An unidentified Alabama mother is fighting to stop a court order approving the withholding of life support from her young son, described as being terminally ill. Medical folks assert that the efforts to keep him alive are very painful to the child and will only prolong his agony. From afar we agree with the ruling allowing the withholding of those efforts. However, as a parent we would probably do exactly what this mother is doing, except our efforts would be more aggressive . . . if that was at all possible. Often times society acts in what could be called an ‘inhuman” way when dealing with such issues. Yet there is a strong argument that approving the withholding of life support in cases like this terminal illness is one of the greatest acts of love a parent can exhibit.
The above is not to be critical of terms of Living Wills where the mature, sane adult spells out conditions in which they legally request ‘Do Not Resuscitate’, and other heroic medical procedures, which often include ‘if such resuscitation will not improve my life, but only prolong the agony.’
The British history-oriented magazine “Prospect” regularly has some interesting and well written articles. This week there is a story about Shakespeare, comparing his life during the plague of the late 1500s, being quarantined, etc., with the modern day battle against the coronavirus. This writer thinks the Bard passed his lockdown days writing King Lear and several lesser known poems, including Venue and Adonis. This latter one would probably get some church folks upset if the English teachers had students reciting, and interpreting it in class, but the author does a good job of relating the story of a young man wrapped up in the sport of hunting and a sexually active young woman with the major challenge of the day, which was avoiding the Black Plague. Clearly a student of Shakespeare the author, Emma Smith, cites this poem as the root of several of the Bard’s later works, including As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twelfth Night. Now . . . . if you are still in lockdown and bored out of your skull, you can try reading some of the above poems by the loved/hated poet. Writing them got William through the lockdown and reading them might help you. However, it is probably not a good idea to explain the details of the plot of Venue and Adonis in church meetings.
Roger Simon and of course his late dad, Dave Simon, are well known in Elba to folks associated with Dorsey Trailers. These California folks were a ‘rock’ of the Dorsey dealerships of years ago. Father Dave died as we reported some time back and now Roger has closed their trailer dealership and guess what? Leased the property to a student transportation firm. The Simons have been faithful subscribers to The Elba Clipper for many years and always stopped by the office when in Elba on trailer business. Roger read our comments about reading Jon Meacham books and is himself reading Meacham’s book on Franklin (the president). He had the fortunate chance of hearing Meacham speak last year at an 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad in Utah and was much impressed with him as a speaker. Roger likes the Meacham book and also recommended us reading Margaret Bourke-White’s Portrait of Myself. We looked her up and she was a female photographer who was a ‘first’ in a number of catagories – American making pictures in Russian industries, female war correspondent, female national magazine photographer, etc.