Florida court OKs letting comatose woman die.
The feeding tube keeping a severely brain-damaged woman alive was removed Wednesday, ending an epic, six-year legal battle between her husband and her parents.
. . .
Schiavo has been in a vegetative state since 1990, when her heart stopped because of doctors said may have been a chemical imbalance. Her parents believe she is capable of learning how to eat and drink on her own.
A state appeals court in Lakeland rejected motions by an attorney for the Schindlers and their legal remedies have been exhausted, their lawyer said Tuesday.
Michael Schiavo says his wife would not have wanted to be kept alive artificially in this way, but his in-laws contend that she wants to live. She left no living will or other written instructions.
Michael Schiavo has refused to divorce his wife, though he's in a long-term relationship with another woman, because he doesn't want guardianship to revert to her parents. He has legally barred them from visiting their daughter.
Terri's family is also forbidden to have her examined by any physician without pre-approval from the court. Pamela Hennessy, spokeswoman for the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation,
called the move "entirely senseless" and described it as the Schiavo legal team's "last attempt at cruelty."
Terri Schiavo is functioning on her own. She only requires a feeding tube.
If Terri's feeding tube is removed, doctors estimate it will take 10 days to two weeks for her to die of dehydration, starvation or both. There is no medical consensus on how much pain she might suffer during that process.
Her family states that she is responsive. Doctors (ones approved by her husband) claim her eye movements and facial expressions are mere reflex action. One radio report I heard today mentioned that her parents claim that she attempted to get out of bed
when she heard about her court-appointed fate.
She has no "living will" stipulating what action should be taken in a situation like this. Her husband simply argues that "she wouldn't have wanted it this way."
The website for the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation
is rather interesting. She sure doesn't look
comatose, and according to the family,
Terri receives her food and water by means of a feeding tube. Terri’s other bodily functions are physically stable. Terri smiles, laughs and cries. Terri recognizes voices and responds. At times, she vocalizes sounds, trying in her best way to speak. Terri is not a brain dead vegetable as characterized by her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo nor a houseplant as implied by his attorney. Terri is not on a respirator or any artificial life support. She is a living human being and needs to be granted an opportunity to recover. Terri has not had any progressive rehabilitation or arousal therapy in more than ten years.
(That last bit is my boldface. I thought it of particular importance.)
Edited by Drew, 15 October 2003 - 04:24 PM.