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The Final Struggle of Jamie Butcher
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"Good morning," whispers Pattie Butcher to her son, Jamie, leaning over the patchwork quilt on his bed. She lays a hand on his pink forehead, grabs a Kleenex to dab mucus from the corner of his eye. "Did you sleep well, sweetie?" Jamie is silent, his eyes darting rapidly. In a sketch above the bed,[url=http://peutereyoutletitaliaonline.olimx.com/][b]Giubbotto Peuterey Uomo Jacket[/b][/url], he is frozen back then: a blond,[url=http://rogervivieronlinesale.olimx.com/][b]roger vivier online[/b][/url], shaggy-haired 17-year-old with glasses. Hanging nearby are his white, high-topped NBA sneakers,[url=http://peutereyoutletitaliaonline.olimx.com/][b]Peuterey Uomo Jacket[/b][/url], scrawled with get-well messages from high school buddies.
But most of the buddies have long since disappeared. The sneakers have yellowed, and proofs of his senior class pictures lie undisturbed in a box,[url=http://giuseppezanottichainsandals.olimx.com/][b]giuseppe zanotti sandals[/b][/url], where they have remained for 17 years. As for the figure in the bed, he is 34 years old now and balding. Every day, his mother shaves him, brushes his teeth, applies strawberry Chap Stick to his lips and Vaseline to his feet, strokes his face and speaks to him tenderly. Every night, she jumps out of bed when she hears him cough. But Jamie hears, sees and feels nothing. And even as his mother dotes on him, she is preparing to end his life.
"Jamie, I did one armpit and forgot to do the other," she is murmuring as she bathes him, bustling about the bed in the living room of the family home in White Bear Lake, Minn. Jamie Butcher never expected his life to turn out like this. Not surrounded by tubes and wearing a diaper. Not described in newspaper headlines and TV talk shows as the latest symbol in yet another national debate over who, if anyone, has the right to decide when life should end.
In 1977,[url=http://parajumperssalenorge.albirank.net/][b]Parajumpers Jakke Outlet[/b][/url], a car accident left Jamie close to brain dead, and about a year ago--after they had cared for him at home for seven years and institutionalized him for nine more--Pattie and Jim Butcher decided to withdraw his feeding tube. They skirmished in court with right-to-life advocates,[url=http://parajumperssalenorge.albirank.net/][b]http://parajumperssalenorge.albirank.net/[/b][/url], then finally won legal permission last month to bring Jamie home to die. But last week, a group representing disabled people filed a petition demanding a review of the October court ruling.
Outside the family. "We don't even know these people, but they have just gotten into the middle of our lives," says Mrs. Butcher angrily,[url=http://billigmonclerjackenkaufen.olimx.com/][b]Billig Moncler Jacken Günstig Kaufen[/b][/url], applying Avon Cool Confidence to Jamie's armpit. Though his eyes are open and his face is warm and healthy looking, under his red flannel nightshirt, Jamie's arms and legs are shriveled. His feet, which Pattie dresses in white sweat socks to keep warm ("it makes me feel more comfortable"), curl downward. She and her husband, Jim, had hoped to spend the last few days before Jamie's death alone with their son, quietly saying goodbye. But now every time the doorbell rings, they fear it's a court officer arriving with a restraining order.
Jane Hoyt, who represents the disabled group, says what Jim and Pattie Butcher want to do is illegal. "It sounds to me that he is a man with severe disabilities, who is otherwise healthy,[url=http://billigmonclerjackenkaufen.olimx.com/][b]Billig Moncler Jacken[/b][/url]," says Hoyt, whose organization,[url=http://duveticaitaliaoutlet.webmium.com/][b]duvetica online store[/b][/url], a task force of the Nursing Home Action Group, filed the petition last week. "I have heard no clear reason why he should be put to death." Hoyt believes that the Butchers are attempting to circumvent a Minnesota law that requires a court-appointed guardian for disabled adults in such cases. She feels the court ruling sets a dangerous precedent by leaving decisions about the lives of incompetent people in the hands of families who may not always have the patient's best interests at heart.
















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