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My Christmas gift to you - outrage [Dec. 23rd, 2005|01:01 pm]
[Current Mood |angryangry]

dglenn usually is the one linking to people, but today I am going to link to him and his comments on the death of Tirhas Habtegiris, a 27-year-old legally immigrated African woman who was dying of cancer and who the great state of Texas took off the respirator.

While she was still conscious and responsive.

Because she lacked insurance. And she had no hope of surviving the disease. But she did want to say goodbye to her mother, to die in her mother's arms. That didn't happen, because the family could not get mom here from Africa in the 10 days the hospital allowed before their summary execution of a conscious woman.

I'm sorry that the link requires registration. I was hoping to find a link to a site that didn't, but this was the only news story about this incident.

So, as glenn asks, where were the Terri Schaivo people in this case? Where were the advocates to picket the hospital and prevent the doctors from taking this woman off the respirator? In the Schaivo case, it was her mother's belief that Terri would not want to die that caused all the uproar. In this case, it was the woman herself saying that she did not want to die until her mother arrived. There was no shade of gray. There was life, and that life was literally smothered by the hospital's choice.

And no one particularly cared.

The hypocracy can't be missed. If it had been a brain-damaged person whose case paralleled Schaivo's, I could see that people would not try and fight a battle so clearly lost. But they ignored someone still conscious who was forced to die like a fish on dry land, gasping for air for 15 minutes.

And this was ignored by the protesters why?

And the current administration is fighting against Oregon's assisted suicide measure why?

Helping a person to end her life because she is terminally ill and does not want to keep living is wrong, but murdering the indigent is okay why?

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From: odclay
2005-12-23 06:06 pm (UTC)
Because, well, um...I mean, clearly it's because...um...because...

God Bless America!
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From: odclay
2005-12-23 06:54 pm (UTC)
But anyway, I suppose there's a difference between "Right to Live" and "Can't Afford to Do So."
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[User Picture]From: lordindra
2005-12-23 06:21 pm (UTC)
The least they could have done was extended the time she had until her mother could arrive. Not doing that is *literally* adding insult to injury.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-23 06:38 pm (UTC)
Clock was ticking, dude, and the bill just kept going up.

Texas is not a bastion of medical mercy. I don't expect that from them. I just want to know why the right-to-lifers were mute.
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[User Picture]From: ruka_
2005-12-23 06:27 pm (UTC)
How the hell is that legal?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-23 06:39 pm (UTC)
Because Bush signed a bill making it legal to cease medical treatment on the indigent. Shortly before he hauled his "Respect Life" ass to the Oval Office.
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[User Picture]From: owlswater
2005-12-23 06:32 pm (UTC)
Why? Because she was black, like Sun Hudson.

Or if you want to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it's just because she was poor. Not much of a selection though, is it.
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[User Picture]From: quizzicalsphinx
2005-12-23 06:39 pm (UTC)
Poor is the great social unifier.
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2005-12-23 06:36 pm (UTC)
Found this from a Dallas news report.

This happened ten days ago, and this is the first I'm hearing of it. But Dr. Kavorkian is still in prison for helping people who were ready to die do so with dignity.

I don't even know who we are anymore.
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[User Picture]From: lubedpumpkin
2005-12-23 06:46 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Just ugh.

And FYI: bugmenot.com, to avoid sites with registration.
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[User Picture]From: yndy
2005-12-23 08:36 pm (UTC)
I was about to post the same.
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[User Picture]From: icefacade
2005-12-23 06:48 pm (UTC)
oooh that makes me so MAD! Fucking hypocrites.

Why is one of the weightiest words in language and the least carried to an answer.
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[User Picture]From: fictionalizedme
2005-12-23 07:05 pm (UTC)
GAAK! *pullsouthair*

Why? Why? Why?

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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2005-12-23 11:15 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the obvious break in topicality, but I had to compliment the icon.
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[User Picture]From: suzieboz
2005-12-23 07:08 pm (UTC)

Unfortunately the answer is pure and simple.

Her family didn't make a big enough contribution to the Administration's interests like the Schiavo family did.

And (I know I'm gonna get reamed for this one), The State of Texas is 99% full of assholes - look who their leader was for so long, and they have a "superiority" complex of which I can not comprehend.

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[User Picture]From: shadefell
2005-12-23 07:08 pm (UTC)
I am stunned by this. Simply stunned.

Here is a woman who was alive, concious, thinking, and reasoning. And she was murdered in a strange bed by a governmental decision that she didn't deserve to live because it was too expensive.

