Tag Archives: Doctors

Who Will See Your Tears?

We just finished reading a book, an epistolary novel, and a very good one at that, too.  At the end “R”, the character to whom all the letters are addressed over a forty year period, appears briefly only to leap from a quarry wall and dashe his brains out on the rocks below.  A Polish priest rushes over to him as he lies bloody and not quite yet dead, and blesses him.

Since this all happens in a concentration camp somewhere in Germany, the guards, cheated of their prey, and enraged at the priest club that poor man to death, while “R” sees and sheds a tear.  The tear, “seen by Another” in the words of the author saves him.  It is a happy ending.  Of course the book is by a Catholic author, so what else would one expect.  Catholicism…Christianity…is all about happy endings.

“R” had spent his life in a prodigality of sin, coming to realize in the darkness of the concentration camp that there was no reason to continue living.  Choosing death in this life was his final gesture of waste and uselessness.  Of course, what better place to do so than in a concentration camp, a place whose sole purpose is to use up and discard as useless the lives we have been given, the State not only allowing it, but positively encouraging it, assisting it and participating in it?

But once State organized and controlled death appears, no one is safe from it.  That is the lesson which should have been learned.  Alas,  look at Holland.

But, you need not go that far away.  Look at Oregon.  There Death has come to live, taken up residence, cast his dark shadow over the state.  And no one cares that Death is growing fat on Oregonians who like “R” have grown tired with life; even in what I am reliably informed is a beautiful place to live.  No concentration camp, Oregon.  There the state has many able surrogates and quieter more subtle ways to assist Death’s dark purpose.  He has learned to smile, to walk softly, to creep ever more secretly.  But, it will not be long before State and Death dance openly in Oregon.  For now, quiet, Death works.

I was interested to read this from the report:  ” The most commonly expressed concerns of those dying from physician-assisted suicide were unchanged from previous reports: less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable, losing autonomy, and loss of dignity.”

The term used often to describe those whose conditions, whatever they were, made them “less able, autonomous and dignified’ was “Lebens Unwertes Leben”;  lives unworthy of life.  The decision is theirs, now, in Oregon.  And the lovers of death do nothing, it seems to try to persuade them otherwise.  That will change, too..  If you look at the numbers, it has already begun to do so.  There are no brutish guards with rifle butts to club those who would help, yet.  That may be simply because there are none who will come to the side of the despairing dying ones and bless them on their way.

Death can be so lonely.

Who will see your tears?

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A Chance to Win Something

OK, everybody? Listen up.  Over in the land of windmills and tulips they are steadily taking leave of their senses.  You can smoke dope out in the open.  You can buy yourself a whipping or a skipping or whatever you have the money for, now.  As a matter of fact, about the only places that aren’t red light districts are the ones still under water, and  you might, for the right kind of money work a deal there.  And, most disturbingly, you can hire someone to “off” your own sweet self for just about any reason you can think of.  This ain’t Oregon where they do it right so no mistakes are made with panels and reviews, and stuff, you know.  Although out in Oregon I understand that they’re trying harder than Avis to out kill the Dutch.

Anyway, I read this morning that some old dame in “Tulipia” was recently relieved of life because, as the article will tell you:  “she was suffering from being alive.” WHAT???  Who doesn’t from time to time?  Well, actually, she was “suffering” from failing eyesight, specifically macular degeneration.  You want to know something?  The last person I knew with that condition died a natural death at the age of 99 after having lived a full and active life all those years.  You will read that the lady so kindly treated to a dirt nap in what has to be one of the most lucrative places in the world for an undertaker, herself was an intelligent and cultured person, and interested in what was going on around her.  Oh, well.

I wonder if she called for bids.  I wonder if the yellow pages in the Dutch phone books, where Dopers and Escorts have got to be a big item, have a section now for Easy Exit Assistance, or some such.

Of course the stupids in the Netherlands (so aptly named, eh?) are guilty of the sin of murder. But, that’s not a Capital (or Deadly) Sin. There are seven of those, children.

I will give a Holy Picture of Jesus on the Cross to every one who can identify and explain which of the Seven Deadly Sins have been committed by:  The People of the Netherlands who have adopted this policy, the “ethics” dummies who figured out it was just fine thank you to off yourself, and get our happy help to do it, and, finally the doctors and nurses who actually juiced the old broad,and are only too compassionately interested in doing the same for anyone else  “suffering from living”, sick kids and , well, just about anyone who wants to, for any reason they want to give, or none at all.

