[FoRK] Fudging the facts on Bush's end-of-life record

Joe Barrera joe at barrera.org
Wed Mar 30 19:43:30 PST 2005


Terri Schiavo Inspires New Fox Reality Show

Mar 28 2005 by Spinner Street

As if to prove that something good truly does come out of every tragedy,
Fox has announced plans for a new reality show inspired by Terri
Schiavo's medical woes and the madcap legal battles over her existence.

The program's executive producer claims the show will provide viewers
with a better understanding of life with a spouse in a persistent
vegetative state (PVS) - the "gut-wrenching drama" and "the lighter
moments" that accompany it.

The program, tentatively titled "Veggin' Out," will follow the lives of
Gary Ulcer and his PVS wife Melanie, as well as Melanie's parents. Ulcer
wants to keep his wife alive, while her parents seek to have their
daughter removed from life support.

"It's really the ultimate competition," says executive producer Todd
Wifflemeyer. "These people are battling for the very existence of their
loved one, and America will have a front row seat."

Wifflemeyer is quick to note that while the program will deal with the
larger legal and ethical issues that surround the right of a severely
brain damaged person to live or die, viewers can also expect some fun.
"Hey, this is Fox, not some medical ethics class! We want people to see
that there's a lighter side to all of this," Wifflemeyer said.

Among the highlights of the show's "lighter side" include a scene in the
premiere episode in which Gary arranges to have his wife "dolled up" for
a very special evening. "I want to stay faithful to my wife," Gary Ulcer
explains, "but I also have needs.

"It's what Melanie would have wanted," Ulcer said. "But I guess it had
been a little too long and I was a little too enthusiastic." Ulcer's
enthusiasm resulted in Melanie falling from the bed head first. "It's
just a good thing there's not a whole lot of brain activity up there,"
he said.

In still other episodes, Ulcer and his in-laws will engage in a series
of competitions, such as a cabbage-eating contest and a feeding-tube
bungee jump.

Viewers will vote to determine whether Melanie Ulcer will be removed
from life support in the program's finale.

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