Thursday, March 24, 2005

Terri Schindler--Lessons Learned

This will mercifully be my final post on the whole tragedy that is unfolding in Florida. There are people smarter than me that are already looking for the lessons to be learned from what has happened. You can find them here, and here, and Mr. Reynolds gives a "I think they might be right" here.

I don't think they are wrong, but I think they are missing the larger lesson. If everyone goes out and gets a living will after this that would be great. Wonderful. But I don't think it solves the problem.

Yes, most of us, if faced with the prospect of being brain dead with no hope of recovery would not choose to be kept alive by artificial means. That is a no brainer. But what about the gray areas, where we don't really know, as in this case. How many of us have said, when viewing a person who is paralyzed from the neck down, "I would rather be dead than to live my life like that". That is easy to say when you are healthy, but when actually faced with that situation you might find you have a sudden interest in drawing with a pencil in your pie hole or in studying string theory physics. You don't know what quality of life you are willing to accept until you are faced with it. In Terri's case, we don't really know what her level of cognitive function is, but I suspect it is a good deal more than her husband wants us to believe.

Are you going to write a living will to cover every possible contingency and for every degree of life quality?

No, I think the major lesson in this is to surround yourself with people who love you and will act in your best interest should the time come. If you have them, do everything you can to keep them, if you don't, find them.

Another lesson learned is that a Circuit Court Judge in the state of Florida is more powerful than the governor, and a US District Court Judge can defy the will of the Congress and the President, with absolutely no repercussions. That is something we are going to have to come to terms with and deal with in the future.

A final lesson for me as a blogger is that there are some bloggers that are so hip and cool that they look at a situation that is being written about all over the b-sphere and they go against the grain. Yep, they got it going on, they look down their noses at people like me and say what I am doing is morally bankrupt and my outrage is artificial. They are so big picture that they can't be bogged down by caring about the suffering of one human, they are concerned about everything.

And damn it, they are going to google bait every porn surfer until all the children of the world are fed.