Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Breaking My Own Rules

There is a new blog (to me) I have to shill for. He's actually been up since December. Scooter is a hoot. I've met him, read his blog, and I've decided that his is what a political blog should be. Pithy and to the point. I think many of you would enjoy him tremendously, so without further ado, I present "the def conservative." I won't tell you to leave him comments because if you read him, you will want to.


I was going to blog today about something stupid like how many rooms of my house I've actually had sex in, but I'm going to blog about Terry Schiavo instead.

Normally this is something I would post on Payasita, but somehow it just feels personal.

The law must be changed.

It is inhumane to starve someone to death. I don't care what their mental status is, if they are alive and all they need is food and water, you can't starve them. If it was humane we'd use it to kill dogs or criminals. But it is not so we don't. Why are we making an exception for a woman who can't speak for herself? If we were really humane, we'd shoot her in the motherfucking head.

Now I've heard people say that they wouldn't want to be kept alive if they were that brain-damaged. Fine. Write it in your will and die. I don't care. But if you were/are a woman who had left no such document, would you really and honestly want your fate decided by a man whose only reason for not divorcing you is so that he can ensure your death? Not me. If my parents and family believed that I was able to take some joy out of their presence, then I don't want to die. And I will also offer a suggestion. Do some research into death by starvation and dehydration and decide for yourself if this is the preferred method of your demise if you are so unfortunate as to be faced with a similar situation. I wouldn't hold it against you if you said it wasn't.

I understand if my husband wants to move on with his life, I would never expect him to stay married to me if I couldn't be there for him. But I would hope that he would do the honorable thing: Divorce me, and then remarry.

I also understand about a DNR order. My father had a DNR, and I wouldn't want to be brain dead and have a machine breathing for me for months. But Terry is not brain dead, and she is not being resuscitated by a feeding tube. She is merely being sustained. There is a huge difference.

This honestly makes me ill. This Schiavo person, who had such contempt for her that he would cheat on her multiple times, gets to decide whether she lives or dies. Feminists? Anyone? Their silence is deafening. I may secretly, deep down, take the side of women on certain he said/she said issues, but this is the reason I will never call myself a feminist or have anything to do with their organizations. That they would leave a helpless woman in the hands of a creepy husband who won a huge settlement for her care and then sued to have her killed, just because the issue dovetails with their abortion apologist cult of death, is disgusting.

Have at it folks.



On : 3/22/2005 2:33:33 PM ty bluesmith (www) said:

i just. i don't know. i agree with everything you say. it's just horrible, though. she got there because of anorexia? which is what? a suicide attempt? and then her mom seems totally crazy, too.

i don't know. it's a terrible world. we can kill some people becuz they're leader supposedly did something, or becuz their mommy and daddy have the choice to be dickheads, or whatever, but then the whole country pops a nut over someone who starved herself into a coma.

how about an emergency meeting of congress to stop the rapes and crack sales a block from my house?


On : 3/22/2005 3:37:56 PM Zelda (www) said:

Ty, I'm sorry but I have absolutely no respect for your point of view. There are plenty of issues to "pop one's nuts" over, but this is the issue at hand today. I don't care whether your nuts are intact or not, but I don't feel like sitting by and bitching about crack sales and rapes committed by criminals while an innocent women is being put to death by the very system of government that should be protecting her life. And if you can't muster up some compassion for her, well I hope you never refer to yourself as a good person.

Do you ever call the cops on those who are selling crack, or do you just complain and wait for others to do something?


On : 3/22/2005 3:42:39 PM Jethro (www) said:

I don't think anorexia is a suicide attempt. It was an attempt to for her to change her appearance. It's a bad decision, but does not necessarily mean that she intended to die.

As for her mom, why are we judging someone based on their parents? Focus needs to be placed on the individual. The same goes for people who commit crimes and blame it on their parents. Society has a set of rules. Whether you have negligent parents or not, you should still know the difference between right and wrong.

As for killing "some people becuz they're (their) leader supposedly did something...", have you ever survived a lost war? Do you know how many more people die from A US involved war loss? Of course not. Today's media won't report on things that counter their stance.


On : 3/22/2005 4:14:27 PM Zelda (www) said:

Ty - I'm really sorry. I totally went overboard on you. I've stopped setting my hair on fire and I can talk now.

What I meant to say in a good Christian way was that we have to deal with each issue as it arises. There are enough people who feel so strongly about this case regardless of their positions on other right-to-die cases that the politicians had to listen or they wouldn't be doing their jobs. And it shouldn't matter that it is only one life. She still deserves protection. And I would be going crazy if I was her mother, so I wouldn't judge her too harshly.