There’s a reason for this particular prize.  You see, aside from my rather hard edged and crudely insolent, sarcastic and cynical presentation of this really tragic and disgraceful little story I am horrified by it, frankly.  You will read that several thousands of people were murdered in Holland last year, and the people over there thought it was good that that happened.  They are actually thinking of more ways to do it…as they are in Oregon and several other places over here.  I think about that and I see the monster Satan rising from some hole to devour them, and I want to weep.  I really do.  I am afraid for us…and you should be too.

I think the answer to my question is all seven of them: Pride, Anger, Envy, Lust, Avarice, Gluttony and Sloth.  But you may not agree.  In which case work away. But quickly.  You do not know the hour.  Unless you live in the so chillingly named NETHERLANDS.

I think I need to pray, now.  Will you join me?

UPDATE:

I didn’t know that one of the members of the Dutch Royal family was seriously injured in a skiing accident in the Alps a couple of weeks ago; buried in an avalanche.  It seems that he is in a deep coma; possibly never to recover.  If that happens, he will spend the rest of his life in a PVS..a Permanent Vegetative State; like a cabbage, maybe, or a potato, or a tulip.  In the Netherlands these days it  not the common practice to allow anything but cabbages, potatoes and tulips to remain that way.  Pussycats, puppy dogs and people are allowed to die.

Unless your family has the money to put you somewhere else; a place where the people don’t suffer so much from moral macular degeneration and life.  In this case the Prince is in England, where the blight has not yet reached.

Nah, That Can’t Never Happen Here —. You Think?

Abstract

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

This is an abstract from something called The Journal of Medical Ethics.  I have long ago reached the conclusion  that the proper and legal definition of an ethicist of any stripe is : “A person who, for a nice fat fee, will tell you that whatever you wish to do, no matter how bizarre, repugnant, illegal, immoral or fattening, you may do. ”

“That?  Sure, you can do it.  That’ll be $250.00.  Pay my girl Nausea on the way out.  No checks without two forms of picture ID, please.  Next!”

There’s an article here.  You can read a bit more about the story…if you have the stomach for it.  But, all you really need to know is contained in the abstract from JME.  These guys love acronyms, and I want to please them.  At my age, I figure I’ll be next to be okayed for the trip to the Release center.  Oh, wait, I already have that “right”.

It would take a more sober, reasoned and smart person than me to look at that abstract and take it apart bit by bit; exposing it for the outrageously smug, insipid and stupid thing that it is.  I simply want to blow it up, and punch out the authors, the editors and anyone vaguely connected with the thing.  I can probably get a bunch of ethicists to tell me that it’s the epitome of ethics to do so.

But, I won’t do that.  For one thing I haven’t got the plane fare to Australia.  I’m wondering, now though, if its ethical to ask for donations.  Hmmm.

_________________________________________________________________________________

While I was sitting here trying to get the best of my gag reflex a couple of things occurred to my mind.  I imagined a couple of scenes from the near future:

The first is a quiet little corner in Portland, OR, the place first in love with death here in the Untied States.  It’s about 6:00pm on a lovely day in May.  The sound of a garage door closing is heard and then the door opens into a bright, neat, modern kitchen.  A young woman stands  at the central work station obviously preparing something for the evening meal.  She smiles as a tall slim fellow walks through the door and gives her a hug and a kiss.

YW:  Sorry, Brutus, my hands are so yucky.  I’ve been working all afternoon on this.  I thought we’d have something special.  I hope you’ll like it.

YM:  That’s just fine Gladiola.  I’ll fix us a drink.  Where’s Benjie?

YW:  Oh, he’s probably asleep on the rug inside.  He had a busy day outside today running around chasing butterflies.

YM:  I love that little fella.  So, what’s for supper?

YW:  Well you know we had to decide today…

YM:  Oh, yes.  So did you?  I would have been happy to stay home, but BIFFING Steel has this big job they were interested in having us handle and Smothersworth wanted me to look it over.  I was out there all day.  Sorry I’m a little late.  Anyway, it looks like we’ll take it, and you know what that means.”

