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D-Day For Terri Schiavo

News in the Terri Schiavo case is a bit confusing today, as an appeal court ruling yesterday against Terri's parents seems set to trigger the removal of her feeding tube; if not today then very soon. Maya Bell, in The Orlando Sentinel, reports:

CLEARWATER -- Unless a court grants Terri Schiavo's parents another delay, her husband plans to remove the feeding tube keeping his wife alive early this afternoon, allowing the severely brain-damaged woman to die.

An attorney for Michael Schiavo said he is authorized to remove the life support for his wife, Terri, as soon as the 2nd District Court of Appeal issues an order that finalizes its last ruling against his in-laws in their seven-year legal battle to keep their daughter alive.

On Monday, the Lakeland court said it would release the order, known as a mandate, at 1 p.m. today.

Exactly what the order will say could prove critical. But Michael Schiavo's attorney was confident it would be a perfunctory ruling sending the case back to the trial judge, who has repeatedly ruled that Terri Schiavo would reject the artificial life support that has kept her alive for 15 years.

If so, attorney George Felos said, Michael Schiavo will immediately withdraw his wife's feeding tube.

Regardless of the decision this afternoon, unless something dramatic happens Michael Shiavo will get his wish very soon.

Additional information is available via Bloggers for Terri Schiavo.

Update: Blogs for Terri reports that Judge Greer issued a temporary stay until Wednesday 5:00PM. Unless the parents score a legal victory in hearing tomorrow Michael will take action to begin the process of ending Terri's life by removing her feeding tube Wednesday evening.


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Comments (83)

If it happens, it will be n... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

If it happens, it will be nothing less than a court-sanctioned murder committed by her "husband". I'm not especially religious, but there is a God watching this happen and perhaps prayers will help.

Can the Schindlers turn aro... (Below threshold)
Cindy:

Can the Schindlers turn around and sue Schiavo and Felos for unlawful death, or manslaughter or anything? Not that it would make loosing their daugher any easier, but it might stem the tide of this type of thing happening again...

THANK YOU KEVIN!!!! ... (Below threshold)
Beth:

THANK YOU KEVIN!!!! for posting this!

More information can be found at BlogsForTerri, where Richard from Hyscience, Tim from ProLife Blogs, John Bambanek, and I are posting.

Anyone reading this, please go to BlogsForTerri and PLEASE help spread the word! She is NOT "brain-dead" or a vegetable, just see the videos and sworn affadavits for yourself and you will see that if she is starved to death, it's no "mercy killing", it's MURDER.

You'd think that the hell t... (Below threshold)
Barbara:

You'd think that the hell that this world lived through as a society during the Holocaust would have *FINALLY* taught us a lesson.
A woman who cannot speak for herself has no one legally representing "her interests". In every other court system in every other state, people who are too young or too ill to speak for themselves are given a representative that speaks for *ONLY* them -- but not in Florida.
A "husband" who has not acted like a husband in years and has no interest in being a "husband" is speaking for a woman that he does not give a shit about. In Florida, someone who stands to financially gain from the death of a woman is allowed to decided her fate.
There are hundreds -- no thousands -- of children in the world who stand to be affected by this OFFENSIVE/HORRENDOUS act. Children who have been brain-damaged by vaccinations. Children who have been brain-damaged through the birth process or through horrendous diseases.
One would think -- no, one would *PRAY* that we as a society would learn from what was done to people during the Holocaust that we need to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Sadly, we have not learned a damn thing.

Let the woman pass on in pe... (Below threshold)
V.:

Let the woman pass on in peace. Would YOU want to kept alive in such a state?

Totally agree with V --- ju... (Below threshold)
Die in Peace:

Totally agree with V --- just let her pass in peace and may God bless her soul

For the life of me I can fi... (Below threshold)

For the life of me I can find no valid reason to allow this person to just languish absorbing resources while in a state of utter vegetation. People need to move past this pathetic clinging to life at all costs mindset and embrace the notion that death is part of life and not something to fear. I for one would never want to put this kind of multi-year hardship on my family, and I see no legitimate reason to keep this woman "alive" any longer. In the battle of quality of life vs. qunatity, I choose the first. What purpose does life serve hooked up to a tube? This is in no way "murder" as so many of the alarmist shills will have you believe. Its a simple reality of allowing a life to end that should have done so years ago.

I would feel more sympathy ... (Below threshold)
Spartakus:

I would feel more sympathy for Terri Schiavo's parents if they hadn't stooped to slandering her husband Michael. They have allowed their grief to fester into something very ugly.

If there is a lesson to this, it's that we should all get busy on our living wills - Terri was only 29 when she went into her coma.

V and Die In Peace, you obv... (Below threshold)
Beth:

V and Die In Peace, you obviously don't know the facts about Terri. And YES, I WOULD want to be kept alive and given the chance to rehabilitate! Her bastard husband has DENIED her rehab, despite being awarded over $1 million in a lawsuit to be used for precisely that purpose.
Susan Scantlin suddenly woke up one day and said "Hi Mom" after NOTHING for 20 years, and Terri Schiavo can ALREADY say "Mama", "Mommy", etc., without any rehab therapy at all!

See THIS VIDEO and tell me if she's a vegetable.

To V and Gabriel,Thi... (Below threshold)
susan:

To V and Gabriel,
This woman can talk and move and blink. What makes you think that she wants to die? She is NOT a vegetable. She is NOT brain dead. She is in the EXACT same position as the woman who started talking after 20 years. She will feel the horrible pain of dying from starvation.
She will not die in peace.
Who can say that she doesn't want to live???

This whole case is just cou... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

This whole case is just court sanctioned murder.

Her husband was all for rehabilitation, when he was filing lawsuits, but looks like he saw dollar signs, as soon as the check was cut, and decided murder was a better option. And the courts cooperated with him.

In addition to her husband the trial judge in this case is about as evil.

Gabriel, you are wrong, per... (Below threshold)
Beth:

Gabriel, you are wrong, period. She is NOT in a state of "utter vegetation." Get the facts and then decide.
Spartakus, you don't need to have sympathy for the parents, have sympathy for TERRI and for the millions of other brain damaged people who are being told that their lives are worthless because they aren't fully functioning. Do we want to become a society where we just exterminate those who aren't physically or mentally normal? What kind of Nazi shit is that?
Anyway, if you knew the facts about the case, you might not think so highly of Michael Schiavo either. I won't bother with the allegations because Terri's life is more important, but if you (all of you who think she should die) feel strongly enough to comment on the case, you ought to learn ALL THE FACTS about it first.

Terri is not a brain-dead vegetable. She laughs, cries, speaks. Is that not a human being that deserves to live?

You SAY you wouldn't want to be in her state. Either you don't know her state, or you are assuming something that you really wouldn't know until you are faced with it yourself. And YES, I have faced the possibility myself and when doing my advance directive (living will) I specifically said DO NOT remove a feeding tube if it's the only life support (as it is with Terri). She's not on ANY other machines keeping her alive, just a feeding tube.

PLEASE, look at Terri's side of the issue. I am convinced that when you see the evidence that supports her right to live, you will change your mind. Every other person I've heard from who has seen it has done exactly that, even after having the opinions you have.

Finally! Liberals see noth... (Below threshold)

Finally! Liberals see nothing wrong with the death penalty! Of course, they're putting an innocent person to death instead of a guilty one in this case, but details, details. This throws the doors wide open to getting liberals to support putting criminals to death. Just make sure those who are sentenced to death have an "accident" that leaves them brain damaged. Then you can kill them any way you want, no matter how gruesome.

just let her pass in peace

Uh, excuse me? "Let her pass in peace?" "In PEACE???" Death by starvation/dehydration is anything but peaceful, my friend. As I wrote on my blog recently, "it is a slow (it could take up to two weeks), painful, ignoble death that even animals are protected from by law. But this is a human life we're talking about. These days, human life is worth less than the lives of the pests that invade our homes."

