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Bush orders Shiavo tube reinserted

Teri Shiavo Florida Jeb Bush

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:05 PM

http://washingtontim...13544-3347r.htm

Quote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ordered a feeding tube reinserted into a brain-damaged woman Tuesday, effectively overturning a court order she be allowed to die.

Bush took the action almost immediately after the Florida legislature passed a bill giving him the power to do so.

The feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive was removed nearly a week ago.

I'm astonished that it worked. The order doesn't seem to have gone into effect yet (i.e., the tube has yet to actually be reinserted), but this much progress so quickly is simply astonishing.

The legislation will no doubt be challenged in court. Some fascinating law is going to come out of this, one way or the other.
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#2 Cait

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:20 PM

Well, that's one way around a court decision, rush new law into being.  

I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I'm thinking that this blurs the line between the 3 branches, although I admit to not being able to articulate why I feel this way at the moment.

More later, when I can put a cogent post together.

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#3 Consubstantial

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:32 PM

Where's the right to die contingent when you need them?  If justice really existed, Bush would be forced to live in the state of agonizing pain and helplessness he forces on others.  If only he could learn how wrong he is through personal experience.  

They used to say nothing was certain but death and taxes.  I guess now taxes are the only certainty.
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#4 Cressid

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:43 PM

This hits extremely close to home with me and I know EXACTLY how I feel.  

If an individual is capable of making his or her wishes known in matters such as this then no one - NO ONE- should have the right to interfere.  NO ONE.

#5 Rhea

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:44 PM

Wow! I echo Cait's "but..but..but..." :p

I've thought a fair amount about this case with the same reaction every time. All I can say is that I'm mighty glad that my family en masse have living wills and everything else that would allow us to make specific medical decisions beyond a simple "do not rescussitate" order. I would not want to live in this state.

I guess they're lucky that there was a substantial settlement, because if you multiply what it probably costs to care for Terri Schaivo for a single year times 13 years, that settlement is probably almost gone.

I had two friends with that kind of brain damage:

The first got into an motorcycle accident between El Centro and Yuma, Arizona (the middle of nowhere) and he wasn't wearing a helmet. He was quite literally a vegetable, but his parents couldn't bring themselves to let him go. Since no one else was involved, there was no settlement, and his parents bankrupted themselves keeping their only child alive. It absolutely broke my heart every time I visited him, and watched those poor people over the years as they literally mortgaged everything they had to keep him alive and cared for. They finally let him go, but by that time they were bankrupt and exhausted physcially and mentally beyond measure.

I had another friend who was injured in a high school football game and had serious brain damage. Unlike this woman, he actually recovered from the injuries to some extent (he regained his speech and movement, both to a limited extent). Unfortunately, although he couldn't *be* the guy who was the high school football star and honor student, he remembered what it was like to be that guy. I can't even begin to imagine the agony he's gone through over the years, knowing what he once was with no hope of ever being that person again (he has the emotions and mental capacities of a 12-year-old).

I sometimes wonder if this isn't an area where modern medical technology is not really doing us any favors. Saving someone who is condemned to never lead even a semblance of a normal life seems an unkindness to me.

And the reason my family all have living wills and the associated documents are due to my great-aunt's long decline. She had organic brain disease, which is a genteel way to describe senility caused by something other than Alzheimer's. She wasin a vegetative state for years in a nursing home, unable to recognize anyone, or to care for herself in any way. And then, when the poor thing got pneumonia (and because this was Texas and they're conservative), they put her on life support and kept her that way for months, even with no hope of recovery.  And even though my mother had the "legal" power to end her suffering, the doctors refused to  turn off the machines.

So I'm back to the "but...but...but..." again.  :pout:
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#6 Uncle Sid

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:45 PM

Quote

Well, that's one way around a court decision, rush new law into being.

Lest we forget, we live in a democracy with a legislature.  The role of the Judiciary is to interpret laws, not to make them.  The ability for the legislative to legislate is one of it's checks on the judicial system.  Otherwise, it becomes a quasi-"rule by the judges".  Yes, the legislature appears to have taken sides on this issue, but then, it's the legislature's right to do so, as representatives of the people.  There is no blurring of the lines, these *are* the lines.

