I had this very good friend in college named Lynn, who I started thinking about recently after I read two disturbing news stories. We met in the autumn of 1975, and within a year of that, she and I had made a pact that if either of us were seriously injured or ill to the point where the quality of life was gone, then the other would pull the plug, literally, if necessary. This was at a time before living wills and health care proxies and the like were common.
I was reading this terrible story about 13-year-old Jahi McMath in Oakland, CA, who has been brain dead since December 12, “three days after she underwent a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.” She’s been moved to a facility in New York.
As the article notes:
While laymen tend to use the words “coma” and “brain dead” interchangeably, in medicine they mean very different things.
“Coma” is the broader term used to describe a prolonged state of unconsciousness Continue reading When does life end, and begin?
When I was in college, I was co-editor of a thrice-weekly newsletter, inexplicably called the Wind Sun News, sponsored by the Student Government. They instituted this publication in no small measure because the editors of The Oracle, the student newspaper, decided that political issues such American involvement in overthrowing Chile’s Allende in favor of Pinochet was more important to cover than the prosaic issue of college politics.
I had a very good friend then, who I’ll call Lynn, mostly because it was her name. She had been kvetching about turning 20. It was a Wind Sun News night, when a bunch of us would work from 8 or 9 p.m. until around 2 a.m., and occasionally later. Normally, Lynn would be there, but her friend Pam convinced her to go out to dinner with her because she “needed” to talk to Lynn about her relationship with her boyfriend. It was an effective ruse because Pam apparently DID talk to her about the beau.
Lynn came back to the office just before midnight, glum Continue reading LaMBS is 55