Friday, March 25, 2005

The New York Times: Neither 'Starvation' Nor the Suffering It Connotes Applies to Schiavo, Doctors Say

The Big Lie campaign of "Terri ain't suffering" rolls on with this steaming load of manure which goes to great length to calm the consciences of those who might waver in their support of the gruesome execution of Terri Schiavo by telling us that this useless person doesn't feel the pain that's being inflicted on her, so it's all good. Move along, citizens. Nothing to see here.

In the case of Ms. Schiavo, experts say, the potential for discomfort is nonexistent because higher functions like consciousness and the ability to sense pain were destroyed 15 years ago when she suffered the loss of oxygen to her brain.

Dr. Joseph Fins, chief of the medical ethics division of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell hospital, said that "the window of opportunity to be diagnosed as even minimally conscious" closes within three months of oxygen-deprivation brain damage.

Based on evidence accepted by the courts that Ms. Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state and not in a more conscious state, Dr. Fins added, "the part of brain that allows one to suffer is not functioning."

And that, he said, "should be reassuring to people who are concerned."

Of course, those who've seen Terri's records around the Interweb and recall that they've been prescribing analgesics to relieve her monthly menstrual pain may wonder how a woman who needed relief from cramps now suddenly doesn't feel that she's being dried-out alive.

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