As for this case, it's very unclear as to what is going to cause the most pain and suffering.  Starving someone to death slowly over ten days is hardly reducing their pain and suffering.  In fact, it's a really, really bad way to go.  I think that her husband, depending on his real motives, is potentially the one at fault of greater pain and suffering.
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#7 Drew

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:01 PM

Consubstantial, on Oct 21 2003, 06:32 PM, said:

Where's the right to die contingent when you need them?  If justice really existed, Bush would be forced to live in the state of agonizing pain and helplessness he forces on others.  If only he could learn how wrong he is through personal experience. 

They used to say nothing was certain but death and taxes.  I guess now taxes are the only certainty.
Um . . . you should read a bit more about this case before calling for the Right to Die people.
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#8 Drew

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:03 PM

Rhea, on Oct 21 2003, 06:44 PM, said:

I guess they're lucky that there was a substantial settlement, because if you multiply what it probably costs to care for Terri Schaivo for a single year times 13 years, that settlement is probably almost gone.
There was enough in the settlement to care for her for the rest of her days. Unfortunately her husband spent most of it seeking his wife's death.
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#9 Rov Judicata

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:03 PM

^

It's my mistake Drew. I was so excited that I neglected to provide the appropriate links. I misrepresented the issue, unintentionally. Here's the family's website: http://www.terrisfight.org/

The family is hardly non-partisan, but this 'husband' is bad, bad news.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#10 DWF

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:32 PM

Well, I hope she starts showing some improvement, it's terrible seeing her like that, and maybe that's the point of showing her on the news so often, but she did seem to be so full of life. :(  :unsure:
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#11 Shalamar

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:46 PM

When I heard this news in the car this morning at roughly 7:30 am, that the legislature had passed the bill I did a victory scream that had my roomie nearly wrecking the car..

I had stayed out of the prior thread on this, as I was not, repeatedly, able to find words at how deeply the husbands, and then the courts decission, disgusted me.

Go Terri!

#12 GiGi

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 09:30 PM

^ What Shalimar said.  I spent a better part of a day, with much other work to do visiting the famiy's site and other links.  

I used to work at a convalescent hospital in the late sixties before it was vogue to keep people alive artificially and saw people who were less aware than Terri kept alive  (by that I mean they were fed, not starved to death).  The only times it was a tragedy was when no one would visit them.  This is not what is going on in Terri's case, she has family; mother, father, brother and sister who do want to come and visit her and THEY ARE KEPT AWAY by court order of the husband.

Something is terribly wrong here that she has to be starved to death to die.  This isn't a case of pull a plug because she can't breathe on her own.  She does respond and hasn't been given therapy to make her life better.

I know it is a very hard call and most of us would not suffer our animals to live half a life, but there are some really weird things going on here, at least the "stay of execution" has been granted long enough to at least investigate what is going on.  This is not a final decision and the governor only gets to do it once.

But also consider when looking at this, who here would just withhold food and water from a sick pet so it would die within a week or two?  Watch as our companion dies when only food and water would keep them alive?

I have an amphibian, what is called a "worm eel" it is like a cross between an eel and a frog.  It had a really bad open sore (with fungus growing in it), it was in bad shape.  I put medicine on the sore, but most people would have just pulled it out of the tank and "put it out of it's misery."  I almost did, but I couldn't give up on it until it wanted to give up itself.  I eventually got the sore to heal and now the worm eel is okay, actually in great shape (I have had it for nine years now and it was full grown when I got it)  Had I killed it, I would not have know that it could not only get better, but also to thrive.  So, I am of the mind to not interfere with the plan of the universe, be it putting someone down or keeping them artifically alive.

In Terri's case it is a difficult call, the husband has not allowed anyone to try and get Terri to eat on her own, or to even hand feed her (like many of the patients in the hospital I worked)  I know it may not be life to us, but my neighbor has to hand feed his mother who has Parkinson's, she is aware of things around her part of the time, and part of the time not.  But is he supposed to just stop feeding her because her quality of life is not what someone else thinks it should be?

I say if someone wants to devote their life to fed and care for someone, it is their choice, we cannot judge because what that person has to pay to do that, nor do we know what they get out of it.  Like the time when one of our ducks was attacked by a raccoon, it was half alive.  I said "let it go"  One of my roomates spent hundreds of dollars getting it fixed by the vet (it did live).  I myself wouldn't do that, but it was important to her, it was her money to spend and her choice to make.

