Deadly Dismissal moved to
(w/ sarcasm removed there per request)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Going to extremes

This excerpt from a fictional story in this month's Harper's magazine reminded me a little of the spectacle surrounding this case. It's a description of an extremely sick reality show:

"Well, nobody got hurt," says Chief Wayne.
"Except those kids who unknowingly ate their own mothers," says Brad.
"Well, they signed the releases," says Chief Wayne.
"Releases or not, Wayne, come on," says Brad.
"They killed people. They tricked people into eating their own mothers."
"I don't know that I'm all that interested in the moral ins and outs of it," says
Chief Wayne...
"It's interesting, that's the thing," says Doris. "The expectations, the reversals, the timeless human emotions."
"Who wouldn't want to watch that?" says Chief Wayne.

This isn't the first time Terri has been starved and dehydrated within inches of her life. What might Terri be feeling, or is she feeling at all? How can anyone say for certain without being in her head? Gail Pursell Elliott wrote in a recent installment of her newsletter, "Food For Thought", about a recent ER episode she saw where the everything that was happening was narrated from the perspective of a patient who was not able to communicate, but retained awareness of what was being done to her. This concept reminded me of a powerful film I saw back in college: "Johnny Got His Gun". In that story, the injuries that prevented any ability to communicate were inflicted by war. According to some of the reviews, the book is even more powerful. I wonder if, similarly to these fictional accounts, Terri is on some level aware of what is going on. Although I didn't vote for the dude, I think what President Bush said today is sound: that we should err on the side of life. There is very little time remaining to do that. The war in this instance is unfortunately one being fought between political opponents and a judicial system that has to protect its power at all costs--while Terri's physiologic systems react to the withholding of water and nutrients that are essential for human life.

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