Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

April 6, 2005

Terri Redux: Another woman set to die

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:50 pm

Another woman is set to be starved to death — but this time, it’s in direct contravention of her living will. Mae Magouirk has a living will that specifies she doesn’t want to be fed if she becomes terminal or vegetative. However, she is neither, (and this is not in dispute). She was hospitalized for an aortic dissection just two weeks ago. She was stabilized, after which her granddaughter falsely claimed to have a durable power of attorney, and ordered her feeding stopped. The granddaughter says:

“Grandmamma is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus. She has glaucoma, and now this heart problem and who would want to live with disabilities like these?”

Her brother and sister think she would. (Lots of people live with these “disabilities.”) They protested to the hospice (to which she had been transferred), which discovered that the granddaughter did not in fact have a durable power of attorney on file. So they went to court, and got the daughter appointed as a guardian, in effect giving her the powers she falsely claimed to have.

This is a case without a lot of the ambiguities of Terri’s — the “guardian’s” lies are a matter of court record, there is a living will that does not authorize withdrawal of hydration in these circumstances, and the patient is neither terminal, nor comatose, nor vegetative, and there are no allegations that she is any of these things. She is unable to communicate only because they are keeping her sedated (and unfed).

In short: this could be you!

Details here and here.

UPDATE: The claim that no one would want to live with glaucoma is difficult to believe. Glaucoma is an eye disease which, left untreated, can cause blindness — however, it can be completely treated merely with daily eyedrops, which completely prevent it from causing any symptoms whatsoever. People can literally live for decades with glaucoma, taking their daily eyedrops and having no deterioration in their eyesight. It is less trouble than brushing your teeth. Calling this a “disability” is preposterous.

Tangled Bank

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:48 pm

Tangled Bank is a weekly roundup of science blogs. This week’s edition is at Orac Knows.

Rosa Parks Redux

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:52 am

If you follow these things, you’ll know by now that the U.S. goverment has been given five, and only five, official seats for the Pope’s funeral. These seats will be filled by President and Mrs. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Presidents Clinton and G.H.W. Bush.

Some are portraying this as a snub of Jimmy Carter, despite the fact that, according to Reuters, Carter was invited but declined.

Now, Laura Ingraham is reporting that on the Today , Matt Lauer said, “Why doesn’t Secretary of State Rice step aside and say “you take my spot, former President Carter?” He apparently said this both in reference to her seat at the funeral, and her seat on Air Force One for the flight over there.

Now if I recall correctly, the last time a Black woman from Alabama was asked to give up her seat for a White Southern man, the woman was Rosa Parks, and it turned out very badly for the future of the Democratic Party in the South….

(By the way, does anyone know if Cyrus Vance gave up his seat to Richard Nixon for either of the Papal funerals in 1978?)

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