Human Exceptionalism

Media Fails to Connect PVS Dehydration Dots

Count on the media to miss the obvious angle when it comes to the culture of death.

The story of Martin Pistorius–believed falsely to have been unconscious for 12 years–is all over the mainstream media. NPR is typical:

His parents, Rodney and Joan Pistorius, were told that he was as good as not there, a vegetable. The hospital told them to take him home and keep him comfortable until he died.

But he didn’t die. “Martin just kept going, just kept going,” his mother says. His father would get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, get him dressed, load him in the car, take him to the special care center where he’d leave him.

“Eight hours later, I’d pick him up, bathe him, feed him, put him in bed, set my alarm for two hours so that I’d wake up to turn him so that he didn’t get bedsores,” Rodney says. That was their lives, for 12 years.

Unknown to the doctors, he could hear everything going on around him:

Over time, Martin began re-engaging with his thoughts.

And slowly, as his mind felt better, something else happened — his body began to get better, too. It involved inexplicable neurological developments and a painstaking battle to prove that he existed.

That he existed?

DO THEY EVEN MENTION that, but for loving parents, he could have had his feeding tube removed to the applause of these same outlets, most bioethicists, and many among the public? No!

At least this story didn’t say, “Terri Schiavo was different.” That’s a refreshing change.

She wasn’t. He could have been dried to death just like she was, his skin cracking, his organs slowly shutting down.  Had that happened, no one would ever have known that he knew what was happening as he died. Nor would anyone have known that years hence, he would fully recover.

P.S. The NPR story casually uses the V-word, an odious epithet the dehumanizes and degrades, just like the N-word and the C-word for women. Shame. On. Them. This is why the cognitively disabled face lethal discrimination.

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