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Cal Thomas wants babies to suffer...
December 14, 2004 9:29 PM   Subscribe

Cal Thomas doesn't want 'mercy killings'. This man is an idiot. But don't take my word for it. (From Viewropa/Sikkema.)
posted by codeofconduct (54 comments total)

 
codeofconduct is an ignorant asshole.

(googlebomb in 3...2...1...)
posted by zelphi at 9:35 PM on December 14, 2004


Did you know that a baby without a brain (anencephalic) is apparently part of the 'arbitrary standard' of which he speaks?
posted by codeofconduct at 9:36 PM on December 14, 2004


Foxblocker: Problem solved.
posted by numlok at 9:44 PM on December 14, 2004


Cal Thomas is another "kindly uncle who gives you the straight story" Big Brother type from Fox; not worth paying any attention to.
posted by interrobang at 9:45 PM on December 14, 2004


codeofconduct's second link was better, because in earlier stories it looked like Gronigen was being a bit too hush-hush about their protocol.
The Groningen Protocol has five criteria: the suffering must be so severe that the newborn has no prospects of a future; there is no possibility of a cure or alleviation with medication or surgery; the parents must always give their consent; a second opinion must be provided by an independent doctor who has not been involved with the child’s treatment; and the deliberate ending of life must be meticulously carried out with the emphasis on aftercare.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:53 PM on December 14, 2004


I just love how our right wing is sending their crusade out internationally. Canada and the Netherlands are now next in the list of countries to invade, right after Syria.
posted by rks404 at 9:53 PM on December 14, 2004


[sarcasm] Hey, if God wants them to suffer, who am I to argue? [/sarcasm]
posted by numlok at 9:56 PM on December 14, 2004


Once a single category of life is declassified as having no intrinsic value and a right to life, it is a very short step to declassify other categories when they are considered inconvenient, or burdensome.
This is the heart of the conservative argument. Basically, he feels that any threat to the social structures – the categories that allow him to arrange and navigate the world and ensure that his position in the hierarchy will remain untouched – will lead inevitably to the death of the social mechanism which legitimize his privileged position. This guy is really no different from those who argued for segregation or anti-miscegenation or those who today argue against homosexual marriage, it isn't that they are irrational, if they posses any intelligence they are able to reason to the same conclusions made by those hospitals but admitting this would set a dangerous precedent, it is a very short step from that admission to de-privileging other social categories, like whiteness, maleness, christianness, etc. Thus, by turning attention to inflammatory issues like euthanasia he is able to justify his demand that things stay the same.

A sane person would look on this as progress. Rational thought triumphing over superstition. But that superstition is used to maintain the conservative's own position.
posted by Grod at 10:23 PM on December 14, 2004


sprinkle with punctuation to taste --- it has been a really long couple of weeks, if you think that was incoherent, you should read some of my essays
posted by Grod at 10:25 PM on December 14, 2004


CRAP, Last comment, I promise: And now we have the killing of newborns. All of this in a country where the Nazis murdered Ann Frank just because she was Jewish and therefore less than human.

WTF?!
posted by Grod at 10:28 PM on December 14, 2004



Did you know that a baby without a brain (anencephalic) is apparently part of the 'arbitrary standard' of which he speaks?


And who's to say that, with gods will, the child couldn't have overcome such an affliction?

If, years ago, America had to adhere to the same arbitrary standards, your most widely syndicated op-ed columnist wouldn't be here today to warn us about the people trying to kill Anne Frank or some such thing.
posted by Tuatara at 10:29 PM on December 14, 2004


"Holland is a perfect example of what happens when there is no governing moral standard." First, universal health insurance. Then government pensions so the elderly don't starve. Finally, it hits bottom - a guaranteed minimum income above the poverty line. Degenerates.
posted by QuietDesperation at 10:35 PM on December 14, 2004


QuietDesperation:
Exactly. Privatization of social security is a big part of the current conservative agenda, an act that would effectively ensure power for the wealthy. Rather than challenging people who look to alternative models for social equality on logical grounds (which would be nearly impossible) the conservative calls them Baby Killers and Nazis. Brilliant.
posted by Grod at 10:39 PM on December 14, 2004


the world is going to hell in a VanDerBasket.
posted by quonsar at 10:55 PM on December 14, 2004


Tuatara: And who's to say that, with gods will, the child couldn't have overcome such an affliction?