And as for crack sales on your block, perhaps you should contact your local ACLU. I've heard a rumor that they care deeply about the issue.


On : 3/22/2005 6:09:12 PM elliott (www) said:

I haven't written about this issue because of two reasons. One, better writers than myself will and two, this pisses me off on a personal level more than most folks.
I have been without food or water for 60+ hours and to say that it's fucking torture is a huge understatement. Don't believe me? Try i yourself or shut the fuck up.
You want to end the life of an invalid or other innocent? Do it quickly and humanely. The fucking Judge and that asshole husband of hers need to have their tongues swell up and crack for a few days. Let's see how they like that shit.

The sad part about this is that the fucking media clowns and the assmuffins at the DU raised a pure shitfit over some assholes getting spanked in an Iraqi prison but those same sorry, chickenshit motherfuckers won't do a god damned thing to help an innocent woman who can't defend herself.
Fuck every one of you who thinks it's okay for this woman to suffer and I don't mean that in a good Christian way.


On : 3/22/2005 6:18:30 PM angi (www) said:

I totally agree with you on this Z.

If you read her story, and watch the videos of her interacting with her family, it is plain that she is in there, she is not in a vegetative state. It has been reported, documented, that IF she had been given the proper therepy, she would have made great strides in progress. AND, in Shiavo's own journal, he wrote about her making progress, about making eye contact with him, smile, and making noises when he walked in the room. NOW he says she has never been receptive.

All it would take is a simple divorce decree. Then he could go on with his life, marry his girlfriend and live his happy life, while Terri's parents tend to her and help her be happy, loved and cared for the rest of her life, however long it may be.

AND, starvation? If you starve an animal, you go to jail. Why don't we have the same rights as humans?


On : 3/22/2005 8:39:45 PM Zelda (www) said:

Elliott - Preach it brother. If you have the experience, tell us about it.

Angi - You 'know, I don't even care if she can be rehabilitated or not. I don't want her to suffer a starvation death. I think it is psychotic that people want her to die so that we can purge our society of those who are not "fit." Like Elliott says, Fuck 'em


On : 3/22/2005 9:46:01 PM Michelle (www) said:

Zelda, I have been reading your blog for a pretty long while now. I found you through Angi. I have always respected your way with words and agree with almost everything you have ever written. You have a way of writing that makes people stop and really think. You can tell that you are not only passionate but very intelligent and caring as well. Angi and I talked about this one day... I feel lucky to be reading.

I have to agree with you here as well. My heart aches for Terri and her family. I can't imagine starving anyone let alone an innocent person! As for her condition it has not been proved (beyond a doubt) that a chemical imbalance caused from an eating disorder is to blame. I have speculations that the husband put her there and is hoping she never regains the ability to talk or communicate so that he will never be implicated. Just my thoughts though. He is a monster (as well as the lawyers and judges) for wanting to kill her this way. He claims he is carrying out her wishes but I can't imagine her wishes ever included dying a prolonged starvation/dehydrated death. They will be "rewarded" in the end though... I'm sure of that! Thanks for letting me sound off :)


On : 3/23/2005 12:10:21 AM Inanna (www) said:

Zelda, the real issue that has been occluded by all this drama, and what the original intent of the first petition was for THE COURT to determine whether or not Terry Schiavo would have wanted to remain on life support, regardless of the means of life support.

The facts are much different than what is being bandied around by the media. Regardless of Michael Schiavo's motives at this time, the evidence in this case clearly shows that he did, for 6 years or more, do everything in his power to give Terry the chance for rehabilitation and to recover her cognitive functioning.

The issue is not whether or not Michael Schiavo or the Schindler's want or don't want Terry to die.... its the Court determination from the evidence, not just from Michael, not just from the Schindlers, but from others that knew Terry, as well as her physicians, physicians appointed by the Court, and physicians for her parents, WHAT TERRY WOULD HAVE WANTED.

The Courts have continued to rule that based on the evidence Terry Schiavo would NOT have wanted to be kept alive by artifical means with no hope for improvement. Meaning she would have supported removing a ventilator or feeding tube.

While the thought, the VERY THOUGHT of allowing someone to die by means of starvation and dehydration is disgusting, at the same time, if the evidence shows she would have supported its removal... how can it not be done?

