Now, we've moved on to the elderly. Namely, Marvin E. Schur, 93, of Bay City, Mich. Aborted for not paying his electric bill on time.
TECHNICALLY, the coroner listed the cause of death as hypothermia, meaning Marvin Schur froze to death. In his house.
Call it cryoabortion. This is a new technique, developed because of the cost-prohibitive nature of sending giant vacuum trucks to the homes of America's elderly to suck them out of their homes and into a tank full of saline solution.
In the new cryoabortion technique -- usually performed when a utility customer's debt to municipal power and light becomes greater than the value of his or her life -- the abortionist . . . well, why don't I let The Bay City Times explain how the procedure worked in the Schur case:
A pathologist said a 93-year-old Bay City man froze to death inside his home - his body found days after city workers said they limited electricity flowing to the house.THE CITY MANAGER, by the way, doesn't think the city did anything wrong. No, in most societies, it's perfectly acceptable to turn off the electricity of 93-year-old World War II veterans in the dead of a Michigan winter.
Marvin E. Schur suffered "a slow, painful death" inside his home at 1600 S. Chilson St. on Bay City's southwest side, said Dr. Kanu Virani, who performed an autopsy on the body.
"Hypothermia shuts the whole system down, slowly," Virani said. "It's not easy to die from hypothermia without first realizing your fingers and toes feel like they're burning."
Funeral services for Schur, a retired pattern-maker who lived alone, are at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Gephart Funeral Home, 201 W. Midland St. Schur's wife, retired elementary-school teacher Marian I. (Meisel) Schur, died several years ago, and the couple had no children.
Virani, Oakland County's deputy chief medical examiner, performs autopsies for Bay County and numerous other Michigan counties. Of about 15,000 autopsies Virani has conducted, he said Marvin Schur's autopsy "is the first one I can remember doing on someone who froze to death indoors."
Virani said the temperature inside Schur's home was less than 32 degrees when neighbors George A. Pauwels Jr. and his wife, Shannon, found Schur's body Jan. 17.
George Pauwels Jr. said Schur owed almost $1,100 in electricity bills to the city of Bay City, though Pauwels said he noticed money clipped to those bills on Schur's kitchen table the day he found Schur's body.
Bay City Manager Robert V. Belleman said a worker with Bay City Electric Light & Power placed a "limiter" device outside Schur's home, between Schur's electricity meter and electrical service, on Jan. 13.
The device restricts the amount of electricity reaching the home and if a homeowner tries to draw more electricity than the limiter allows, "it blows the limiter, just like blowing a fuse, and then you go outside and reset it," Belleman said.
Belleman said he doesn't know if a city worker made one-on-one contact with Schur to explain the limiter's operation. Virani said he doesn't know if Schur suffered from dementia, which could have interfered with his ability to know how to reset a limiter.
Pauwels said Schur couldn't hear well, and said he believed Schur "had a little bit" of dementia.
Dead of winter. Get it? It's a joke only municipal murderers could love.
If only poor Mr. Schur had been an investment banker. It's OK for investment bankers to leave the government -- and their investors -- holding the bag. In fact, if you're a Wall Street swell, you can spend all your money on million-dollar accessorizing, $50 million corporate jets and big bonuses for your homeboys even after Uncle Sam has pulled your cojones out of the toaster oven.
If you're a poor Michigan widower, on the other hand, the government will pull the plug on your toaster oven. And your furnace. And your stove.
THERE ARE people out there who get a bad case of the trots at the very thought of Darwinism in the science classroom but never get the slightest tummy rumble when Darwinism -- natural selection . . . survival of the fittest . . . the big evolutionary cull of "life unworthy of life" -- sets up housekeeping at the heart of civic society.
Either all human life is worth a damn, or none of it is. You can learn that now, or someday end up like poor Marvin E. Schur, killed by the city fathers for not being young, useful . . . or able to pay his light bill.
By the way, the Bay City Commission raised electric rates by 3 percent Monday. Good thing Mr. Schur died when he did.