People talk about putting a price on human life, often in wrongful death suits. But here, someone coldly and rationally put a price on the life of a living woman, and decided she just wasn't worth that much.

Lacking insurance, I dread becoming seriously ill or getting in an accident, because there's absolutely no support network. At least the state I live in hasn't murdered me, yet.
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[User Picture]From: darlox
2005-12-23 07:11 pm (UTC)
Okay, so I just want to point out a couple things. First, I think the cries of racism might be just a _little_ bit premature. The class-based discrimination might be a little more accurate, since money truly does talk. Regardless...

I think what we have here is a hair-splitting distinction between medically futile, and right-to-die. This woman, and Sun Hudson, had progressive, incurable diseases. Even had life-support been supported and maintained indefinitely, they inarguably would have died of the condition they were under treatment for. Most likely, very painfully.

Schiavo, Spiro Nikolouzos, and others in the "persistent vegetative state" argument, are right-to-die issues. While it's astoundingly unlikely they would ever wake up, they are not suffering from a condition that would ultimately kill them on its own. Therefore, if you're splitting hairs, you're _killing_ the PVS people, while you're simply "hastening" the terminal.

My personal take on this is that it's futile to maintain ANY of them. I'll even go so far as to say that money _shouldn't_ matter... if you want to throw money away so badly, give it to a research organiation looking for a cure for X, rather than pumping it into a breathing corpse. While this unfortunately plays into the whole class-warfare issue, I think this especially holds true with uninsured and Medicare patients, because (unfair though it may be), they're burning through MY money, not their own.

I agree 100% that there is certainly hypocracy at work here. But, I do believe that the arguments are at least feasible ones, and perhaps jumping to racism/classism accusations in this case, may be a bit premature.
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2005-12-23 07:27 pm (UTC)
Premature, how?

You know, if you can't see that the Bush Administration is racist, I don't know what else to tell you. My majority black city was left to founder (literally) on its own for four days while the Bush Administration dawdled, and GWB played his presidential guitar that some white redneck country singer gave him. How can you not see the racism in this? How can you not see that this administration does not give a good goddamn about anyone who is not as white and as privileged as themselves?

It's not overt racism. It's worse. It's covert racism, covert classism. They know they can't get away with open racism, overt classism - won't play well, even in the red states - but their sense of fair play and righteousness only extends as far as their own people. And that's a blunt fact. I saw it firsthand in New Orleans. If you can't see it, you're not looking.
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[User Picture]From: naath
2005-12-23 07:17 pm (UTC)
*cuddles the NHS like a big teddy bear*.

(oh noes, can't have the state paying for poor people to stay allive, how dreadfull! taking away *my* right to have lots of money! how dare you! mine! my own! my precioussssss, stupid poor people deserve to die)

(please not the *sarcasm* in that last para)
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From: neonchameleon
2005-12-24 12:59 am (UTC)
And it isn't as if the NHS actually costs us anything compared to the US situation. From the 2005 WHO annual report, in the most recent year for which they have figures (2002), the US spent $5,274 per head on healthcare of which $2,368 was spent by the government. The UK spent $2,160 (international dollar rate) per head on healthcare of which $1,801 was spent by the government.

Yes, that's right. US Public spending on health costs them more than the NHS costs us. (And still costs more than the total spending costs us).
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2005-12-23 07:22 pm (UTC)
Getting down to the Blunt Facts, in my opinion? GWB, the current "administration," and the "pro-life" people are nothing more than privileged white people, and they only care about privileged white people.

Do I sound Marxist? Socialist even? Maybe so. The older I get the more Socialist I become, but as long as we let the rich rule us, this is going to happen. As long as we let corporations rule us, this is going to happen. As long as completely unfettered free-market capitalism is the true religion of the United States of America, and as long as Money is the only real God that most Americans worship, this is going to happen.

It's not good and it's not right, and I hate it as much as you do. And all we can do is fight the little battles and cry. But as long as the American people allow that people like Dick Cheney, GWB and Don Rumsfeld are all right guys and should be allowed to run the country, this will continue to happen.
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[User Picture]From: raylenetaskoski
2005-12-23 07:59 pm (UTC)
Wow. That sucks. And that's a thoroughly inadequate expression of how I feel.

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[User Picture]From: hopeevey
2005-12-23 08:19 pm (UTC)
I've emailed my elected officials, so will not go back to being quietly outraged until I think of something else to do about it.
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