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Death

Rest in peace, Terri.

Will the rest of this country come up with some sane and coherent laws on death soon? The United States is not making sense at all right now. The general idea seems to be that a) Terri should have had a clean, quiet, and medically merciful death as soon as her next-of-kin decided that she was not coming back, or b) Terri should have been maintained indefinitely in her medical limbo to preserve what life she did have, at least as long as she had some next-of-kin (if not all) willing to be there for her. No one except some cruel idea of balance was satisfied with the removal of her feeding tube and her subsequent lingering death from dehydration and starvation. This attempt to please all has resulted in none being satisfied, and a rather loud contingent of the unsatisfied making themselves very, very unpleasant.

Since I don't honestly think it's likely that the US government is going to get sane or consistent about death in any way (the latest WTF? moment seems to involve the stoppage of expensive medical care against the parents' wishes on a child who had a viability likely greater than Terri's was) probably the best thing that will come out of this mess is that a generation of people will be far more likely to express their wishes to their next-of-kin in case the unthinkable should happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_will
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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