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Author Topic: New Schiavo thread
WmLambert
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Before you jump to a personal attack on Dr. Hammesfahr, you may want to look at the transcript of the discussion with Dr. Hammesfahr, and the one with Dr. Cranford trying to impugn his reputation. It appears Cranford comes out on the short end.

It seems Cranford, who is a medical ethicist, saw Terri Sciavo for 45 minutes and thinks a CAT scan is definitive over an MRI or PET, which has never been allowed to be administered to Terri Schiavo. Evidently he has also expressed a personal opinion that patients with advanced Alzheimer's Disease should not be allowed to live. He explained his own comments on a video tape were the opposite of what they sounded like because he does things in a ritualized manner which discounts his contemporaneous commentary.

According to his own official web site and every legitimate medical web site, I could cross-check against, Dr. Hammesfahr was nominated for the Nobel Prize for his work in Medicine and Physiology in 1999. The Nomination was for work started in 1994. In 2000, this work resulted in approval for the first patent in history granted for the treatment of neurological diseases including coma, stroke, brain injury, cerebral palsy, hypoxic injuries and other neurovascular disorders with medications that restore blood flow to the brain.  It was extended to treat successfully disabilities including ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Tourette's and Autism as well as behaviorally and emotionally disturbed children, seizures and severe migraines.

The statement that Dr. Hammesfahe was NOT officially nominated suddenly appeared in a number of blogs across the internet, with a circular argument all alleging this is a lie. The statement made was that a Congressman may have submitted his name to Stockholm, but that does not make him a nominee. Yet, going to the Nobel official website, one finds that the nominees are not listed to verify one way or the other. How these bloggers came to this conclusion is not apparent. I could find nothing to say he WAS nominated or WAS NOT nominated. However, He is internationally aclaimed and does lecture at major medical events where those organizations acknowledge him as a Nobel nominee.

The federal government has recognized Dr. Hammesfahr’s clinical expertise, naming him Reviewer and Chief Reviewer for evaluation and funding for new clinical research programs. He has also been a court-recognized expert and a court-ordered treating physician for these techniques that he pioneered. He has lectured and published extensively. Dr. Hammesfahr graduated from the Northwestern Honors Program in Medical Education in 1982, a program which only accepts a small number of high school students directly into medical school. He then trained in Neurosurgery and Neurology at the Medical College in Virginia. He has received Board Certification in both Neurology and Pain Management.

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Everard
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"According to his own official web site and every legitimate medical web site, I could cross-check against, Dr. Hammesfahr was nominated for the Nobel Prize for his work in Medicine and Physiology in 1999."

Hah. Yes. But none of these sources would know whether he was or was not a nominee. Why? Because Official nominees' names are kept secret for 50 years.

"The statement that Dr. Hammesfahe was NOT officially nominated suddenly appeared in a number of blogs across the internet, with a circular argument all alleging this is a lie. "

Its not a circular argument. The letter of nomination is on Hammesfahr's web page. http://www.hnionline.com/nobel_prize_nomination.htm

If you look at the Nobel page, you will find that congressman can not officially nominate someone for the nobel prize. As far as the nobel prize goes, my brother could write me a nomination, and it would be exactly as offical as the nomination Hammesfahr received. http://nobelprize.org/medicine/nomination/nominators.html

Hammesfahr MAY have officially been nominated, but he doesn't appear to know about if so, the nobel committee wouldn't tell us even if he has, and the only proof he offers for his nomination is not proof at all.

I hearby declare I am a nobel prize nominee in literature. Prove me wrong! You can't... at least, not if we use the standard of proof that you seem to be applying to this dr.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/tcd.html

The man may or may not be a quack, but he's under investigation for being a quack, and there seems to be some evidence for it. I'm sure he's done some good for some of his patients, and maybe even a lot of good. In fact, he may be a brilliant doctor, and its possible that he'll revolutionize how we treat stroke patients. ( I doubt it, but its possible). But anyone saying he is a nobel prize nominee is, pardon the expression, ripping it out their ass.


Please use quotes when using written work that is not your own. Portions of that post are lifted, verbatim, from other people's work.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Is it so hard to accept that people who love someone might think that different courses of action are best for that person?
Not at all.

quote:
Why do we feel the need to villify Mr. Schiavo
Because he has, like you said, "moved on," and should have no say in what happens to his de facto EX wife. And because her death seems just too convenient for him. And ... because she doesn't look vegetative. She looks at people and seems to respond. The idea of starving her to death is appalling. Taking her off life support, that I accept.
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KnightEnder
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Somebody answer my question; is she hungry? Is she suffering? She seems conscious and reacting to her enviroment, if only to a limited degree. She isn't in a coma, or staring off into space, so how can letting her die be justified? And if somehow it is justifiable, how come it is not done humanely by letting her float off on a cloud of morphine instead of starving her over a number of weeks? Somebody please tell me?

