Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


It’s Hyperalimentation, not Hyperventilation

March 22, 2005 | By | One Comment

There in the plexiglass display case, in Mesa Verde National Park are two crude crutches from our stone-age past. We spent yesterday exploring the cliff dwellings of pre-historic Pueblo Indians — they built their homes in the sides of sheer rock walls. They did not have the wheel; they did not have feeding tubes. They had to climb cliffs to get into their homes.


But they did fashion crutches for crippled children.

Each is crafted from one rough stick, topped with a Y-shaped branch, held together with a leather yolk painstakingly stitched together. They are on display in the Mesa Verde museum as evidence of the care these cave-people spent on crippled children — the official archaelogists’ interpretation.

Today, a federal judge has declined to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube. This is impossible to believe.

John Derbyshire over at National Review Online thinks that this concern over a disabled woman’s life amounts to “hyperventilation.” I am a big fan of John’s; I think he is a very smart man. But he, and some other very smart people, are getting this issue all wrong. And it revolves around one simple, central point:

It’s hyperalimentation, not hyperventilation.

What’s “hyperalimentation?” It’s food offered through a tube. I offer some niche expertise. My husband used to be a medical sales rep for medical device companies — one of which was IVAC, which makes fluid-control machines. He sold, and trained the clinicians how to use, the plastic tubing that is used to feed people who are disabled.

(Med-techie stuff. There are two ways to do this — enteral and parenteral feedings, by gut and by intravenous catheter — a feeding tube into your stomach with pureed food or an IV catheter into your arm with a nutrient admixture. Terri receives food through a simple hose into her stomach.)

Here’s the key point: food is not medicine. In fact, Terri’s parents could administer the feeding at home. Jack, my husband, says he would be happy to teach them how to do it.

Here’s what says about home feedings:

A nutritional support team will be involved with the use of hyperalimentation. The person’s nutritional status is studied and his or her nutritional needs calculated. The solution is changed when the persons needs change. For instance, if a person is taking in food or fluids by mouth, he or she will need fewer calories from the solution. The family will be taught how to administer the hyperalimentation and care for the person if he or she is to receive care at home.

I repeat: food is not medicine. Even Rush Limbaugh got this point wrong on his show yesterday during a conversation with a doctor from San Francisco in the midst of an otherwise wonderful broadcast about Terri’s plight.

It must have been quite a burden for the prehistoric cliff dwellers to care for a crippled child. Climbing was an essential part of their lives; and their lives were consumed with survival in a way we cannot imagine except through visiting a dig. They certainly had easy ways to dispose of inconvenient people — the cliffs loomed.

Yet still, they sat in the dirt and lovingly crafted a crutch.

How is it possible that these pre-historic people were more civilized in this than we?


Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Thank you (foot)notes,

Update June 22, 2005; Darleen’s Place provides reasoned words on Another voice

June 21, 2005; The definitive gathering point on this issue is Blogs for Terri which has an update

ProLife Blogs has more.

17 Mar


Memo to Condi Rice

March 17, 2005 | By |

There are few issues in politics which inspire greater emotion than abortion. And Condi Rice put herself right (or wrong as the case may be) in the fray by telling the Washington Times earlier this week that she is “mildly pro-choice.”

I am one of those for whom Dr. Rice’s statement would be a concern if she does choose to give Hillary competition in 2008, but I am also an admirer of hers. So here is my advice to her on how to handle this issue. Two points:

First: Come to Jesus. Condi needs to get right on this issue. Hemming and hawing and describing herself as kind of libertarian on the great moral issue of our day? It’s just beneath her. She is far too smart for this intellectual cowardice. She advocated marching to Baghdad to topple a dictator and free the Iraquis; she needs to show the same vision, determination and principled commitment to defending the innocent on behalf of American babies. See sonogram.

Second: Personnel is Policy. The problem is, even if she got right on this issue, who would believe her now? My first job out of college was serving in Presidential Personnel in the Reagan White House. Condi needs to remember President Reagan’s maxim (always a good idea): personnel is policy.

A good example of how this can work is Jim Gilmore, former Governor of Virginia. (Full disclosure: my husband was a Gilmore appointee.) Condi needs to find her own Claude Allen. Pro-lifers were wary of Gilmore, who is pro-choice. However, he appointed Allen, who is unapologetically pro-life, to the key position of Secretary of Health and Human Resources. (He is now Domestic Policy Advisor to President Bush.) He also appointed more pro-lifers to other key positions. His administration was a net gain for life concerns.

Even so. I come back to point one: you’ve got to get the basics right. Roe v. Wade is this generation’s Dred Scott. “Mildly pro-choice?” Dr. Rice, you’re better than that.

