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Judge orders feeding for Florida woman

Florida Teri Schiavo Feeding Tube

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#21 WildChildCait

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:49 AM

look, if the brainwave scans come back as flat, there's no brain activity...

No brain activity, due to no thoughts,  no conciousness.

My only question is, why was she kept alive this long.

That is not living.
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#22 Cheile

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 01:01 PM

^ her husband can admit that the woman he loved is technically gone.  her parents cannot admit the daughter they loved is technically gone.  that's pretty much it.

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#23 GiGi

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 01:41 PM

I have been following this story for a very long time.  There is much more to it than what appears on the surface.  I don't have time at the moment to go into detail.

So I will throw two thoughts that are why I agree with keeping her alive.

1- Death by starvation and dehydration does horrible things to a body, no one would allow their pet to go through such a process and yet we think it is okay for a human being to.  We don't know the brain enough to really know what Terri can feel or not feel.   THe doctors who have examined her (the only ones allowed by the husband) spend maybe ten minutes with her or only are reading charts.  The few doctors that the parents have managed to be allowed to see her have said she has potential for rehabilitation.  

The truth probably is somewhere in the middle.  Bottomline for me, she is breathing on her own, has not been even given a test to see if she can swallow and therefore eat on her own.  SHe will have to DIE by starvation and dehydration.  If she were a pet, she would be put down by a lethal injection.  But that would take it out of the realm of "letting her die" into "killing her by lethal injection"  which at this point is murder and can't be done.  But starving her to death is no less murder.  And that is wrong in my book.

2- A woman who has been in a condition almost exactly like Terri's for 20 years after an accident has just "woken up" and is now able to talk.  I am looking for the link to that story, I read about it a couple of days ago.

As I said the facts in this case are very distorted, I have spent many hours reading such things as affidavits from the nurses who cared for her when she first was in the "coma" and how they risked their jobs (and in a case or two lost their job) when they reported the way Terri's husband was treating her.  Among such things as not allowing any therapy, which he was given over a million dollars to be used to help Terri, his coming into the care facility and asking "Is the bitch dead yet?"  

I ask you would a jury grant a million dollar settlement to a dead person?  WHy did her husband promise to spend the settlement money to help her if there was no hope, why then right after the money was granted did he suddenly remember she would want to die rather than live if her life was like this?

Too many questions, too many lies.  This is not an easy case and I am not someone who is for keeping someone alive who shouldn't be.  But there is this little question of how exactly do we kill Terri?
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#24 Eskaminzim

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:06 PM

As an RN for over two decades, dealing with the severely debilitated (both infants and adults), I've got to disagree on two major parts of your thesis, Gigi.

Firstly, based on all available information, death by dehydration and/or starvation in people who are physically incapacitated is not the horror it is made out to be. It is actually as peaceful and as comfortable a death as it is possible to have.

If a healthy adult or child was forced into being starved to death via lack of food or fluid, it would be completely different...UNTIL the time came when your electrolytes balanced out and you weren't hungry or thirsty anymore.

Then you go to sleep.  Studies of thousands of people who have elected to die this way have proven this.  Fear mongers who want people kept alive against their express will attempt to confuse people with the very real horror of a painful death by starvation in a healthy adult vs the very real PEACEFUL and painless death of a debilitated adult.

Secondly, the woman to which you are referring and Terry are not at all the same.

The woman in the auto accident was NOT in a persistent vegetative state.  She was in a semi comatose state.  Those are two extremely different states of mental being.

Someone who is semi comatose has periods of deep sleep and/or coma followed by periods of near consciousness--a sort of corrupted sleep-wake cycle.

Terry does not have this cycle.  She is always the same.  Her state is persistant.  If you look at the CT scans of her head, there is no brain there anymore.  It has all been liquified.  The woman who is now talking HAS a full, real brain.  It is not liquid.

The two women cannot be compared except for their genders.

Terri wanted to die.  There are more than enough witnesses who heard her say this on more than one occasion.

She should be given the chance to die AS SHE WISHES.  Removing the feeding tube will not put her through pain.  She is past the ability to feel pain.  She has no brain and her brainstem is minimal.  She will simply...fade away.  

And, unlike how long it would take a healthy adult, it would probably happen in no more than a day.

She should never haveb een forced to receive a feeding tube in the first place.  It was NOT what she wanted.  Let the farce end.  Give the woman back her dignity.  Let her die in peace, as is her right.

#25 GiGi

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:18 PM

I would like to see evidence of Terri's brain being liquid.  Affidavits from the nurses who worked with her indicated that she was not in the state you describe.  

