I’m sure most of us remember the heart-wrenching saga of Terri Schiavo in Florida. In March of 2005, after doctors pronounced Terri to be in a permanent vegetative state, despite the fact that she required no life support in the form of breathing tubes or such, her estranged and total bag of crap husband petitioned for and received permission from a judge to pull her feeding and hydration tube so he could collect on her insurance policy. It took 13 days for Terri to finally succumb in rather agonizing fashion. This past March, on the tenth anniversary of her death, Rush Limbaugh declared her death “the day our country hit rock bottom.”
Despite Terri’s family’s willingness to take her home and care for her, the judge still granted the gruesome death sentence. It reminds me of a couple of articles I wrote in 2013, entitled “Grim Reaper on Wheels” and “Euthanasia Isn’t a Death Penalty…Apparently.”
In them, I chronicled the rise of roving death squads in the Netherlands, which traveled the countryside euthanizing its citizens, and the practice was gaining traction in other European countries. The Dutch government’s view was that, for some, who, according to authorities, were suffering, it was for the sufferer’s own good and the good of society. In 2013, “1 in 30 deaths in the Netherlands are [were] from euthanasia.” As of 2013, Holland had six full-time “Death Squads.”
This culture of death is becoming more common, as authorities in general – judges and doctors in specific – are becoming quicker to pronounce someone terminal, all too willing to pull the plug on anyone they deem to be without hope.
And such was the case just this year in Houston, Texas. In January, 27 year old George Pickering III suffered a massive stroke. Doctors declared him brain dead, but his father, George II, wasn’t convinced. After consulting with the gods, I mean doctors, Pickering’s ex-wife and other son agreed to a “terminal wean – whereby life support is slowly withdrawn to end a life.” The man had already been placed on the organ donor registry.
But the elder Pickering was still not convinced that all was lost. He told a local news station: “I felt hopeless. They were moving too fast. The hospital, the nurses, the doctors. I knew if I had three or four hours that night, that I would know whether George was brain-dead.”
Yet, no one would listen, so he did the unthinkable. After downing some ill-advised liquid courage, he took his loaded handgun into the hospital and stopped the doctors from beginning the “weaning” procedure that would have eventually killed his son.
For three hours, he sat at his son’s bedside, holding his hand and with his other, the father pointed the pistol at anyone who even thought of intervening. The father knew he was going to prison for it, but didn’t care. He was compelled to discover for himself whether his son was truly gone.
Yet, a funny (not ha ha) thing happened during the standoff with doctors, staff, and police. During the standoff, the younger Pickering, who was supposed to have been a brain dead vegetable, squeezed his father’s hand. “During that three hours, George squeezed my hand three or four times on command,” said Pickering. Eventually, following hours of negotiations, a police robot uncovered the curtain Pickering was hiding behind, and he then surrendered peacefully.”
The younger Pickering – you know, the brain dead vegetable, has recovered to see his father released from prison earlier this month. “The important thing is I’m alive and well, my father is home, and we’re together again,” George III said.
Now that’s a Christmas present and proof that doctors don’t know everything, are not infallible, and are, in fact, not Gods!
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