Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The warped values in our Brave New World

Commenting on the Left's glee about the already-questionable Schiavo autopsy report, Mike, at Deep Freeze ponders the deeper implications of a society that denies individuals and those who love them a say in their own deaths:

Secularism is destroying our society. I will give two examples to illustrate. The first story is about Charles R. McNabb. McNabb is an inmate convincted of arson in Washington state. Full of remorse because his step-daughter died in a fire he set, McNabb tried to commit suicide in his cell by starving himself to death. The Washington Department of Corrections forced a feeding tube into him to prevent him from dying. McNabb sued on the basis his rights to privacy and to deny medical treatment were violated. The Washington Supreme Court ruled the DoC was justified in inserting the feeding tube. Another story to ponder: Marjorie Nighbert had given her brother power of attorney including the ability to make medical decisions for her in the event she wasn't able to take care of herself. In the durable power of attorney she stated she did not want a feeding tube if she became terminally ill. One day she suffered a stroke and had to be put in a nursing home. When she became ill the nursing home denied her food and water as per the PA. When she asked for food, she was taken to court where it was decided the nursing home was justified in denying her nurishment. The court decided she was not competent enough to ask for food. The court upheld her power of attorney over her own wishes. Imagine her horror as she wasted away asking for food and water only to be denied. This is the society a secular society creates. This is a society where cripples and old ladies are starved to death against their wishes or the wishes of their family while murderers are kept alive against their will. It is a society with no higher moral values that dictates decisions and codes of conduct.
In a society without any moral core, anything goes; there are no reliable markers in place to control people's conduct or to guide their hopes, aspirations and beliefs. UPDATE: I just want to add that, if you link to Mike's post, those of you familiar with me will see that I don't (and can't) agree with Mike as to all points in his post, but I certainly do agree with him as to the specific points I quoted. UPDATE II: Steve did a little research on the Marjorie story, so I'm moving his comment up to text:
I've looked it up on yahoo, and I've gotten different versions of the story. Some have her age different, some say it was a legal document, some say the nursing home ethics committee denied her, several list her information as being written while at least 2 have it as a "casual conversation." One says (interestingly) that she granted general power of attorney, not power of attorney for health care. One of the things that was pounded into us in Korea was that General power of attorney grants authority in all situations, whereas special power of attorney would grant authority in only the specified situations. If that's changed, mea culpa. Some sites have her dying in 1995, some have her hospitalized in 1996, others have her suffering a stroke in 1993...
Sounds as if there's an urban legend beginning to be perpetuated out there.