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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.

Re: A good editorial from the New York Sun

All medical knowledge indicates that adult brain tissue never, ever regenerates.

Please don't believe that I'm trying to make this point in the Schiavo case, of which I don't know enough; but this is not so certain. There have been instances of braincells re-routing information & expanding to allot brainpower to information usually otherwise processed. The correct assessment here, is that medical knowledge knows very little still.

Re: A good editorial from the New York Sun

With regard to rerouting, yes, the brain does that. What you're thinking of, though, is all done within the segment of the brain called the cerebral cortex. If it's damaged, thought and memory processes can happen in ways that would not normally have happened, taking alternate pathways and such.

The problem is that Ms. Schiavo apparently has essentially none of that portion of her brain left. The initial damage and further degeneration (common in this sort of case) have left only the portions of her brain responsible for reflexes, such as breathing and regulating heartbeat. There's nothing to reroute within.

While medical knowledge is, in fact, limited compared to what there is to be known, in all of the body of knowledge currently accumulated there is no indication of cerebral cortex material regenerating in an adult. That's what I was trying to say; not at all that we know everything about the brain. But everything I have seen, all the evidence, suggests that the portion that made her a unique and aware being, is gone.

I just wish there were some way to handle this that was less painful, all around.