I’m too fuzzyheaded right now to mentally dissect this, but

December 22, 2006 at 3:04 PM (Uncategorized) (, )

Perhaps those of you with clearer heads can take this one on:

I’m not going to rant, contrary to usuall..I’m just hoping this article doesn’t actually say what I think it does, or that I’m misreading it:

It seems that a legal scholar is stating that efforts against the Duty to Die crowd infringe on “medical freedom” and that one of the reasons disability rights activists have had some success arguing against removal of nutrition and hydration when someone has no living will is that because they are, in fact, the disability rights movement, they are “untouchable.”

Please, somebody with more firing neurons than I’ve got at the moment, wade through this when you get a minute.

6 Comments

  1. bridgett said,

    What I got out of it was this:

    Disability rights folks have made an effective (and — according to this author, who is full of horseshit on this point — nearly unopposed) case for the presumption that life is always better than death for the disabled. It is now so very much the norm in the medical community (another point at which she drastically overstates her case, though we could all wish that were true) to favor the extension of life that it’s become damn difficult to choose to die when one wants that (maybe true, but hardly because of the MIGHTY MIGHTY CLOUT that is the underfunded, oft-ignored disability rights movement). She (our legal rescuer) plans to sweep onto the field to burn some strawmen and argue that sometimes, no really, it’s better to be able to choose to die.

    In my opinion, the author seems much more concerned with the right of the able to choose to die when faced with disability than the right of the disabled to continue to live. Nuff said.

  2. bridgett said,

    What I got out of it was this:

    Disability rights folks have made an effective (and — according to this author, who is full of horseshit on this point — nearly unopposed) case for the presumption that life is always better than death for the disabled. It is now so very much the norm in the medical community (another point at which she drastically overstates her case, though we could all wish that were true) to favor the extension of life that it’s become damn difficult to choose to die when one wants that (maybe true, but hardly because of the MIGHTY MIGHTY CLOUT that is the underfunded, oft-ignored disability rights movement). She (our legal rescuer) plans to sweep onto the field to burn some strawmen and argue that sometimes, no really, it’s better to be able to choose to die.

    In my opinion, the author seems much more concerned with the right of the able to choose to die when faced with disability than the right of the disabled to continue to live. Nuff said.

  3. Interrobang said,

    I’d better make a living will, because like hell I want to be intubated and ventilated and left alive at 20% of my normal capacity.

    Life sucks enough now as it is, as a person with a relatively minor disability, that I can’t imagine being left in a hospital bed without any agency and having other people do horrible things to me in the name of preserving whatever shred of “life” I have left.

    Particularly it’s brain damage that scares me. A cognitive impairment would be the bendin’ end (the mobility/motor impairment from the previous brain lesion is plenty, thanks).

    Just no.

    There is a problem with the lack of agency involved in end-of-life decisions of that kind, although I can see a certain logic to it, when the condition or trauma is nonrecoverable. On the other hand, it’s also disturbing that many disabled people already lack the access to the kind of legal services required to put a living will or an enforceable POA in place.

    To be perfectly blunt, unlike many people, I don’t see this as a slippery slope issue, since at present, it’s being resolved case by case, often with wildly different outcomes depending on context (jurisdiction, medical system, attending physicians, family wishes, etc.). I’m not seeing any compelling evidence to suggest that the slippery slope exists, let alone that we’re speeding down it to perdition.

    The establishment of a legal services clinic or think-tank entirely specialising in disability issues (not necessarily disability rights, but disability issues) would be a net positive, though.

  4. Interrobang said,

    I’d better make a living will, because like hell I want to be intubated and ventilated and left alive at 20% of my normal capacity.

    Life sucks enough now as it is, as a person with a relatively minor disability, that I can’t imagine being left in a hospital bed without any agency and having other people do horrible things to me in the name of preserving whatever shred of “life” I have left.

    Particularly it’s brain damage that scares me. A cognitive impairment would be the bendin’ end (the mobility/motor impairment from the previous brain lesion is plenty, thanks).

    Just no.

    There is a problem with the lack of agency involved in end-of-life decisions of that kind, although I can see a certain logic to it, when the condition or trauma is nonrecoverable. On the other hand, it’s also disturbing that many disabled people already lack the access to the kind of legal services required to put a living will or an enforceable POA in place.

    To be perfectly blunt, unlike many people, I don’t see this as a slippery slope issue, since at present, it’s being resolved case by case, often with wildly different outcomes depending on context (jurisdiction, medical system, attending physicians, family wishes, etc.). I’m not seeing any compelling evidence to suggest that the slippery slope exists, let alone that we’re speeding down it to perdition.

    The establishment of a legal services clinic or think-tank entirely specialising in disability issues (not necessarily disability rights, but disability issues) would be a net positive, though.

  5. imfunnytoo said,

    Having a living will is a vital necessity, no doubt about that.

    In the US, there is a law in one or perhaps more states known as a “Futile Care Statute”

    *with* consciousness (they medicate you out of that) and *with* brain activity, lives have been ended under that statute, it’s my understanding.

    I am in complete agreement on the need for a living will, and my personal choice is to be taken off life support once there is no measureable breain activity.

    But, I’m afraid I come down on the side of the slippery slope argument.

    In no *way* do I want to allow removal of nutrition and hydration when I’ve been medicated into uncosciousness and brain activity is present, and the living will says so.

    I’d imagine *if* I have insurance at the time of my demise my living will will be much more likely to be enforced, but that’s just me.

    Perhaps my cynicsm and mistrust of medical personell always following the written POA comes with sixteen years of working in the system.

    Whatever each individual wishes *has* to be set down in writing.

  6. imfunnytoo said,

    Having a living will is a vital necessity, no doubt about that.

    In the US, there is a law in one or perhaps more states known as a “Futile Care Statute”

    *with* consciousness (they medicate you out of that) and *with* brain activity, lives have been ended under that statute, it’s my understanding.

    I am in complete agreement on the need for a living will, and my personal choice is to be taken off life support once there is no measureable breain activity.

    But, I’m afraid I come down on the side of the slippery slope argument.

    In no *way* do I want to allow removal of nutrition and hydration when I’ve been medicated into uncosciousness and brain activity is present, and the living will says so.

    I’d imagine *if* I have insurance at the time of my demise my living will will be much more likely to be enforced, but that’s just me.

    Perhaps my cynicsm and mistrust of medical personell always following the written POA comes with sixteen years of working in the system.

    Whatever each individual wishes *has* to be set down in writing.

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