[Marxism] Forwarded from Hari Kumar

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Mar 21 18:18:27 MST 2005

Many people wrote on this theme.

I respond to a fraction.

1) I believe that if imputations of potential financial gain are to be made 
(I think that as W.L.) - they should be rather precise and not at the level 
of innuendo.

2) I agree with Ravi that the position of those who call themselves M-ists 
on this matter, are somewhat un-M-ist. that is to say: As far as I have 
seen (I did not see all posts on this pic) - they are remarkable for their 
abstracted 'theorising' and are rather divorced from real life. To wit - 
this 'abstraction' consists of two particular abstractions. They are free from:

(i) The experience of advising those whose loved ones are brain-dead OR 
facing a remarkably constrained and handicapped life.

(ii) The experinece of being those loved ones' relations.

I would suggest that before pontifications are made, the first lay-person's 
article to be published in the august pages of 'Pediatrics' be reviewed. 
(Helen Harrison circa 1998 _ precise reference on request if needed).

Helen had a severely quadriplegic brain damaged child who she has looked 
after unswervingly, and who argued to the doctors that her baby was going 
to be severely damaged & should be taken off.

The authoritarianism of that type of 'physician' who refused, is 
regrettably still around.

(3) A lot of good quality research in my view, has been performed by MD's 
on the matter of Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) & what makes it up & 
how the terminants such as 'Hope" mould the understanding of HRQL.

The point is that:

What works for an evangelist of the Life is Full despite Any Disability 
school - may not work for those of the "My baby will not understand the 
meaning of a lovely snowy day" school.

Just as it seems that we here disagree on the meaning of life (What a 
surprise eh?) - what passes for HRQL VARIES.

But if M-ism cherishes 'individuality' - which any old hardened ML-ist [Oh 
all right - o have all your little shouts of 'Stalinist'] like me says it 
does -  then each case is virtually treated 'individually' - in an ideal, 
and even in a less than ideal world. The slippery slope argument is 
admittedly an important one, but it must be placed in a meaningful context.

By which I mean:

Guidelines can be - and are - made for the range of expression of 
individual preferences. these may (do) guard against sliding off the 
slippery slope into Nazism.

and this....:

(4) Ah yes, we do not deal NOW with the 'Ideal world'. We deal with the 
material and al and definitely capitalist world. It is not for the M-ist to 
preach to a person with a ved one in these types of terrible scenarios, 
that "this is a slippery slope" etc...

Who brings up & does that?

Who measures and watches the PHYSICAL pain of many of such people?

What is the life of people in long term institutions like?

And if "Hope" forms part of HRQL, and if 'Hope' is often a cultural trait 
of a family/spouse/parent - & if this is chopped off at the knees by so 
many factors (Including e $ or lack of it) - who are we to preach to those 
whose information is (presumably me??) that the loved person in question 
has stated unequivocal viewpoints?

Excuse me while I rush off to write my Living Will Lest I be stricken by 
ALS or a completely disabling stroke.

Hari Kumar

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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