percentage of people who do eventually recover, and in fact it is--but I could never live with starving someone to death regardless, especially not given the fact that as long as a person is alive, there is still a chance even if it is very remote.

Re: an only vaguely related tangent.

Like I said, I wasn't arguing with you in principle. You just hit on a disease that I'm passionate about in that I worked every day talking to people who were just hoping for another week of being able to brush their teeth before they ceased being able to swallow or, you know, breathe.

Were I Terri Schiavo, and were I aware of my surroundings, I would not want to live like that. HOWEVER, I would also prefer living to being starved to death.

Re: an only vaguely related tangent.

For my part, were I in Terri Schiavo's position and totally aware of my surroundings I'd rather live a week or two starving to death, than live for decades trapped in my own body.