Welcome back Pete. I've got to get my Zoloft refilled. [Wink]

KE

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kenmeer livermaile
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Her body is hungry. I suspect her mind registers this? The whole thing sucks.
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Sancselfieme
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If she can eat on her own and react to her evironment, then why did she need a liquid IV and a feeding tube direct to her stomach?
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Pete at Home
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What if the parents tried to pour a cup of water down her throat? Would the court slap them with contempt of court? Has she been court ordered to starve, or just to remove the feeding tube?
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Pete at Home
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Thanks KE
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KnightEnder
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San,

It seems to me that eat on her own, and respond to her enviroment are two seperate issues. Sucks all around I'm just trying to get a handle on this terrible situation. I guess my main position is I don't know enough about it to hold a strong position. I feel sorry for everyone involved.

KE

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KnightEnder
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Daruma,

Ironic that I seem to have come around to your way of thinking concerning this argument. Although I still find the accussation that he attempted to kill his wife repulsive (I realize you didn't make that accussation), and wrong for anyone to say, with the possible exception of her parents. I understand them saying anything to save their little girl.

KE

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WmLambert
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Sancselfieme said:
quote:
If she can eat on her own and react to her evironment, then why did she need a liquid IV and a feeding tube direct to her stomach?
That was by court fiat. There is an argument that she is totally unable to swallow, or is partially unable to swallow, or is temporarily unable to fully swallow. She has not been allowed therapy to improve her ability to swallow, and 33 of the leading specialists in the field say with her limited impairment and proper therapy, she should be able to swallow and talk within months.

[ March 27, 2005, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: WmLambert ]

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Everard
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"That was by court fiat."

Erm, no it wasn't. This woman was in a vegetative state for years, starting in 1990, which is when the feeding tube was inserted. The court battle didn't start until much later... no courts involved for the insertion of the feeding tube.

[ March 27, 2005, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Everard
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" limited impairment"

Limited impairment meaning permanent vegetative state?

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D Pace
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Here is the (96 page! pdf) final ruling from the Florida dept. of health ordering Dr. Hammesfahr to pay a $2000 fine, be on probation for 6 months, only practice medicine under indirect supervision, perform 100 hours community service, and undergo quarterly review hearings.
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/FinalOrders/03-17-03/DOH-03-0182.pdf
On his behalf, it may be noted that these sanctions were for charging for medical treatment that was not performed (exploiting a patient financially), and not for quackery. The DOH did review and note that Hammesfahr's treatment did not appear to harm his patients and may have helped some of them.

Here is a link to a discussion of the Schiavo nurse who accused Michael of murder, (which Daruma quoted in a parallel thread) with an actual discussion of why the judge (and the Schindler family) ignored her in court.
http://mediamatters.org/items/200503230001

Here's a link to judge Greer's ruling in 2003 addressing his problems with these affidavits
http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder0903.pdf

Wow! abstractappeal seems to have documents I've been continually aching to see! For instance, Judge Greer's original trial court order of February 2000.
http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder02-00.pdf

I'll also post what was most comforting about this case, which was the Federal Court of Appeals Order supporting Judge Whittemore's decision not to grant a temporary restraining order last Tuesday, which also includes Judge Whittemore's ruling (which I also link to right below) http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200511556.pdf

(Whittemore's Order)
http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/fedctorder032205.pdf

Okay, let me explain why I just said "comforting" above, as I don't believe I've inserted any opinion up to now. As the tone of this particular thread has seemed to reflect, there has been a whole lot of information (medical, factual) that I see that I don't have, except as reported or presented to me through clearly partisan parties, or through the lens of people who apparently have a strong strong agenda one way or another. I know that I don't have Terri Schiavo's medical record, which would (and should) be protected by privacy laws. I know I haven't seen Terri's CT scan, (again protected?) which, Sean Hannity's brother-in-law notwithstanding, apparently would serve as completely clear tool to show massive brain injury, if it had occurred. (Crap, I just lost a link - a doctor was being described as shocked that no MRI was taken, saying that a CT would only be useful in the event of "severe brain damage," which he didn't think was "likely" in this case. It was in an article by a Father Johansen or something out of Chicago. Still, I thought , the thing speaks for itself, - if the CT scan shows huge brain damage, then it does, and it's a sufficient tool to show that, regardless of what any doctor or pundit wants to fight about. So can somebody show me the scan?)

