Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rush to judgement?

Has Rush Limbaugh gone insane? Is the lack of oxycontin in his blood stream making him irritable or something? Flailing his arms, flopping around in his seat calling Michael J. Fox a “faker”? Stating Fox must be off his medications?

If Rush had taken a moment to look into Parkinson’s disease (or is that one of those things that Rush claims is a moral failure, not an illness, like oh, how he used to say drug addiction was?) he would have known (or at least been forced to accept) that Fox’s symptoms are exactly what advanced Parkinson’s looks like, caused BY the medications.

And now the fighting shall begin. Fox is exploiting his illness. Politicians are using him for political gain. Let’s wring our hands for a moment.

Okay, this is what people in power don’t like. You, me, any other random ordinary citizen with such a disease or a relative with such a disease has to just suck it up and do the best we can. We are swept under the rug by a nation that doesn’t really want to look us and/or our loved one in the eye. We are supposed to take our disease ridden selves and lock ourselves up in our homes where we won’t make the rest of the nation uncomfortable.

Stem cell research is easy to criticize when it is a sterile subject of disease names vs. embryo rights.

But when lovable Republican Alex P. Keaton is shaking and trembling in our faces, it becomes messy. It makes us uncomfortable. Because then, as a nation, we know it could be anyone of us. It is no longer some anonymous person that we never hear about, not some word on a newspaper page, but a real person, in real pain, with a real need.

And I know it gets complicated because politicians have tied stem cell research to abortion, portraying supporters as ghouls with knitting needles, ready to pounce on any pregnant woman for her fetal cells.

I tend to look at it terms of organ donation. If something happens to me, I have given permission for the doctors to take any conceivable part of me that might remotely be helpful to a living, suffering person. I’m not going to need anything to take with me. And as a parent, I had the right to make that choice if something had ever happened to my child. And I would have made that choice. What better comfort could I have than the knowledge that my child’s death also meant that others would live? And while I am grateful that I never had to make that choice, I have spoken with parents who have. They all agree, after the initial grief, it was a great comfort to know that their child “saved” the lives of others.

Frozen embryos that the parents have decided not to use will be thawed out and tossed in a furnace somewhere. Why can’t those parents have the option of donating their embryos to research? It’s basically the same thing to me. Give back to mankind or allow the potential life to go completely to waste.


jaz said...

Well said.

We, as a people, prefer not to look at what these medical conditions actually do to people.

Because then we would have to think about how our choices are impacting the lives of real human beings.

Chanting slogans is much simpler.

Pam said...

"Gone" insane? That's suggesting that he's been something near rational in the not so distant past. I know he periodically creates his own personal little drama festival, but he's a guy that should be IGNORED.

The whole stem cell debate is just f*cked. It really is. There's so much propaganda and misinformation - and few really understand that it's okay to throw them in the trash (incinerate them) but it's not okay to use them to develop therapies. It's just moralistic BS.