A miracle is something we just haven't figured out yet

December 4, 2011   |  

T'is the season for miracles, and I want to dig into the murky territory of medical ethics. This article really piqued my interest:

Can Ambien – that modern-day replacement for 20th century barbiturates – help vegetative people achieve a level of cognizance?

We all remember Terri Schiavo and the controversy surrounding the removal of her feeding tube to hurry her death. It was only six years ago. Six years ago, if we'd known about the possibilities of Ambien, maybe she could have been helped.

Or not.

We can't go back, and we shouldn't beat ourselves up for knowing something now that we didn't know then. Maybe I'm writing this to Ms Schiavo's p

arents, because I'm sure they read that article and thought “If we had only given Terri another six years!”

Medical miracles are science that we don't understand yet. Not everyone will live long enough to benefit from one. My parents didn't live to see a cure for cancer – I might not, either (no, I don't have it now, but I probably will). Terri Schiavo – for good or for ill – didn't live long enough to try the Ambien experiment. And millions of people die all around the world from diseases we don't yet understand or know how to reverse.

It will come with time. Humanity has lots of time, but individual humans do not. So make the best of what you have now, and be satisfied that you've done all you could for your loved ones.

That in itself is a miracle.


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