Delay family pulled the plug on congressman’s father

Tom Delay, who has been foaming at the mouth in support of Terry Shiavo staying alive, joined with his family and plugged the plug on their ailing father in 1988. For me to be outraged by his hypocrisy, I’d have to believe he believes what he says about Shiavo. And I don’t. Or if he does, it’s a secondary motive. The neocons are using Shiavo as a ploy to energize their hard right lunatic base. Whether or not any of them actually believe what they say is irrelevant. Whether it’s WMD in Iraq, saying the US doesn’t torture detainees or sanctimoniously supporting Shiavo, they’ve shown they will distort and lie whenever they need to. It never was about compassion for Schiavo, and always about cynical political calculation.

I mean, Terry Schiavo’s parents spokesperson is anti-abortion extremist Randall Terry. what else do you need to know?   

In 1988, there was no . . . fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die. “There was no point to even really talking about it,” Maxine DeLay, the congressman’s 81-year-old widowed mother, recalled in an interview last week. “There was no way [Charles] wanted to live like that. Tom knew — we all knew — his father wouldn’t have wanted to live that way.”

Doctors advised that he would “basically be a vegetable,” said the congressman’s aunt, JoAnne DeLay.

When his father’s kidneys failed, the DeLay family decided against connecting him to a dialysis machine. “Extraordinary measures to prolong life were not initiated,” said his medical report, citing “agreement with the family’s wishes.” His bedside chart carried the instruction: “Do not resuscitate.”

On Dec. 14, 1988, the DeLay patriarch “expired with his family in attendance.”

“The situation faced by the congressman’s family was entirely different than Terri Schiavo’s,” said a spokesman for the majority leader.

There were also these similarities: Both stricken patients were severely brain-damaged. Both were incapable of surviving without medical assistance. Both were said to have expressed a desire to be spared from being kept artificial means. And neither of them had a living will.