Chris Field- Contributor
Field is Editor of Human
Events Online [go
to Field index]
and Dehydrating to Death Has Become 'Painless'
Newthink for a new age...
[Chris Field] 4/4/05
On Monday, March 28, an article appeared in the New
York Post that really got my dander up. It was short piece (less than 150)
words by Dr. Eric Braverman of the PATH Medical clinic in Manhattan.
In the item titled "Fading Away Slowly but Painlessly," Dr.
Braverman states, without equivocation, that Terri Schiavo would
feel no pain has her body succumbed to court-ordered denial of
food and water.
Dr. Braverman's piece
began: "Terri Schiavo's time is growing
short -- and there are a number of ways she could die. Fifteen
years ago, the part of her brain that controls thought, feeling
and pain died. Now, other parts of her body are starting to fail
because of the lack of food and water."
He then went on to
briefly describe how she could die and how that process could
appear. The good doctor then closed by stating
assertively: "She will not feel any pain. Her brain has
no ability to process it."
Reading this, a statement that ran contrary to most of the news
I had heard about Terri's condition, I decided to call Dr. Braverman's
office. He wasn't in, but his receptionist took my message and
gave me his email address.
So I sent him the following:
My name is Chris Field. I am the Editor of Human
Human Events is the nation's oldest conservative weekly.
I read your short
piece in the New York Post this morning titled "Fading
Away Slowly but Painlessly" (http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/41879.htm)
and have a few questions for you. I tried contacting you at your
PATH Medical office but was told you were not in today. Your
receptionist gave me your email address.
Here are my questions, your answers to which I would like to
1) You assert that the portion of Terri's brain that processes
pain is dead. If that is true, why has she been on morphine during
the starvation and dehydration process?
2) If Terri has not
felt pain for the last 15 years, how could this be construed
as a "mercy killing" (as some pro-"pull
the plug" advocates have termed it)?
3) If Terri cannot feel pain, why did anyone worry about keeping
her on a mattress in the hospice or preventing bed sores or changing
her clothes and sheets?
4) Had someone stuck her in the eye with a needle or physically
abused her in anyway before the removal of the feeding tube,
would you have advocated for any type of punishment for such
abuse? Or does the inability to sense pain negate any potential
criminal activity in such a case?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.
You'll be encouraged to know that Dr. Braverman actually called
me back, and we had three separate phone conversations. Perhaps
next week I'll let you know what he said.
I didn't change his mind, but I did let him know a few important
things about the Schiavo case of which he was
previously unaware when he wrote his piece that left no room
Scary -- having not even close to all the facts yet insisting
that an innocent woman die and that she won't feel it. That's
why so many of us said that we should err on the side of innocent
2005 Human Events