Sunday, March 27, 2005

My Life As A Doorstop

Like many people, I've been put in mind by the sad case of Terri Sciavo of the necessity for making one's wishes clear about medical care desired in the event one is unable to communicate following an accident or other catastrophic event. Therefore, allow me to make my wishes clear in this public forum.

1) ALL extraordinary measures are to be taken in my care. Feeding tubes, resusitating paddles employed at 10-minute intervals, a bellows to blow air into my lungs, painkillers of dangerous intensity -- if human ingenuity has devised a means to extend life in whatever fashion and of whatever quality, I want that means involved in my care. Disconnect nothing. Not even if all my brain readings are flatter than than Dick Cheney's warm-up jokes, or if all my smiles, grunts, flailing gestures, and attempts at articulation are clearly the efforts of my brain stem to cling stubbornly to life. It's my life, and I want to hang on to it as long as modern medical capabilities can sustain it. Before I shuffle off into the Long Dark, I'd like to see where this coma thing takes me.

2) However, if close relatives or friends are considering selling of houses, cars, children, or body parts to finance this full-court-press of medical care, I'll take my chances with the Infinite. No one's impoverishing themselves on my account. If, on the other hand, Medicaid is footing the bill, imagine my mirth at continued life, partially financed by the Red states. In fact, if aforementioned relatives and friends can siphon off thousands of dollars from some dolorous right-wing collection of evangelists for my care, do your best to skim off a percentage for yourselves. Feel free to use my "plight" as a prop to line your own pockets and improve the quality of your lives, as long as you sustain mine. I'm in a coma, what the hell do I care if my picture's in the paper?

3) If I'm screaming non-stop, despite the application of painkillers, keep injecting MORE painkillers until I stop screaming, or I'm dead. There are worse ways to go.

4) Please have John Edward, the psychic, attempt to contact me. We'll settle this afterlife question when he and I go mano-a-mano on the astral plane.

5) You who know the secret identity of Antonius are enjoined to wave this document in the face of overtaxed, despairing medical personnel attempting to provide me with "mercy".

I hope this makes my wishes clear.

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