Terri has a lot of people wanting to care for her and to help her get better.  She has touched many people by her story, myself included.  Just because she doesn't relate like most of us do doesn't mean she is ANY less important, ANY less alive than anyone else.
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#13 the 'Hawk

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 09:36 PM

Nothing to add, except to say that the title confused the hell out of me-- I thought it meant a presidential, rather than gubernatorial, order had been invoked on this issue. Fortunately, they kept it in Florida. So far.

Maybe a modification would be in order? Just sayin'.

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#14 GiGi

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 09:51 PM

Pssst, Hawk they were asking the president to help also, so the title isn't so out of line!
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#15 Consubstantial

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 09:55 PM

My mistake on the particulars of the case.  I was assuming that the new law applied to the whole state, not just that one case. And it was the law that I had problems with, not a family trying to save a family member from an insane husband.  

One of the most common faults of legislatures is the preconception that they should spend time passing laws.  We could use a lot fewer laws.  There are racist and discriminatory laws still on the books all over this country because legisltures spend their time making laws instead of getting rid of them.  There are laws against carrying an ice cream cone in your back pocket.  Of course, since most past and present legislators have law degrees, making more laws provides them with job security.
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#16 Rhea

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 10:42 PM

GiGi, on Oct 21 2003, 07:30 PM, said:

In Terri's case it is a difficult call, the husband has not allowed anyone to try and get Terri to eat on her own, or to even hand feed her (like many of the patients in the hospital I worked)  I know it may not be life to us, but my neighbor has to hand feed his mother who has Parkinson's, she is aware of things around her part of the time, and part of the time not.  But is he supposed to just stop feeding her because her quality of life is not what someone else thinks it should be?
Terri has been like this for *13* years. If she were going to learn to eat and drink on her own it would have happened long since. How many years do you wait for some improvement? I guess as long as people want it to take. I'm glad I'm not her.

OTOH, you're right - I wouldn't wish starving to death on anyone.
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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#17 GiGi

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 10:52 PM

Rhea, I really do agree with you in theory.  I have really only the family's side to look at, but if what they say is true they haven't had the chance to teach her to eat.  The husband has blocked them.

Again, it really does depend on if what they say is true.  But if it is then, whoa!  And we (my husband) have an ex from hades, I know first hand how some people can push past all limits of what most people would consider normal human behavior into the twilight zone of insanity and selfish, stupid behavior.

PS, well said Connie!
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#18 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 10:53 AM

I can't even begin to describe how angry this makes me. Apparently Gov Bush has decided to revoke this woman's right to die, and is prolonging her suffering.

The Husband, IMO, should continue fighting...and while doing so send all the hospital bills to Gov Bush. Since Bush decided to stick his nose in what should be a family matter, and prolong this woman's suffering, let him pay the hospital bills.

Edited to add: I missed the link Rov posted on my first read through. All I can now say is Whoa! If what that website says, about Terri and her Husband, is true...Then I have to retract my previous statements.

I thought Terri was unresponsive. But if she hasn't received any rehab.... :angry:

Edited by LORD of the SWORD, 22 October 2003 - 10:59 AM.

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#19 MuseZack

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 12:04 PM

Here's a Time magazine story that puts things in a bit of neurological as well as political context.  I highly recommend reading it and other press accounts rather than just relying on the family's website for information:

http://www.time.com/...-524498,00.html


Moral of the story:  draft a living will.  Seriously.
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#20 Bad Wolf

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 12:15 PM

Interesting.

I'm wondering about the contention that the apparent responsiveness to her mother's voice and eye movement are not really indicators of not being in a vegetative state.  Clearly the court and the majority of the doctors who examined her agreed.  But is it black and white?

I know that if I saw a loved one apparently smiling at me there is no way in hell I could bring myself to lose all hope of recovery.

Also, this "survey" that says that dying by dehydration is a good and peaceful way to go just doesn't ring right with me.

How can dying of dehydration be peaceful?

If there really is no hope for her why not speed up the process rather than taking what appears to be a copout approach that seems inhumane (ten days????).

I wouldn't want to be in that family's shoes for all the tea in China.

Lil
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