Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Crutches for Crippled Children

Ignorance reigns, and Charmaine Yoest teaches:

There in the plexiglass display case, in Mesa Verde National Park are two crude crutches from our stone-age past. We spent yesterday exploring the cliff dwellings of pre-historic Pueblo Indians -- they built their homes in the sides of sheer rock walls. They did not have the wheel; they did not have feeding tubes. They had to climb cliffs to get into their homes.

But they did fashion crutches for crippled children.

If you have ever screamed at the TV or Radio when ignorant folks discuss Terri, you are not alone.

Today, a federal judge has declined to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. This is impossible to believe. . . .

[V]ery smart people are getting this issue all wrong. And it revolves around one simple, central point:

It's hyperalimentation, not hyperventilation.

What's "hyperalimentation?" It's food offered through a tube. . . .

There are two ways to do this -- enteral and parenteral feedings, by gut and by intravenous catheter -- a feeding tube into your stomach with pureed food or an IV catheter into your arm with a nutrient admixture. Terri receives food through a simple hose into her stomach.

Here's the key point: food is not medicine.

Yet another Civilization Gut Check:

It must have been quite a burden for the prehistoric cliff dwellers to care for a crippled child. Climbing was an essential part of their lives; and their lives were consumed with survival in a way we cannot imagine except through visiting a dig. They certainly had easy ways to dispose of inconvenient people -- the cliffs loomed.

Yet still, they sat in the dirt and lovingly crafted a crutch.

How is it possible that these pre-historic people were more civilized in this than we?

Easily the best piece I've read today. Read the whole thing and thanks to Kathryn.