Thursday, March 31, 2005

Welcome To The Schiavo Matrix!

Earlier this week, I posted a quote from Jerry Falwell, who said he wanted to be kept alive by artificial means as long as possible.

Today, Jerry is breathing via ventilator tube.

Two weeks ago, someone in the Vatican speaking on behalf of Pope John Paul II remembered a papal speech, in which Ill Il Papa had declared feeding tubes "normal treatment" and not "extraordinary means."

Today, the Pope gets all of his nutrition via feeding tube and breathes via the tube in his throat.

Pope's 'Living Will' Wants Life Support to the End

Thu Mar 31, 2:06 AM ET
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - Pope John Paul, now being fed through a nasal tube because of his throat problems, effectively wrote his own "living will" last year in a speech declaring some life-extending treatments a moral duty for Roman Catholics.

The ailing Pontiff sharply narrowed Catholic guidelines for treating patients nearing death in March 2004 when he described tube-feeding as a normal treatment rather than an extraordinary measure that can be stopped if all hope of recovery fades.

This indicates he would want to be kept alive by artificial means even if he fell into a coma or a persistent vegetative state, such as the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo in the United States whose feeding tubes have been removed after 15 years.

"The Pope's statement would have to be considered the equivalent of his living will," said Father Thomas Reese S.J., editor of the Jesuit weekly America in New York. "It would be very difficult to unplug him if it came to that." --snip--

Holy Catholic Career Killer, Batman!

If the Pope is allowed to linger indefinitely, bishops and archbishops and cardinals (Oh My!) could be stuck in middle management mode for decades.

As the Schiavo case shows, modern medicine can extend basic body functioning for years -- a worrying prospect for the world's largest church if that means its elected-for-life leader is incapacitated indefinitely.

The Catholic Church has traditionally taught that doctors and families could end artificial life-extending measures in good conscience if a dying patient's prospects seemed hopeless.

Look! Look! Look For A Loophole!

The problem was that he (the Pope) expressed this in a speech, not in a doctrinal document that made it official Church policy.

"The Pope can say any number of things but he has to tell the bishops' conferences when they have to change something," added Father James Keenan S.J., ethics professor at Boston College. "He hasn't done this."


As a result, he (Keenan) said, the U.S. bishops' conference and the Catholic Health Association have not renounced the more flexible earlier position even though many Catholic leaders support Schiavo's parents' demand to continue feeding her. --snip--

"It doesn't seem good for the Church to rethink how to die when the Pope himself is ailing," he said. "The dying of a Pope should not set our agenda." LINK

But for the grandiose grandstanding going on in Florida, we wouldn't be facing a possible end-of-life tube feeding farm existence...

Because these fascist fundies see the Schiavo case as an opportunity to define once and for all when life ends.

If they ever succeed, you can bet the ranch that the next step is defining when life begins.

Do you want this woman defining when life begins and ends?

Imagine a world with an infinite supply of new babies and tube fed end-of-lifers.

Who benefits from warehousing and caring for, well, potentially all of us?

Not our families, who will be forced to bear both emotional and financial burdens that could choke a horse.

Who actually benefits then?

Plastic tube makers, BigPharma, Nursing Homes, Insurance companies, and the heavily invested BushCo beat goes on...

The term Undead used to be reserved for works of fiction...

No wonder Zombie Movies are so damned popular!


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