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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Death by starvation 
So those among us who can rationalize anything (no doubt the same crowd who can rationalize partial-birth abortion) are now rationalizing that starvation and dehydration is a natural, painless death.

Let's see if that holds any water in other historical accounts:

In 1941 Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish friar from Warsaw was arrested for publishing anti-Nazi pamphlets and sentenced to Auschwitz. There he was beaten, kicked by shiny leather boots, and whipped by his prison guards. After one prisoner successfully escaped, the prescribed punishment was to select ten other prisoners who were to die by starvation. As ten prisoners were pulled out of line one by one, Fr. Kolbe broke out from the ranks, pleading with he Commandant to be allowed to take the place of one of the prisoners, a Polish worker with a wife and children dependent upon him. "I'm an old man, sir, and good for nothing. My life will serve no purpose," the 45 year old priest pleaded. He was taken, thrown down the stairs into a dank dark basement with the other nine prisoners and left to starve. Usually, prisoners punished like this spent their last days howling, attacking each other and clawing the walls in a frenzy of despair.


Nope.

Here's a woman who herself was diagnosed as in a permanent vegetative state, after suffering a stroke at the age of 33. Her feeding tube was removed for eight days, but she became responsive and doctors were forced to put it back in when her husband threatened to sue everyone in sight. The woman, Kate Adamson, recovered. And describes her starvation thus:

O'Reilly: When they took the feeding tube out, what went through your mind?

Adamson: When the feeding tube was turned off for eight days, I thought I was going insane. I was screaming out in my mind, "Don't you know I need to eat?" And even up until that point, I had been having a bagful of Ensure as my nourishment that was going through the feeding tube. At that point, it sounded pretty good. I just wanted something. The fact that I had nothing, the hunger pains overrode every thought I had.

O'Reilly: So you were feeling pain when they removed your tube?

Adamson: Yes. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. To say that — especially when Michael [Schiavo] on national TV mentioned last week that it's a pretty painless thing to have the feeding tube removed — it is the exact opposite. It was sheer torture, Bill.

O'Reilly: It's just amazing.

Adamson: Sheer torture . . .


...and further:

The agony of going without food was a constant pain that lasted not several hours like my operation did, but several days. You have to endure the physical pain and on top of that you have to endure the emotional pain. Your whole body cries out, "Feed me. I am alive and a person, don't let me die, for God's Sake! Somebody feed me..."

...I craved anything to drink. Anything. I obsessively visualized drinking from a huge bottle of orange Gatorade. And I hate orange Gatorade. I did receive lemon flavored mouth swabs to alleviate dryness but they did nothing to slack my desperate thirst.


Splash, out

Jason

Comments:
I want to commend you for continuing to tow the party line to the T. You're the epitome of loyalty.
 
This marks the first time I've disagreed with you on an issue. I suppose no two people carry the exact same beliefs though.

What strikes me, is that after so much posting about corroboration, editorialism, lack of credibility of the media, etc. . .you're so quick to take the word of a woman interviewed on the O'Reilly show. Her story cannot be corroborated, and it should be noted that she may (or may not, I can admit that) be fabricating some of her story to try an influence an even that's really none of her business.

Perhaps your own strong beliefs on the matter may have blinded you to this possibility.

Personally, I'm conflicted on the matter. I cannot determine that ending Schiavo's life in this manner is any more or less brutal than keeping her 'soul' (if you will) locked in a brain that will never function again. Or, if her soul is already departed, what point is there to keeping an empty husk around?
 
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