According to CNN on July 29:

A GA man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease says he wants to die by having his organs harvested rather than wait for his degenerative nerve ailment to kill him.

Garry Phebus has been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as the disease is formally known, since 2008. The 61yo told HLN’s Prime News on Thursday that the diagnosis is “a death sentence, positively, no questions asked,” and he wants do donate his organs while he still can.

“If people have their legs cut off or their wife left them and they commit suicide, it’s another story. They still have a life ahead of them. But I do not,” he said. And for people waiting for transplants, “There’s nothing greater than for a family member to receive an organ so they can watch their family grow up.”

Here’s video of the story…

While Phebus’s diagnosis is tragic, I think it is equally tragic that he has chosen to take on this morbid fight as his life slowly ebbs, rather his children and grandchildren. What message is he sending them?

Phebus doesn’t know how long he has to live, but according to Wikipedia:

Most people with ALS die from respiratory failure, usually within 3 to 5 years from the onset of symptoms. However, about 10–20% of those individuals with ALS survive 10 or more years.

Phebus says his wish is no different than that of a soldier willing to throw himself on a hand grenade to save his or comrades. And in a way I can see his view.

But it is the culture of death speaking to and through Phebus, not heroism. According to CNN, his premature death is utterly unnecessary:

Leigh Vinocur, an emergency medicine physician at the University of MD… said… “[A]t this point, he’s fairly healthy”… And ALS is unlikely to harm the organs most likely to be used for transplants unless some sort of related infection strikes them, she said.

Lou Gehrig, for whom ALS was obviously named, went on to live 2 years after he gave his famous speech at Yankee Stadium, when he said he considered himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” How far thinking of the face of the earth has descended in 61 yrs….

[HT: WI Right to Life blog; photo via Garry Phebus’s Facebook page;]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...