View Poll Results: Should the husband be allowed to remove the Feeding Tube?

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  • Yes

    69 69.70%
  • No (he has no right)

    23 23.23%
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  1. #1
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    Question Terri Schiavo Case

    This is a long and drawn out subject that I am assuming has drawn national attention for the past several years. Yesterday there was a thread that thousands of people would descend on Pinellas Park Florida to "protect" Terri. What do you think?

    ___________________________________
    St. Petersburg Times

    The Terri Schiavo Case
    'Who there would take Terri's place?'
    Politicians are only seeking votes in trying to prolong Terri Schiavo's life, says her husband in a rare conversation.
    By WILLIAM R. LEVESQUE, Times Staff Writer
    Published March 16, 2005

    --------------------------
    THE TERRI SCHIAVO CASE
    'Who there would take Terri's place?'
    Issues draw many who link their cause to Schiavo case
    End-of-life bills reveal divide over how far law should go
    Related 10 News video:
    Terri Schiavo Bill gets Governor Bush's support

    Michael Schiavo, who spoke in his attorney's office for about an hour Tuesday, says he has avoided interviews because he has nothing to prove to the world. He also said he has many supporters, but they aren't as demonstrative as those of Terri Schiavo's parents.
    THE LATEST IN STATE HOUSE
    The latest version of a state bill designed to prevent a feeding tube from being removed from Terri Schiavo includes these provisions:
    A feeding tube cannot be withdrawn from a person in a persistent vegetative state if the sole reason for doing so is to end a life; a conflict exists between a guardian and a relative; and the person has no written advance directive or living will.
    A guardian or family can ask a court to prevent withdrawal of a feeding tube based on those factors.
    The bill would apply to every living person the day it becomes law.
    WHERE THEY STAND ON CONGRESSIONAL BILL

    Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores
    Supporter

    Rep. Mike Bilirakis, R-Tarpon Springs
    Supporter, sponsor

    Rep. Jim Davis, D-Tampa
    Opposes

    Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Crystal River
    Did not respond

    Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow
    Supporter, sponsor

    Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida
    Undecided

    Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Florida
    Supporter, sponsor


    [Times photo, 1990: Joe Walles]
    Michael Schiavo, on a visit with Terri at a nursing home more than 14 years ago, says in the early years of his wife's illness he looked for signs of improvement but eventually realized there was no hope. "What's there is a shell of Terri," he says.

    Michael Schiavo says he looks into his wife's eyes and sees no spark of consciousness, no recognition, no glimmer of any sort of response. He says he wishes he did.

    And he invites Gov. Jeb Bush to have a look himself.

    "If he had any care at all," Schiavo said, "he would take us up on the offer and visit Terri and examine the record. He hasn't. He could come and sit in that chair and talk."

    Schiavo said Tuesday in a rare interview that he would gladly allow Bush to visit his wife, Terri Schiavo, at the Pinellas Park hospice where she lives to see her condition.

    During the hourlong interview at his attorney's office in Dunedin, Michael Schiavo said he believes state and federal lawmakers have little information on his wife and have acted to serve politics, not medicine.

    "They're all pandering to the religious groups and the antiabortion groups and the Christian Coalition," said Schiavo, 41, a registered nurse. "They're doing this for votes.

    "There's not one person up there who would say, "I would take Terri's place.' I'd like to see who would. Who there would take Terri's place?"

    The interview comes as the date for removing his wife's feeding tube approaches Friday. Both state lawmakers and Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, are working furiously to find a way to keep her alive.

    The Schindlers and their attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

    Schiavo said he would gladly sit down with Bush to talk about his wife's case and invited the governor's staff to review the court file. Bush's spokesman could not be reached late Tuesday.

    "Jeb Bush's personal feelings can change the law?" Schiavo said. "We have to save her life? Who's he to make that decision?"

    Schiavo said he didn't expect the governor to take him up on an offer he said he has made before.

    "He was 20 minutes away from Terri on Saturday" in Seminole and didn't stop by the hospice, Schiavo said. "Lawmakers shouldn't be in this. They should not be butting their nose in private family matters."

    And Schiavo's response to a move by the Department of Children and Families to intervene in the case: "DCF can't even keep track of kids in their care and they want to stick their noses in my business?"

    Schiavo said he tires of people watching a video clip on the Schindler's Web site and concluding from it that his wife can recover.

    "There's a whole other world on the other side of that Web site," he said.

    Schiavo said he has avoided interviews with reporters because he doesn't have anything to prove. He said his family and friends and the courts all believe Terri Schiavo would not want to live by artificial means.