This case just illustrates ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

This case just illustrates to me the importance of leaving a living will. I for one would not want to live on in such a state (yes, I've watched the vidoes), and would certainly not want my parents to keep me around for 15+ years. Since Terri left no living will it is hard to know what should be done here. However Gov. Bush clearly overstepped his bounds in 2003 with Terri's law. For all those who support Terri's parents in this, do you think that our parents should have this authority over our spouses? I for one would trust my wife first and foremost with this kind of decision.

Btw does anyone know when those videos were shot? None of the websites hosting them seem to say.

Try comparing apples and ap... (Below threshold)

Try comparing apples and apples. Sarah Scantlin's coma was a result of trauma Schivo's was not. There are totally different cases. The video "evidence" is unconvincing, since I can't see the full picture. I’m not willing to accept it as proof of much other than a response to stimulus that is undetermined. As I said above, quality vs quantity. In the dozen or so years there has been little to no improvement of change in her situation.

Sarah Scantlin's coma wa... (Below threshold)

Sarah Scantlin's coma was a result of trauma Schivo's was not.

Most sane people would consider a heart attack "trauma."

In the dozen or so years there has been little to no improvement of change in her situation.

Considering that Michael has blocked any sort of attempts at rehabilitative treatments, this is unsurprising.

Btw Beth and Barbara, what ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Btw Beth and Barbara, what does this have to do with Nazis again? The Nazis did not systematically exterminate their brain-damaged spouses one by one. And Jinx, didn't you have enough to go on with liberals supporting abortion and opposing the death penalty? This one's a stretch.

I respect the opinions of t... (Below threshold)
V.:

I respect the opinions of those who wish to prolong their own lives by artificial means should they find themselves in such a situation. But that is not to say that I agree with them. I don't.

Gabriel raises an excellent point. Our society is obsessed with living as long as possible, no matter what the condition of the person or what the cost. Nothing could be more unnatural. Death is not something to be feared. It is just a step in the life cycle.

Spartukus also raises an excellent point: this case illustrates just how important it is to have a living will.

V.

JUST IN! Temporary stay is... (Below threshold)

JUST IN! Temporary stay issued until tomorrow:

http://www.terrisfight.org/updates/

The only issue here is do y... (Below threshold)
Bill:

The only issue here is do you or I have the right to refuse a feeding tube under certain circumstances, such as terminal illnesses or being in a PVS?

The answer is yes, and that is the only thing this multi-year court battle has been about.

Terri's parents and her husband disagreed, so 2 court trials were held to determine her wishes.

All trial and appellate courts found she would not wish the feeding tube in her state, which is indeed PVS, with no hope of recovery.

Terri's parents were afforded several years to challenge that decision, and were never able to overturn it.

Indeed, her parents were specific in their sworn testimony that they would NEVER remove the tube, even if Terri had herself told them she did not want it.

They even went so far as to testify that they would literally amputate her limbs, were that necessary to keep her alive.

That was their testimony, under oath!

So, since they lost the initial rounds of the court battle the case got nastier and nastier, like all long-fought custody battles.

The parents finally descended to the point of accusing the husband of physical abuse as cause of her collapse.

This despite an entire trial in 1992 where her bulimia (and associated purging) were well-documented.

Plus the fact that the injuries they allege are so severe Terri would not have even been able to walk had they occurred ( were there any photos of Terri in a cast we'd have seen them by now)

The NINDS says: "Individual... (Below threshold)

The NINDS says: "Individuals in such a state have lost their thinking abilities and awareness of their surroundings, but retain noncognitive function and normal sleep patterns. Even though those in a persistent vegetative state lose their higher brain functions, other key functions such as breathing and circulation remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur, and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli. They may even occasionally grimace, cry or laugh. Although individuals in a persistent vegetative state may appear somewhat normal, they do not speak and they are unable to respond to commands."

This explains most of the "video" evidence, which are just small snippets of what is most reasonbly days and months of inactivity or response.

In a June 6 opinion that touched on the medical evidence in the Schiavo case, the 2nd District Court of Appeal wrote" "Although the physicians were not in complete agreement concerning the extent of the daughter's brain damage, they all agreed that the brain scans showed extensive permanent damage to her brain. They only debate between the doctors was whether she had a small amount of isolated living tissue in her cerebral cortex or whether she had no living tissue in her cerebral cortex."

Move past the dogma and look at the science.

I know some videos were don... (Below threshold)
Beth:

I know some videos were done in 2001, but I don't know when the one I linked above was done.

When I had to sign an advance directive/living will (I've done it, as I've had major and dangerous neurosurgery six times and updated the paperwork each time), I left my mother in charge of any decisions that needed to be made, NOT my husband. This despite the fact that my grandmother suffered in a hospital for two years on a feeding tube before she died, so my mother DID know (and so did I) what happens. I do not believe that a person who can get insurance/malpractice suit money should be the one to decide! Sure, you trust your wife, but for how long if you were disabled and became a "burden" to her? Be honest--do you REALLY know how another person will react to a major life event like this? I thought I did, but after about five operations, my husband couldn't handle it any more, and I could still function, although I had a lot of pain and some difficulty when walking for some time. Some people just can't handle adversity and decide they don't want it in their lives any more (yes, I'm divorced from the weakling now). You just don't know who those people are until the shit hits the fan.

I don't believe that if a mind is functioning, a human should be "put down" (like a dog?) just because they're disabled or sick.

You're right, there was no living will. When there is a conflict as to what her wishes would be, why err on the side of death? Is that fair or ethical? Absolutely, positively NOT, IMHO.

Now that I've given TMI (sorry), I'll ask again, is this REALLY what you think is the RIGHT and ETHICAL thing to do?

To Jim who stated" Most san... (Below threshold)

To Jim who stated" Most sane people would consider a heart attack "trauma."

Well they would still be wrong. Trauma is a reslut of serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.

Here is a link to those who... (Below threshold)
Bill:

Here is a link to those who watched the entire video (all 4 hours, not just the 4 minutes posted online):

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/11/10/Tampabay/Schiavo_tapes__snippe.shtml

According to nurses and Ter... (Below threshold)

According to nurses and Terri's parents, she DOES speak. She has said "mommy," "help me" and "pain," among other things.

http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/CIyerAffidavit090203.htm

Terri's condition has been ... (Below threshold)
Spartakus:

Terri's condition has been evaluated by several doctors. Most of her cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that handles human cognition) is dead or gone. Terri herself is gone; it's just that her body does not know that. I wish that the people in this forum could see for themselves what a persistent vegetative state is like before waxing so enthusiastic over keeping Terri alive.

Forget the legal implicatio... (Below threshold)

Forget the legal implications. What about a new version of Operation for Terry Schiavo?

"Take out her feeding tube for $500."
***BZZZZZZTTT***
"Too late! Second District Court says you can't!"

Sure, you trust your wif... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sure, you trust your wife, but for how long if you were disabled and became a "burden" to her? Be honest--do you REALLY know how another person will react to a major life event like this?

Well, first off, in accordance with my living will I would be dead long before I could become a burden (although I would probably not want to starve to death; I would rather be given a lethal injection, but that's illegal now, isn't it?). And yes, I would trust my wife to react as I would react in this situation. While I love my parents, my wife and I are of a like mind when it comes to this (and most everything else), and I would not trust my parents not to freak out and want to keep their child alive despite my or my wife's wishes.

I'll ask again, is this REALLY what you think is the RIGHT and ETHICAL thing to do?

Hard to say. It seems to me it is the legal thing to do (to allow her husband to make the decision). Is it right? Right and wrong seem pretty relative to your outlook on this one. If your particularly religious and believe all human life should be preserved no matter what, then no, it's not right. If you are not of that mindset, maybe it is. Ethical? If Terri did in fact express to her husband that she would not want to be kept alive in such a state, then yes, it's ethical. However we have no proof of that and thus find ourselves in a gray area. The decision becomes a strictly legal one, where we ask who should make the decision here? I think the law is clear on this.

"For all those who support ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"For all those who support Terri's parents in this, do you think that our parents should have this authority over our spouses?"