I have spent time reading the actual Court rulings on the matter and also a website from a unbiased party which has links to all of the Court documents, timelines, Q&A etc. about the case. It is very informative and gives a better insight into this matter. http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/infopage.html

The court rulings are not bogged down with legalese and I found them very readable, even I believe to a layperson. The Guardia Ad Litem report (Dec. 1, 2003) to Jeb Bush is very, very enlightening. I would invite everyone to read the rulings and the facts and evidence before drawing any conclusions based solely on media reports.


On : 3/23/2005 8:20:13 AM Zelda (www) said:

I don't care what the media, Michael Schiavo, or the courts say. I'm sure Terry didn't want Michael Schiavo to cheat on her, but he did anyway. Why is he so mindful of her wish to die as opposed to her wish to have him be a faithful husband? I'm sorry, but when you cheat, your credibility is affected. You are no longer a person of your word and that must be taken into account. But the courts and judges are so stubbornly unwilling to take that into account. CRIMINALS have more taken into account. And I'd like to see a criminal get convicted based upon the testimony of Michael Schiavo. A defense attorney would tear him to shreds if a prosecutor even let him near the stand.

Here are four reasons to keep Terry alive:

1. She is not dying

2. Her husband has a motive to want her dead other than carrying out her wishes.

3. All testing and rehabilitative efforts have not even been tried, much less exhausted.

4. Starvation death is a cruel and inhumane way put someone to death.

The Declaration says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governned,..."

The purpose of the government is to protect Life. In letting Schiavo decide the fate of his wife, they are not protecting life. And it's sickening.


On : 3/23/2005 8:47:42 AM Ciggy (www) said:

My post for today at my blog is about this, and the broader issue of public policy, civilized societies, and death. To sum up without getting "into it", I agree with you Zelda.


On : 3/23/2005 9:15:18 AM Inanna (www) said:

Zelda, your arguments are not substantiated by the evidence. Again, I urge you to read the Court documents relating to this matter, especially the Guardian Ad Litem's report. It won't change the fact that Michael Schiavo has moved on with his life but a lot of the facts presented ad nauseum in the reports refute #'s 2 and 3 above and are too numerous to list here.

As for # 1, her body is alive. Her brain has continued to devolve since the heart attack and the scans show most of the brain has been replaced by spinal fluid. Her brain stem is intact allowing for the reflexive moments, breathing, and the swallowing of saliva.

As for # 4, starvation and dehydration is a cruel and inhumane way to kill someone. Yet, based on the evidence presented, Terry would have wanted the feeding tube removed. Is it cruel and inhumane to honor the wishes of Terry? Or is it cruel and inhumane not to?

The role of the government is to also protect personal freedoms and liberties and the right of Terry Schiavo to have her wishes granted.


On : 3/23/2005 9:26:45 AM Jethro (www) said:

Inanna - I posted about this on another site. Let me cut and paste my opinion on this one. Bottom line: I'm not looking at this from a judicial, legislative, or executive angle. My reasons are purely medical. Sorry for the length, but it explains a lot. Believe me, there's much more.

I'm a bit concerned about the decisions of the doctors. I'll admit that I'm no expert yet, but based on what I've learned about radiographic imaging, an MRI and/or PET scan should be performed. A CT scan will basically differentiate for you tissue types and provide a 3D slice. I'm actually really interested in getting a PET scan. This would give us a better idea as to brain activity. Not whether or not there is fluid build up or not. To me, although fluid buildup is good information, if you look at neurological conditions like syringomyelia, you will see that the plasticity nature of nervous tissue is quite resilient. I've seen patients with syringomyelia who have come to our clinic with a 80-90% spinal cord compression from the fluid who were still walking! Does this apply to Terri? Who knows. But, it's worth looking into.

(Someone posted a link to Terri's CT scan) I saw a serious flaw with this link. Most importantly was the fact that the two images were not taken at the same level. You can clearly see the frontal sinus on Terri's CT scan (Look on the top part of the skull and you'll see the darkened air space) but not on the normal CT scan. Why is this important? Because at different levels of the brain, you have different anatomical structures which will look differently depending on the level of the slice of the CT scan. Differing structures such as numerous different nuclei and the ventricles (which can and do contain cerebrospinal fluid) can make 2 normal CT brain scans look completely different if they are not taken at the same level.

The problem with what everyone is arguing is whether or not Terri can feel pain. Lower brain functioning so far tells us that periacquectal gray and the reticular formation are areas that sense pain. Now, as far as pain cognition goes, that goes into the higher levels of the brain: The cortex. Now, we see from the CT scan that there is fluid buildup. This does not necessarily mean that Terri does not perceive pain. As I stated earlier, nervous tissue is very resilient. And, thanks to the CT scan, we still have quite a bit of cortex. It's possible that the fluid present could be due to a blockage of the acqueduct draining the 3rd ventricle to the 4th ventricle. Without further imaging or testing, we can't tell.

