Recently, yet another situation similar to that of my sister Terri Schiavo has made headlines. In West Palm Beach, Florida, Raymond Weber is asking the court to dehydrate his disabled wife, Karen, to death.
If you have read any of the reports in mainstream media, it’s just another case of a husband looking out for the “best interest” of his spouse. And just as in Terri’s case, Raymond Weber is asking the government to deliberately kill his wife who is not dying and is guilty of nothing more than having difficulty swallowing and therefore needing help, in the form of a feeding tube, to eat.
Not surprisingly, in a story by the AP, was a quote from the husband’s attorney who so touchingly referred to his client’s brain-injured wife as a “vegetable,” thus offending the tens of thousands of people and their families who do live with a profound brain injury.
The reporter also wrote that the decision whether Karen should live or die will depend upon whether or not a committee finds her “competent” to go on living. Yes, that is correct, competent enough to live. I guess passing an IQ test will be next.
Factors such as what is being taught in our medical schools, the breakdown of our health care system, the powerful influence of assisted suicide organizations, and the propaganda of our mainstream media have taken their toll.
As a result, the physically and mentally “inferior” are being denied the most basic care—food and water—in our nation’s medical facilities every day. (Thank goodness we have laws making it a felony if we do the same to an animal, although I would expect there would be a greater outcry if it were the family pets at risk.)
Equally as disturbing is the fact that our politicians, including our two presidential candidates, ignore this issue and because of it are failing in one of the most important responsibilities they have as leaders—to protect our most vulnerable citizens.
Perhaps our general public doesn’t have a clue as to how widespread this problem is in our nation today. This ignorance is in large part because of a stealth and powerful lobby who support patient dehydration based on quality of life judgments. This has slowly but surely changed our laws regarding food and water. Nutrition and hydration through a feeding tube, once considered basic care, are now recognized as “artificial nutrition and hydration”—and therefore a form of “medical treatment.”