Actually, it would probably be a wiser move.

Look at Terri's husband. During the lawsuit, when she won millions and he won hundreds of thousands of dollars, he was all about her getting better, and needing the money for all of her therapy.

He won his suit, they cut his checks, and the dollar signs took over, because if Terri died then, he could pocket even more money.

At least a parent doesn't have money involved in the equation when making a life or death decision.

I do agree that this case definitely indicates the neccessity of writing a living will, if she had put her wishes in writing (and I have my doubts that she even had those wishes) then all of this would have been unneccessary.

I'm with Just Me. Mostly. <... (Below threshold)

I'm with Just Me. Mostly.
If she is to die, there is a more humane way of euthanasia than starving/dehydrating her to death. And at the point of her death, all the money "she" got in settlements goes back to the insurance company.

I have my doubts about the cause of her heart attack myself. The husband has done nothing to show he's anything but a luckier version of Scott Peterson.

About the Nazi's: The firs... (Below threshold)
Deanna:

About the Nazi's: The first gas chamber was designed by professors of psychiatry from 12 major German univeristies. THey selected the patients and watched them die. With government approval they continued until the mental hospitals were empty. Then they were joined by some pediatricians who began by emptying the institutions for handicapped children in 1939. By 1945, almost 300,000 pure blood Aryan Germans had been killed. By then human life had become so cheap that they were killin ged wetters, children with misshapen ears, and those with learning disabilities. (Taken from Wertham, The german Euthansia Program, Hayes Publishing Co., Cinn, 1977. p.47. After using this eugenic killing of "defective" Aryan Germans, Hitler then began using their gas chambers to eliminate defective" races. He destroyed an entire race of Gypsies, six million Jews, and perhaps almost as many captured Poles, Russians, and central Europeans. (ibid, p. 47)

Terri's condition has be... (Below threshold)

Terri's condition has been evaluated by several doctors.

Personally handpicked by Michael out of many, many more. If you don't think he was shopping around for doctors who agreed with him while rejecting the ones that didn't, I've got a bridge in NYC to sell ya.

Jinx, five doctors evaluate... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Jinx, five doctors evaluated her: 2 chosen by her parents, 2 chosen by her husband, and one chosen by the judge. The doctors decided 3 to 2 that she was PVS. Of course I don't have to tell you which doctors thought she wasn't. If you don't think her parents shopped around for doctors to find ones that agreed with them, well I think you might like this bridge we have here.

This is going to sound mean... (Below threshold)

This is going to sound mean, but its the truth. Darwinism. Survival of the fittest. Nature isn't nice.

If she's really brai... (Below threshold)
Mark Flacy:


If she's really brain dead, then the body that her parents want to keep alive isn't really her any more. Her husband is killing someone else. If she isn't really brain dead, then perhaps she should not be starved to death.

I never knew that it was OK to keep food and water from someone who cannot feed themselves or give themselves water. We should be able to cull out some people from the mental hospitals and old folks home.

DEATH BY STARVATION IS TERR... (Below threshold)

DEATH BY STARVATION IS TERRORISM!
Michael Schiavo can ONLY remove the feeding tube if that act does not
interfere with providing Terri water and food. What Michael did last
time was absolutely illegal and he should be in jail for it, witholding
water and food.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
42 U.S.C. Sections 12101 provides that
necessary and appropriate rehabilitation
services and physical/motor skill therapy
may not be denied a substantially disabled
patient in the United States of America.

Cf 28 CFR, Ch 1, Subpart B, Sect 35.130
States "Nothing in the Act or this part
authorizes the representative or guardian
of an individual with a disability to
decline FOOD, WATER, medical treatment, or
medical services for that individual."
See: http://www.apfn.org/apfn/Terri.htm
http://disc.server.com/Indices/149495.html

What a touchy subject this ... (Below threshold)

What a touchy subject this is. First off I will say that I once believed Terri should die because I too would put more faith in a spouse than parents in regards to this decision. However, I have learned more about this case. Terri is not a vegetable, not without hope and not without people that care about her.

The only thing the Schindlers are wanting to do is to take care of Terri theirselves. Michael does not want to which is both fine and understandable. Why not give both Terri and the Schindlers a chance to rehabilitate Terri? Give her the speech lessons so she can form her own opinion. There is nothing wrong with doing so.

Gabriel, Terri's current state is the result of trauma. In fact, it was trauma to her head from either a fall or an unknown cause.

Chad you said "Gabriel, Ter... (Below threshold)

Chad you said "Gabriel, Terri's current state is the result of trauma. In fact, it was trauma to her head from either a fall or an unknown cause."

This is not true. All media accounts point to her condition resulting from an acute myocardial infarction or in layman terms "Heart Attack". No "Trauma" occured. I hate to sound like a broken record on this, but I'd rather dispell the dis-information being pushed about.

Beth;Susan Scantli... (Below threshold)
Just Don:

Beth;

Susan Scantlin suddenly woke up one day and said "Okay" not "Hi Mom" after NOTHING for 20 years.

Do the facts of Susan Scantlin's physical condition merit analogy to the Schiavo case?

Please, if you wish to tell others they don't know the facts......

Originally, I sided with Mi... (Below threshold)

Originally, I sided with Michael Schiavo, since legally he is Terri's next of kin, not Terri's parents.

Then I learned about Michael's relationship with another woman.

Because Michael has never obtained a divorce from Terri, Michael is guilty of adultery. Thus, I believe that Michael doesn't have an honorable motive for what he is doing.

sue the husband for atempt ... (Below threshold)
travis:

sue the husband for atempt murder NOWWWWW.

It's not like they're jus... (Below threshold)
Carl in Atlanta:

It's not like they're just going to "unplug" her and the lights will go off. It should take her a good bit of time to die, maaybe weeks.

Question: Do they want to withhold both food and water until she starves to death/dies of thirst or just the food?

I wonder what it's really like to starve to death? I wonder how long it will take her to starve to death? AAS I started this post I recalled that you can't live very long at all w/o water ( 4-5 days?) but what about food? I seemed to remember that you can live a long, long time without food.

According to "go askallice" at [ http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1340.html ]:

"After one day without food, the body will have used up its carbohydrates, which are stored as glycogen in liver and muscle cells. After that, it's on to the fat reserves. Your average Joe/Jane, weight-wise, has enough fat reserves to live for four to six weeks without food. After that, the body begins to use its protein reserves (basically, the body itself). Body proteins are used up at a much faster rate than fat, and you could really only get another two to three weeks out of protein. At that point, however, you can't really call it living since so much irreparable damage has been done to the body, including the brain.

Bottom line: an average person could live for about eight weeks on water alone, give or take about a week for an over- or underweight person, respectively."

Wow. I wouldn't want to be the one to pull that feeding tube out.

According to "rate it all" at [ http://www.rateitall.com/t-1874-best-way-to-die.aspx ] starvation came in 22nd out of 24 methods of death in a "best way to die straw poll", coming in way behind poison , drowning and beheading. Death by dehydration came in dead last.

Food for thought, as they say.....

Carl

IMHO opinion, based on the ... (Below threshold)
Cindy:

IMHO opinion, based on the evidence that the Schindlers have presented, the reason that Michael wants her dead (and cremated) is that should she ever gain the ability to communicate and her memory is intact, she would be able to implicate him for beating her and possibly causing her condition. A bone scan has shown injuries to her bones that can be attributed to physical violence.

During the phase where Michael was suing for damages, he promised all sorts of therapy. He won his damages and no therapy every happened. Had Terri been given the level of therapy promised, there is no doubt in my mind that she would functioning at a much greater level than she currently is. He totally denied her any chance at recovery.... whether it was to hide his own malfeasance or for monetary reasons may probably never be known.

Regardless, I can't imagine letting her starve to death. What a horrible, inhumane thing. Like people have said over and over, we wouldn't do that to our pets... how can we do it to another human being.