    He said he has tried to continue living his life despite the right-to-life groups that have protested against him, even outside his Clearwater home.

    "I get angry at the names," said Schiavo, who lives with another woman. "But I get over it. I don't really take it to heart ... I don't really care what other people think. I've been called a murderer. Adulterer. Yeah, it hurts."

    And he acknowledges there have been some intrusions on his life. For example, he said, someone recently got a hold of his phone bill and an investigator has been calling friends.

    Still, for the most part, Schiavo said he is able to go out in public without people trying to convince him that his wife should live. "Never, since this started, has one person come up to me and said, "You're wrong,"' he said.

    "Trust me, I have my supporters. ... I receive flowers, post cards, e-mails. Probably more supporters than the Schindlers have. But unfortunately, they're the silent ones. They're not the radicals who stand out there and throw roses on the ground and kneel and throw their hands in the air."

    He said one of the most painful things about the case is being accused by the Schindlers, once so close to him that they lived together, of abusing his wife. None of it is true, he said.

    "They keep saying, "Boy, there's documentation. There's this and there's that.' But they've yet to prove anything. Where's the documentation? Tell me where I strangled Terri?" Schiavo said, visably angry.

    Schiavo said his wife never wanted to divorce him, as her family has told reporters. He said they were a young, loving couple. He said she often told him that she loved him.

    "She never missed a day without saying that to me," he said.

    Terri Schiavo, 41, collapsed on Feb.25, 1990, from cardiac arrest, her brain deprived of oxygen for five minutes. Doctors believe a chemical imbalanced caused the collapse.

    Schiavo said in the early days, he was like the Schindlers. He said he wanted to believe she would get better. He did everything, Schiavo said, to help her, even taking her to California for treatment.

    Time eroded hope of any recovery at all, he said.

    "Terri doesn't talk. That's so ludicrous," he said of people who suggest Terri Schiavo sometimes tries to speak. "Look at her CAT scan. The cerebral cortex is completely gone. Terri's emotions are gone. What's there is a shell of Terri. There's nothing there anymore."

    Schiavo said he only slowly came to accept that his wife would not want to live. He said he recalled statements she made before about not wanting to live artificially. The Schindlers said she never made such statements.

    Schiavo said the death of his own mother in the 1990s helped prepare him emotionally for the decision he knew had to be made. His mother, dying of cancer, had a living will and did not want life support. Schiavo agreed to let her die peacefully, he said.

    "She looked at me and said, "It's okay,"' Schiavo said, wiping tears from his eyes. "I had to stop being selfish."

    He said he spent sleepless nights considering whether to petition the courts for the removal of his own wife's feeding tube. "You toss and you turn and you think about it," Schiavo said.

    He said the knowledge that his wife wouldn't want to live like she is "gave me strength."

    Schiavo said he was puzzled when, in recent weeks, people began offering him money to walk away as his wife's guardian. A businessman offered him $1-million. Someone else offered $10-million. He turned both down.

    "I laughed," Schiavo said. "It was absolutely bizarre. They should take their money and use it to educate people about dying and living wills. Give it to the legislators. They need a lot of educating about that. Ten million? Start a foundation.

    "Teach people how to do living wills properly. You want to give me $10-million? That will keep a foundation going for a while. They could write your living will for free."

    Schiavo said Floridians should be enraged at lawmakers for meddling in the private affairs of families.

    "They're over there trumping the courts," Schiavo said. "They're going to say all these judges including the United States Supreme Court judges are wrong. We don't like what you said so we're going to change the law."

    Schiavo said he still loves his wife, caressing and touching her face when he visits.

    "I just hold her hand," Schiavo said. "She doesn't understand. I tell myself: "You will be with the lord soon and you'll finally be at peace."

    [Last modified March 16, 2005, 04:38:46]
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  2. #2
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    Well, from someone who has transported her to the hospital in the past, as well as following the story in the news I have this to say. One, the government should stay out of it. Two, all these "prtesters" should mind ther own business. They shouldnt get involved with someone elses family.

    I think the husband is acting in her best interest. I wouldnt want to be kept in that state, nor would I want to put a member of my family through it. Im a parent, so I understand her parents wanting to hold on. But its been 15+ years with NO improvement. As much as it hurts, its time to say "good by".
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  3. #3
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    I'm probably like 99% of everyone else...I don't really know enough to form an opinion. It's hard to form an opinion about whether someone lives or dies, based on 30 second news reports. Is the woman able to respond or interact at all?