Anyway, particularly with the sort of experiences in life that KE shared above, it makes sense that people would care about this story. It also makes sense that many rational and caring people would notice that, hey, we the people do not know the full story here. We haven't been able to talk to the witnesses, look at all the documents, have doctors examine Terri Schiavo and give us their opinions. BUT, here's the kicker--Somebody did, and that's what our whole system of law is based on. A judge spent ___years gathering information, appointing 3 different guardians ad litem to represent Terri's interests, chose at least one doctor to examine Terri on behalf of the court, not paid by either "side," saw all the protected medical records which we the people aren't allowed to see, and made a formal legal ruling, after having reviewed all the information from all sides, and made a final order. That order was appealed, reviewed, analyzed, re-reviewed after a 6 day evidentiary hearing with additional medical testimony, and recognized as valid every step of the way by our state and federal courts.

And then we have the people who lost, who got to present everything they wanted to say and present to the guy who was supposed to decide, come back to the news and give us the same stuff and say, "We lost! Can you believe it? This isn't right! We need our day in court!" I listen and I think, "Well, I know that I am only hearing your side of the story, and I can know, at least by reviewing the records, is you got your day in court." I trust our court system, when it goes through the full process, to do what we don't get a chance to do: make a fair decision and hear all the evidence.

I'm comforted to see the legal system and judges review the evidence in this case and say, we've looked, we've decided, we've reviewed the evidence, and a decision was made which was right, taking into account everything we were presented. That's our system, and it works, and we should trust it.

I'm comforted to see the Federal Appeals Court and the federal judge in this case look at the history, look at the information, and say, hey, the system worked fairly, reasonably, slowly, and honestly in this case.

[ March 27, 2005, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: D Pace ]

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D Pace
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Regarding the CT scan, I repost a link provided above by A. Alzabo which appears to give a fairly cogent analysis of the nothing we're seeing there:

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2005/03/20/regarding-the-cat-scan-of-terri-schiavos-brain/

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D Pace
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Okay, and here is a post to a (surely self-biased) (but complete) (and surely interesting) 17 page description of the Schiavo case and description of the medical issues involved by the aforementioned Dr. Cranford: http://pekinprattles.blogspot.com/2005/03/dr-cranfords-complete-terri-schiavo.html
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Kent
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Card has an article on rhinotimes.com about this now. It should be linked shortly I'm sure. I think OSC's best point is that his son was unable to feed himself too, but using a spoon is so different than using a tube? He would have been tried for murder if he simply would have let "nature run its course," rather than spoon feed him everyday. So if he couldn't swallow on his own his parents should have the right not to feed him? How can the courts decide who should be alive and who shouldn't unless it comes from the individual himself (in the form of a living will)? The default should be life, not death!
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TomDavidson
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"The default should be life, not death!"

Out of interest, who pays for this? While money is not a major concern in the Schiavo case, who do you believe should pay to keep people in vegetative states alive indefinitely?

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Kent
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Good point Tom, I change my mind and think that only for those who can find sponsors or family members to carry the burden of the care should the default be life. For those who would be a burden to the tax base, I think the default should be death. They really don't contribute to society in any meaningful way and obviously can't pay it back.

Like you said, it doesn't apply to the Schiavo case but it could apply in the future.

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Everard
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So life is now something the value of which we can measure economically?
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OhPuhLeez
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The only reason money isn't a concern in the Sciavo case is because the husband got a settlement from the doctor, which paid for her care.

Now that Bush has stepped in with his lovely reform plan, those big settlements are a thing of the past.

Money will DEFINITELY be an issue.

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Danzig
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(Edit: to Kent) Are you being sarcastic? I think you are but I am just drunk enough to not be sure. If so, can you give a real answer to the question?

[ March 28, 2005, 06:29 PM: Message edited by: Danzig ]

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Haggis
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It's been that way for a while, Ev, even though it really shouldn't be. The decision to recall cars, IIRC is based on probable civil litigation monies, not to mention death benefits for families, etc.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Money will DEFINITELY be an issue.
But if we institute the federal version of the Texas Futile Care Law, patient's families will run out of money faster due to the tort reform and the hospitals will decide whether or not to withhold care. No more of these 15 year patients -- and the family won't have to face the agony of deciding since the hospitals will make the choice for them.
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Everard
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I know Haggis. I suppose I should rephrase.

Whether someone lives or dies, we decide based on their income? The arguments Kent has made in other places lead me to believe that he values LIFE over everything else. If he's now drawing an economic line, rather then a life/death line, his position becomes a lot different then what he's argued.

