So, there’s this kid named Zach standing around like 12 years olds sometimes do waiting for the dope dealers to leave the playground so he can go skateboarding or something like that. All of a sudden things begin to TTS. Benny “Full Ounce”, the enterprising dealer, wishes to sell at a price that Alonzo “Snort” does not wish to pay for the merchandise his nose desperately needs. So, in order to close the deal to his advantage “Snort” decides to murder Benny and please his twitching beak.
The Snort does what any decent dope fiend with a sinus problem would do. He removes from his belt the Sig-Sauer he got from the government’s Fast and Furious Arm -A- Creep program and “pops a cap” in Benny’s general direction. The popped cap, not able to tell the difference between a doper and a skateboarder, simply follows a straight line and lodges itself in this kid’s head who is standing in line waiting until the whistle blows and “adult swim” is over . It lands in his brain, to be exact. This ruins the yong Zach’s plans to go skateboarding once the playground is clear of dope dealers, guns and other assorted necessaries of modern life. It also ruins “Snort’s” plans to give his nose a treat, but that is of no concern to us.
Within a few minutes the kid is scooped up and taken the nearest hospital where the docs look at him and the hole in his head. They say, “We can do a lot of stuff, but we can’t take bits of metal out of little skateboarder’s brains. Want a lube job?” So he gets scooped over to a bigger place where the docs have bigger, emm, where the docs ain’t afraid of slicing through a brain that has a bullet in it.
They do it! They take out the bullet and put the kid in a bed with a lot of tubes in and out of him, and things that go zip when they move and bop when they stop. Mom comes by and the docs tell her in a Hollywood scene that “It doesn’t look good.” At all. For Zach. You may shed a tear here. You see, these words in a hospital in Texas are not good words to hear from a doc when your son is lying in bed with a hole in his head.
Look over there! That’s disaster looming on the horizon like a tornado cloud on a hot afternoon.
Because , you see, in Texas they have this law which allows a doc to say something like, “OK, I’m calling this game on account of darkness.” and order everyone off the field. They call the law the “Futile Treatment Law”, and no matter what you might say about your son, and his hope to be a skateboarding champ or something, the doc’s word is, well it’s law. Of course to do this thing, the doc has to meet with the hospital’s ethics committee and get them to OK the deal. But, he has to wait ten days for things to settle, and stuff like that.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, an ethics committee is that thing that a lot of hospitals have. They consider stuff like the hole in Zach’s head and measure and weigh all of the probabilities and permutations. How much is it costing? Do they have insurance? What does the insurance cover? How long will he be here? Will it interfere with my golf vacation to Palm Springs? Anybody got seats for tonight’s game with the Yankees? He’s a kid, so he’s probably got a lot of healthy organs we can market. Serious stuff like that.
But, in this case here with the little skateboarder the doc, he waits only a week and one morning when mom comes in to visit her comatose son, she finds out the doc has already decided time is up. The little guy is off food and water. Mom says, “What, are you kidding me?” Everyone looks stupid and says, “It’s a FUTILE CASE. Doctor’s orders.” They tell her the Ethics Committee said so, and the doctor followed through. Then I guess they leave her to say goodbye, or something; leave her alone with Zach slowly becoming a skinny dessicated raisin with a hole in the head.
Well, not really. I mean, that part about the Ethics Committee meeting and all. The doctor did it on his own. There wasn’t any Ethics Committee Meeting; no place where the doc could go and say, “I got this kid downstairs lying like a lump in the bed hooked up to everything that’s got a plug, and it just ain’t doing him any good that I can see.” “How much do those things cost us, Belva?” This is a question from the Chief of Medical Ethics at the hospital. “More than your salary, Dr. Hardheart.” “Geez! That much, huh. Hey, Doc, turn out the lights on this kid. We need the money for that new wing we’re gonna build. Anybody got tickets for the game tonight?” That’s the way it goes. Only this time they don’t even do that.
The kid’s good for a heart, liver, a couple of kidneys and who knows what all. What he’s got to sell could take care of a couple of brand new hospital rooms I bet. So, you do the math. Some folks are thinking that’s what drove the doc to his desperate move. Not me.
But then, Mom sees that her son’s now breathing on his own, even if he is a little bit weaker for no food and a little bit dried out. (Don’t you hate real life? So messy.) She beefs about this, the story gets out and the doc starts treating the kid like a human being again instead of a spare parts department.
And there the matter rests, a kind of standoff. But, not for long. Because the Ethics Committee has raised up, and seen what needs to be done. They’re gonna meet, by God, and Zach is agenda item number one. Then, Zach’s gonna be plugless, and foodless and waterless. On his way to raisin. After the committee meets, Zach’z Mom’s got ten days to find a place to put him, ( besides the family plot I suppose ), or it’s curtains like they used to say in the talkies.
Now, here’s what I’m noodling about in all of this. Zach’s probably a healthy kid, only 12 years old and stuff. So, he’s probably got a fine set of organs, liver, heart, eyeballs. I’m not including his brain, that’s already shot. If they start starving and all, what’s gonna happen to that stuff? What good’s a re-hydrated starved liver to anyone? Except maybe for trail mix, you know. And then this idea occurred to my mind.
Ethics Committees should have a chef on them, a resident Emeril, to advise on when to take all of that stuff out and make sure it’s usable when and if, or at least edible. You know, do it early before it starts to go prunish on you. In the case of a mis-calculation, it can always be put back.
I’ll betcha a sandwich that somewhere in the half billion pages of Obamacare there’s a paragraph on the Emerilization of medical care. A sandwich, or a nice calves liver and onions meal. I’m wondering, now, how many little veals we can save with this idea.