I would like to point out t... (Below threshold)

I would like to point out that I do not think that starvation is a valid course of action, but since the majority of the medical community is too chickenshit to administer lethal injections for the terminaly ill, etc. and our archaic laws preclude hopsital staff from doing so, it appears to be the only option.

If you don't think her p... (Below threshold)

If you don't think her parents shopped around for doctors to find ones that agreed with them

Unfortunately for you, the facts don't fit that conjecture.

1. Terri's parents did inde... (Below threshold)
Bill:

1. Terri's parents did indeed shop for doctors.

Ultimately, they couldn't find any real doctors to testify, only 2 alternative practitioners, who are considered no different from homeopaths or acupuncturists under Florida law.

At the time they testified, one was fighting to keep his license with the Florida medical board, who thought he was such a danger to his patients the board wanted him put immediately under the supervision of another physician.

There is not even a theoretical basis for the therapies that the alternative practitioners claimed could cure Terri. And the alternative practitioners could not cite any peer-reviewed medical literature that supported their "cures"

2. Terri will never wake up.

She is in a PVS, with no hope of recovery.

In fact, Terri's parents agreed with the diagnosis of PVS for years, never questioning it until recently, after they exhausted their appeals.

If you want to disagree, at this point it would take a de novo review of her medical records by a real neurologist, not some alternative practitioner, to make a credible case.

3. Terri's parents are willing to do or say anything at this point, as long as it keeps Terri alive for another 5 minutes.

The abuse allegations are a clear indication that they have sacrificed the last shred of their credibility to that end.

The only evidence they cite is an expert opinion bought and paid for by their legal counsel, which is directly contradicted by all other medical evidence, such as the 1992 trial:

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/10/26/Floridian/The_lost_lesson_of_Te.shtml

Had Michael Schiavo really caused Terri's collapse, there would not have been a $2 million
settlement paid out.

Even today, did the insurance company that had to
pay that settlement think Michael caused her injuries, they would be suing him personally to recover those funds.

The injuries they allege are so severe no one could have possibly missed them, so severe Terri could not have even walked (broken femur, back, ankles)

I think someone would have noticed that.

Michael sued for mmoney to ... (Below threshold)
Wendi Sue:

Michael sued for mmoney to fund therapy for Terri. That was the basis of his lawsuit- her need for expensive therapy. If I recall correctly he was already living with another woman at this time, and he has had two children with that woman.

He won his lawsuit on Terri's behalf, and has since denied his wife the very therapy he sued over.

Terri is not in a coma. Nobody knows how much better of she might be if her husband had actually provided the therapy he said he would be providing when he sued for all that money.

Terri's parents love her. MIchael has moved on with his life and has a live in grils friend and two kids. I do not believe that he has Terri's best interests at heart under the circumstances.

I am disgusted with the judge in this case, who has repeatedly sided with Michael, and who, when confronted with the video tapes that showed he was wrong about Teri, instead of letting the facts persuade him, simply made a hubristic power play and denied her parents the right to see her anymore. Nurses who have worked with Teri have said that she is not vegetative- and they got fired for it.

Dying from dehydration and starvation is a dreadful, horrible way to end life- and it's appalling that American citizens think this is the right thing to do simply because somebody has brain damage.

Our daughter is brain damaged- she was born oxygen deprived, and we adopted her when she was almost 6 years old. She has an I.Q. of about 35 and is a happy, cheerful, affectionate person. She will never hurt another living soul. She poses no threat to anybody. Those of you who think that she and people like her should be allowed to be dehydrated to the point of death frighten me.

"Michael sued for mmoney to... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Michael sued for mmoney to fund therapy for Terri. That was the basis of his lawsuit- her need for expensive therapy."

He also received a cash settlement for himself for loss of companionship-I think it was around 300k.

Wendi I agree that the judge in this case totally sucks. I think his decisions have been awful.

The judge has sided with lo... (Below threshold)

The judge has sided with logic, not emotion, something that many on the right harp about yet when something challenges their worldview that logic over emotion ideology goes right out the window.

Remove the emotion from the debate and what do you have. A person with no quality of life, who has been repeatedly diagnosed with PVS. Who besides 4 minutes of misleading, out of context video footage, shows zero response to outside stimuli. Medical experts have agreed at multiple times as well as the judge who looks at the evidence, not the emotion, that the woman is indeed PVS.

I know its a sad case, and it seems like nobody wins, but move past the emotion. This woman has no life, not by any reasonable standard, and she should be able to finally rest in peace, not be a sick crutch for a family who refuses to accept the bad deck of cards life dealt them.

No doubt that passions run ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

No doubt that passions run high in these dire scenarios and just about every position I've read in this thread seems reasonable, or at least sincere. But I find myself gravitating to Gabriel's (among other's) point of view. I've not kept abreast of every nuance of this case so my perspective is a bit distanced. However, it seems everyone is losing as it stands now.

Terry Schiavo is not "living" from what I've seen though she is still alive. Quality of life does mean something and it is likely we will never know her true wishes - a tragedy but unavoidable circumstance.

Her husband is not living a life of quality either. Sure, he has his faculties but he also has the traumatic history, a braindead wife, a legal mess, a torn family, conflicting interests, perpetual monetary obligations, and who knows what else on his hands. Were you in Terry's condition, would you want to leave that legacy to your loved one for the rest of his/her life? I don't want to get caught in the weeds of the what caused her condition so I'm basing this on the premise that she entered her coma from natural causes.

Her parents are not living a life of quality though they may be holding on to hope that the child that they remember will arise and return to an improved "normalcy". Almost assuredly they are perpetuating this sustenance out of love but I wonder if it, at this point, is not displaced and is really extending a child's agony.

A strained legal system is repeatedly bogged down with the particulars of a case that seems to be destined to be a money pit for several interested and opposing parties. Are the combatants performing this service for love or for money? Are their motives pure and is Ms. Schiavo really the center of their passion? Worth considering. (Yes, I concede that I always question the motives of attorneys - call me naive. :) )

A medical industry with limited resources must continually divert resources from perhaps better use. Yes, this sounds cold but it is fact. We all live in a Petri dish called Earth, and for every resource utilized for this particular case, one less resource is available for a much greater number of cases. This ethical morality play has persisted for all of interventionist time and will continue unabted. I hope this doesn't degenerate into the inevitable slippery slope of eugenics though I suspect it is almost inevitable. This is the main reason why I've delayed entering this fray because eugenics and, of course Naziism, almost always follow.

Maybe the best thing would have been for Ms. Schiavo and the monetary judgement be granted to her parents and let them carry on as they deem necessary; however, I still have sympathy for the husband and really have no reason to doubt that he has not considered what he thought his wife's desires were despite his attempt to lead a "normal" life too.

Actually, euthanasia is pro... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Actually, euthanasia is probably a better operative word for the Nazi reference above but eugenics still ends up somewhere. I should have been more precise.

IT'S OBVIOUS NONE OF YOU KN... (Below threshold)
fgirstbrokenangel:

IT'S OBVIOUS NONE OF YOU KNOW WHAT CONDITION SHE IS IN, BEING BRAIN DEAD AND ALL - DYING WITH DIGNITY. IF ANYONE WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT EUTHANASIA, CONTACT ME, I'VE BEEN THROUGH IT AND HAVE STUDIED IT FOR YEARS. IT WAS MY LAW PAPER AT THE END OF THE YEAR. SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFF THE FEEDING TUBE A LONG TIME AGO OR HAS ANYONE FORGOTTEN KAREN ANN QUINLIN???? IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT THIS WHOLE SITUATION. MEDICAN SCIENCE HASN'T IMPROVED OUR LIVES THAT MUCH ONLY KEPT THOSE ALIVE WHO WOULD HAVE DIED IF LEFT ALONE. AND THE PICTURE THEY SHOW IS OVER 20 YEARS AGO. LET THE WOMAN REST IN PEACE. AND KEEP THE GOVT OUT OF IT.