Well, I think that is part of the problem. I don't belive in god, or god's will. Even when I did, I thought that medical ethicists are on shaky ground trying to second-guess him by engaging in a hopeless persuit to preserve life even at the cost of massive amounts of human suffering.

The trouble with the "god's will" argument is that it works both ways. Perhaps it was "god's will" that a child who would have died within days after birth not survive?

Perhaps this is just my perspective having seen a shadow of the horrid quantity of suffering that some humans face before the end, but I can't help but think that the insistence that life must be preserved and extended at any cost is an exercise in sadism.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:00 PM on December 14, 2004


Grod beat me to it. Obviously, ignorant arsehole Cal Thomas doesn't have a fucking clue about the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands: both the suffering of the general populace, and the underground networks that sheltered Jews and resisted the occupiers.

And... it's just sheer rhetorical dreck. What's the argument here? The Dutch are now emulating the Nazis? In which case, is Thomas going to apply that loose, offensive comparison to... Israel? Decriminalisation of drugs and prostitution are a repeat of Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Fuehrer? Really? At least the 'Concerned Women of America' (Orwell would be proud) aren't as historically ignorant. But they are equally fucking repugnant.

But: Godwin, anyone? One could say about the USA: 'All of this in a country where blacks were enslaved just because they were regarded as less than human.' Or: 'All of this in a country in which colonial occupiers committed genocide against the natives.' But it'd be objectionable.

Obviously those born without brains or spines in America are spared from euthanasia. And go on to become Republican gobshites.
posted by riviera at 11:02 PM on December 14, 2004


...I can't help but think that the insistence that life must be preserved and extended at any cost is an exercise in sadism.

Exactly.
posted by codeofconduct at 11:08 PM on December 14, 2004


Well if your all as smart as Cal Thomas, why aren't you all widely syndicated columnists?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:16 PM on December 14, 2004


smart can't possibly be a requirement of that job.
posted by quonsar at 11:26 PM on December 14, 2004


> Did you know that a baby without a brain (anencephalic) is apparently part of the 'arbitrary standard' of which he speaks?

And who's to say that, with gods will, the child couldn't have overcome such an affliction?

If, years ago, America had to adhere to the same arbitrary standards, your most widely syndicated op-ed columnist wouldn't be here today to warn us about the people trying to kill Anne Frank or some such thing.


Tuatara, it is not possible to recover from ancephaly. If you are born without a brain, you will never grow one. My cousin's oldest child was born with this affliction-- no brain, just a brain stem, no measurable IQ, no speech, nothing. He's alive, but he's not living; fortunately he's not in pain. If he had been in terrible pain-- as per the so called "arbitrary standard" which you refer to, and which seems pretty clear to me, and not arbitrary at all-- I would hope that the terrible decision to let him die might have been made slightly less fraught by proper medical support and counselling. Because it's not as if it only happens in the Netherlands: it happens in America all the time, too, just behind closed doors and in an atmosphere of horrible distress made worse by the possibility of legal action. Would you really want to see a severly disabled newborn, with no possible chance of recovery, growth, or any type of an emotional, thinking life, a newborn in constant, terrible pain, a baby who will certainly die anyway-- would you want to let this baby suffer an agonizing death on the off chance that god might intervene?
posted by jokeefe at 11:28 PM on December 14, 2004


From codeofconduct's link:

“A lot of disquiet has arisen around this issue, especially when the Vatican expressed concern. But these children face a life of agonizing pain. For example, we’re talking about newborns with hydrocephalus and no brain. Another example may be a child with spina bifida with a sack of brain fluid attached where all the nerves are floating around. This child is barely able to breathe, and would have to undergo at least sixty operations in the course of a year to temporarily alleviate its problems. These operations would not ease the pain. Moreover, the child would suffer such unbearable pain that it has to be constantly anaesthetised. The parents watch this in tears and beg the doctor to bring an end to such suffering.”

