"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, March 25, 2005

As long as we're talking about suffering...

A doctor weighs in:

To the casual observer, when Terri Schiavo's eyes are closed, she appears to be asleep. But unlike Sleeping Beauty, Schiavo cannot be aroused. She is unable to recognize and respond to her surroundings except in one way -- she can respond to noxious stimuli.

This is one of the reasons her parents, and Congress, argue to keep her body alive. But "responds to noxious stimuli" is a euphemism for "reacts to pain." The doctor's test for this is usually to run his or her knuckles firmly on the breastbone or press down hard on the fingernails or eye sockets. Try it. It hurts.

So there Terri Schiavo lies -- unable to move, poked and prodded, turned and repositioned. Her bowels and bladder flow uncontrollably, and if they don't, a catheter is inserted or an enema given to make sure they do. "Noxious stimuli" are applied regularly to make sure she is still "there." Just try to sit without moving a muscle for one hour. I can't. Yoga practitioners take years to master this painful exercise. Schiavo has been doing it for 15 years.

In short, Schiavo is being kept alive so that she can continue to experience pain.

I commend the rest to your reading.


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