Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ehtics, Morality and the Right to Life

Texas has a law that gives the ethics panel of medical institutions final say as to when to pull the plug on a patient. Apparently this includes patients who are not brain dead or in a coma. Their decision gives the patient and family 10 days to find another facility or they ganck the plug.

In January, Clark underwent open-heart surgery and later developed bleeding on the brain. A ventilator, which the committee voted to remove Sunday, helps her breath.

Talking about the Texas law, Dixon told KHOU: ""If their ethics committee makes a decision, it doesn't matter what the patient wants. It doesn't even apparently matter what the patient's condition is, because our sister is not in a coma; she's not brain dead."

Clark's family says though she cannot speak, they are able to communicate with her by moving her lips and blinking her eyes.

In an atmosphere of anxiety about the cruelty of lethal injections for the execution of murderers one has to wonder at the enthusiasm of the hospital staff for terminating a patient's life without recourse. How can lethal injection be more cruel than suffocating of starving a patient who in this case did nothing but undergo a operation resulting in complications? Did the hospital just keep her alive long enough to avoid a lawsuit had she died on the table? Is the insurance company tired of paying her bill? It is hard to come up with a scenario that does not accommodate the medical profession's interest over the patient's. When a committee carries the title ethic beware, the term is now a replacement for morality. The chasm between the two is vast. Morality is a standard of behavior that instructs us on the difference of right and wrong. Ethics is a cover for the capricious nature of man.



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