Saturday, March 19, 2005

More on Clear Channel and Thayrone X.

Another woman has opined on Clear Channel's public relations stunt, the firing of Thayrone X:

...Recently, over 200 indecency complaints filed against Clear Channel were terminated in an agreement wherein $1.75 million was paid to the FCC, and in return all cases were dropped and were not admissible in re-licensing hearings. Clear Channel was also fined when a disc jockey on WKQI in Detroit taped and broadcast a prank phone call made to a faith center, asking for a prayer as a joke, without informing the volunteer. The hip-hop songs played on both WJLB and WKQI are full of misogynist lyrics far worse than anything Thayrone plays...

Today's Prayer.

Courtesy of the ELCA Southeast Michigan Synod website:

Thank you Lord for giving us another day. Thank you for those we love, and protect and keep those we can not see. Amen.

Please also pray for Terri Schaivo. Apparently, the ELCA has not seen it fit to comment on this tragedy, but they have bushel baskets of thoughts on human sexuality.

Correction: after some digging in the ELCA website, I found the Social Statement on End of Life Decisions. This document does not directly address the issue of when a patient's wishes are unknown, and when there is irreconciable disagreement between concerned parties regarding a patient's fate. More importantly, it does not discuss the specific issue of this case - accelerating an end of life that is not near its natural end, because a concerned party, let us say "percieves a unacceptably poor quality of life". It does state the following:

...Our faith as Christians informs and guides us in approaching personal and public decisions about death and dying today. Among the convictions that orient us are:

- life is a gift from God, to be received with thanksgiving;

- the integrity of the life processes which God has created should be respected; both birth and death are part of these life processes;

- both living and dying should occur within a caring a community;

- a Christian perspective mandates respect for each person; such respect includes giving due recognition to each person's carefully considered preferences regarding treatment decisions;
truthfulness and faithfulness in our relations with others are essential to the texture of human life;


- hope and meaning in life are possible even in times of suffering and adversity; a truth powerfully proclaimed resurrection faith of the church.

"Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's" (Rom 14:8). For those who live with this confidence, neither life nor death are absolute. We treasure God's gift of life; we also prepare ourselves for a time when we may let go of our lives, entrusting our future to the crucified and risen Christ who is "Lord of both the dead and the living" (Rom 14:9). While these convictions do not give clear-cut answers to all end-of-life decisions, they do offer a basic approach to them.

Allowing Death and Taking LifeWithholding or Withdrawing Artificially-administeredNutrition and Hydration

Patients who once would have died because of their inability to take food and water by mouth can today be kept alive through artificially-administered nutrition and hydration. These measures are often temporary and allow many to recover health. At other times, however, they alone maintain life, and they do so indefinitely. In those cases, is it ever permissible to withhold or withdraw such measures?

Food and water are part of our basic human care. Artificially-administered nutrition and hydration move beyond basic care to become medical treatment. Health care professionals are not required to use all available medical treatment in all circumstances. Medical treatment may be limited in some instances, and death allowed to occur. Patients have a right to refuse unduly burdensome treatments which are disproportionate to the expected benefits.

When medical judgment determines that artificially-administered nutrition and hydration will not contribute to an improvement in the patient's underlying condition or prevent death from that condition, patients or their legal spokespersons may consider them unduly burdensome treatment. In these circumstances it may be morally responsible to withhold or withdraw them and allow death to occur. This decision does not mean that family and friends are abandoning their loved one.

When artificially-administered nutrition and hydration are withheld or withdrawn, family, friends, health care professionals, and pastor should continue to care for the person. They are to provide relief from suffering, physical comfort, and assurance of God's enduring love...

Unfortunately, there is no statement here about a prevailing moral rule when the issue of "unduly burdensome" treatment is debated, or even when it is not clear who is speaking as the legal representative of the patient. Clearly, this document was meant to address the issues relevant to terminally ill patients and events near their death. Perhaps the first conviction mentioned above - that life is a gift from God - provides this guidance. Later, in the document, the issue of physician-assisted suicide is discussed, and it is stated:

...However, the deliberate action of a physician to take the life of a patient, even when this is the patient's wish, is a different matter. As a church we affirm that deliberately destroying life created in the image of God is contrary to our Christian conscience. While this affirmation is clear, we also recognize that responsible health care professionals struggle to choose the lesser evil in ambiguous borderline situations -- for example, when pain becomes so unmanageable that life is indistinguishable from torture...

This is about as close as this document gets to the tragedy of Terri Schiavo. One of the problems of a church leadership that repeatedly attempts to be all things to all people.
Liberalism at the Crossroads, Part IV.

VDH with a critique of the Hard Left's noxious rhetoric flooding the Democratic Party (thanks to LGF):

...something has gone terribly wrong with a mainstream Left that tolerates a climate where the next logical slur easily devolves into Hitlerian invective. The problem is not just the usual excesses of pundits and celebrities (e.g., Jonathan Chait’s embarrassing rant in the New Republic on why “I hate George W. Bush” or Garrison Keillor’s infantile slurs about Bush’s Republicans: “brown shirts in pinstripes”), but also supposedly responsible officials of the opposition such as former Sen. John Glenn, who said of the Bush agenda: “It’s the old Hitler business.”

Thus, if former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore breezily castigates Bush’s Internet supporters as “digital brownshirts”; if current Democratic-party chairman Howard Dean says publicly, “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for” — or, “This is a struggle of good and evil. And we’re the good”; or if NAACP chairman Julian Bond screams of the Bush administration that “Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side,” the bar of public dissent has so fallen that it is easy to descend a tad closer to the bottom to compare a horrific killer to an American president...