  4. #4
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    There was a similaer case here in Massachusetts in the early 1980's. Paul Brophy was a firefighter with the town of Easton when he suffered a massive brain hemorrhage that left him in a persistive, vegatative state.

    The battle was between Pat Brophy, Paul's wife and the nursing home, who wanted to keep Paul alive. It wasn't a quality of life issue, it was a money issue. Paul had stated that he did not want to be kept alive by artificial means, it took a few years of battling back and forth in the courts before Paul was given the right to die with dignity.

    All of the protesters should be asked if they are willing to dig deep into their own pockets to pay Terri's medical bills and take turns caring for her. They can put up or shut up.
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    Sometimes I think all the technology that we have today to keep people alive does more harm than good. When I say that I mean emotionally to the families left "hoping" when really there is none. Sometimes we have to get past our "selfish selves" and let go. Fifteen years with no improvement, no emotion, no response ...... it's time to let go. What these people are effectively doing is living in the past and hoping for the impossible. My heart goes out to all involved. I know how hard decisions like this can be.
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  6. #6
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    Warning---LONG POST!

    Karen Ann Quinlan was the first modern icon of the right-to-die debate. The 21-year-old Quinlan collapsed at a party after swallowing alcohol and the tranquilizer Valium on 14 April 1975. Doctors saved her life, but she suffered brain damage and lapsed into a "persistent vegetative state." Her family waged a much-publicized legal battle for the right to remove her life support machinery. They succeeded, but in a final twist, Quinlan kept breathing after the respirator was unplugged. She remained in a coma for almost 10 years in a New Jersey nursing home until her 1985 death.

    Like Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan became a public figure after entering a "persistent vegetative state." A 1983 auto accident left Cruzan permanently unconscious and without any higher brain function, kept alive only by a feeding tube and steady medical care. Cruzan's family waged a legal battle to have her feeding tube removed; the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the Cruzans had not provided "clear and convincing evidence" that Nancy Cruzan did not wish to have her life artificially preserved. The Cruzans later presented such evidence to the Missouri courts, which ruled in their favor in late 1990. The Cruzans stopped feeding Nancy in December of 1990, and she died later the same month.
    __________________________________________________ ___

    MATTER OF QUINLAN (excerpts)

    70 N.J. 10 (1976) -- Supreme Court of New Jersey

    [Paragraphs are numbered here to facilitate class discussion. They were not numbered in the original report of the decision.]

    #1. The central figure in this tragic case is Karen Ann Quinlan, a New Jersey resident. At the age of 22, she lies in a debilitated and allegedly moribund state at Saint Clare's Hospital in Denville, New Jersey. The litigation has to do, in final analysis, with her life -- its continuance or cessation -- and the responsibilities, rights and duties, with regard to any fateful decision concerning it, of her family, her guardian, her doctors, the hospital, the State through its law enforcement authorities, and finally the courts of justice.


    #2. Due to extensive physical damage fully described in the able opinion of the trial judge, Judge Muir, supporting that judgment, Karen allegedly was incompetent. Joseph Quinlan sought the adjudication of that incompetency. He wished to be appointed guardian of the person and property of his daughter. It was proposed by him that such letters of guardianship, if granted, should contain an express power to him as guardian to authorize the discontinuance of all extraordinary medical procedures now allegedly sustaining Karen's vital processes and hence her life, since these measures, he asserted, present no hope of her eventual recovery. A guardian ad litem was appointed by Judge Muir to represent the interest of the alleged incompetent.


    #3. On the night of April 15, 1975, for reasons still unclear, Karen Quinlan ceased breathing for at least two 15 minute periods. She received some ineffectual mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from friends. She was taken by ambulance to Newton Memorial Hospital. There she had a temperature of 100 degrees, her pupils were unreactive and she was unresponsive even to deep pain. The history at the time of her admission to that hospital was essentially incomplete and uninformative.


