An American Cry for Help

2010 February 25

The ugly face of politics twists and distorts issues. In the current American controversy, palliative care seems to be (deliberately?) confused with euthanasia.

Thank Heavens there are some clear headed people. Please see the touching video featuring Keith Olbermann on US TV, you cannot afford to miss it!

A Special Comment From My Father

I’m focusing on one thing in tonight’s Comment. The night my father asked me to stop his treatment. All Americans should be able to make medical decisions free of worry about cost…

This is not the central fact around which tomorrow’s health care summit at Blair House will, or should, revolve. But I’d like it on the record somewhere that I asked all those going there, including the President, to think more about people like my father – patients, in our hospitals, at this moment – and less about elections and political points and “crashing the party.” – Read the full transcript here…

Watch another Special Comment: “Respecting pain and patient”

2 Responses
  1. meera mohan permalink
    February 26, 2010

    That was spine-chilling. I am amazed that in a country like the US of A, people seem to have less “freedom” to have a say in how they want to be “treated”, not as in “medical treatment” but, in the way they would like to be allowed “to live” or “not live”. This situation of utter helplessness for the patient and his near ones has arisen not because the best medical care and treatment are not available but due to other insidious agendas driven by purely commercial and political reasons that have no respect or sensitivity for the self respect or dignity of a fellow humanbeing.

    Why can’t these so-called advocates of “life” understand that if a citizen has the right to choose who governs him, he has also the right to choose how he wishes to live as long as his choices do not infringe on anyboby else’s rights or freedom? Can’t they see that there is a difference between “ending life” and ‘letting life end”?

    Would they like to linger on in torture, when every moment is a fight against wracking pain, without respite for days on end, and their pleas to be put out of their misery remain just silent ,unheard screams in the wilderness of spurious ethics?

    If they have any sense of self worth or self respect, would they feel no pang knowing that immense costs are involved in keeping them hanging on to mere life when these resources could be utilised more meaningfully and productively?

    And, what about the family? If there are legalised medical options available to let them make informed choices that are human and practical, they would feel less guilty about opting for a saner and more compassionate option like palliative care.

    Palliative care should be made a “fundamental right” for any citizen in any country where the “right to life” is a fundamental right. In a situation where the patient is in no state to make an informed choice, the proxy right should be made available to the care-givers/ family.

    Life is no life when there is no dignity; when it cannot be “lived”. “Living” matters more than just “being alive”.

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