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Terri Schiavo Question

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 4 13:55:31 EST 2005

There is, however, a larger issue here in that terms like "consciousness,"
"awareness," etc. raise sticky conceptual issues. If Shiavo would have shown
reflexive movements to [what most of us would call] "painful stimuli" would
we say that she is aware of pain? Most would say "no," but reflexes (not
simple ones though) are often what we examine when we look at "pain" in
nonhuman animals. Notice that I am not arguing that Shiavo is "conscious" or
"aware" but, rather that difficult conceptual issues are raised. My actual
view regarding pain (and my wife and I have written a paper on this topic)
is that we use "pain language" when we observe reflexive behavior, escape
and avoidance, as well as first-person reports (i.e., we say someone is in
pain when they tell us they are). We also use "pain language" when we
observe pain responses in ourselves. Non-human animals show reflexes and
escape and avoidance, but they are not aware of their own pain responses,
though they can be made aware in that sense.

"r norman" <rsn_ at _comcast.net> wrote in message
news:gcb25113f8anka13lle1tru6sbs4q2d4kv at 4ax.com...
> On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 02:23:28 -0400, Carey Gregory
> <tiredofspam123 at comcast.net> wrote:
> >r norman <rsn_ at _comcast.net> wrote:
> >
> >>I would like to see evidence from qualified specialists in neurology
> >>who actually examined her condition that would indicate that she could
> >>respond appropriately and "consciously" or "with awareness" to
> >>stimuli.
> >
> >Sorry, none to be found.   All those who examined her came to the same
> >conclusion.
> >
> >As if the courts didn't impose the same requirement....
> That is exactly what I thought.  And I should have expressed myself
> better, saying something like  "before accepting any arguments about
> Terri Shiavo's competence or 'right to life' I would like to see ...."
> Before anyone accepts arguments, they should read the testimony of
> specialists who actually did examine her specifically to evaluate her
> state.

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