    #4. Three days later, Dr. Morse examined Karen at the request of the Newton admitting physician, Dr. McGee. He found her comatose with evidence of decortication, a condition relating to derangement of the cortex of the brain causing a physical posture in which the upper extremities are flexed and the lower extremities are extended. She required a respirator to assist her breathing. Dr. Morse was unable to obtain an adequate account of the circumstances and events leading up to Karen's admission to the Newton Hospital. Such initial history or etiology is crucial in neurological diagnosis. Relying as he did upon the Newton Memorial records and his own examination, he concluded that prolonged lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, anoxia, was identified with her condition as he saw it upon first observation. When she was later transferred to Saint Clare's Hospital she was still unconscious, still on a respirator and a tracheotomy had been performed. On her arrival Dr. Morse conducted extensive and detailed examinations. An electroencephalogram (EEG) measuring electrical rhythm of the brain was performed and Dr. Morse characterized the result as "abnormal but it showed some activity and was consistent with her clinical state." Other significant neurological tests, including a brain scan, an angiogram, and a lumbar puncture were normal in result. Dr. Morse testified that Karen has been in a state of coma, lack of consciousness, since he began treating her. He explained that there are basically two types of coma, sleep-like unresponsiveness and awake unresponsiveness. Karen was originally in a sleeplike unresponsive condition but soon developed "sleep-wake" cycles, apparently a normal improvement for comatose patients occurring within three to four weeks. In the awake cycle she blinks, cries out and does things of that sort but is still totally unaware of anyone or anything around her.


    #5. Dr. Morse and other expert physicians who examined her characterized Karen as being in a "chronic persistent vegetative state." Dr. Fred Plum, one of such expert witnesses, defined this as a "subject who remains with the capacity to maintain the vegetative parts of neurological function but who . . . no longer has any cognitive function." . . .


    #6. It seemed to be the consensus not only of the treating physicians but also of the several qualified experts who testified in the case, that removal from the respirator would not conform to medical practices, standards and traditions.


    #7. The further medical consensus was that Karen in addition to being comatose is in a chronic and persistent "vegetative" state, having no awareness of anything or anyone around her and existing at a primitive reflex level. Although she does have some brain stem function (ineffective for respiration) and has other reactions one normally associates with being alive, such as moving, reacting to light, sound and noxious stimuli, blinking her eyes, and the like, the quality of her feeling impulses is unknown. She grimaces, makes stereotyped cries and sounds and has chewing motions. Her blood pressure is normal.


    #8. Karen is described as emaciated, having suffered a weight loss of at least 40 pounds, and undergoing a continuing deteriorative process. Her posture is described as fetal-like and grotesque; there is extreme flexion-rigidity of the arms, legs and related muscles and her joints are severely rigid and deformed.


    #9. From all of this evidence, and including the whole testimonial record, several basic findings in the physical area are mandated. Severe brain and associated damage, albeit of uncertain etiology, has left Karen in a chronic and persistent vegetative state. No form of treatment which can cure or improve that condition is known or available. As nearly as may be determined, considering the guarded area of remote uncertainties characteristic of most medical science predictions, she can never be restored to cognitive or sapient life. Even with regard to the vegetative level and improvement therein (if such it may be called) the prognosis is extremely poor and the extent unknown if it should in fact occur.


    #10. She is debilitated and moribund and although fairly stable at the time of argument before us (no new information having been filed in the meanwhile in expansion of the record), no physician risked the opinion that she could live more than a year and indeed she may die much earlier. Excellent medical and nursing care so far has been able to ward off the constant threat of infection, to which she is peculiarly susceptible because of the respirator, the tracheal tube and other incidents of care in her vulnerable condition. Her life accordingly is sustained by the respirator and tubal feeding, and removal from the respirator would cause her death soon, although the time cannot be stated with more precision.


    #11. It is from this factual base that the Court confronts and responds to three basic issues:


    1. Was the trial court correct in denying the specific relief requested by plaintiff, i.e., authorization for termination of the life-supporting apparatus, on the case presented to him? Our determination on that question is in the affirmative.


    2. Was the court correct in withholding letters of guardianship from the plaintiff and appointing in his stead a stranger? On that issue our determination is in the negative.


    3. Should this court, in the light of the foregoing conclusions, grant declaratory relief to the plaintiff? On that question our Court's determination is in the affirmative.


    #12. This brings us to a consideration of the constitutional and legal issues underlying the foregoing determinations. It is the issue of the constitutional right of privacy that has given us most concern, in the exceptional circumstances of this case. Here a loving parent, qua parent and raising rights of his incompetent and profoundly damaged daughter, probably irreversibly doomed to no more than a biologically vegetative remnant of life, is before the court. He seeks authorization to abandon specialized technological procedures which can only maintain for a time a body having no potential for resumption or continuance of other than a "vegetative" existence.


    #13. We have no doubt, in these unhappy circumstances, that if Karen were herself miraculously lucid for an interval (not altering the existing prognosis of the condition to which she would soon return) and perceptive of her irreversible condition, she could effectively decide upon discontinuance of the life-support apparatus, even if it meant the prospect of natural death. . . .