Studies have shown that paediatricians worldwide are, in exceptional cases like this, in favour of deliberate ending of life. In France 74% believe that it should be acceptable in certain circumstances. The figure for the Netherlands is 72%.

posted by jokeefe at 11:29 PM on December 14, 2004


oh jokeefe, ye of little faith!
posted by quonsar at 11:33 PM on December 14, 2004


Grod, you say the things I do not have the energy or sobriety to type! Kudos!
posted by damehex at 11:52 PM on December 14, 2004


"In France 74% believe that it should be acceptable in certain circumstances."
Which is why I propose we now call all American children "Freedom Babies".
posted by numlok at 11:53 PM on December 14, 2004


the world is going to hell

dammit q, stop stealing my line
posted by kamylyon at 11:56 PM on December 14, 2004


If, years ago, America had to adhere to the same arbitrary standards, your most widely syndicated op-ed columnist wouldn't be here today to warn us about the people trying to kill Anne Frank or some such thing.

I just want Tuatara to know that at least one person actually read this and found it funny.
posted by moss at 12:06 AM on December 15, 2004


psst! hey moss! i think everyone got it but jokeefe!
posted by quonsar at 12:15 AM on December 15, 2004


If ever there was a slippery slope to be studied, News Corporation is it.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:17 AM on December 15, 2004


Sky News in the UK is also owned by News Corporation. However, when Sky wants to show a daily American news bulletin, they pay to broadcast CBS instead of going with what their own company produces, Fox News. I guess they appreciate our education system is a little too successful for it to be tolerated.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:54 AM on December 15, 2004


psst! hey moss! i think everyone got it but jokeefe!
posted by quonsar at 12:15 AM PST on December 15


Bang. Bang. Bang.

The sound of my head against the wall.

Bang.

I will read posts thoroughly before starting to yell. I will read posts thoroughly before starting to yell....

*sigh*
posted by jokeefe at 2:01 AM on December 15, 2004


Thanks moss but upon revisiting my post I realised it was somewhat vague and ambiguous.

Also, thanks jokeefe for providing a reasoned and descriptive first hand account. I'm sorry for not taking the time to realise the brainless shtick isn't actually that hilarious for anyone unfortunate enough to have had to deal with ancephaly.

Thirdly, I'd like to apologise to Cal Thomas for being an ignorant arsehole...
posted by Tuatara at 2:46 AM on December 15, 2004


This is something that happens here in the US as well - we just don't talk about it (which is a shame). I support what the Dutch are trying to do - forcing these issues out in the open for rational discussion is far better than ignoring them.
posted by cbjg at 3:17 AM on December 15, 2004


cbjg: The story you link to takes place at '...the new children's hospital at Vanderbilt University...' It looks like those pesky Dutch Nazis have got a foothold in the States already!
posted by MrMustard at 4:08 AM on December 15, 2004


psst! hey moss! i think everyone got it but jokeefe

not everyone...
posted by jonson at 4:19 AM on December 15, 2004


Obviously those born without brains or spines in America are spared from euthanasia. And go on to become Republican gobshites.
posted by riviera at 11:02 PM PST on December 14


No, only without brains, the spineless become "Republican Lite" gobshites like Liebermann. :-)
posted by nofundy at 4:56 AM on December 15, 2004


What is cruel and inhuman are those cheap rugs like Cal Thomas wears. Evidence of no brain if ever I saw it.
posted by nofundy at 4:58 AM on December 15, 2004


Once a single category of life is declassified as having no intrinsic value and a right to life, it is a very short step to declassify other categories when they are considered inconvenient, or burdensome.