CINDY

This is such a sad story. I... (Below threshold)
Cindy:

This is such a sad story. I understand her parents, who can't give up as long as Terri can take a breath. I don't have much sympathy for her husband based on what I've read. I understand that her parents want to care for her in their home, at their expense. It shouldn't be much, since all she requires is a feeding tube. I don't understand those who feel that she needs to die, when it doesn't matter to them in the least if she were to stay in her parents care for the rest of her days. What is the harm in that?
If she had written down her desires, this problem wouldn't exist, but she didn't. We have only her husband's word that she would prefer to die in this situation. With the lack of a written directive, I believe we should err on the side of caution. I'd like to see legislation requiring a written directive before allowing a plug to be pulled.
I would also like to see an independent analysis of her condition and her alleged injuries.
And yes, dying of hunger is cruel and unusual punishment, and is not legally acceptable for the most brutal serial killer in our prison system. I personally would like to see her live.

DON'T YOU JUST LOVE PEOPLE ... (Below threshold)

DON'T YOU JUST LOVE PEOPLE WHO POST IN ALL CAPS?

You'd think that after all these years that people have been posting messages online, the "all caps crowd" would get it through their skulls that it's annoying and unreadable.

RE: Cindy's post (February ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Cindy's post (February 23, 2005 12:53 AM)

I would also like to see an independent analysis of her condition and her alleged injuries.

Aye, and there's the rub. How does one determine "independent analysis"? This case is a microcosm of such a tug of war. There are feuding family members presenting their interpretation of a loved one's condition. There are religious consortiums of innumerable denominations waiting to provide comfort (fortunately if the family is religious) or to, more disingenuously, intervene to promote an agenda (unfortunately if the family is not). There are feuding physicians winnowing their way through law and liability offering bipolar analysis. There are certainly hired "independent" attorneys and amicus briefings to be selected like wine at a vineyard providing even more. I'm almost assuredly forgetting even other agents that contribute to this "independence". All of these things impact the analysis and introduce bias - some selfish, some altruistic - but bias nonetheless.

I get a bit alarmed when non-family members interject so I'm hesitant to expand the powers of legislators distant from my particular wishes or those of my family.

----

RE: Jinx McHue's post (February 23, 2005 12:53 AM)

C'mon Jinx. Cut fgirstbrokenangel some slack. Yes, you are right about the caps and all but, considering the emotion of the topic and her personal experience with euthanasia, I'm thinking we might loosen the reigns a bit.

Remove the emotion and what... (Below threshold)
WEndiSue:

Remove the emotion and what do we have? We have a man who sued for millions of dollars because, he claimed, he needed that money to provide therapy for Terri. He also sued for loss of companionship, even though *at that time he was already living with another woman, who was pregnant with his child*. And when he got the money, he denied all further therapy to the woman on whose behalf that money was awarded.

Logically, no emotions involved at all, we have a clear and obvious conflict of interest here. A man with loads of money at stake, who is living with another woman and fathering children with her clearly has a conflict of interest, and whether Terri keeps her feeding tube or not should not be up to him.

I do remember the K.A.Q. case, and the two are not similar, so I distrust the expertise of anybody who claims they are. Karen Anne required more than a feeding tube to keep her alive, and she was not responsive as Terri is.

Terri's parents want to take their daughter home and care for her. MIchael wants to starve her to death. Michael is living with another woman and has been for years- Arguing that Terri should be starved to death because *you* think she has no 'quality of life' is the emotion based argument here- it is completely subjective. You would not want to live that way, so you assume that nobody else would (or should) either, and you're willing that they should be starved to death because of the way you 'feel' about it.

What is so wrong with Terri's parents taking her home and caring for her and providing the therapy that Michael once promised she would reserve?

RE: WEndiSue's post (Februa... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: WEndiSue's post (February 23, 2005 03:11 AM)

...Arguing that Terri should be starved to death because *you* think she has no 'quality of life' is the emotion based argument here- it is completely subjective. You would not want to live that way, so you assume that nobody else would (or should) either, and you're willing that they should be starved to death because of the way you 'feel' about it.

I don't know if this is addressed to me specifically or others that would accept the removal of T. Schiavo's feeding tube, but I'll comment anyway.

I did some reading and it seems there are quite a few interpretations from both camps as to who did, said, sued (well, this could be discovered from the judgements), and spent what on what - I expected as much considering this case's exposure. I don't know what is true and what is not and I cannot accept that the version you presented is the only supportable position. There is a timeline for his subsequent companionship with another woman and I don't think he hooked up immediately after Terri went into a coma. Maybe you can provide that information. There is also some disagreement as to the financing of care, the therapy or lack of it, and the contribution of her husband and companion to Terri's care. The main point is that there is considerable gray area in this entire episode.

You suggest removing emotion to assign motive or, at least, to simplify the analysis. I don't think that's possible and I would suggest that to be a disservice to the process. Emotion is inexorably intertwined in these right-to-die cases. It's part of the valuation everyone makes to discern the truth since certifiable facts are hard to produce - or at least facts that would further the chance to reach an indisputable conclusion.

Lacking compelling evidence to the contrary, Michael has the right to decide her wife's fate as imperfect a system in your mind as it may be.

I'm not suggesting or assuming or desirous of imposing the blanket conclusion that because someone's life quality is "poor" that they should be euthanized. I won't decide for another family what they deem acceptable. By the same token, I sure don't want an outsider dictating for me what my or my family's options are. In fact I'd prefer that state law determine this over federal law if law must intervene at all. Keeping things local is almost always the best policy.

I ran across a snippet penned by the Death with Dignity National Center (DDNC) that included the following in a form letter they created for advocacy:

"If any good can come from Terri's situation, it will be that policymakers such as yourself will come to understand that in a pluralistic democratic society, we must create neutral space in the law for people of differing beliefs to pursue their own life's journey."

I think that is as fair a statement as one can create. It is also one I can support.

Unfortunately, as has been said, this case has considerable gray and that "neutral space" is in dispute. The law of the land of Florida, as I understand it, grants Michael ultimate authority. His concerns cannot and should not be ignored as much as you might like to remove the emotion from the most emotional event anyone can experience. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Why does it matter to any o... (Below threshold)
ginabina:

Why does it matter to any of you (or Michael and his new "family"), if her parents take her into their home and continue to pay for her care?

How does that impact anyone's life, except her parents? They are not asking the "medical community" or even her "husband" to continue spend money on her...there have been donations secured to help them out.

She is not a ward of the state. It is not a question of using tax payer money to continue her care at state expense. This is a private, living individual who has people to care for her.

Not that it's any of our business, but her parents have a religious position in this case and it's not for a court or any of us to interfere in that. Court cases against refusing medical care for religious reasons might have basis, but how to you justify forcing someone to remove care?

And how does the tenent "first do no harm" figure in here? Status quo, she continues as she is. Pull the plug and you torture her.

You would be charged with cruelty to animals for starving a cat in your care. We are not talking about extrodinary means at this point, just basic food and fluids.


Legally, morally, ethically... (Below threshold)
Bill:

Legally, morally, ethically, neither the parents' nor the husband's wishes matter, only Terri's.

Since there was disagreement within the family, the courts held trial (actually, 2 trials) to determine her wishes.

Regardless of what anyone here may feel, that decision was made under Florida law, which does allow oral statements to be considered when determining end-of-life wishes. If you don't like it, blame the legislature, not the judiciary.

As it now stands, whomever is guardian is compelled to remove the feeding tube.

And yes, a feeding tube is considered medical care that may be refused under certain circumstances,

Again, regardless of your personal opinion, the a feeding tube is considered no different than a ventilator under Florida law.

There is no legal option for Terri to go home with her parents.

Specifically, there is no way Terri's parents will ever gain guardianship, since they were explicitly clear in their sworn testimony that they would never follow her wishes.

That's not the thing to admit if you are applying for guardianship!

It is conceivable that a professional guardian could be appointed, but again, they would be compelled by court order to remove the tube.

BTW, no one's yet pointed this out, but Terri's parents were the ones who encouraged the husband to get on with his life and date other women.