    #14. We have no hesitancy in deciding . . . that no external compelling interest of the State could compel Karen to endure the unendurable, only to vegetate a few measurable months with no realistic possibility of returning to any semblance of cognitive or sapient life. We perceive no thread of logic distinguishing between such a choice on Karen's part and a similar choice which, under the evidence in this case, could be made by a competent patient terminally ill, riddled by cancer and suffering great pain; such a patient would not be resuscitated or put on a respirator . . . and a fortiori would not be kept against his will on a respirator.


    #15. Although the Constitution does not explicitly mention a right of privacy, Supreme Court decisions have recognized that a right of personal privacy exists and that certain areas of privacy are guaranteed under the Constitution. . . .


    #16. The court in Griswold found the unwritten constitutional right of privacy to exist in the penumbra of specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights "formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance." Presumably this right is broad enough to encompass a patient's decision to decline medical treatment under certain circumstances, in much the same way as it is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision to terminate pregnancy under certain conditions. . . .


    #17. The claimed interests of the State in this case are essentially the preservation and sanctity of human life and defense of the right of the physician to administer medical treatment according to his best judgment. In this case the doctors say that removing Karen from the respirator will conflict with their professional judgment. The plaintiff answers that Karen's present treatment serves only a maintenance function; that the respirator cannot cure or improve her condition but at best can only prolong her inevitable slow deterioration and death; and that the interests of the patient, as seen by her surrogate, the guardian, must be evaluated by the court as predominant, even in the fact of an opinion contra by the present attending physicians. Plaintiff's distinction is significant. The nature of Karen's care and the realistic chances of her recovery are quite unlike those of the patients discussed in many of the cases where treatments were ordered. In many of those cases the medical procedure required (usually a transfusion) constituted a minimal bodily invasion and the chances of recovery and return to functioning life were very good. We think that the State's interest contra weakens and the individual's right to privacy grows as the degree of bodily invasion increases and the prognosis dims. Ultimately there comes a point at which the individual's rights overcome the State interest. It is for that reason that we believe Karen's choice, if she were competent to make it, would be vindicated by the law. Her prognosis is extremely poor -- she will never resume cognitive life. And the bodily invasion is very great -- she requires 24 hour intensive nursing care, antibiotics, the assistance of a respirator, a catheter and feeding tube.


    #18. Our affirmation of Karen's independent right of choice, however, would ordinarily be based upon her competency to assert it. The sad truth, however, is that she is grossly incompetent and we cannot discern her supposed choice based on the testimony of her previous conversations with friends, where such testimony is without sufficient probative weight. . . . Nevertheless we have concluded that Karen's right of privacy may be asserted on her behalf by her guardian under the peculiar circumstances here present.


    #19. If a putative decision by Karen to permit this non-cognitive, vegetative existence to terminate by natural forces is regarded as a valuable incident of her right of privacy, as we believe it to be, then it should not be discarded solely on the basis that her condition prevents her conscious exercise of the choice. The only practical way to prevent destruction of the right is to permit the guardian and family of Karen to render their best judgment, subject to the qualifications hereinafter stated, as to whether she would exercise it in these circumstances. If their conclusion is in the affirmative this decision should be accepted by a society the overwhelming majority of whose members would, we think, in similar circumstances, exercise such a choice in the same way for themselves or for those closest to them. It is for this reason that we determine that Karen's right of privacy may be asserted in her behalf, in this respect, by her guardian and family under the particular circumstances presented by this record.


    #20. Regarding Mr. Quinlan's right of privacy, we agree with Judge Muir's conclusion that there is no parental constitutional right that would entitle him to a grant of relief in propria persona [in one's own person]. . . Insofar as a parental right of privacy has been recognized, it has been in the context of determining the rearing of infants and, as Judge Muir put it, involved "continuing life styles." . . Karen Quinlan is a 22-year-old adult. Her right of privacy in respect of the matter before the court is to be vindicated by Mr. Quinlan as guardian, as hereinabove determined.


    #21. . . . We glean from the record here that physicians distinguish between curing the ill and comforting and easing the dying; that they refuse to treat the curable as if they were dying or ought to die, and that they have sometimes refused to treat the hopeless and dying as if they were curable. In this sense, as we were reminded by the testimony of Drs. Korein and Diamond, many of them have refused to inflict an undesired prolongation of the process of dying on a patient in irreversible condition when it is clear that such "therapy" offers neither human nor humane benefit. We think these attitudes represent a balanced implementation of a profoundly realistic perspective on the meaning of life and death and that they respect the whole Judeo-Christian tradition of regard for human life. No less would they seem consistent with the moral matrix of medicine, "to heal," very much in the sense of the endless mission of the law, "to do justice."


