Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Where are the Schindlers? The Randall Terrys?

h/t to Atta Turk:

Houston Hopspital Votes to End Woman's Life With Bush Law:

HOUSTON---The countdown has begun on the life of Andrea Clark, a patient at St. Luke's Hospital.

Six days left.

No, she's not terminal, her family says and she's not brain dead. Her sisters say that she wants to live. The Houston hospital is going to unilaterally remove a woman from life support, apparently based on the decision of a lone physician even though her family wants her to continue to receive care.

The central issue in the Andrea Clark case is the same as that in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, whether the state should be able to sanction the removal of a human being from life support.

What's even more significant in the Clark case is that the Texas bill that allows health care providers to end a human life despite the wishes of the patient and the patient's family was signed into law in 1999 by President George W. Bush as Texas Governor. However, in 2005, he rushed back to the White House from Easter vacation to sign a bill rushed through Congress which was designed to save the life of Terri Schiavo because of his "presumption in favor of life"....

"Andrea, until a few days ago, when the physicians decided to increase her pain medication and anesthetize her into unconsciousness, was fully able to make her own medical decisions and had decided that she wanted life saving treatment until she dies naturally", Childers said. "We have learned that this is part of the process, when hospitals decided to declare the "medical futility" of continuing treatment for a patient.

"Andrea, when she is not medicated into unconsciousness (and even when she is, and the medication has worn off to some degree) is aware and cognizant", her sister said. "She has suffered no brain damage to the parts of her brain responsible for thought and reason or speech. She has only suffered loss of some motor control. The reason that the physician gave to medicate her so much is that she is suffering from intractable pain in the sacral region (in other words, she has a bedsore that causes her pain). This is not reason enough, in our books, and we are trying, as we speak, to get Andrea's medication lowered so that she can speak to us.

"There is also some disagreement as well as to whether Andrea is really in that much pain. When she is not medicated to this degree, and she sees her son, Charles, she smiles. She also mouths words (Andrea is very vocal, normally, even with a trach, and asks for food, etc., when she is not overly medicated) Andrea has voiced her wishes, over and over again, an d if she were not on so much pain medication, she would voice them again", Melanie says.

Houston hospitals have a policy in that once the medical treatment of a patient has been deemed "medically futile" no other hospital in the area will accept transfer of that patient to their facility. This means that the patient, who is usually in a very delicate condition anyway, has to be transported over a long distance, in order to receive care, her sister explains.

When asked if Andrea is capable of being transferred to another facility, the hospital hedges but reluctantly admits that she could be, according to the sisters. Hospital representatives will not discuss the case with media.


Read the rest. So here we have a patient who "when she is not medicated into unconsciousness (and even when she is, and the medication has worn off to some degree) is aware and cognizant" but is going to be taken off life support. Not because she's brain dead with no hope of recovery, but because she's too expensive.

Where are all the "Save Terri Andrea" people? Where is Bill Frist? Can't he come up with a diagnosis from the floor of the Senate? Will Bush race back from a vacation to sign a bill to save Andrea Clark's life? Will Randall Terry ride to the rescue?

No. You will not hear a peep about this woman's needless death. Why not? The reason the aforementioned demagogues "stood up" for Terri Schiavo was not out of some real concern for her life, but because they thought she'd be a great political football, red meat for the googly-eyed rottweilers that make up the pro-life fundie base. That blew up in their faces. Profiles in cowardice: these politicians and preachers weren't standing for principle, but for their own power. They don't actually believe any of the stuff they say: it's just a bunch of words and empty promises.

Empty: a lot like the pro-lifers who to this day have not answered my request that they describe how they would punish a woman who obtained an abortion.

Pro-life, my eye.

2 Comments:

Blogger Phillybits said...

Man, we think too much alike sometimes.

Paging Dr. Frist - Video Diagnosis Needed STAT

9:13 PM  
Blogger iwuwill said...

Brendan,

here is an update on that situation, thought you might be interested
link

2:11 PM  

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