Again, it would take more time than I have right now as I am under deadline pressure to hunt up all of the documents.  And as I have said I am one of the first to say that someone who is gone should go, but after literally hours studying this case from many angles and reading quite a bit of material on it, I believe it isn't so cut and dry.

Edited to add...

Quote

And, unlike how long it would take a healthy adult, it would probably happen in no more than a day.

That is where you are out and out wrong, the last time they took her feeding tube out last Octoer, she was still alive after SIX DAYS of no food, no water and when she was fed again, she recovered.  This is not someone on the edge of death.  I suggest that everyone one who wants her to die read a little more.  As I said, she is not going to "just die" she will need to be killed, as she is just not going quietly into the night.

Edited by GiGi, 25 February 2005 - 02:28 PM.

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#26 shambalayogi

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:23 PM

All I can say is that if I was in this woman's place, I 'd say stop using the tube and let me go.
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#27 Anastashia

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 03:45 PM

Removal of tube stayed for three more weeks
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#28 shambalayogi

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 03:58 PM

I feel sorry for the parents in any case.  If the woman's husband did abuse her, he is certainly getting some kind of justice in spending any money he would have gotten on all the years of legal fees.
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#29 Eskaminzim

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:03 PM

This woman's EEGs are flat.  There is no brainwave activity at all.  Period.

The woman who survived the accident had brain waves.  She was not brain dead.  She was in a coma.  There is a vast difference between someone in a comatose state, from which there is always the possibility that someone will awaken, hours, days or years down the road, and one who is in a vegetative state with absolutely no cerebral cortex activity.

This woman's brain is dead and has been for some time now.  To keep her alive for the sake of her parents is a travesty, IMHO, and this comes from someone who has been forced to do that very thing for brain dead infants for more than twenty years now.

#30 GiGi

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:07 PM

^ Again, show me the link to that evidence as I have not seen it only heard it "reported."  I have seen links where prominant doctors have said they are willing to work with Terri for free if the husband would let them.

I will look for links later when i am finished with work.
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#31 TechHarper

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:09 PM

GiGi, on Feb 25 2005, 11:18 AM, said:

*snip*

Edited to add...

Quote

And, unlike how long it would take a healthy adult, it would probably happen in no more than a day.

That is where you are out and out wrong, the last time they took her feeding tube out last Octoer, she was still alive after SIX DAYS of no food, no water and when she was fed again, she recovered.  This is not someone on the edge of death.  I suggest that everyone one who wants her to die read a little more.  As I said, she is not going to "just die" she will need to be killed, as she is just not going quietly into the night.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Okay, let's get something straight.  No one "wants her to die."  The evidence shows that she is already dead and all that the medical intervention is doing is keeping her body alive.  Her conscious brain is gone.  Asside from a few random involuntary actions, which anyone who's worked with people in her state would agree is not unusual, there has been no response from her.  Her parents think she's going to wake up tomorrow and be ok.  Like you, they have pointed out situations in which a person who is in a COMA wakes up and is ok.  The difference is, she is not in a coma.  She's not there anymore.  Her personality is dead.  Medical evidence show's there's no brain activity; the parents have been appealing to the possibility of a miracle that's going to bring their daughter back but they keep ignoring the evidence that says that their daughter is gone.  The parents could just as easily be looking at a picture of her and claim that the PICTURE is their daughter.  All that's left of their daughter is the body that carried her consciousness.

The only other issue I'd like to comment on is your assertion that the method of death is inhumane.  In this case, there's nothing left to feel pain (her consciousness is gone), but I do agree with you in a more general sense.  The states really should allow euthanasia instead of leaving people with only this one option.  It's terrible that we would treat a dog or a cat with more humanity than another human being.
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#32 Eskaminzim

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:19 PM

GiGi:

It's obvious to me that the only evidence you'd respect are copies of the EEG reports in your hand (and that's not a knock, just the fact as I see it).  Obviously, I don't have those EEG reports and if I did, giving them to you would be a gross violation of HIPAA regulations.

I, too, can only go on what's reported by the doctors in the case, and every single one of them that I've read who are caring for her and have access to those reports say that she is brain dead.  Her brain waves are flat.  She has no cerebral cortex electrical activity.  

She is not in a coma.  She is brain dead.

I can only say again that as an RN on an ethics committee, I go through this far more often than I personally would want to.  Mostly with removal from the ventilator, though the same exact arguments are used: "You're going to kill my wife/husband/brother/sister/daughter/son", you're going to strangle them. You might as well put a pillow over their faces and smother them yourselves. You are committing first degree murder."

