Monday, March 21, 2005

I Will Try Not To Say Much More About This Subject But I Found This Article Interesting


As Republicans plotted congressional intervention last week to extend the life of Terri Schiavo, a Texas woman named Wanda Hudson watched her six-month-old baby die in her arms after doctors removed the breathing tube that kept him alive. Hudson didn't want the tube removed, but the baby's doctors decided for her. A judge signed off on the decision under the Texas futile care law -- a provision first signed into law in 1999 by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

Under the 1999 law, doctors in Texas can, with the support of a hospital ethics committee, can overrule the wishes of family members and terminate life-support measures if they believe further care would be futile. Bush signed the bill after interested parties, including anti-abortion activists, agreed on compromise language that required hospitals to give families 10 days' notice before terminating care and to help families find an alternative treatment facility that would continue care instead.

That process worked last week for the family of Spiro Nikolouzos, a retired electrical engineer who was critically injured in a car accident 10 years ago and has been in a persistent vegetative state since at least 2001. The Houston Chronicle reports that a lawyer for Nikolouzos' family was able to delay the termination of care by a Houston hospital just long enough for the family to find a nursing home in San Antonio that would take him in.

Wanda Hudson didn't have that option. According to the Chronicle, Texas Children's Hospital said it contacted 40 facilities with newborn intensive care units, but not one of them would accept Hudson's baby. He died last Tuesday, just minutes after doctors removed his breathing tube. So far as we can tell, neither the White House nor any member of Congress made any effort to intervene in the case.

I guess I just don't understand the way people have taken one woman's story and used her image so shamelessly as a poster-person for their cause. If I were Terry Schiavo I would be furious. But then again I suppose she doesn't even realize what's going on.

Just for the record I'd like to say that if anything ever happens to me like what happened to this poor woman fifteen years ago- PLEASE DON'T KEEP ME HANGING AROUND FOR OVER A DECADE AND THEN PARADE ME AROUND ON TV. Just don't keep me around at all, ok? We really should require everybody to state in writing such wishes.

Thank you very much. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

1 comment:

  1. I promise not to parade you around on television. No parading whatsoever.
    This has been on my mind, too. It's on my list of things to do today: laundry, bank, post office, write advance directive. And by the way, if anything should ever happen to me, said advance directive will be handily located in the black file box next to my desk. I've told Greg as well.
    Ditto on the parading for me, too. ;)