Thursday, March 24, 2005

What is and is not life support.

I'm not a doctor. I suspect, neither is the guy who wrote this:
Terri has never been on life support. The only medical treatment Terri received for the past five years has been food and water through a feeding tube, which is nothing at all like artificial life support. Artificial life support consists of ventilation for people unable to breathe on their own. The question sets up a strawman argument that so completely contradicts reality that the entire poll must be considered invalid.
Before my mom died, she had a feeding tube, and she had a machine to help her breathe. Guess which one required surgery (hint: the feeding tube doesn't run down the throat). This says that the courts have decided that "nutrition and hydration count as life-prolonging treatments" in cases such as Terri's.

I've read quite a bit about Terri Schiavo in the last few days. There's a lot here including Judge Greer's ruling, which I read last night. It's surprisingly interesting reading, and it left me convinced that the case has been considered well and decided well.

One thing I haven't done is watched the video. From what I hear, it's very convincing to people otherwise ignorant of the situation. The lesson seems clear. If you can tell a lie with a picture or a video that can only be refuted with a lot more effort, the lie wins. Everyone sees the video; everyone hears the sound bite; nobody spends 20 minutes listening to explanation from an expert.
Post a Comment