Friday, February 05, 2010

Locked In

This is another reminder of why starving people in a vegetative state to death is a horrendous act:

One cannot even begin to imagine the despair, frustration and fear that was Martin Pistorius's life for more than a decade. After contracting meningitis at the age of 12, he found himself locked inside his body and spent 14 years with no form of communication and completely unable to control his body.

His parents were told that their only option was to allow him to die and that he had the brain function of a three-month-old baby. That, however, was not the case. While the illness had wreaked havoc on Martin's body, his mind remained largely intact. Day after day he lay motionless on a bed, or strapped to a chair, all the while desperate to communicate but unable to do so.


That today Martin could be working as a website developer, be about to embark on a BSc in computer science and be married to a beautiful blonde is something he, and everyone who knew him, once would have imagined impossible.

It looks to me that when laws were drawn up regarding whether to allow people to die, we severely overstated just how much we knew about what happens to those in a vegetitive state. If someone wanted to euthunise me I'd much prefer it to be with a morphine overdose or a hammer to the head than through starvation.


JuliaM said...

Surely the only reason to maintain this method of euthanasia is to maintain the fiction that the medical staff don't, as a rule, break their hypocratic oath. As, like Catholics insisting beaver was fish so they could eat it on Friday, they maintain food and water isn't 'medical treatment' so they are not killing their patient?

Time to revise that oath, I think...

Ross said...

Yes it is about finding a loophole in the Hypocratic Oath so they can pretend to still be adhering to the letter of what they swore.

It isn't in the best interests of the patient.