Excellent. Now, tell us again about the death penalty, Cal?
posted by Slothrup at 5:06 AM on December 15, 2004


jokeefe, I'm sorry for you cousin and her/his parents. I never heard of ancephaly before and it just breaks my heart.
posted by dabitch at 5:10 AM on December 15, 2004


Cal Thomas is an idiot, but euthanasia is a terrible idea and I happen to agree with him that in this regard the Netherlands are headed in a very bad direction. Go read Nat Hentoff if you don't want to listen to Cal (or me).

Oh, and this is a dreadful post. A link to a stupid op-ed, with a couple of sentences telling us how to think about it? Please.
posted by languagehat at 5:35 AM on December 15, 2004


best of the web strikes again!
posted by glenwood at 5:51 AM on December 15, 2004


when I saw this column a week ago I, being a cheesehead, was quite offended by it. had never heard of him before and i am dazzled that a man who claims to have high christian standards, can write this

1 he doesn't give any depth / reference / quotes.. it's just a plain opinion not based on anything substantial. This is not journalism but plain misleading..

here's the official text from the hospital: http://www.azg.nl/azg/nl/english/nieuws/45613
(my personal opinion: The power of healing we posess since a couple of decades also brings other responsibilties with them, his policy of sticking the head in the sand is not going to help solving these issues)

2 He talks about "the Dutch having decriminalized most drugs" which is /absolutely incorrect. Only hashish and weed, what we call 'softdrugs', can be legally bought in The Netherlands.

3 he talks about "thousands of radical Islamists". This is *one of the major reasons *of what causes the current problems in the world: generalisation.. as if all my neighbors are radical..

4 his implications of the Dutch people, Nazi's and Anne Frank are, besides crooked, downright sickening and very offensive

The most frightening part is that this man has a column on Fox-News which is supp. well read? Has Fox no integrity at all?? How is this possible

(My apologies since I know I am converting the converted here, but I had to get rid of this somewhere.. atleast mr Thomas achieved something possitive: I decided to subscribe on MF instead of lurking ;) hi y'all!!)
posted by borq at 6:12 AM on December 15, 2004


the link again.. this time clickable, sorry
posted by borq at 6:14 AM on December 15, 2004


The slope would be a lot less slippery if guys like this didn't keep trying to grease it.
posted by mikeh at 6:30 AM on December 15, 2004


If ever there was a slippery slope to be studied, News Corporation is it.

Awesome.

BTW, wtf is with "Islamist"? A century ago it was "Mohammedanists" (I kid you not). How freaking hard is it to just call them "Muslims"? Stupid Christist.
posted by mkultra at 6:43 AM on December 15, 2004


Obviously those born without brains or spines in America are spared from euthanasia. And go on to become Republican gobshites.

riviera, thanks for saving this piece of shit of a fpp. even worse -- it's not even a post, it's a silly excuse for a googlebomb
posted by matteo at 6:50 AM on December 15, 2004


BTW, wtf is with "Islamist"? A century ago it was "Mohammedanists" (I kid you not). How freaking hard is it to just call them "Muslims"? Stupid Christist.

Much as I hate the word "Islamist" and the reckless way that it is thrown around, it *is* an attempt (half-hearted, perhaps) to separate the extremists from normal, everyday Muslims. There is such a thing, ya know.
posted by laz-e-boy at 6:55 AM on December 15, 2004


Once a single category of life is declassified as having no intrinsic value and a right to life, it is a very short step to declassify other categories when they are considered inconvenient, or burdensome.
Am I the only one struck by how illiterate this line is? For classified he says "declassified." Where he should say no intrinsic value and no right to life, he says "no intrinsic value and a right to life." In short, he can't even phrase his own poor argument in coherent terms.

Cal Thomas: no intrinsic value and a right to life
posted by adamrice at 6:59 AM on December 15, 2004


Oh, and this is a dreadful post. A link to a stupid op-ed, with a couple of sentences telling us how to think about it? Please.

Perhaps this is not the best of the web but it certainly belongs to the worst...

