Now You Know

No, by the grace of God, you will NOT plead ignorance. You will NOT testify that you never knew any better because no one ever taught you anything better. You will not plead that you were never told.

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Translation of Some Views on Terri Schiavo

One of the very first things that every translator has to learn is that one does not translate words, one translates meanings. That is why a literal word for word translation so often comes out looking at the very least unnatural and most often looks like gibberish. In order to translate effectively, a translator must look to the underlying meaning of the written words and then convey that meaning in the new language.

Bearing that in mind, I often find myself translating things even when they have already been written in English. La Shawn Barber has a post on her blog that is an e-mail from one her readers. Although it is written in English, please allow me to translate its meaning for you:

“I took care of Terri as a respiratory therapist not long after her initial brain injury." Translation -- I was a respiratory therapist who was employed by some facility to do the job of respiratory therapist. Sometime not long after Terri Schiavo's collapse in Feb. of 1990, it was one of my paid duties to tend to her in the capacity of a respiratory therapist. That is about 15 years ago and I am not an M.D. or a D.O. and therefore I have no medical expertise other than my very limited field which is respiratory therapy. I cannot speak regarding Terri's condition today, because I have not been involved in her treatment for almost 15 years.

"She had every test…swallowing, etc." Translation -- It is my understanding that Terri Schiavo had every medical test available fifteen years ago, although because I was only a respiratory therapist, I could not have personally administered all those tests, I do not have the necessary medical license to order such tests, and I do not have the necessary credentials to analyze and interpret those test results. Furthermore, as a health services employee, it is understood that a person's health record and details of their condition and treatment are not to be released by me to the general public. It violates privacy laws. Also, 15 year old medical tests do not and cannot give any indication of Terri's current condition.

"She is in a state of irreversible brain damage." Translation -- It is my opinion, although I have no medical degree to back it up, that Terri is in a state of irreversible brain damage. However, this non-professional opinion of mine, which is therefore virtually worthless, does not take into account such cases as that of Kate Adamson, whom even doctors had at one time written off as unsavable.

"People in her condition have their eyes open, grunt and can make alot of grimaces." Translation -- Don't be fooled by the fact that people in Terri's condition look like they are alive just because they have their eyes open. Their grunts and grimaces aren't signs of a valuable life created by God, rather they are the signs of a brain damaged animal whose life should be considered expendable and forfeitable.

"The lay person does not realize what a person goes thru day in and day out…how hard it is on the human body…the constant care, and this is really for the people that cannot let go." Translation -- You non-health care bozos have no idea what a pain in the ass it is to have to look after one of these vegetable freaks day in and day out, . . . and I am particularly addressing those who don't see the expediency of causing this vegetable to die by dehydrating and starving it to death.

"In this case, her family that can not and will not face the truth." Translation -- In this case, those who don't see the expediency of causing the vegetable to die by dehydration and starvation are her family who are so stupid or deluded that they feel their devotion to their own flesh and blood whom they raised from birth should account for something. Stupid family!

"In this case, it is a control issue. When family members will not accept the facts they hang on for selfish reasons." Translation -- It's all about control because the parents couldn't possibly actually love their daughter and want to spare her a cruel and inhumane death by dehydration and starvation. It's selfish of them not to sit back and see Terri die an agonizing death, thereby allowing Michael Schiavo to take all the money and enjoy it with his adulterous bimbo and their bastard brats. Oh yeah, and don't forget his lawyers too.

"Please advocate letting Terri go…I have taken care of so many people in this state, and there is no happy outcome. Just heartbreak." Translation -- Please advocate the murder of Terri . . . It's a sad state of affairs and can bring no happiness when I have to look after some vegetable like her for a possibly lengthy indefinite period of time, you know, such as a lifetime.

"The person who is suffering the most is Terri, whose body is in need of constant care, battling infections, bedsores, etc." Translation -- The person who is suffering the most is Terri, although I've already previously stated that she's virtually a vegetable, so how the hell could I know what she feels or doesn't feel? In fact, let's just cut to the chase and say that as a health care worker, I found it a thankless and irritating chore to have to look after someone like that constantly to ensure that they wouldn't develop infections or bedsores, etc. Because, you see, working that hard for a patient's benefit is true suffering!

"Blog for the good of Terri…love her and let her go in peace. When a tube feeding is disconnected, a person is never denied water or meds. People need to be aware of the truth of people with severe brain damage and the suffering that lingers. Love is learning to accept the truth and giving peace to Terri finally." Translation -- Blog for the good of Michael Schiavo, his trollop, their illegitimate tots, the lawyers, the activist judges, and the deathist faction . . . dehydrate and starve her until she at last croaks in agony. It is my contention that they will give her fluids and medicines through an IV, although all the public information released to date states otherwise. People need to be aware of my non-professional version of the truth about brain damage and what a pain it is that these people linger on and on and on! My twisted conception of love is that I would dehydrate and starve even my own flesh and blood if it looked like they were going to hang on longer than I wished.

"Jo Ann F." Translation -- Pray to God you never see that on a name tag if you are in a hospital, because I'd just as soon see you die and get it over with. The rest of us normal folk have better things to do than look after you.

See? Not word for word, but meaning for meaning. And that, my friends, is a true translator's mission.

You've been told and NOW YOU KNOW.