Another look at Schiavo Pt II

May 14, 2005 at 4:41 PM (Terri Schiavo)

I’ve lost the link to the original story, but the link above is commentary on Baroness Warnock’s remarks to the London Times in December of 2004.
regarding What Ought To Be Done About The Disabled:

From the London Times December of 2004
“BRITAIN’S leading medical ethics expert has suggested that the frail and elderly should consider suicide to stop them becoming a financial burden on their families and society.
Baroness Warnock spoke on the eve of a Commons debate on the Mental Capacity Bill, which critics claim will allow “euthanasia by the back door.
‘I know I’m not really allowed to say it, but one of the things that would motivate me [to die] is I couldn’t bear hanging on and being such a burden on people…'”

That is one person’s opinion, and should be left to her high personage alone…Instead it seems through her influence laws are being considered in Britain that would allow the idea into public discourse that in most cases age means burden.
My great grandmother lived to be 90. She recognized, on some level that her daughter who lived with her had to pay a great price by living with her But I think all of us, even my great aunt who had the most to lose by living her life for her mother, would have said that it was worth the price, worth the price to all of us who benefited from her rich life story, her discipline, her dictates and her wisdom. If anyone had told my great grandmother that it was perhaps her duty to die, she would have looked at them fiercely, spoken to them politely and then through some magic that only she possesed seen that they were suddenly out on the front stoop or standing by the side trellis with the door firmly barred.

The Baroness then goes on to compare ‘heroic’ self sacrifice to elderly family members choosing to die.
She also suggests that parents of premature babies should be charged the costs to keep them on life support machines if doctors write off their chances of leading a healthy life.
“‘Maybe it has come down to saying ‘Okay, they can stay alive but the family will have to pay for it.’ Otherwise it will be an awful drain on public resources,” she said. “

My parents initialy got such a determination from a doctor. So did my husband’s parents. The thought of my late husband’s family being told (and later he himself as his genetic disorder cost a boatload of money, being told that , well since his life was not ‘healthy’ he’d best set about getting dead…Hahahaha… The little government official that said any such thing to him or his father would not have survived the discussion. [he did die later, but that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax for another year.] Thankfully, it was my parents and not too much later myself who got to decide what a ‘healthy” life was. Let me say this right now. I will not permit any government to dictate to me while still in possession of my faculties what a healthy life is. Not powers, and not principalities: I decide. God decides when I go, but before that the reins are in my hands, not some HMO bean counter who thinks that his “cost avoidance” tables (anyone working in the private insurance industry wincing yet? ) say that by X age, I will have outlived my usefulness as a human being. I apologize that by then I and my tribe the disabled will cost so much to keep around but…(she smiles wolfishly) that’s what the right implicity agrees to pay for when they fight tooth and nail to get us all born isn’t it? Hell, some folk would say a nearly homebound person who uses a mobility device ought to shuck this mortal coil right here and now… since yanno, I’m not beautiful and won’t make athlete of the year so I’d best get busy dying….[cough]. I can quite imagine a level of pain that would make me choose to shuffle off to the Heavenly Drive In. I cannot imagine any circumstance in which I would consent to someone else deciding that for me while I was still competent. Yes I have a living will with all of its many permutations. Persons who have read through this dogfight to live will be surprised that I have no interest in existence once sentience has departed, and have said so….

We’re imperfect, we’re here and we’re staying awhile. Get used to it

1 Comment

  1. Three years of MidlifeandTreachery: A top ten « Midlife And Treachery said,

    […] one and two parter on Terri […]

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