They did this, as they freely admit, as a tactic to get him to relinquish guardianship to them.

And they chose that tactic well before the husband ever petitioned for the removal of the feeding
tube.

As for the money, it is long gone.

Interestingly, one of the guardian ad litems that have been appointed felt the monetary settlement represented a conflict of interest for BOTH the husband AND the parents. Now that the money is gone, he doesn't see a conflict.

IN the absence of a written... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

IN the absence of a written directive, the law should er on the side of caution, especially where there is a conflict of interest with the man who is doing the deciding.

Also, I am a bit chilled by the number of people who think killing her is a good move given her quality of life. That is one slippery slope I do not want to go down. I have a disabled child, what if one day somebody decides his quality of life must suck, and isn't worth living, so off to the death chamber to spare him such a horrible life.

If Terri didn't want to spend her life this way (and there is some debate over whether she wanted this, considering she never told anyone from her family of that decision), then she should have put it in writing.

At this point, if she is brain dead-then she isn't going to know her parents are taking care of her anyway, so what does it really matter. It isn't going to hurt anyone, but Michael Schiavo, and frankly, he is a scumbag anyway.

RE: Just Me's post (Februar... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Just Me's post (February 23, 2005 07:18 AM)
Also, I am a bit chilled by the number of people who think killing her is a good move given her quality of life. That is one slippery slope I do not want to go down. I have a disabled child, what if one day somebody decides his quality of life must suck, and isn't worth living, so off to the death chamber to spare him such a horrible life.

C'mon, Just Me. Isn't this a bit over the top? This kind of decision is brutally difficult for anyone whatever one's ethics. Don't think that people advocating a right-to-die are cold-blooded bastards relishing the thought of terminating another life. They are trying their best to do the right thing too and believe a different tact is equally honorable and more compassionate.

I won't rehash but I'd just add here that under the condition you describe, the slippery slope will not occur. You are the family member and guardian and will dictate your child's care. Until that child marries, you will remain so. Only the child's biological father may request equal legal consideration, so your concerns about a slippery slope are unwarranted at least until the law changes. Either way, I hope you have your living will as well as the one for your child updated to spare your family such extended and painful flux.

Oops. Only the child's biol... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Oops. Only the child's biological father and mother barring complications from divorces...

RE: Bill's post (February 2... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Bill's post (February 22, 2005 02:24 PM)
Indeed, her parents were specific in their sworn testimony that they would NEVER remove the tube, even if Terri had herself told them she did not want it.

They even went so far as to testify that they would literally amputate her limbs, were that necessary to keep her alive.

That was their testimony, under oath!

[Empahasis by AD]

I don't know how I missed this the first time, Bill. If what you report is true, I'd say that is pretty damning evidence that the parents do NOT have their daughter's best interests at heart and hold some pretty selfish biases of their own. I've been too gracious to them in my overall (however irrelevant) critique. Was there some context to go with this because I'm aghast that they would admit such a claim.

This is a pretty decent thr... (Below threshold)
epador:

This is a pretty decent thread for such a difficult topic. I think it demonstrates that there are some problems that don't have an ethical solution that will satisfy all.

Severe hypoxic brain damage is different than coma induced by head trauma.

The likelyhood of significant further improvement is practically nil.

Nonetheless, she has parents who are willing and able to continue to care for her.

I think the Florida courts have placed themselves in the unenviable position of playing Solomon without all his wisdom.

And neither should we.

Possession is 90% of the law. Let the parents take care of her as long as they like. It will be painful for the "ex" husband. But less painful for him than for her parents if they have to watch her starve to death. I wouldn't want to be cared for they way she is in her condition personally, nor do I think its right medically. But as a society, it makes the most sense to me.

The slippery slope theories have creedence. Read Robert Lifton's The Nazi Doctors. And complete your living will!

:: By the same token, I sur... (Below threshold)
Wendi Sue:

:: By the same token, I sure don't want an outsider dictating for me what my or my family's options are. In fact I'd prefer that state law determine ::

Outsiders are dictating some rather fatal options to Terri and Terri's parents.

The money may be long gone- that is not the point. The point is that Michael sued on Terri's behalf for money for her therapy- and once he got the money, he denied her the therapy. He wasn't arguing that she was incapable of benefiting from therapy until after he received loads of money for the purpose of providing her therapy. He didn't remember that she had allegedly mentioned in an off-hand way at one time that she'd rather die than live that way until after he got a lot of money for her behalf- that he then did not use on her behalf.
Even *if* she did say she'd rather die than live in a coma (and this is highly debatable), that to me does not argue that she actually meant she'd rather be starved to death and denied hydration than live in her current circumstances. I'd rather be killed outright, too- but by that I do _not_ mean that if I am not killed outright at the time of an injury or sudden heart attack that I hope somebody mercilessly starves me to death or denies me hydration.

Starving a person to death is wrong. It really doesn't matter if the law treats a feeding tube the same as a ventilator- if that is true, it's wrong. Laws have been immoral in the past and they can be immoral today. Nobody should die the way Michael is trying to kill Terri. Her parents want to take her home and care for her. There is no evidence that Terri would prefer to be starved to death. This is an issue of right and wrong, not whether something is legal or not. It was once legal to forcibly sterilize people with a history of shoplifting or prostitution- that didn't make it right.

It is wrong to starve Terri to death. Wrong.

IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!!<p... (Below threshold)
fgirstbrokenangel:

IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!!


Cindy


IF I WANT TO TYPE ALL CAPS,... (Below threshold)
fgirstbrokenangel:

IF I WANT TO TYPE ALL CAPS, I WILL!!! To Cindy of the 2nd comment, so far I've been the only Cindy here so since you're kinda new, add to your name like Cindy2 so people won't get us mixed up.
Thanks

Cindy

IF I WANT TO TYPE ALL CA... (Below threshold)

IF I WANT TO TYPE ALL CAPS, I WILL!!!

And if we want to ignore you because of it, we will.

More on Terri's case:... (Below threshold)
WendiSue:

More on Terri's case:
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-smith090503.asp
From the website:
"Michael filed a medical-malpractice lawsuit, during which he said he would care for her for the rest of her life, which, assuming proper care, would be a normal lifespan. He also presented at trial a medical-rehabilitation expert who had developed a plan to provide support for Terri to maximize her ability to respond to her environment.
A jury awarded $1.3 million in the malpractice case, of which $750,000 was put in trust to pay for the kind of care that Michael promised to provide Terri.
Michael never kept his promise.
Within months of the money being deposited in the bank, Michael ordered a do-not-resuscitate order placed on Terri's chart. He has also repeatedly denied her other forms of medical care, such as treatment for infections.
Once the money was in the bank, according to affidavits filed by nurses under penalty of perjury, Michael ordered that Terri be denied stimulation.
In the mid 1990s, according to another nurse's affidavit filed under penalty of perjury, Michael was overheard saying things such as, "When is she going to die," "Has she died yet?" and "When is that bitch going to die?" (This affidavit was only recently filed. Michael has not yet filed a response.)"

"Money that was intended to pay for Terri's treatment and rehabilitation has instead gone to lawyers Michael retained to obtain a court order to bring about her death.
If Terri dies, Michael will inherit what is left of the $750,000 (if any remains) and all other property they owned."


"Dr. William Hammesfahr, a world-renowned expert in cases such as Terri's — and a Nobel Prize nominee — testified that Terri is not in a PVS. He also testified that he believes he could help her improve her circumstances through proper medical treatment. Ten other physicians have testified or given statements that Terri is not unconscious. Judge Greer instead chose to believe contrary testimony by a doctor who rarely sees Terri and another doctor, who makes an avocation of testifying in cases such as Terri's throughout the country, always on the side of dehydration."

The idea that Terri would want to be killed by being denied hydration is "based on testimony from Michael and his brother and sister-in-law arguing that Terri said she would not want to be maintained in this condition. Never mind that Michael first brought this alleged statement up only after he decided that the time had come for Terri to die by dehydration. Never mind that these conversations never came up when Michael was asking a jury for a $20 million medical-malpractice award. Never mind that none of Terri's blood family ever recall her saying any such thing.."