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Kent
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I find it amazing that Terri's parents are willing to "adopt" her. Her husband is like the woman who accepted King Solomon's decree to cut the baby in half. If someone will pay to keep her alive, why not?

What if Terri was a baby with AIDS in Haiti? If you can't take care of a child you give it up for adoption. In countries where there is no basic infrastructure for orphan/abandoned child care; private and religious orphanages step in. When they run out of funds, children die or live on the streets or are sold into slavery or whatever. Just because we have money, should the government step in and save lives just because we can? I don't think so. I believe charities will foot the bill if given the chance. They can get grant funding from the government to do so.

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Dercount
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This is a very heart rending situation and peoples comments come from a psychological response for life, live and let live, subject matter is survival by any means. Then there is the otherside of the fence where you have people who would clean up at any means, ignore it and it will eventually go away (as the courts have done). This is not about the good lady who put herself in that situation through starvation and is ironically getting her wish one way or another.
The parents live on hope as would any parent, the husband has had enough and wants to move on. It would appear the doctors have exhuasted any hope of recovery.

My gut reaction seeing her on television, is there is hope and the eyes tell a million words. We will never know truely what she is saying. But may we all learn from this public display that it pays to have a living will.

Dispite her state she is still a human being and not a side show at some freak fair which this has become.

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Dagonee
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quote:
But if we institute the federal version of the Texas Futile Care Law, patient's families will run out of money faster due to the tort reform and the hospitals will decide whether or not to withhold care. No more of these 15 year patients -- and the family won't have to face the agony of deciding since the hospitals will make the choice for them.
First, the "Texas Futile Care Law" (which is not an official title) has NOTHING to do with Tort Reform, except that it limits liability for hospitals who comply with an advance directive or exercise the futile review provision. Certainly, tort reform isn't implicated by the law in the sense that it would affect money available for care.

Second, oficially, money is not a consideration, only the "appropriateness" of the care. Of course, it's possible there will be a pre-selection bias in that patients with no payment issues will be reviewed more than others. But, payment wasn't an issue in several of the cases being cited, at least according to what info I could find.

Third, this is an AMA reccommended plan. It's not like Bush and co. cooked this up to save hospitals money. It's favored by doctors, not just insurers and hospitals.

I'm against the law. But 90% of what I'm hearing about this law is just plain wrong.

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OhPuhLeez
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quote:
...and the family won't have to face the agony of deciding since the hospitals will make the choice for them.
Yes. This is just what we need. Hospitals run by corporations making decisions on whether or not to pull the plug.

Um, guess what they'd do? EVERY TIME??? Bottom line and all.

Ugh.

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Dagonee
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The really disgusting fight will be between the hospital wanting to keep someone alive (and paying) and the insurer wanting to pull the plug.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"So life is now something the value of which we can measure economically?"

Always has been.

A bit of grounding: when we're able, we're expected to earn our way. When we're blatantly unable of even staying alive with a comfortable pension to buy caviar and cognac, but not to ingest or imbibe either, are others expected to support us?

200 years ago such a decision would have been simple: let 'em go.

We now strive for immortality even in the form of Permanent Vegetative States...

[ March 28, 2005, 08:05 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"What if the parents tried to pour a cup of water down her throat? Would the court slap them with contempt of court? Has she been court ordered to starve, or just to remove the feeding tube?"

She'd probably drown and they'd bve accused of murder...

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
First, the "Texas Futile Care Law" (which is not an official title) has NOTHING to do with Tort Reform, except that it limits liability for hospitals who comply with an advance directive or exercise the futile review provision. Certainly, tort reform isn't implicated by the law in the sense that it would affect money available for care.

Tort reform will limit the amount of money that can be won by plaintiffs. In that sense, it speeds up the futile care provisions -- families who recover less will run out of money faster.

quote:
Second, oficially, money is not a consideration, only the "appropriateness" of the care. Of course, it's possible there will be a pre-selection bias in that patients with no payment issues will be reviewed more than others. But, payment wasn't an issue in several of the cases being cited, at least according to what info I could find.

We'll have to disagree until we see it happen more, I guess.

quote:
Third, this is an AMA reccommended plan. It's not like Bush and co. cooked this up to save hospitals money. It's favored by doctors, not just insurers and hospitals.


No, but they didn't cry "culture of life!!!" either. They just signed it into law. Interestingly, the National Right to Life Council was a co-drafter of both futile care bills in Texas, along with the Hemlock Society.


quote:
I'm against the law. But 90% of what I'm hearing about this law is just plain wrong.

