The Lava Trolley: Time to make a will...

The Lava Trolley

Or is it the lavatory???

...Either case, this little nook on blogasphere is the natural dumping ground for the sort of crap that erupts
when you find a wee Chink in the Britworks...

But hey, I promise you this is steamingly hot shit...which is probably why it's all looking a bit brown!


14 May 2005

Time to make a will...


You have no doubt already heard enough about the Terri Schiavo case and had your own opinions about whether or not she should have been allowed to live or die...But the question I'm more concerned with here is...

Should this image of her have been allowed to go to print?

According to the press, the consent of her family had been given...but not HERS...

Presumably, she was in no condition to do so, and had not left a living will...I would say this constitutes as a breach of privacy (from an ethical point of view...Seeing as the poor lady has already passed on, it follows that no legal proceedings can be brought), since her wishes on the matter had never been made known, and all we have are the assurances of her husband and parents who may or may not have been more interested in achieving their own ends...I have always been of the opinion that when in doubt, don't!

However, there are more important issues at play here than the ethics of one's right to privacy and the offending of delicate sensibilities...That Schiavo's collapse was brought about by a Bulimia-induced cardiac arrest is a big factor.

Reverse psychology doesn't always work, but more awareness should still be raised regarding the reality of this terrible eating disorder...and about how the illness could result in such a horrific end that not even Schiavo's immediate family had been prepared for...

The media has a tendency of glamorising and glorifying related mental/personality disorders, but the truth is that it is not only models and actresses (most notably...apparently...from the cast of Ally McBeal) who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia...How many of us can truly say that we know the real effects of these disorders, and can properly detect the symptoms in others? (Unfortunately for some who may attempt to comfort themselves in mistakenly believing this myth, just being thin is not a criteria)...Not many, I wager...

Had Schiavo not been suffering from such a controverial illness, I would have maintained that letting this image go live would serve no purpose...hence making it gratuitous...It was enough that we were already getting reports from doctors about the vegetative state she was in, and that those involved in the judicial process had access to such evidence...It was not our place to intrude upon her personal space, particularly under the circumstances...The media did not need to appeal to our sense of melodrama...

My other half, David, disagreed however. He was of the opinion that the media had made no transgressions in releasing this picture to the public (He's a photographer) despite whatever history was behind it...which made me realise that had I been in Schiavo's shoes, I would have suffered the same fate...proof that even your closest loved ones would not know your thoughts on every matter unless you clearly stipulate them...Every decent person derserves to be given the chance of making a dignified exit from life, and to be remembered as more than an invalid...It is one of the basic rights of all humanity.

Perhaps, this is how Terri Schiavo would have liked to remain in our memories:


More info on Terri Schiavo.

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