Perhaps it's a matter of perspective. But the simple fact that a major news outlet in a major democratic country can even consider running such drivel is something to ponder. I mean, it's not like if that guy was an obscure blogger in a remote corner of the internet writing for his small group of buddies.

How many millions of people have now read that and now believe, genuinely, that Dutch people have been turned into Nazis? I wouldn't be surprised to see this becoming a meme mechanically repeated from now on, just like the "France surrenders" one, but an order of magnitude worse.

I understand that this sort of thing is written for the domestic market (rather than with the purpose to offend foreigners), but it's still not very pleasant to learn that apparently vast numbers of people - the Cal Thomas readers - choose to have ignorance, xenophobia and self-righteousness mixed in a single neat package. This is not news, but a reminder now and then is certainly useful.
posted by elgilito at 9:39 AM on December 15, 2004


Quoting Thomas in the article: "Three years after the Dutch parliament passed a law allowing doctors to actively kill patients they deemed terminally ill, in great pain and with no prospects for recovery, it has come to this."

So some Dutch doctors are allegedly are euthanizing "terminally ill, in great pain and with no prospects for recovery" newborn humans. Then again, the governor of my state is a medical doctor who is against euthanasia and abortion, and in fact signed a bill making killing a fetus (like in California's Peterson case) illegal, but he gladly signs death warrants for retarded convicts -- and neither he nor his supporters see any possible inconsistency here either with his other "noble stands" nor with the Hippocratic oath. Of course Cal Thomas digs Gov. "Killer Doc" Fletcher.

What a noble moral principle: "Let's uphold the sacred worth of human lives we like!" I'm all choked up, sorta.

Oh by the way: the anti-abortion billboards on many public roads around here now say "Thou Shalt Not Kill", with a big photo of a wide-awake human infant. Somehow I thought the issue in that case is "killing the unborn".
posted by davy at 10:10 AM on December 15, 2004


Cheers, Tuatara. A bit of a knee jerk reaction from me, I'm afraid-- your comment is the kind of snark I usually enjoy.

LH, I'd be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on this.
posted by jokeefe at 12:33 PM on December 15, 2004


this is what I like to call "only on Fox stories." Basically it's any story that is taken out of context, but some has some sort of gay or abortion overtone to it. The following quote is perfect:

Holland is a perfect example of what happens when there is no governing moral standard. The Dutch have decriminalized most drugs and people smoke dope openly in venues set aside for the practice. Prostitutes display their wares like mannequins in department store windows. And now we have at least one hospital murdering already born babies because someone has decreed them unworthy of life.

The three things have nothing to do with another, but in the Fox-Christian world the three must be intertwined or hold some sort of cause and effect relationship. The fly over state people lap up this kind of half-truth, out of context stuff all the time from Fox News.

Something notably absent is the impute of the baby's parents in all this. My guess (does anyone know?) is that the consent of the parents is given or the killing is done on the request of the parents, like a do not resuscitate order works for a comatose patient. If that is case, which my guess that is, it seems that Thomas’s arguments don't gel as well and his causal links to porn and drugs are exposed for the bullshit that they are.
posted by Bag Man at 1:48 PM on December 15, 2004


bag man, re: parental consent, read kirkjobsluder's comment up at the top.
posted by juv3nal at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2004


I understand that this sort of thing is written for the domestic market

that's the point elgilito: internet in combination with the fact that everyone around the world can read English creates a new situation. One where US citizens mostly read US-news and 'the rest of the world' reads both local and US news (esp. the ones that yell the loudest) and notes the differences between them... and draw their misinformed conclusions: confusion and misunderstandings all around..

So what's the most reliable news-source in the US?
posted by borq at 4:47 AM on December 16, 2004


bag man, re: parental consent, read kirkjobsluder's comment up at the top.

Thanks for pointing that out. In long threads I don't read every comment. Anyway, after reading it the policy seems somewhat reasonable. It's clear why Thomas left it out, it really shows he's a wing-nut fundie looking to pick a fight and feed some red meat to his "base."
posted by Bag Man at 5:38 PM on December 16, 2004


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