In addition, here's another point:
SEveral medical professionals have testified that they believe Terri could be weaned from the feeding tube and spoon fed if she were given therapy (you know, that therapy Michael promised to provide and then reneged on)- so she could very likely eat from a spoon- but the judge and Michael have forbidden her parents even to *try*. The tube feeding is a convenience and a basis for the attempt to murder her. There is no good reason to deny Terri adn her parents the chance to see if therapy could help her relearn to swallow her own food.

Anonymous Drivel-please not... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Anonymous Drivel-please note I said it was a slippery slope I didn't want to go down.

Today these decisions may be up to spouses and parents, but tomorrow who knows? And today we may only be talking about severely braindamaged people, but tomorrow who knows?

I hate to invoke the nazi's, but in this case, they fit. But they started at the fine end of the slippery slope and before it was all over they were murdering anyone not deemed perfect in physical or mental health, Jews, Gypsies, gays, Christians in opposition and just about anyone else not deemed to be worthy.

If Terri had a written directive, I would view this differently, but her husband won all sorts of money, and only after the checks were cut did he decide she really wanted to die. I just think this man is not in a position to be making these decisions, the courts have basically given him a legal sanction to murder his wife.

For the record, Dr. William... (Below threshold)

For the record, Dr. William Hammesfahr has had his medical license under review in the state of Florida for fraud claims regarding his treatment of stroke victims.

Starving a person to dea... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Starving a person to death is wrong.... Laws have been immoral in the past and they can be immoral today.

Agreed. The immoral law here is the one prohibiting assisted suicide/lethal injection. As far as the Nazis are concerned, they did not run around Europe allowing spouses or parents to euthanize their disabled or mentally ill spouses or children, they were systematically doing it themselves regardless of the family. I don't know what sort of state or federal legislature you Nazi-invokers think will somehow make this great leap from allowing the families of patients decide (1st kin first, and all that) to state executions of patients, but please let me know and I'll make sure not to move there.

McGehee:I have per... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

McGehee:

I have personally been through this myself when I was almost 25 years old and my husband was in a motorcycle accident. My thesis in college in my mid-thirties was a study of all cases throughout the country, so I was used to speak to families in the situation at 3 different hospitals. This is a subject near and dear to my heart and I know more about it than most people who are making a judgement here. Terri is in a vegetative state which means she is completely brain dead. Her brain step is working and that's a grape size thing at the base of her brain. Because of the feeding tube, she is still alive. But she's really not alive or aware of anything around her and most likely, she is already in the brain dead state where they lie in the fetal position - not and I mean NOT, the video they keep showing. When they take the feeding tube out that is not murder; she will be given medications so she'll feel no pain although she feels no pain as it is and will eventually her organs will shut down.

What people should remember is they need to have a Living will and a DNR (do not rescitate) and she would have died shortly after having the brain aneurysm. No one in their right mind would want to have their body kept alive this way. She is not in a coma - that's a totally different thing. I went to a lawyer and had those papers drawn up 10 years ago and everyone knows what I want; I have made tht very clear but when you are in your 20's you don't think about that - but you should because death and disability has no age barrier.

the original Cindy

Gabriel,Obviously yo... (Below threshold)
Deanna:

Gabriel,
Obviously you have not read or heard all media reports. Fact: Terry was NEVER diagnosed as a heart attack victim when she was admitted to the Northside Humana emergency room in Feb. 1990. Doctors immediatley excluded heart attack as her blood enzymes were not elevated- typical in all heart attack victims. Terri's toxicology screen also elimnated any suspicion of drugs.
At the time of Terri's admittance, blood tests revealed a depletion of electolytes and her attending physician HYPOTHESIZED that low blood potassium MAY have caused her collapse. It was with this information that Michael Schiavo entered into a lawsuit against Terri's General Practitioner and Gynecologist, claiming negligence on their part.
In preparation for Terri's Oct. 2002 trial, her ER records were reviewed and it was plainly noted in the admitting summary that Terri had a "rigid neck" when she was admitted to the hospital. These injuries were never disclosed to Terri's family, nor - to their knowledge - were they ever investigated. THe doctor reviewing these records testified that the only other patient he treated with similar injuries was the victim of an attempted strangulation.
The prospect that foul play may have led to Terre's collapse and ensuing heart stoppage was enhanced when a bone scan was recently found. This scan, taken 53 weeks after Terri's collapse revealed the Terri had fractured ribs, damage to her pelvic area, L1 vertebrae, spine, both knees and both ankles. It also revealed the Terri had suffered a broken femur and a broken back. Three doctors concluded the Terri had endured trauma of some sort. The radiaologist responsible for the scan plainly stated: " This patient has a history o trauma."

Gabriel,Obviously yo... (Below threshold)
Deanna:

Gabriel,
Obviously you have not read or heard all media reports. Fact: Terry was NEVER diagnosed as a heart attack victim when she was admitted to the Northside Humana emergency room in Feb. 1990. Doctors immediatley excluded heart attack as her blood enzymes were not elevated- typical in all heart attack victims. Terri's toxicology screen also elimnated any suspicion of drugs.
At the time of Terri's admittance, blood tests revealed a depletion of electolytes and her attending physician HYPOTHESIZED that low blood potassium MAY have caused her collapse. It was with this information that Michael Schiavo entered into a lawsuit against Terri's General Practitioner and Gynecologist, claiming negligence on their part.
In preparation for Terri's Oct. 2002 trial, her ER records were reviewed and it was plainly noted in the admitting summary that Terri had a "rigid neck" when she was admitted to the hospital. These injuries were never disclosed to Terri's family, nor - to their knowledge - were they ever investigated. THe doctor reviewing these records testified that the only other patient he treated with similar injuries was the victim of an attempted strangulation.
The prospect that foul play may have led to Terre's collapse and ensuing heart stoppage was enhanced when a bone scan was recently found. This scan, taken 53 weeks after Terri's collapse revealed the Terri had fractured ribs, damage to her pelvic area, L1 vertebrae, spine, both knees and both ankles. It also revealed the Terri had suffered a broken femur and a broken back. Three doctors concluded the Terri had endured trauma of some sort. The radiaologist responsible for the scan plainly stated: " This patient has a history of trauma."

"I don't know what sort of ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"I don't know what sort of state or federal legislature you Nazi-invokers think will somehow make this great leap from allowing the families of patients decide (1st kin first, and all that) to state executions of patients, but please let me know and I'll make sure not to move there. "

Mantis you should probably avoid moving to the Netherlands then.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/616jszlg.asp

"Indeed, a disturbing 1997 study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, revealed how deeply pediatric euthanasia has already metastasized into Dutch neo natal medical practice: According to the report, doctors were killing approximately 8 percent of all infants who died each year in the Netherlands. That amounts to approximately 80-90 per year. Of these, one-third would have lived more than a month. At least 10-15 of these killings involved infants who did not require life-sustaining treatment to stay alive. The study found that a shocking 45 percent of neo-natologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to questionnaires had killed infants."

In the Netherlands doctors are paid by the government, and are therefore arms of the government, and they killed 1/3 of these infants without their parents knowledge.

The slippery slope is out there, and the Netherlands is headying right down to the bottom.

Dear Ignorant Deanna:... (Below threshold)

Dear Ignorant Deanna:

When you quit retrieving your “facts” from non-credible websites you just might learn something. Unlike you I will not take the word of Dr. William Hammesfahr, whose “diagnosis” is questionable at best, especially given the reports of his fraudulent advertising in that wonderful journal of medicine called the National Enquirer. Amazing that Dr. Hammesfahr’s practice doesn’t seem to exist, at least its website and all related material have been taken down and have not been accessible. Though he continues to whore himself to anyone who will listen and not question his past or his “treatment claims” for stroke victims. He seems to have a vested interest in this case, and as most snake oil salesman, can make a very persuasive case to the layperson.

