Friday, September 08, 2006

Terri Schiavo Judges and Justices Should Step Down

New research reported in Science magazine proves that some brain-injured patients who - according to medical experts - are allegedly in a vegetative state because they are allegedly completely unresponsive and unaware of their surroundings, are in fact aware of their surroundings.

Washington Post staff writer Rob Stein reports in 'Vegetative'Woman's Brain Shows Surprising Activity that unprecedented experiments using a brain scanner on an allegedly vegetative patient showed surprising brain response to external voice stimuli. Stein writes:

"The research inevitably renewed questions about patients such as Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman in a persistent vegetative state whose family dispute over whether to discontinue her care ignited a national debate over the right-to-die issue. Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler, said the study underscores the uncertainties in diagnosing brain injury patients."

Stein writes further:

"But Owen, Schiff and others stressed that the research does not indicate that many patients in vegetative states are necessarily aware or likely to recover. Schiavo, in particular, had suffered much more massive brain damage for far longer than the patient in Britain, making awareness or recovery impossible, they said."

But the true fact is, no one really knows, because no one is God and knows that much about the human brain at the present time. Schiavo's brain was in good enough shape to keep ALL her bodily functions running when fed, which is a complex undertaking. But some medical and legal gurus decided to play God with Schiavo's life, for motives which they will have to answer to their Maker. When the legal system and medical profession play God, unforgivable errors are inevitable.

We commented here quite vociferously at LawPundit against the killing of Terri Schiavo by the legal and medical system, and we remain of the opinion that all judges and justices and all physicians who contributed directly or indirectly to her killing by not stopping it by virtue of their office, should step down from their posts as unfit for the office they hold, especially in view of this new evidence. As George Bernard Shaw once stated, "hell is paved with good intentions" - and the good intentions of the judges and justices are no excuse for what transpired.

For all anyone knows, Terri Schiavo's brain may have followed her slow death by starvation and dehydration clear down to the last minute. Her killing was an inexcusable and unforgivable action carried out by modern bloodletting, once a standard medical practice everywhere, an incredibly stupid and ignorant practice of which, e.g., America's first President, George Washington, was a fatal victim. As one wise author (Daniel J. Glunk, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Pennsylvania Medical Society) writes:

"I suspect that future physicians may view our standard practice today the way bloodletting is now viewed by us. "

Just like the physicians of old who used to swear by bloodletting or as the phrenologists in the Victorian age, in every era many of the gurus and alleged experts of the medical profession are certain of their knowledge and of what they are doing, only to be contradicted by new knowledge obtained in subsequent eras. A typical example of this is Max von Pettenkofer, the so-called founder of epidemiology, who thought that cholera was a poison which "emanated from the earth":

"So confident was Pettenkofer that cholera germs alone were harmless that in 1892 [scarcely more than one hundred years ago!], during a virulent epidemic in Hamburg, he publicly swallowed water which contained cholera bacteria. He suffered diarrhoea and excreted samples of the Vibrio cholerae for several days but suffered no worse effects, probably because he had developed immunity from an earlier, mild infection. This demonstration was seen by his followers as a vindication of his theory, thus briefly setting back the cause of medical science."

Unfortunately, this kind of ignorance is not confined to the medical professions. It also affects the law [imprisonment is surely the stupidest of sanctions, except for very few crimes] and is still especially rampant in the humanities, many of which are still in the dark ages. We post about this kind of ignorace in mainstream academia at our various websites:, Lexiline Newsletter, Lexiline website, etc. Many modern experts and theories of the humanities in particular, would be ripped to shreds on the witness stand by any good litigation lawyer. It is a piece of cake. And yet, many of these widely propagated ill-founded ideas are at the very foundation of the happenings which guide current events and politics.

We at LawPundit continue to be astounded by the blatant lack of critical thought and the pervasive historical ignorance manifested by mainstream scientists and professionals in many fields of human endeavor, especially among the leading authorities in such fields, whose prevailing view of their profession appears to be that the truth exists, and that THEY have found it, today, in our era. But in fact, that incomplete knowledge by no means justifies the killing of anyone, and that includes Terri Schiavo.

In reality, most of these scientists are the cholera-drinking Pettenkofers of this world, i.e. well-meaning people whose errors are causing considerable harm to others. The Schiavo case serves as a tragic instance of this phenomenon.

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