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   Thursday, March 31, 2005  
The whole Terri Schiavo "situation," for want of a better word, continues to play itself out. This morning I received a commentary from Chet which provides an articulate summation of this sad story and its multi faceted pathos.

Living Will Is The Best Revenge
By ROBERT FRIEDMAN, Times Deputy Editor of Editorials
Published March 27, 2005 - St.Petersburg Times (FL)

Like many of you, I have been compelled by recent
events to prepare a more detailed advance directive
dealing with end-of-life issues. Here's
what mine says:
* In the event I lapse into a persistent vegetative
state, I want medical authorities to resort to
extraordinary means to prolong my hellish
semiexistence. Fifteen years wouldn't be long enough
for me.
* I want my wife and my parents to compound their
misery by engaging in a bitter and protracted feud
that depletes their emotions and their
bank accounts.
* I want my wife to ruin the rest of her life by
maintaining an interminable vigil at my bedside. I'd
be really jealous if she waited less than a decade to
start dating again or otherwise rebuilding a semblance
of a normal life.
* I want my case to be turned into a circus by
losers and crackpots from around the country who hope
to bring meaning to their empty lives by investing the
same transient emotion in me that they once reserved
for Laci Peterson, Chandra Levy and that little girl
who got stuck in a
well.
* I want those crackpots to spread vicious lies
about my wife.
* I want to be placed in a hospice where protesters
can gather to bring further grief and disruption to
the lives of dozens of dying
patients and families whose stories are sadder than my
own.
* I want the people who attach themselves to my case
because of their deep devotion to the sanctity of life
to make death threats against any judges, elected
officials or health care professionals who disagree
with them.
* I want the medical geniuses and philosopher kings
who populate the Florida Legislature to ignore me for
more than a decade and then turn
my case into a forum for weeks of politically
calculated bloviation.
* I want total strangers - oily politicians, maudlin
news anchors, ersatz friars and all other hangers-on -
to start calling me "Bobby,"
as if they had known me since childhood.
* I'm not insisting on this as part of my directive,
but it would be nice if Congress passed a "Bobby's
Law" that applied only to me and ignored the medical
needs of tens of millions of other Americans without
adequate health coverage.
* Even if the "Bobby's Law" idea doesn't work out, I
want Congress - especially all those self-described
conservatives who claim to believe
in "less government and more freedom" - to trample on
the decisions of doctors, judges and other experts who
actually know something about my case. And I want
members of Congress to launch into an extended debate
that gives them another excuse to avoid pesky issues
such as national security and the economy.
* In particular, I want House Majority Leader Tom
DeLay to use my case as an opportunity to divert the
country's attention from the mounting
political and legal troubles stemming from his slimy
misbehavior.
* And I want Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to
make a mockery of his Harvard medical degree by
misrepresenting the details of my case in
ways that might give a boost to his 2008 presidential
campaign.
* I want Frist and the rest of the world to judge my
medical condition on the basis of a snippet of dated
and demeaning videotape that should
have remained private.
* Because I think I would retain my sense of humor
even in a persistent vegetative state, I'd want
President Bush - the same guy who
publicly mocked Karla Faye Tucker when signing off on
her death warrant as governor of Texas - to claim he
was intervening in my case because
it is always best "to err on the side of life."
* I want the state Department of Children and
Families to step in at the last moment to take
responsibility for my well-being, because
nothing bad could ever happen to anyone under DCF's
care.
* And because Gov. Jeb Bush is the smartest and most
righteous human being on the face of the Earth, I want
any and all of the aforementioned directives to be
disregarded if the governor happens to disagree with
them. If he says he knows what's best for me, I won't
be in any position to argue.


Robert Friedman is editor of Perspective. He can be
reached at friedman@sptimes.com
   posted by Andrea at 9:42 AM


   Wednesday, March 30, 2005  
A few months ago I decided to change my caffeine delivery system. Instead of drinking pots of coffee throughout the day, I decided to frontload by having a triple latte first thing in the morning. Now, several months into this experiment, I am prepared to pronounce it highly satisfactory and no longer probationary. I enjoy the routine of preparation of my morning beverage and drinking it is like starting each day by being shot out of a cannon. I also save incredible amounts of time that would otherwise be spent drinking sub par office coffee and then complaining about it. With all of that time saved, I figure I must have added at least five years to my life already!
   posted by Andrea at 9:05 AM

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