Recent research has shown that nervous tissue does, in fact regrow. It's an extremely slow process, but it does take place. Does this mean that Terri will regain congnition? We don't know. But, it is, in fact possible. This recent discovery may explain why some people take years to recover from comas, brain infarcts, etc. Neurology itself is a relatively new field. They are constantly learning more and more each and everyday. We keep discovering new things that tend to both prove and disprove past paradigms of brain functioning. So, rest assured that NOTHING is absolute. Is it possible for Terri to recover? Yes. Is it probable? Nobody knows.
Should these other avenues (MRI/PET scans) be explored? Since it is possible that Terri perceives her environment but lacks the capacity to express it due to the areas affected by the fluid, I believe we should err on the side of caution. I'll need to double check this (sorry, my neurology course was last year), but if I'm right, the areas of higher cognition are in the frontal cortex, not the temporal or parietal cortex which appear to be the areas affected by the CT scan.


On : 3/23/2005 9:42:59 AM Jethro (www) said:

My basic opinion is that this case needs to be presented to a well educated medical ethics panel who utilize the most recent research and technology to perform whatever procedure they wish to determine a prognosis despite any opposition towards these tests. Since there is no living will, I believe this is the best course to take. If death is still chosen by the medical panel after all requested tests are run, then I vote death by lethal injection, morphine drip, etc. to make the death more humane.

When you take this to court, you are trying to explain medical science and technology to people who may not quite understand the complexity of the situation.


On : 3/23/2005 10:50:31 AM Zelda (www) said:

No. When all the facts are said and done, Terry's death wish comes down to nothing more than hearsay by her husband and his relatives. Cheating husbands should not be ignored.

1. She had no information on a death by starvation. Not even Schiavo has said so, although I'm sure he could very easily remember a conversation about it.

2. If she hasn't had a PET or an MRI, then all testing has not been utilized. See Jethro's post.

3. Starvation and dehydration is an inhumane way to die and we are a cruel society if we allow that to happen to a woman who had no living will and no information on the subject. Beheading her would be more humane. Just hand her over to al Qaeda if we're so determined for her to die.


On : 3/23/2005 10:54:03 AM elliott (www) said:

Thank you Jethro, that explanation spelled it out better for us.


On : 3/23/2005 12:05:44 PM Kat (www) said:

I don't know why (probably because I love this movie) but the situation reminds me of Vanilla Sky. What reality would you choose? Don't you think that ANYONE would want to stay alive or sustain their time on this earth somehow if there was a hope for them in the future? I say that the cheating husband has already rescinded his role as a decider of her future.
By the way, Zelda...I think that your enthusiasm is just the sexiest thing. I wanna do that!


On : 3/23/2005 12:18:04 PM Zelda (www) said:

Thanks Kat. I'm ridiculously flattered.


On : 3/23/2005 11:19:56 PM Mordineus (www) said:

My personal take on this is that there seems to be a large group of people that want this woman to die. We have the husband who seems to have declined rehabilitative treatment for many years. Then we have some REAL villans: the judges.

Yesterday we had the US Congress pass a law that expressly desired her case to be reviewed. Then we had a panel of three judges bend over backwards to do ANYTHING they could to not really review it. The dissenting judge (a Clinton appointee, so this isn't partisan) ripped them.

What we have here is the Judiciary acting in the role they love best: That of final arbiters of life and death, the executive and legislative branches be damned! They don't think this woman's life is worth living, or else she is an 'undesirable' so obviously let us do whatever is needed to end her life.

I truly find this to be the single most frightening thing to happen in recent years. Where else will we err on the side of death ? Alzheimers patients? "Too premature" infants? What if we have an 95 year old woman that has trouble speaking and no longer can feed herself due to some degenerative disease?

If you also look at the addition of financial incentive on the part of the government (since it foots the medical bills for many elderly and disabled) it just plain scares the piss outta me.

-] Mord


On : 3/24/2005 7:22:31 AM Zelda (www) said:

Mord - We already kill premature infants who doctors deem "unworthy" of rehabilitation for various birth defects. And poor Terri isn't the first either. Nancy Kruzan's parents sued to allow their daughter to starve to death and won. I can't imagine letting watching my child die that painful a death.

But you're right these judges are completely out of control. This is sickening. Beginning stages of Nazi Germany.

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