Monday, April 04, 2005

Seems like all those polls we read before might have been phrased a little inaccurately. Zogby International asks the real question about the Schiavo situation:

"'If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water,' the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes."
Very interesting.


one-dimensional man said...

Interesting indeed.

Though I'd be curious to find out how many people would equate a 'coma' with a 'persistive vegetative state.'

I think the issue comes down to whether people feel that there is a genuine chance of recovery or some kind of active, conscious, or meaningful participation in life. In that sense, the Zogby question's wording might actually be a little misleading. The phrase "a disabled person ... not terminally ill, not in a coma, ... not being kept alive on life support, and [with] no written directive" to me sounds a lot more like someone with Down's syndrome or cerebral palsy than Terri Shiavo. That might just be me, but there's no way of knowing how many other of the poll's respondants would share my perspective.

Guess that's maybe just more support for the 'most polls are totally meaningless argument.'

RFTR said...

Honestly, I don't care what it sounds like to you.

The five criteria you picked out that polling question DID describe Terri Schiavo, whether you want to believe so or not.

The reason the left won that argument in public opinion at the time was because you reframed the debate to leave people to believe that PVS was a terminal disease, which it's not.

And for cheap political points in an attempt to guarantee the right to die for a woman who may or may not have wanted it, you've cheapened life (and death) in this country and possibly put a lot of people in danger. I will never forgive the anti-religious zealots in this country for what they did.

Or the feminists for their silence as they allowed a husband to kill his wife by starvation.

Tanstaafl said...

Out of curiosity, would you consider me an anti-religious zealot? I don't support your view of what happened. I also don't support any strengthening of the government to interfere in the marrital vows that a man and a woman take. If Terri Sciavo didn't mean that she was going to let her husband help decide what was best for her when she said "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health..." then what was she saying? And while you may only support one view of what was the "religious" position, couldn't all of those protestors be faulted for asking to keep her out of God's kingdom? How about giving up on the righteous indignation and recognize that this case, and all of those like it, are a bit more than just black and white / right or wrong

Richard said...

You know, Brian, my understanding is that a "Persistent Vegatative State" is something from which a patient does not recover, whereas people have recovered from a coma within the first five years.

While PVS may not be terminal, in that you will die from something else, it is also not something from which a person recovers. That would make it more severe than a coma.

Is it your position that a person with no awareness of their surroundings who has no likelihood of ever recovering should be required to remain in that state until bedsores or diabetus or something else like that kills them?

Once it was clear that my condition was like that, I would want someone to pull the plug on me. I woudn't want to continue as nothing more than a life support system to a beating hear and marginal lungs.

RFTR said...

James - I do not consider you to be an anti-religious zealot, if only because you were not campaigning crazily for this woman's tube to be pulled.

Rick -
I recommend you read this article as a starter. Then, consider that recovery from PVS is possible. I can't seem to find the exact statistics, but I think you'd be surprised by how many do recover.

Now, one must also recognize that recovery in cases when someone has been in PVS for over a year is almost impossible, and fifteen would set all kinds of records. But read the article I just linked to, and see if you reassess your position.