http://herrickreport.com/rtmxx.html Any future American Hospital
"Good Morning Ms. Friedman, I'm your Health Maintenance Representative, Supervisor Elders. I've just been to Intensive Care." (Solemnly), " I've seen your newly born barely viable Reproductive Tissue Mass.ï¿½ (RTM)
(The Very Concerned, Ms. Friedman,) "How is the little tyke?"
(The Very Precise and Lacking in All Human Compassion, Supervisor Elders)
" Your RTM has less than a 2.017% chance of achieving normality, ...in its present state and under the present guidelines as set forth in the recently updated version of US CODE (MED) 1994, Title V, 16, A, 11, para. 3, section 24, sub-sec. ii, version 37. Simply, it doesn't meet the criteria for life. " (Letting it soak in and overwhelm.)
"Oh God!" (The Distraught Mother.)
"Yes, quite", (Beaming Supervisor.)" We've looked at the numbers... she, excuse me, it, is in need of corrective heart surgery. It's also below optimum body weight standards, it will retain both emotional and physiological scars from the trauma and recovery, AND it was born with a very low PWQ."
"PWQ?" (A Perplexed and Confused Mother)
"Yes PWQ. 'Planned and Wanted Quotient' ..." (long pause for dramatic effect) ".... On your birthing questionnaire I perceived some doubts about this pregnancy and your life mate had some misgivings."
" Yes we did. We were a little disappointed by the timing...our careers were in zenith and it was not really convenient .....I wanted to travel. Greece ." ( Her voice trailing off in further confusion.)
" Oh, yes and so you can !," (Regaining and Pressing the Advantage) "... You're really in luck then....(pausing again for effect)...there maybe a solution to both our concerns here."
" How so ?",(Looking More Assured and Less Despondent Mother.
" Your Female Engendered Tissue Mass, RTM, has this serious heart problem.ï¿½
"So you've stated."
"We could surgically repair the damage "
"Oh, Thank God,"
"Yes, quite. We could raise it's Life Quality Index,ï¿½ LQI, from the current 2.017% to 62.876%"
"Oh, Thank God!" (Very Relieved and Emotionally Wrecked)
"Excuse me, Ms Friedman, but I've tolerated these references to God quite enough. As you are aware this is a Government Hospital and as such we employees are constitutionally protected from veiled or overt actions or words in support of a supreme being. Do you understand this continuing violation is at odds with our policy? "
(Meek and Chastised Mother,) " I'm truly sorry.. it was thoughtless. But you can save the .. the RTM?", ( bouyed and hopeful.)
" Not quite .....62.876% is still well below the optimum standard LQI of 71.274% ...seasonally adjusted."
"But that's so close.!",(Thoughtless and Clutching at Straws)
"Your Regional Health Organization has experienced a 2.73% drop in revenues; quarterly projections are sharply lower. Elective Surgeries have been curtailed for this quarter and most of the next."
"Oh God...oh excuse me... I'm sorry. "
(Ignoring the unconstitutional and harassing remark...) "Since she has a 42% PWQ it's hard to justify appealing the existing procedures. You could through the Supreme Guidance and Life Quality Committee, " (Little Mother Brightens)
"but appeals are heard bi-annually, and in any case there is a 89.6% certainty that the RTM will be life terminated long before that. You would have a very low probability of reversing a termination recommendation especially without a supportive PWQ."
(Little Mother Begins to whimper).
"They won't vote to extend what might be a very limited and degraded condition."
" What does it all mean", (Quiet and Thoroughly Whipped.)
"Listen, you and your Life Mate may someday decide to re-procreate a Planned and Wanted RTM ..a child, if you like. Honestly!, you should have aborted this mess, mass (hurriedly corrected). It was evident from the beginning that the PWQ was below 90%. It's unconscionable to have allowed this mass to reach maturity with such a low PWQ....it will become a parasitic drain on the medical system...much like older people who extend to long. " (Making Tremendous Sense Supervisor Elders.)
"We just had a doubt or two...we made a mistake, we're young. We were confused." (A Whiny and Pathetic Looking Parent.)
(Professorial and Instructive, Supervisor Elders) " You should have been more sensitive to the Group Health Plan. There is no sympathy for taxing the people's system. You need to increase your awareness of the needs of all the patrons."
(Feeling Guilty and Ashamed.) " Yes, I suppose so ...oh I do feel remorse and I offer our apologies to you and all the others. I feel so bad and confused. " (Naughty Mother with Nearly a Tear-Stained Face.)
(Feeling Triumphant and Victorious and allowing Some Magnanimity, Supervisor Elders)
" A medical system that allows itself to operate on the premise that life is precious is morally bankrupt. Morals, like religion have no place in a Government Medical System. "
" Yes I agree. I'd better call my husband, shouldn't we make this decision together." (A More Composed and Responsible Adult.)
"WHY!?..(Shouting and incensed) What reason would you have to do that? He'd have no value in this discussion. They have no say in ï¿½Choiceï¿½ and besides in this case there really is no choice. " (An Indignant Supervisor Elders)
(Silence) "Ms. Friedman, (Whispering with Conspiracy) Think of Greece and your careers."
"When will you .... terminate the ...mass. "
(Long Pause, then with Cold Compassion....).
"I already did."
Kent M. Herrick, 1995
Who is God?