The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

George Bush's Culture of Life Snuffs Another One

OK. So Georg Bush flies off to Washington to sign the Schiavo bill (when the bill could have been flown to him) as a gesture of his embrace of the culture of life. Meanwhile, as Mark Kleiman noted, a little boy's life was ended against the wishes of his parents by hospital staff and administrators who decided nothing more could be done, (pregnant pause) for free. HoustonChronicle.com - Baby born with fatal defect dies after removal from life support.

Polls indicate that most Americans see Republican grandstanding on this issue for what it is. My question, is why won't evangelicals and other conservatives accept that George Bush signed a law which expressly allows hospitals to withdraw all care (including feeding tubes) against the wishes of the family? Maybe that's because this has gotten so little attention in the press. Any maybe it's because the White House lies to the press about the law and they buy it hook line and sinker. Think Progress has the details on Scott McClellans baldface lie to the press corps about the Texas law. "The legislation was there to help ensure that actions were being taken that were in accordance with the wishes of the patient or the patient’s family."

From the legislation: "If the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient is requesting life-sustaining treatment that the attending physician has decided and the review process has affirmed is inappropriate treatment....The physician and the health care facility are not obligated to provide life-sustaining treatment after the 10th day after the written decision required under Subsection (b) is provided to the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient …"

The medical ethics of these cases are clearly complicated, as reading the story of the boy in Houston shows. But let's at least demand a little consistency from our demagogues.


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