Sunday, May 08, 2005

More comment highlights...

Keith said "I believe that one's living will should be the final word, as long as it is in accordance with applicable law," which goes right to the heart of the matter. Before even worrying about a living will, the conscious, coherent, and rational patient is still severely constrained in their choices by those 'applicable laws'. To what end?

dezerai said "I also believe that the current medical establishment is goal driven to obtaining the max dollar for almost nothing." This seems logical and could certainly be supported by my own anecdotes. I tend to think it is accurate though very unpleasant to consider. What could the medical community do to refute this, or change it?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Comments so far...

I'm getting a range of responses to this question, and hope that there will be more today. I want to thank the five who have responded so far and bring up a highlight. Outside the debated issue I want to thank everyone for their condolences on the death of my father.

Today's highlight is from Robyn, who said: "For many people, this is not a political question, but a moral and ethical one." I agree that this is exactly what it should be. In my father's case it should have been a question of his morals and ethics, and perhaps mine if he asked me. Unfortunately the issue is taken out of the hands of the individual and the family and legislated by the state. It may not be the hottest issue in politics for me right now, but I spent a little time wishing that I had pursued the issue sooner. I will definitely be looking at it seriously for the rest of my life, since I don't want it passed on to my kids the same way it was passed on to me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Question continued for another generation

Forty years ago my grandmother died an extremely painful death due to cancer. At the time my dad asked a question. He didn't ask me. I was too young at the time. But it is a question that has been around our family ever since. The question was "why has our society not advanced enough to allow us to do for people what we would do for our pets?"

In the last few months I have been exposed to death, including the death of my father, and now my father's question is my own. A political question, or a social question? I'm not sure, but whatever it is I think it needs to be asked.

A few months back my mother's beloved little dog, Beanie, suffered a catastrophic liver failure. A couple days of sickness as the toxins built up in her blood and we had her at the vet for the diagnosis. They could use antibiotics and transfusions to reduce the toxins and prolong her illness, but with her liver refusing to function there would be no health in her future. I held my mom, mom held Beanie. She licked the hands and face of the woman who had cared for her throughout her life. And she died peacefully from a large shot of tranquilizer.

My dad has been crippled by arthritis and Parkinson's disease for years. The activities that filled his life were denied him. Ten years ago, or maybe more, I was surprised to find my dad reading a book. He was always a doer, not a reader; but as age took that away he took to reading. Not long after macular degeneration in his eyes took that away as well. Six weeks ago he went to the hospital with pneumonia in both lungs. Powerful antibiotics killed the vast majority of the bacteria and reduced the infection so that his lungs stopped filling with fluid, but at eighty-five his overall condition left him too weak to cough out the fluid already collected, though he struggled for a few weeks while confined to a hospital bed. Eventually the bacteria which had survived produced sufficient numbers to restart the infection, now with immunity to the antibiotics. My mom sat at his side as his breathing got shallower and shallower for a day as his lungs filled to the last bit with fluid, then he died.

Who was treated better? Who left the final impression on their loved ones that you would choose to leave at your own death? I'm sure my answer is obvious.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Time for a new question

I am preparing a new question regarding human euthanasia. Should be ready soon.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Next Question Pending

This first question has stirred some comment. I am pleased with that. I am also pleased with the response to the "Political Blogs of Note" listing. As I surf around the blog world I see these huge lists headed 'Blogs I read'. I suspect they really should be headed 'Blogs who have given me linkspace so I am doing the same.' This listing is exactly what it says, political blogs I've noticed. I'm making no claim about reading them regularly, but will occassionally. I will notify their writers whenever I have a new question for debate. Despite my own views I have tried to include a full spectrum.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The hypothesis, and the questions

Following this post is a political statement, in consideration of the upcoming elections in Iraq. It is a statement no living Iraqi politician has made. It is a statement that, if made sincerely and believably, would conceivably appeal to a large majority of Iraqis.

The questions follow the statement.

Statement of an Iraqi Politician

As our country stands on the brink of having a leader elected under the democratic process of a free election, I would like to submit myself as a candidate. I stand on the following positions:

Our country has been invaded, and our government overthrown. I have no intention to continue the debate over whether this was justifiable at the time, or has turned out for good or ill. I merely stand on this being a fact of our current situation.

I believe that our current security forces, backed by a mandate from a clear majority of our own people, will be sufficient for maintaining the stability of our elected government, and will demand the immediate removal of occupying forces from our country. I will back this demand internally, and in the United Nations, with all available means.

Again without debating the justifications of damage done to our country, or the motivations of those nations who have contributed towards the rebuilding efforts, I will call for these reparation funds to be turned over to Iraqi control. These funds will then be used exclusively for the purpose for which they were collected, the rebuilding of our country, without generating profits for international corporate interests. While some nations may withdraw their future support of our efforts, I believe that such nations would be revealing that they do not honestly have our best interests at heart and we would be best served without them. The withdrawal of any funds already collected I would view as theft from the Iraqi people, and again would resist with all available means both internally and in the United Nations.

I will neither run for office on nor reveal my religious orientation. I run as a citizen of Iraq, and will govern as a citizen of Iraq. Should it be necessary to separate our country into separate sovereign states to accommodate the religious differences of our people I will oversee that process fairly, however I believe that we can work together as citizens of Iraq to restore our nation to its rightful freedom and place in the world.

The questions

The questions are:
Would the Bush/Cheney administration allow someone of these views to run in the election?
If elected, would the United States allow them to take office?
How interested is the Bush/Cheney administration in the spread of democracy, really?
How interested are you?

Comments are highly encouraged, under the following guidelines:
Pointless cheerleading (i.e. "great post! great question!") and pointless complaints (i.e. "what, are you some kind of pinko liberal? Support our troops!) will be deleted with similar alacrity.
Thoughtful responses will be thoughtfully treated, not used as agreement/disagreement fodder. Again, cheerleading and complaints will be deleted.