Death by Ignoring Civil Rights


My son and I are free-ranging this weekend along the north coast of California. We are staying in Crescent City at the Best Western across from the harbor.

I helped remodel this place back in 1983 or ’84 and I used to go to sea from the docks across US 101. The rooms are quiet and clean.

Kyle and I agree that the shower is the best though  We also enjoy the fact they have an indoor pool, Jacuzzi and a steam room.

Anyway, being here in the area brings back memories of a childhood well spent and of my parents, especially the final years of Mom ‘s life and the last day I saw her . It is hard not to think of her and draw some parallels to the Terri Schiavo case in Florida.

Mom had a living will drawn up for her medical condition, which was  being HIV positive. She did not want ‘heroics’ performed in the event of her death whether it was sudden or slow.

‘Heroics’ she concluded meant CPR, rescue breathing, ambulance services, or defibrillation. The most she desired was medication to easy the pain, oxygen to help her breath as it became more labored and food and fluids.

When she did pass on, this is all she had.

My father was another case. He had no will at all and when I got that call, I hopped a plane to get to his bedside in Oklahoma the following day.

I helped my step-mom in making the decision to remove him from the ventilator which was the mechanical device breathing for him. This is something we both knew he would not have wanted.

This leads me to this thought; the difference between life and death in a hospital care situation is the mechanical devices place on or in  a patient to keep them alive.

Terry Schiavo is able to breathe on her own without the need of a respirator then that is God’s will. Withholding fluids and food is man’s will.

When her body is ready to die, it will. It doesn’t need any help from the courts or  guardians.

Starvation and dehydration is painful. It isn’t used by prisons as a form of punishment anymore because it’s cruel.

And I am certain that you have seen pictures of starving people, especially kids, bellies bloated like sick balloons from malnourishment.  That is starvation!

Not pleasant at all.

Finally, shame on those persons not brave enough to step up and step in for her. This includes the hospice workers, her doctors, and law enforcement officers, officers of the court , judges, legislators, the Governors, the President, you and, me.

The last time I checked the constitution says everyone has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  This should have included Terry!

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