Thursday, March 23, 2006
WAPO Wingnut conveniently ignores certain facts...
Ben's focus is on a recent case in England. I will copy and paste Ben's description of the case here:
In brief: A group of British doctors fought in court for the right to remove a fully-conscious little boy from a ventilator, over the objections of his parents, because they judged his quality of life to not be worth living.See how simple that was? That is how you avoid being tagged a plagiarist. You credit your source! But I digress. To further flesh out the terms of the debate let me further quote from Bens article, and his conclusion in his own words.
The boy, referred to only as MB in court papers, is conscious and awake. His parents want his ventilation to be continued. But they had to fight to do so over the objections of the doctors, who argue that it would be in MB's "best interests" to be taken off of his ventilator.I will encourage my readers to link to the article and do a search for two words. Bush and Texas. Those words are not mentioned once in Bens article. What is the point you ask?
It's one thing to rely on such recommendations to deprive an innocent person of liberty in an extreme situation (quarantine during an outbreak comes to mind), but that's a step that's only taken in defense of society. What was the harm of MB's life? How did his life, sadly shortened by disease, become an outrage? Does this mean that if MB stops enjoying Shrek or laughing with his parents, the doctors will deny him care?
When a group of people are given the de facto authority to decide that a living human boy is not a person, and therefore has none of the protections due to every person, we have crossed a very dangerous line. As ethicist Wesley J. Smith once wrote: "The ultimate purpose of personhood analysis is to determine whom we can kill and still get a good night's sleep."
The point is that in 1999 while Governor of Texas, George Bush signed into law the Advance Directives Act. This act allows hospitals in Texas to have end of life decisions determined by a doctor and an ethics committee. Which sounds REMARKABLY like the issue which so upset Ben in regards to the English law. In fact the law specifies that the patient may be unplugged from life support over the objections of their family... which again sounds remarkably similar to the case in England. Indeed the law has been used to do precisely that in the case of a child with dwarfism, which the doctors determined meant that the child would never be able to breathe on his own. Also there was the case of a cancer patient whose mother lived in Africa. When doctors decided to pull the plug they determined to do so exactly when the law allowed, not allowing time for the patients mother to travel to be with her daughter at time of death. Both of these cases occurred despite the express wishes of the family to keep their loved ones alive.
Yet Ben chooses to ignore the fact that President Bush (whom Ben thinks is fantastic by the way, as he lists him #4 in his list of best Presidents, with the possiblility of climbing the list) signed this law. He seems to stretch to give these end of life laws which he obviously has no use for the imprimatur of liberalism as a plot to kill off people we don't like with the snarky comment that Democrats would have removed Strom Thurmond from office using these laws. His entire schtick after all is misrepresenting the left... and using the copy and paste feature a bit more than he ought to.
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