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September 3, 2006

Topics: Euthanasia, Futile Care Laws

Pro life attorney Jerri Lynn Ward wrote a response to a "Dr. Linda" regarding her letter to World Net Daily in which she wrote, "Terri Schiavo had the cognition of a bag of lettuce."

Ms. Ward wrote:

I read the letter from Dr. Linda regarding Terri Schiavo with horrified fascination. I should not be surprised by her statements. I should be used to such arrogant expressions from members of the medical community.

All who read Dr. Linda's letter are hereby placed on notice that there is definite moral rot in the medical community. A physician who compares a disabled individual's brain to a "bag of lettuce" is capable of all manner of transgressions against human life and dignity. There are many profoundly retarded individuals that, I hazard to guess, Dr. Linda would compare to "a bag of lettuce" or a "turnip" or various other kinds of vegetables. She may attempt to draw distinctions between Terri and other cognitively disabled individuals - but she has no moral foundation for doing so.
Once individuals are "sorted out" by cognitive abilities, there is no stopping it.
Further, Dr. Linda's insult of Terri's loving parents as ignoramuses, while in the same breath declaring this to be a "family medical decision" shows the hypocrisy at work in the "futilitarian" branch of the medical community. This is very apparent in Texas as we battle the Texas "Futile Care Statute," where physicians are allowed to withdraw treatment they deem to be "inappropriate" against the wishes of families and patients.
In the Texas cases, the families are presented the "choice" of ending or continuing life-sustaining treatments. It is first approached as a "family medical decision." But, the moment a family chooses a continuation of life-sustaining treatments, they are treated with condescension, cruelty and verbal brutality. They become "ignoramuses" in the eyes of the health providers - just as Terri's family is so considered by Dr. Linda.
The present danger, to us all is that a bunch of "the anointed," as Thomas Sowell has termed such people, who believe that their education and knowledge should trump the social values of our society, have begun to wrest control of the medical profession away from those who value human life. They believe that they, alone, should make decisions about whose life is valuable enough to receive medical treatments.
These "anointed" have grafted a parallel set of ethics upon our communities. Time and time again, as we in Texas fight these pronouncements by futilitarians that treatment should be withdraw from patients in different Texas cities, we find the local community at large to be shocked and horrified that such thinking exists in "their" medical community.
Rather than allowing the medical community to force these values upon us, we should push back and let them know that, in no uncertain terms, we, the taxpayers and citizens of this country, will not be ruled by a "self-anointed elite." Our Judeo-Christian society values human life and will continue to do so - even in the face of so-called experts like Dr. Linda who see our beloved disabled family members as nothing more than "bags of lettuce."

Jerri Lynn Ward
Texas Advance Directives Blog

Posted by Mary at September 3, 2006 1:33 PM

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End of life care is too important for anyone to dismiss by making the issue one of "doctors," "lawyers," "judges," or "lawmakers."

The Texas Advanced Directive Act as it was written and passed by a coalition of lawyers, doctors, activists and legislators needs to be amended, it is true. However, reading this post, I feel a need to spend (wasted) time explaining that while a doctor, I am not at all like the doctors that Ms. Ward is talking about. I mentally list all sorts of examples of hateful comments similar to those by "Dr. Linda" given by lawyers, professors, housewives, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, black, white, and any other divisive classification I can think of to defend my profession.

As I've told Ms. Ward in the past, I believe that most of these cases arise from misunderstandings that become battles. (Not in the Schiavo case - that one was a test case for the eugenicists and abuse by both the husband and the judge.)

I would like to assist as a pro-life Family Physician in clarifying and interpreting the medical care issues as an advocate for patients.

Posted by: Beverly B. Nuckols, MD at September 4, 2006 11:13 AM

'Dr. Linda' seems to have the cognition of a bag of lettuce. Or something else I won't mention, for that matter.

She could possibly have just been some Internet crank, though.

If she really is a doctor, then too bad we don't know her last name, so we can keep our old and sick far away from her.

Posted by: thedegu [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2006 6:45 PM