YW:  Oh, now we can go to Fiji for my sister’s wedding t0 Allred.  It’s her 7th and it means so much, and I can wear that lovely thing I have been so wanting to ever since..”

YM:  Honey, isn’t that sauce…?

YW:  (Looking over at the stove.)  Oh, no, everything’s fine.  I’ll just need you to get the lumps out later.  Anyway, I really didn’t need you today.  I spoke with Polonia across the street.  She said I could do it myself, everyone does these days.  So I did.  It was so easy and kind of fun.

YM:  Oh, here’s the dog!  Hey Benjie, you lucky guy.  I wish I had your life chasing butterflies all day long.  C’mere you little dickens.

YW:  Anyway, afterward, I cleaned it and prepared it for tonight’s supper.  I used Polonia’s mother’s recipe since you liked it so much when we had it over there for the 4th of July last year.

YM: Great!  I’ll make us a drink, now and get outta this straight jacket.  Hey, what are you gonna call your version of the dish?

YW:  Well we were going to name it Bobbie before we decided it would really be funner in Fiji, so I’m calling it Bobbicued Kid.

YM:  (Laughing and petting the dog)  That’s great.  I love your sense of humor.  I hope we have plenty of leftovers.

_________________________________________________________________________________

And, here is the second scene:

“Good morning, East Bluegill Public Works Department.”

“Hello.  Is this where I arrange for a trash pickup.”

“Yes, Ma’am.  What is it?”

“I have a dead kid in my refrigerator.  I did it this morning, and I want it out.  I’ve got some shopping to do this afternoon and need the room.  I checked and I can’t bury it out side where we put Sniggles last year.”

“No, your right.  Besides raccoons might dig it up and leave a mess.”

“I don’t want that for sure.  When can you come?”

“Just wrap it good in some plastic and leave it by the curb before 6:30 tomorrow morning.  Or, if you want, you can bring it to the dump before 5 this afternoon.  Anyway.  Whatever’s easier for you.”

“I think I just leave it at the curb.  Thank you.”

“No problem.”

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You may want to write to the JME, I don’t know.  I though of doing so and asking if they had any good recipes.

The Annual Physical

The other day my doctor said, “The brain sends
A message to your bowel after eating.
Within twenty minutes of the last bite
The news has been received, decisions made
And orders given just like that.”  Except
Somehow, somewhere the message goes astray
In my case.  I thought of lines down, bridges out
And frantic traffic controllers alone
At this huge board of blinking lights, each one
A forty car freight stuck in the yard.

She took a look at my chart and asked me
How long my toes were numb.  And I thought that
Was pretty funny.  One year?  Two?  More?
I don’t know when I first knew I knew my toes
Were numb.  Who remembers things like that;
The first time in their life they can’t feel the floor?
I told her something, and she, satisfied,
Turned a page in my chart and looked again.
That was when I said, “I have a question.”
She looked up from my chart.  “Pretty,” I thought.
“Young.”  She smiled and waited.  “I’d like to know
If my chart could go into my coffin.”

Good St. George Pray For Us

St. George was a soldier, an officer, in the Roman army “back in the day” when such things as crucifixion and flogging and stuff like that were more or less business as usual for a trooper.  They had no CIA or anything similar, I think, in Rome.  If you wanted to find out what the locals were up to…were they sufficiently cowed to keep on paying tribute…you simply pulled fifty or so of them out of line and started skinning a few of them, or baking them, or crushing them by bits and pieces until one of them smartened up and told you what you thought you knew all along.  Then you killed every one in sight, or sent them off to Rome to become players in the Empire’s version of “Ultimate Fights”.

Way back then no one got their shorts in a twist about torture, or EIT (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques).  When you needed to know something you simply asked the fellow or girl, and, if you didn’t get the answer you wanted two things would happen.  You’d kill them and yell, “Next!”.  Or, you’d slice a bit of something off and ask the question again, and then kill them.  It was neater that way.

That was until this troublesome Jew in Palestine threw a wrench into the works just around the time that Augustus was making things nice for everyone whose name ended in a vowel or an “ius”..pun intended.

