Friday :: Dec 16, 2005

"It didn't take long -- 15 to 16 minutes."

by pessimist
Daniel Salvi and his family surrounded his sister’s bedside Monday at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano and watched doctors take the 27-year-old off life support. Tirhas Habtegiris had abdominal cancer that spread to her lungs. Eventually, she was on a ventilator and her cousin took care of her.

The family said doctors told them they would have to remove her from life support in 10 days. When the family disagreed, the hospital's Clinical Ethics Committee met and decided to take Habtegiris off the ventilator.

When I first read this story, I was incredibly outraged. After all the weepy crap we heard from the so-called pro-lifers over Terri Schiavo, it becomes clear that these 'religious' types are pure hypocrisy on two feet - they are only interested in maintaining WHITE life.

Tirhas Habtegiris is clearly not white.

Where were all of your Good Christians who interrupted your lives to go protest in Florida on Terry Schiavo's behalf? Why weren't you in the streets of Plano, Texas demanding that Baylor Regional Medical Center keep this woman alive?

Just like Terri Schiavo, Tirhas Habtegiris was on life support.

Unlike Terri Schiavo, Tirhas Habtegiris was awake AND aware of what was about to happen.

YucatanMan at Kos puts it into words that I cannot find:

THIS is the true face of "compassionate conservatism" and of the phony "culture of life". They don't give a rat's ass, as long as the insurance will pay the bill. No insurance? Good-bye, you die. She didn't have insurance. Ventilator treatment is expensive. Baylor did not want to incur any more expenses. So they removed a conscious woman from a respirator.
"They handed me this letter on December 1st. and they said, we're going to give you 10 days so on the 11th day, we're going to pull it out," said her brother Daniel Salvi.

Salvi was stunned to get this hand-delivered notice invoking a complicated and rarely used Texas law where a doctor is 'not obligated to continue' medical treatment 'medically inappropriate' when care is not beneficial. Salvi believes this would not have happened if his sister had health insurance.

"If you don't have money in this country, you're nothing. You're not a human being."
She wasn't white. Politicians did not speculate on her diagnosis via video tape. Conservative religious zealots did not picket the hospital.
Can you imagine what it must be like to know you are dying for 15 minutes? Reflect on a conscious person knowing that life-giving air was being cut off. Sit quietly for 15 minutes and contemplate how hopeless and horrifying that must feel.
Recall the abject hypocrisy of Schiavo: Bush rushed back to Washington (more than he did for New Orleans) to sign the Schiavo Federal Court review legislation. But, Tirhas Habtegiris died quietly, died for 15 minutes, without anyone knowing, without politicians manipulating her life and death, uncared about within the phony "culture of life."

Every time some wing-nut Republican politician trots out the phrase "culture of life", remember Tirhas Habtegiris.

Where are you phonies when a child is repeatedly abused to the point of death? Where are you when the child's natural father says pull the plug? Are you helping the family of a brain-dead pregnant women who was kept on life support long enough to deliver her baby and find recipients for her organs?

Or are you too obsessed with Terri Schiavo and can't let go even after almost a year?

Jesus would condemn you pro-life religious phonies as the hypocrites you are. You are not followers of Christ, you are racist followers of Mammon. You are the imposers of economic slavery to South Asians who share neither your wealthy culture nor your religious beliefs. Their only function in life is to make you wealthier.

As long as they don't cost you anything.

Jesus thinks you are all assholes. Go back to Hell from whence you came. And take your wealth with you - if you can.

Hmmm ... Eternity without wealth. That WOULD be Hell!

[A tip of the Titanium Tam O'Shanter to the reader who linked to this in a recent comment thread. My apologies for this lame and anonymous attribution.]

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