Personhood…Fighting for ALL Ages 2

Personhood…Fighting for ALL Ages 2


That voice from (most of) our youth is gone. I did not start out intending to reminisce about my childhood. Though I will admit that while researching the many articles about the passing of Mr. Casey Kasem, I could clearly hear “ZOINKS” in my head several times and it brought a smile to my face. And then that smooth as silk voice that so many of us remember reading those tear jerking “Long Distance Dedications” while traveling somewhere in the car on any given weekend and one of the most famous sign offs in radio history…”Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”   But, sadly, his story has a tragic end that shines a light on an issue that we touched on last week and we will continue to face on a growing scale. As we said, this is the logical, next step of consistently devaluing of human life.

In my previous post on this story and topic, I talked about euphemisms and the language being re-defined. I intended on coming back and editing that piece and adding in one of the most insidious terms used by the proponents of death, but before I could, I saw the headlines regarding Mr. Kasem’s passing. In most of the stories I have read, the term “removed from life support” is most commonly used. This made me think of that term, “pulling the plug.” Like we are a toaster or something!

The most honest story I have read is from the Huffington Post…sorta honest, anyway. They, at least, quoted the judges ruling: “On June 11, a Los Angeles judge ruled that Kasem’s daughter could resume end of life proceedings, withholding food, fluids and medication, on the understanding that he was mentally incapacitated and life support would only prolong his pain.” (emphasis mine) Not shying away from or sugar coating the terms, much…though making them sound medical and less offensive. OK…except the “resume end of life proceedings” part! What does that even mean?! Remember, Mr. Kasem’s daughter, Kerri, says this in the article we quoted last week from Huffington, “Giving food and water to a dying body creates pain and further suffering,” Kerri claimed at the time. “My father can no longer digest foods, and fluids fill his lungs up and will suffocate him.” From my limited knowledge, OK, I asked an expert…but, this is only true if his kidneys and other organs had shut down. BUT…it sure appears that hydration was pulled before that became the case.Not to mention we are back to that nebulous and immeasurable term, “suffering.”

By the way, Casey Kasem was suffering from Lewy Body Dementia…yeah, I hadn’t heard of it either. So I researched the disease and found a website called Lewy Body Journal. Seemed like a pretty knowledgeable source of information. And I could find no mention of organs shutting down or “removing from life support” as any of the symptoms or treatments for, what I am sure, is a horrible experience for all in involved. But…aargh!

A FOX affiliate actually had this little tidbit in their story…”We are confirming that Casey Kasem passed away at 3:23 a.m. this morning at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor, WA,” Deraney’s statement said. “He was surrounded by Kerri, Mike, Julie and close family and friends. No cause of death given. The family will not be doing any press at this time.” WHAT?! You starved him and let him dehydrate to death…with no pain medication?!

Is this what we now want to consider as “humane?” Just put us out of our “misery?!” Another next logical conclusion if we are just a higher evolved animal I suppose. Just showing us that ideas have consequences and words have meaning…sometimes, very dangerous meaning. I stress again, we must take those words and ideas back and present them in a way that recognizes that we are created in the image of God…Imago Dei. And as we’ve discussed, Personhood is the practical application of that very idea.




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