Sunday, June 10, 2007

Texas: Is Death Row Safer Than a Hospital Bed?

By Carrie K. Hutchens

The article on, "Boy at center of life-support case dies"  by Michael Grabell (May 30, 2007) covers the story of two year old Daniel Wayne Cullen II, who was born premature and with severe breathing problems. A story that takes us to his eventual hospitalization and the ethic's committee deeming him futile. A story of a mother's fight to save her son and the reprieve she won in his behalf.

According to the article, "Daniel Wayne Cullen II had gained attention in the media and among lawmakers after his mother, Dixie Belcher, obtained an emergency restraining order preventing the hospital from disconnecting his machines. He had been on a ventilator since April 4, 2006, when he pulled out a tube in his trachea that helped him breathe."

It further states, "Following the state law, the hospital's ethics board decided last May that there was nothing more doctors could do and gave Ms. Belcher 10 days to find another facility. Daniel was eventually transferred in July to a pediatric nursing center near Tyler."

Of course the article has to deal with costs and who is paying the bill...

"But in another case, involving an 18-month-old Austin boy, Emilio Gonzales, the Austin American-Statesman reported that his treatment reached $1.68 million for 142 days in a hospital's intensive-care unit. The hospital said it expected to collect $389,000 in reimbursement from Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. Because Daniel was in the custody of Child Protective Services, his care probably will be paid for by Medicaid."

The article just has to bring up that Daniel was in the custody of Child Protective Services. Why? What did any of that have to do with the fact the little boy pulled out a tube in his trachea, suffered brain damage and the ethics committee deemed him futile, with the mother winning a reprieve? Was it to make the mother look bad in the eyes of the public and therefore give justification for feeling she had no right to fight for the life of her baby? Only babies born to certain class levels and specifications are worthy of life?

Those who don't want their tax money spent on health care for the indigent, will no doubt be complaining that these little boys were allowed to live at their expense. Of course, they will argue that the mothers are cruel and ought to "let their babies go". Never dawns on them that they are requesting and supporting euthanasia. Even if it does dawn on them, there are some that actually seem to believe the sick, disabled and elderly ought to be ousted so as not to drain the resources.

It is one thing to let a person go, and quite another to hasten death. The latter being a step or two before the cleansing of society after Hitler's example, and moving on into "obligated death". And, for those who refuse to believe what is happening and call people alarmists, may you remember the warnings if you (or your family member) find yourself deemed too big a drain on the resources and placed on the termination list against your will. You'll certainly have plenty of time to ponder it all, if you are one that gets the chance to be let go by starvation and dehydration. You know... that dying process that is only legal if done to a human.

There was a time that this country could stand proud in its attempt to protect and care for even its weakest. Now, we see a madness over-taking the reason and compassion that was once ours. A madness that strives to find justification for actions that cannot be truly justified. A madness that tells us a husband should have a right to starve and dehydrate his wife to death, while likewise telling us a mother has no right to fight to save her child. It is only a person's right to make the decision if that decision is death?

Within this madness that is devouring our society, a man and a court may starve and dehydrate an innocent woman (Terri Schiavo) to death, and yet, a murderer cannot legally be executed by starvation and dehydration?

Within this madness, there are those who have fought against lethal injection because it took too long and the inmate "may" have suffered for a few minutes, yet these same people find it acceptable for an innocent woman to have been put to death in a hideously slow and agonizing manner that took nearly 14 "DAYS "? How twisted has our society become? How twisted that what we do to the sick, disabled and elderly in the name of mercy, we would not think of doing to murderers or animals because, to do so, would be cruel and unusual punishment?

Within this madness, a doctor, hospital and so-called ethics committee was able to invoke the futile care law on a conscious woman (Andrea Clark) that was fighting for life? A conscious woman!!! How scary is that? Apparently not scary enough to shock our society back into rational thought mode. Not scary enough to shock people into realizing how dangerous it is to let a "select group" decide who will live or die in spite of the wishes of the individual and their family. That's even scarier!

What will it take for people to get a grasp on reality again and start seeing things as they truly are?

One can only wonder!

Knowing might be too late!