I just think that there are some obvious likely effects of this law that are the opposite of what many of its sponsors now so loudly espouse.
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Dagonee
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quote:
No, but they didn't cry "culture of life!!!" either. They just signed it into law. Interestingly, the National Right to Life Council was a co-drafter of both futile care bills in Texas, along with the Hemlock Society.
This needs to be viewed from the perspective of the entire Chapter, which was the codification of advance directives and quite a few other policies.

The futile care aspect was one section of a very large bill. I'm sure it was a compromise for almost everyone.

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Zyne
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Posted on the Yahoo Message Boards:

18 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THIS CASE
by: liberal_veteran (39/M) 03/26/05
Msg: 290354 of 315628

1) Jeb Bush, George W. Bush, and Tom Delay are all world renowned neurologists.

2) 22 successive court battles that all ended in exactly the same way means there is something wrong with the courts, not the Schindler's case.

3) Mike is after money which is why he turned down 1 million dollars and 10 million dollars to sign over guardianship.

4) Congress and the State Legislature of Florida has nothing better to do than pry into the private medical affairs of others.

5) Pulling life support is bad in Florida when authorized by the legal next-of-kin, but pulling life support is good in Texas when you run out of money and the mother pleads not to pull the plug on her baby.

6) Medical diagnoses are best performed by watching highly editted videotape made by Randall Terry rather than in person by trained physicians.

7) Minimum wage making nursing assistants are more qualified to diagnose a persistant vegetative state than experienced neurologists.

8) Cerebral spinal fluid is a magical potion that can mimic the entire functions of a missing cerebral cortex.

9) 15 years in the same persistant state is not really enough time to make an accurate diagnosis.

10) A feeding tube that infuses yellow nutritional goop is not really "life support".

11) Jesus was wrong when he said that a man and woman should leave their parents and cleave only to each other.

12) Marriage is the most sacred of all unions, except when it isn't.

13) Interfering in a family's private tragedy is a great reason to cut short a vacation, but getting a memo that warns a known terrorist is determine to strike inside the US is cause to relax and finish up some R&R.

14) Pro-lifers are really compassionate people which is why they are hoping that Michael Schiavo dies a horrible painful death.

15) The Supreme Court of the United States and the State Supreme Court of Florida mean "Maybe" when they are saying "No!".

16) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a bleeding heart liberal.

17) 7 Supreme Court Justices were appointed by republican presidents, so it's Clinton's fault.

18) A judge who makes rulings based on the law is obviously an atheist, liberal, democratic activist even though he is a conservative, republican, Southern Baptist.

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Dagonee
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OK, most of that is just your everyday run-of-the-mill political BS, but this one:

quote:
Pulling life support is bad in Florida when authorized by the legal next-of-kin, but pulling life support is good in Texas when you run out of money and the mother pleads not to pull the plug on her baby.
has got to f*&^ing stop. That's not what the bill says, it's not the effect of the bill, and it's an accusation orders of magnitude worse than most of the BS that gets flung around by both sides.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
has got to f*&^ing stop. That's not what the bill says, it's not the effect of the bill, and it's an accusation orders of magnitude worse than most of the BS that gets flung around by both sides.

Dagonee, you are correct that the futile care law doesn't mandate death for lack of funding.

I believe I am correct when I say that if Terri Schiavo had been hospitalized in Texas, she would have died in 1999.

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Dagonee
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I believe the Schindlers would have found a facility, myself, but you may very well be right.
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Zyne
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Not the effect? Ask Sun Hudson's ghost:

quote:


"I talked to him, I told him that I loved him. Inside of me, my son is still alive," Wanda Hudson told reporters afterward. "This hospital was considered a miracle hospital. When it came to my son, they gave up in six months .... They made a terrible mistake."
...
"I wanted y'all to see my son for yourself," Hudson told reporters. "So you could see he was actually moving around. He was conscious."
...
Texas law allows hospitals can discontinue life sustaining care, even if patient family members disagree. A doctor's recommendation must be approved by a hospital's ethics committee, and the family must be given 10 days from written notice of the decision to try and locate another facility for the patient.

Texas Children's said it contacted 40 facilities with newborn intensive care units, but none would accept Sun. Without legal delays, Sun's care would have ended Nov. 28.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/3084934
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Dagonee
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It's not about money or ability to pay, Zyne. Nothing in your quote supports that contention.

If you want to be horrified, try reading some bioethicists about who should be given life-sustaining care sometimes. There are doctors who think children with Sun's condition shouldn't ever be put on a respirator because it's cruel to the infant. Even worse, there are those who don't think it should be done because it's not worth it.

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