Monday, March 21, 2005
Ruminations on Shiavo
"Shiavo Case," by John Derbyshire, The Corner, 21 March 2005, http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/05_03_20_corner-archive.asp#058815.
"Terry Shiavo," Michael Forbush, Dr. Forbush Thinks, 21 March 2005, http://drforbush.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/03/21/terri_schiavo.html.
Liberal scientist Forbush and paleocon Mathematician Derbyshire join the skeptics in the Shiavo case. It's hard to tell which paragraph is from which. Two well written editorials.
But, politicians can't know the medical truth because they are not doctors nor have they spent the time needed to study the case. Even Bill Frist puts his medical credibility at risk for diagnosing a patient via videotape. If he really wants to have a say, then he should go to Florida and read the brain scan data and view Terri in person. Medical Doctors are responsible for providing the facts, and the family is responsible for deciding whether she should be removed from life support. The problem in Florida is not with whether Terri is alive or not, it is with the law that says who is in charge, the Husband or the Parents.
I did grow up among medical chatter, though. My mother was a professional nurse -- an exceptionally dedicated and conscientious one, from all I have seen since. I spent several hundred hours of my childhood sitting in rooms with Mum and her colleagues (a high proportion of whom, by the way, were Catholic women from the Republic of Ireland -- that's how the nursing profession in England was structured) listening to their nurse talk. A recurrent theme was some patient in a terminal condition being kept alive on tubes and drips by, as these nurses would say, some damn fool doctor. (The nurse-doctor relationship is a very fascinating one.) "Let the poor thing die!" one of the nurses would say, to sympathetic nods of agreement all round.
People who deal with the human frame and its ailments every working day develop an understanding of the rightness and natural-ness of death that isn't often vouchsafed to the rest of us. I don't know the fine details of the Schiavo case. Knowing nothing of Michael Schiavo's motives, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he just wants his wife to be at peace rather than linger indefinitely in her present wretched state. There is nothing ipso fact ignoble or shameful about that. The guy might be operating from some ulterior motive, I suppose, but does anyone have actual evidence of this? Judging from the few quotes of his that I have read and heard, he doesn't seem like a bad sort.
Does anyone have a definitive answer as to the legal spelling of Shiavo (half the time I see it spelled 'Schiavo')?
I'd be interested in seeing a copy of a court document (as I don't know how to contact Michael Shiavo).
Posted by: graybeard | Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Googlefight shows that Schiavo is used 20 times more often than Shiavo. Additionally, "Schiavo" is used in the "Terri Schindler-Schiavo" foundation.
Posted by: Dan | Tuesday, June 21, 2005