One weekend a dozen or so weeks ago, the Washington Post ran a front-page piece on “ethicists” alleging that psychologists and physicians who supervised CIA interrogations “broke the law and shame the bedrock ethical traditions of medicine and psychology.”  Now, nothing like this would have happened when the Roman “Band of Brothers” in occupied Palestine got a hold of some Jew who needed a little tuning up so he could tell the Procurator everything he needed to know…and then be crucified, or flayed or brought to some other entertaining end.  “Hey Romulus, lemme have that hot poker over there, willya?  Let’s see if mulling this guy’s eyeballs will promote a little evidence against everyone in the town.”

Doctor?  Doctor, schmocter, they would answer if anyone suggested there be one on hand for humanitarian reasons, a word not invented until a couple of thousand years later, almost.

Anyway, George got the same treatment when he took an unhealthy turn towards that new thing Christianity that was getting a lot of people into a lot of trouble.  Had there been a Fox Network back then, Christians might have been looked upon as some sort of terrorist organization, kind of like today’s Al-Qaida, trying to take the Empire down.

But that’s not my point, at all, though it’s an interesting one to consider for an essay question in the final exam for Ethics 101:  Compare and contrast the Roman Empire’s response to Christianity with the Modern World’s response to Al-Qaida.  Be sure to include in your answer a critique of the effectiveness of the methods used by both groups to advance their cause, whatever you conceive it to be.  Use concrete examples and make reference to the Dar al Islam in light of the saying of Christ, “My kingdom is not of this world.”  Whatever you may conceive that to mean.  Entertain me.

As I said, though, it’s not my point.  No, I was more concerned with the question of “ethicists” and their commenting on the fact that some doctors and psychologists may have broken the law and shamed bedrock ethical traditions.  You see, there used to be something called morality which operated in matters like this.  Ethics, which some say is the study of how, or what morality is: “The study of the general nature of morals…” as my American Heritage Dictionary has it, has taken the place in the wide world of that word or term which was once the subject of its study, morals or moral behavior.

Morality, conveniently, which carried with it the uncomfortable baggage of sin if contravened in thought word or deed, has been put under the bed in a nice box. Put there in favor of Ethics which is a nice thing, a malleable commodity available for sale in the person of ethicists who have studied the subject and know how to apply it to whatever the issue du jour is.  (Nasty rigid Morality is connected to that concept called Natural Law; long ago discredited as something primitive and silly.)

Take “torture” for example; and the use of doctors to tell you when to stop and start again and ethicists pronouncing on the bad ethics of the whole thing.  Now, one can go out the door of any office building in DC, or any large city, walk in the door of just about any other and find a floor full of “ethicists” who practice the profession.  They’ll be happy to advise one and all about everything and anything; from the ethics of “dope slapping” an “insurgent” whose goal in life is to kill as many folks as he can and gain himself those 70 virgins to the ethics of how much liquor to serve under age teens at a prom party.  The wonder of it is that you may purchase the services of an ethicist who will parse your problem…or slice it and arrange it in any number of ways until it simply disappears as a problem.  This used to be called “casuistry”. ( Lately it has also been called Supreme Court decision, but that’s just my opinion, I think.)

You see, as it has been explained by folks on the other side of this torture question, desperate times require desperate measures. The ethics of desperate measures, I suppose presume the availability of things like torture to lower the risk of the times and their consequences to the folks on the side of Truth, Justice and Our Own Way.

This side used to be called God’s side.  That’s now no longer necessary because we have an ample supply of ethicists to tell us, “Fine, nothing wrong here.  Just make sure you have a doctor or two to tell you when to throw some water in anyone’s face…or not…as the need arises.  Even if someone finds it unethical, it’s not illegal, and that’s ethical.”  As everyone knows, doing things legally is ethical, hence my idea about Supreme Court decisions.

Since we have done away with natural law, and pretty nearly done away with the idea of God, ( thank, umm, something or someone) that’s all anyone need concern themselves about.  That and no one else with their own staff of ethicists to tell them, “Nuh, uh.  No fair doing that.”

At least that’s what the evidence seems to show was the case with a few of the memoranda released written in answer to the question, “How far is far enough?”  “Don’t concern yourself with such matters,” the ethicists say.  “We have the answer.”

Poor St. George.  He was silly enough to have thought such things, in light of his foolish decision to become a Christian, immoral.  What’s immoral, nowadays, seems to be ethics.