Marlowe's Shade

Friday, March 25, 2005

Blogburst for Terri: Another Dr Cranford Case Proven NOT PVS!

Rather than just update my last one, I thought this deserved its owe post:

Feminists for Life had these stories of other's in Terri's situation. I'll lead off with the one that concerns Dr Cranford:

Dr. Ronald Cranford, the euthanasia advocate who hopes to help Pete Busalacchi take care of Christine when she is brought to Minnesota, had a similar case in 1979. Sgt. David Mack was shot in the line of duty as a policeman, and Cranford diagnosed him as " a persistent vegetative state...never [to] regain cognitive, sapient functioning...never [to] be aware of his condition." Twenty months after the shooting Mack woke up, and eventually regained nearly all his mental ability. When asked by a reporter how he felt, he spelled out on his letterboard, "Speechless!"

So much for Dr Cranford's expertise in diagnosing PVS.

Here is another case Dr Cranford reportedly wants to be involved in:

In a horrible deja vu, another disabled woman at the Center has been selected for the same fate. Twenty-year-old Christine Busalacchi's condition is improving: she waves, smiles, objects to having her teeth brushed, vocalizes to indicate TV preferences, and very much enjoys visits from young men. This is not enough for her father, who has visited her seldom in the past two years (and then sometimes accompanied by TV cameras) and. we are told, stands to inherit $51,000 from her estate. Pete Busalacchi does not have the "clear and convincing evidence" necessary to have her starved in Missouri, so he is trying to have her moved to Minnesota where the standard is less stringent.

The other stories from the site are also enlightening.

Consider the following cases. While Nancy Cruzan was dying, the staff at Missouri Rehabilitation Center continued to insist that she was no vegetable. They had seen her smile at funny stories, cry when a visitor left, and indicate pain with her menstrual periods. She was not living on machines: a feeding tube had been inserted years before only to replace spoon feeding and make her care easier. An activist present during those days of dying commented, "It was like one of those horror movies where everybody in the town knows something, but nobody can get word out to the outside world." Information about Nancy's true condition was persistently blacked out while the staff endured the nightmare of watching her die.


Similar stories recur. Cancer patient Yolanda Blake was hospitalized last November 30 after experiencing severe bleeding. Despite the insistence of her sister and of the friend who held her power of attorney, the hospital refused to leave in a feeding tube or a catheter, and on December 14 the county judge ruled in the hospital's favor that Blake should be allowed to "die with dignity." On December 15 Blake woke up. When asked if she wanted to live, she responded, "Of course I do!"

Richard Routh, 42, was hospitalized with head injuries after a motorcycle accident. He had learned to signal "yes" and "no," could smile and laugh at jokes, when his parents and doctors decided to have him starved. A nurse's aide says that as they stood by the bedside discussing the starvation decision, Routh shook his head "no." Though the coroner's report says he dies of head injuries, he had lost thirty pounds during the hospitalization. The autopsy showed that he had not been given painkillers to ease the pain of starvation.

If time permits I'll try to do another post on a subject that reveals much about our legal and medical establishments: "living" wills.
papijoe 8:54 AM