Friday, April 08, 2005

Killing Terri

I knew it wouldn't take long for it to happen. The first article was an opinion piece in Wednesday's New York Post. The author makes the point that if killing Terri was the right choice then we need to punish those who don't make that choice for their loved ones. The author tells us that New York state spends $14 billion a year on long-term care. We need to get those costs down, he tells us. Families feel the pain of taking care of a loved one who is in long term care, but they don't feel the economic pain so there is little economic incentive to get them to "pull the plug". It's time to make people pay out of their pocket so that they will be more likely to make the "right" choice and dispose of this drain on the public largesse. The author ignores the fact that not everyone in long-term care is on a feeding tube so I assume the author would have the state provide suitable pillows to suffocate those that are in long-term care but still manage to feed themselves.

So why am I not surprised? Because as a parent of a child with Down syndrome I have been told that the state shouldn't pay for services for Mikey because we chose to have Mikey. Down syndrome is "preventable" so why should the state pay for my "bad choice". This is what choice is in America today... choose to dispose of those who are an inconvenience or pay the consequences. And if you dare to disagree, you are just pushing your religious views on everyone else.

1 comment:

Elblog said...

Yup. As a matter of societal discussion, we should start describing DS individuals as "leading an alternative lifestyle", start having DS "pride" parades, and otherwise adopting what other groups have strategized what they consider to be aspects of their genetic makeup. We are gazing down a pathway of eugenics that we may not be able to turn around on once we've taken it. Let those whose genes may contain legacies of lesser impact take note. Will we prevent cancer by preventing those with family history from conceiving? I'm just saying. . .