12 Mar


9-11 24/7: Pro-life by National Geographic

March 12, 2005 | By |

The abortion industry should be afraid, very afraid.

Back in 1995, Naomi Wolf shocked her friends in the abortion movement by writing in the New Republic that they needed to come up with a way to address the fact that: “the death of a fetus is a real death.”

Ten years later, this truth is even easier to see.

National Geographic has emerged (albeit probably unintentionally) as an unlikely ally of the pro-life movement. Be sure to catch a television special, “In the Womb” currently running on the National Geographic channel.

This phenomenal program is scheduled to rerun tonight (Saturday) at 5pm ET and again on March 18th.

The program features incredible 4D sonogram pictures of babies in the womb. (4D=three dimensions in real time.) Other pictures were taken from within the womb. The babies are shown in amazingly clear resolution sucking their thumbs, responding to voices, music and light, sight and sound. They can even determine whether a baby is right or left-handed by its responses. No “blobs of tissue” these.

Two key moments. One segment features a prenatal operation to fix a lung abnormality — the procedure requires two surgeries on the baby. It’s incomprehensible to watch on screen the full array of 21st century medicine mobilized to save the life of one small baby . . .and think that at the same time, even down the hospital hall, other unfortunate babies at the same stage of life are aborted routinely.

A second key moment: the narrator with the stentorian voice tells us that modern technology has revolutionized the way doctors view fetal development, particularly brain development. The old paradigm viewed birth as the beginning of the baby’s learning and life experiences. The new paradigm recognizes that the baby has been learning from his experiences even while “in the womb.”

That’s National Geographic speaking, not me.

After seeing pictures like these, it is difficult to explain to the Penta-Posse that 4,000 babies are aborted per day in the United States alone.

The Dreamer responded, “But that’s more than 9-11. Every day? That’s 9-11, 24/7.”

Every day. But with pictures like these, a new day is coming.

05 Mar


Know Your Enemy

March 5, 2005 | By |

Michael Ledeen has written a wonderful tribute to a friend of his, Peter Malchin, “Zvika,” who recently died after a lifetime of unsung service to our country as an undercover agent. Among his many accomplishments, Zvika was the man who captured Adolph Eichmann in Buenos Aires.

Michael tells the story of Zvika’s capture of 30 Soviet agents in Israel. When Michael asked him how he tracked them, Zvika’s reply was:

“I didn’t track them at all,” he chuckled. “I just asked myself, if I were a Russian spy, where would I be right now? And once I had that answer, I went there and waited for him. It wasn’t hard to spot the guy.

What a great reminder of Sun Tzu’s admonition to “Know Your Enemy.” He said that “if you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.”

I learned this lesson from David Cook. I had the opportunity to ‘read’ philosophy and ethics with him at Oxford. On one occasion, he asked me to explain my position on abortion. As I began outlining why I am pro-life, he smiled and cut me off gently. Then he gave me an assignment to write a paper supporting the “right to choose.”

In the business world, they teach the concept of “mirroring” — we tend to see in other people that which we ourselves are, or believe. But that can be a strategic error in negotiation. And in policy debates. My paper on abortion was probably not one of my better efforts, but I am forever grateful to David for teaching me the wisdom behind “know your enemy.”

And I am forever grateful to Zvika, and the men and women like him whose names we will never know, who have served our country well. Much has been made of intelligence failures that may or may not have contributed to 9/11. But the only evidence of intelligence successes is, well, nothing. The nothing that didn’t happen . . .

04 Mar


A Baby in the Eye of the Beholder

March 4, 2005 | By |

The Corner on National Review Online Good catch. On NRO today, Kathryn Lopez noted the sad demise of yet another Hollywood “fairytale” — the Denise Richards/Charlie Sheen marriage — and then highlighted this quote from Reuters:

Richards, 34, who is six months pregnant, filed divorce papers in Los Angeles on Wednesday and asked for custody of the couple’s year-old daughter as well as the baby she is expecting with Sheen.

Since she wants the baby, it’s, well, a baby. Funny how that works.

Turns out that’s the way it works in federal studies too. The NIH and the EPA funded a study, just reported in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention that found that urban air pollution can cause chromosomal damage in babies. Here’s the key:

Prenatal exposure was assessed by questionnaire, personal air monitoring during the third trimester, and PAH-DNA adducts in umbilical cord blood.
Basically, they kept track of how much air pollution the mother was exposed to, and then checked the baby’s blood once it was born for chromosomal abnormalities.

The bottom line is that in looking for ways to prevent cancer, they are starting with — and the feds are funding — research on “potential people.” Those are the very same “fetuses” that you can file for custody for, if you want them . . .or abort them if you do not.