There has to be a time when enough is enough.  At least from what I've read, in the presence of witnesses, this woman made a rational, knowledgable choice in the matter.  That she was NOT to be kept alive by artifical means.  Being force fed through a tube is artificial means.  Ergo, she is being kept alive by artifical means.  This is something that she did NOT want.

She deserves the chance to have her choice respected.  She deserves the chance to die.

It's really that simple, at least IMHO.

It's not a case of what her husband, or her mother, or her father want.  It is a case of what SHE wants.  And the argument deserves to be kept on that level.  It is her choice.

#33 schoolpsycho

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:52 PM

Well, as someone who should've died, I  can appreciate her parents' position.

But, as someone who's brother did die, because his brain didn't develop, and would've been in a comatose/vegetative state, I can see the merits of letting someone go.

But, I'm really mad at Bush. For sticking his nose where it didn't belong.

When you give people power to mess with others, you also give them power to mess with you. That's exactly what's he tried to do here. Inflicting his power and will on others.

As much as he claims, he had no right to turn this into an even more difficult decision.

And, how much longer? 5 years? 10 years? Until her parents die? What then? If she ever is the same.

And if she's brain dead, she won't be.

In any event...

She may be alive, but she's not living.

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Edited by schoolpsycho, 25 February 2005 - 05:00 PM.

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#34 Kosh

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:59 PM

One answer I heard today, still not sure how I feel about it.

Let her parents take her home. If they can afford to keep her alive, fine. If not, the state should not do it.
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#35 GiGi

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 05:23 PM

Eskaminzim, that is not true, I would just like a link where it shows that a medical professional has done a scan and can verify the results.  I may be missing something, but I have not seen a single piece of evidence supporting this claim, if indeed her brain is liquid, then yes she would not feel a thing.  All I ask is for those making these claims (other than the media and we all know how accurate they are...not) to have something to back it up as I have read other evidence to the contrary from Terri's nurses and other medical professionals who say she can respond to therapy.  It is a confusing case to be sure.  I absolutely agree that brain dead individuals should be allowed to die.  What I can't find and that is why I am asking for help is a clear report of Terri's real condition.  Since there is a question, it should be straightened out before taking and irreversable step.

Kosh, Terri was awarded over one million dollars for her care, enough her her parents to take her home and care for her.  Where is the money now?  Most of it is in the pockets of Michael Shiavo's attorney, George Felos, even still the parents are willing to do what it takes to take care of her, as far as I know this isn't something the state is going to do.

Really, the whole thing is so confused it is very hard to see the right answer.
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#36 Eskaminzim

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 05:34 PM

GiGi:

I am hunting down that evidence.  Right now, I've found two articles in the CNN archives that state in court transcripts that both court appointed attorneys and those who were appointed by the husband state that her EEG scans are flat, that she is brain dead, and that X-rays and scans show that most of her skull is filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

For ten years she has "lived" this way, against her express wishes.  Isn't THAT what we should be focusing on here?  What SHE wants and what SHE deserves and how HER wishes have the tantamount right to be respected?

Allowing her parents to take her home will STILL go against what she wanted for herself.  Period.

#37 GiGi

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 05:49 PM

What her wishes were are hearsay at this point.  But thank you for taking the time to look for that evidence.  I will try to find the reports to the contrary too.
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#38 Eskaminzim

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 05:56 PM

Actually, I don't believe that they are.  I believe that they are a legally binding oral contract heard in the presence of several witnesses independent of the husband.

If I'm wrong, someone please point this out to me.  

If I'm right, it doesn't matter what the husband, the mother, the father, the courts, or Jeb Bush thinks, it's her wishes that count.

Funny thing is, I've heard, with my own ears, seen with my own eyes, properly signed and notarized living wills called heresay as well.  When someone doesn't get what they want.

#39 Josh

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 06:15 PM

No matter what the evidence may be, there's always a chance (albeit a small one) that she will die a painful death. Why can't they just inject her with something painless if they're going to kill her?
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#40 Eskaminzim

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 06:21 PM

Cause in the convoluted world we live in, injecting her with something is euthanasia, or murder.  Withdrawing a device that is keeping her alive through artificial means, which she has specifically stated she did not want, is not.

When we take brain dead infants off of ventilators, we give them hits of morphine to make their deaths more comfortable.  If, however, they never needed the vent in the first place and were "merely" brain dead, and we gave them an overdose of morphine, that would be deemed murder.



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