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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bush and Babies

I sincerely wish folks on the Left would read laws and the history behind them before screaming one version or another of "Bush lied, people died!"

In this case, the Left is screaming that Bush killed a baby this time, and on top of that, was inconsistent in signing the Schiavo law. Here's a Google Search of the Words Bush, Right to Die and Texas. The caterwauling can give one a headache.

Read the Texas law Bush signed. You can find it here.
The key part the Democrats are so incensed about is:

Look at the hoops that have to be jumped through before a physician can go against the guardian's wishes.

One more thing: This case was just decided Feb. 15th 2005, six years after Bush left the Texas governorship. Here's what the Right to Life groups in Texas are saying:

The 1999 state law Mr. Bush signed allows hospitals to disconnect patients if the doctor and a hospital ethics committee agree it's appropriate. But in a nod to right-to-life groups, the law requires hospitals to give families 10 days to find another institution to provide care.

"We considered that a big victory," said Mr. Pojman, of the Texas Alliance for Life.

Mr. Hooser agreed that it was a win for right-to-life lobbyists, who were at the table because Mr. Bush vetoed a 1997 version of the bill. He vetoed that piece of legislation – drafted without right-to-life groups' participation – "on the basis that it was pro-assisted suicide," Mr. Hooser said.

The Schiavo case differs from that of baby Sun Hudson, cited by Ms. Schultz, and another recent Houston case, that of 68-year-old Spiro Nikolouzos. They both required a breathing machine. Ms. Schiavo can breathe but can't eat or drink unassisted.

In the case of the Hudson baby, born with a fatal birth defect, the Texas law signed by Mr. Bush was followed when Texas Children's Hospital unplugged him after several months of delays and repeated court battles. He died after the ventilator tube was removed last week.

In the case of Mr. Nikolouzos, his family found alternate care, and he was transferred Sunday from St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital to a San Antonio nursing home. An invalid since 2001 after bleeding in his brain, he fell into what doctors called a hopeless condition recently.

The 1999 Texas law was an effort to clarify and simplify previous law on end-of-life issues, previously covered in a disjointed series of statutes.

Here's what the hospital said regarding the removal of the ventilator:

"From the time Sun was born ... he was on life support because his chest cavity and lungs could not grow and develop the capacity to support his body. He was slowly suffocating to death," Texas Children's said in a statement today.

Texas Children's contended that continuing care for Sun was medically inappropriate, prolonged suffering and violated physician ethics. Hudson argued her son just needed more time to grow and be weaned from the ventilator.

You'll find the rest of that story here. The Houston Chronicle placed the above quote toward the bottom of the story, where few would read it. They worked hard to present this case in as bad a light as possible for President Bush, but you can still see the real story if you read between the lines. The hospital called 40 other facilities, none of which would take this baby just to watch him slowly suffocate to death. I happen to know a thing or two about slow suffocation. It's not a pleasant way to die, especially over several months. The tragedy is not lost on me. This mother's frantic clinging to a life blinded her to the fact that there was no hope, and to the extreme suffering of this infant.

One more thing: Most, though by no means all, of those screaming the loudest about this baby's death are the same ones who would have screamed for the right to kill it seven months earlier. Inconsistency, anyone?

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