Dr. Hammesfahr stated:

"Terri’s feeding tube is for the convenience of nurses; not because Terri needs it. Terri does not drool. Liquid is the hardest thing to swallow, and she swallows 1½ to 2 liters of saliva a day”

Well if this is indeed the case, removing the feeding tube won’t harm her now will it. Now if you can provide any source documentation that backs up Dr. Hammesfahr’s statements, any credible media reports that Terri didn’t have a heart attack, then you may be able to provide something that takes the form of an argument or debate. Since you more than likely culled your great knowledge from a geocities webpage or some horribly slanted and biased Save Terri bullshit website, I will just dismiss your ramblings for what they are. Ignorant, ill-informed, and not worthy of further review. I mean come the fuck on only a true internet kook could tie this whole thing to “scientology” yet its littered through the several pro-terri websites.

Once again, there is no evidence of strangulation, no evidence of foul play, nothing but innuendo and the hackery of dozens of “internet experts” who continue to see shenanigans at every turn, when as Mr. Occams razor would most likely point out, the lady had a heart attack, lost oxygen to her brain, and the resulting injury destroyed most of her higher brain functions. Though I could probably provide dozens of scientific journal entries regarding the various aspects of EKG readings, false positives, and a whole host of issues pertaining to diagnosis of a heart attack that could argue either way, it would remain pointless given the findings of fact are already in the legal record.

Though I eagerly await your oh so clever retort, I probably won’t bother replying, as it will make no difference regardless. Your mind is made up, you have bought into the conspiracy, and true believers never question the dogma that’s been fed to them. So try to enjoy life, given that ignorance is bliss, you are probably one of the happiest people on earth.


Gabriel,
Obviously you have not read or heard all media reports. Fact: Terry was NEVER diagnosed as a heart attack victim when she was admitted to the Northside Humana emergency room in Feb. 1990. Doctors immediatley excluded heart attack as her blood enzymes were not elevated- typical in all heart attack victims. Terri's toxicology screen also elimnated any suspicion of drugs.
At the time of Terri's admittance, blood tests revealed a depletion of electolytes and her attending physician HYPOTHESIZED that low blood potassium MAY have caused her collapse. It was with this information that Michael Schiavo entered into a lawsuit against Terri's General Practitioner and Gynecologist, claiming negligence on their part.
In preparation for Terri's Oct. 2002 trial, her ER records were reviewed and it was plainly noted in the admitting summary that Terri had a "rigid neck" when she was admitted to the hospital. These injuries were never disclosed to Terri's family, nor - to their knowledge - were they ever investigated. THe doctor reviewing these records testified that the only other patient he treated with similar injuries was the victim of an attempted strangulation.
The prospect that foul play may have led to Terre's collapse and ensuing heart stoppage was enhanced when a bone scan was recently found. This scan, taken 53 weeks after Terri's collapse revealed the Terri had fractured ribs, damage to her pelvic area, L1 vertebrae, spine, both knees and both ankles. It also revealed the Terri had suffered a broken femur and a broken back. Three doctors concluded the Terri had endured trauma of some sort. The radiaologist responsible for the scan plainly stated: " This patient has a history o trauma."

Just Me,I kind of me... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Just Me,
I kind of meant here in the U.S., but your point is well taken. However, I hope you're not relying solely on the Weekly Standard for information about this (or anything else in my opinion). From CNN:

"In recent years there also have been reports of mercy killings of terminally ill babies, and officials at one hospital say a number have been carried out there.

The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) has asked the Netherlands Ministry of Health to create an independent board to evaluate euthanasia cases for each category of people "with no free will."

While I don't really trust the Lancet (of 100,000 dead Iraqi citizens fame), I agree the lack of official guidelines for this is troublesome:


"There are no official guidelines for ending the lives of those who are unable to make their own decision, such as in the case of a baby, but Groningen Academic Hospital has conducted such procedures under its own, internal guidelines.

Dr. Eduard Verhagen, clinical director of the hospital's pediatric clinic, told NPR in an interview that the babies who had been euthanized were born with incurable conditions that were so serious "(we) felt that the most humane course would be to allow the child to die and even actively assist them with their death."

"They are very rare cases of extreme suffering. In these cases, the diagnosis was extreme spina bifada.""

But as far as I can tell there is only one hospital that has said they are doing this, and this is their protocol:

" According to what has become known as the Groningen Protocol, the suffering must be so severe that the newborn has no prospects of a future; there is no possibility of a cure or alleviation with medication or surgery; the parents consent; a second opinion is provided by an independent doctor not involved in the case; the life is ended in a correct medical manner."

So they need nationwide guidelines on this, but otherwise it seems acceptable to me. I'm aware you certainly may disagree with this, but it is not the case that Dutch doctors are killing people's children without their consent. The doctors and parents decide that the most humane thing to do would be to spare the infant a short and extremely painful life. I would certainly want that option open to me if I had the misfortune of fathering a child with extreme spina bifida. I have seen a mild case in my friend's child and I can't imagine a more difficult and heartbreaking way for a child to have to live. The Standard and WaTimes like to make it out that the Dutch are testing everyone for disabilities and killing off those who don't pass the test, but it's not the case.

It is mildly ironic that you brought this up, as I will very likely be moving to the Netherlands in the next year.

Well Mantis I hope you don'... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Well Mantis I hope you don't decide to have any children while you are there. I find it disturbing, you may be comfortable with this, but then most on the left side of the spectrum tend to think there isn't any slippery slope, so you can pretend like there isn't one, and one day it will be too late.

I think this is one slippery slope we don't need to head down, because once we start, I dont know that we are going to be able to roll it back up the hill.

A note about bone scans: t... (Below threshold)
epador:

A note about bone scans: they show areas of increased bone deposition that can represent arthritis, fractures, other forms of bone disease and abnormalities. If an x-ray is take of the abnormal areas seen on scan, then one can get a better idea of the cause for the abnormal areas seen on the scan. The findings listed in the above posts suggest there may have been previous fractures at SOME of the sites listed, but without a plain radiographic film or CT of the area in question, it is irresponsible to make a definitive statement about the cause of the abnormalities seen on the scan. Old healed fractures should show up on x-rays. If there is x-ray evidence of fractures, that is a lot more definitive than a bone scan. Increased uptake in joint areas is usually due to degenerative or inflammatory arthritis.

Then one has to figure out the age of the fractures if they are present. Did they occur before her collapse, during or after?

A bone scan isn't going to tell you that.

A stiff neck on examination usually is considered a sign of irritation of the meninges (meningitis or an intracerebral bleed). A patient with brain damage may posture or be rigid, also simulating this finding. Strangulation victims show significant characteristic bleeding changes on the face and neck that are hard to miss.

I haven't seen or read any of the actual medical records, or reports in the news, just what is mentioned here, but thought these comments might help provide a little more objective stance to measure the allegations being made.

Gabriel:Well if this... (Below threshold)
Wendi Sue:

Gabriel:
Well if this is indeed the case, removing the feeding tube won’t harm her now will it. "

The reason it will harm her is because the judge and Michael have *forbidden* anybody to even attempt to feed her _anything_ by mouth- including last communion. If her parents even give her so much as a spoonful of baby food they are in contempt of court.

Dear obnoxious Gabriel<br /... (Below threshold)
Deanna:

Dear obnoxious Gabriel
You hurt my feelings! How do you know my facts are not credible and yours are?

The quack Hammesfhar and hi... (Below threshold)
Doc:

The quack Hammesfhar and his breed of Terri minions are BSing with words.

Yes, her neck was stiff. So was every other part of her body.

Yes, it's true she didn't have a heart attack.

What she had was cardiac arrest, due to her severely low potassium.

It's all in her discharge summary:
http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/Humana%20Discharge%20Summary%20050990.pdf

The broken bones thing is nonsense too.
Full deposition of radiologist who authored the bone scan report.
http://www.hospicepatients.org/dr-walker-t-schiavo-bone-scan-deposition.txt




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