    #22. Yet this balance, we feel, is particularly difficult to perceive and apply in the context of the development by advanced technology of sophisticated and artificial life-sustaining devices. For those possibly curable, such devices are of great value, and, as ordinary medical procedures, are essential. Consequently, as pointed out by Dr. Diamond, they are necessary because of the ethic of medical practice. But in light of the situation in the present case (while the record here is somewhat hazy in distinguishing between "ordinary" and "extraordinary" measures), one would have to think that the use of the same respirator or life support could be considered "ordinary" in the context of the possibly curable patient but "extraordinary" in the context of the forced sustaining by cardiorespiratory processes of an irreversibly doomed patient. . . .


    #23. The evidence in this case convinces us that the focal point of decision should be the prognosis as to the reasonable possibility of return to cognitive and sapient life, as distinguished from the forced continuance of that biological vegetative existence to which Karen seems to be doomed.


    #24. In summary of the present Point of this opinion, we conclude that the state of the pertinent medical standards and practices which guided the attending physicians in this matter is not such as would justify this Court in deeming itself bound or controlled thereby in responding to the case for declaratory relief established by the parties on the record before us. . . .


    #25. . . . [W]e herewith declare the following affirmative relief on behalf of the plaintiff. Upon the concurrence of the guardian and family of Karen, should the responsible attending physicians conclude that there is no reasonable possibility of Karen's ever emerging from her present comatose condition to a cognitive, sapient state and that the life-support apparatus now being administered to Karen should be discontinued, they shall consult with the hospital "Ehics Committee" or like body of the institution in which Karen is then hospitalized. If that consultative body agrees that there is no reasonable possibility of Karen's ever emerging from her present comatose condition to a cognitive, sapient state, the present life-support system may be withdrawn and said action shall be without any civil or criminal liability therefor on the part of any participant, whether guardian, physician, hospital or others. We herewith specifically so hold.
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  7. #7
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    During my bioethics class we studied the Cruzan case fairly in-depth, which brings me to my point to take situations like this as a lesson to ensure we all have living wills and advanced directives in place. Unfortunately in this case there is a statement that she allegedly made to the husband that she did not want these measures taken. If it were a written and notarized document then the legal situations are almost null.

    That being said, remove the tube. As it was said, the technology brings us to a point of sustaining life that is questionable at best. I have struggled with this sort of decision, especially as I move into medicine further.

    While she is not "brain dead" she is in a persistant vegetative state where there is some brain activity, but what exactly occur in these states is most-likely unknown. She must be fed, she must be bathed, she must have a foley catheter for urination, she must have someone to clean her every time she defocates. Thought not totally a stroke, those that have suffered debilitating strokes with severe seficit state that they would rather have died by an overwhelming majority (roughly 80+%.) This woman has probably been transported to hospitals musltiple times for recurrent UTIs and pneumonia.

    The husband has refused up to $10,000,000 to not remove life support and transfer gaurdianship.

    As Noz has said, you can't base this off of a bunch of articles and news snippets aimed at appeal. Pretty much a gut feeling on this one.

    The legislatures at the state and federal level have no place to be involved in this - the Florida supreme court and U. S. Supreme Court have already ruled on this. They have no place to become involved in a legal dispute - it sets a dangerous precedent. It is a legislative/moral/medical ethics issue. As such, it is up to the judiciary to rule on the matter, as they have.

    Like Dave1983 and Captain Gonzo, I have dealt with a patient in such a manner. This gentleman was a police officer shot in the line of duty, during his recovery (by all accounts he was doing very well) he threw a clot that became a PE, he coded, they resuscitated him but he was left in a chronic vegetative state. He lived for about 4 years in the same type of state as Mrs. Schiavo before he died. Very sad, and it really broke my heart every time I had to pick him for feeding tube displacements, UTIs, and pneumonias. We picked him almost every single week for something. It was very merciful that he died.

    It cost the town over $500,000 a year to care for him, pay his medical bills, nursing home bills, and other costs. While life is tremendously important, there are numerous other factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as proper use of resources, money, and the best interest of the patient.

    The best interest of the patient - not what the family always wants, but what does the patient want, and what is best for them.

    My wife knows my position, and it is in the process being put in a living will as we speak.
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman
    I'm probably like 99% of everyone else...I don't really know enough to form an opinion. It's hard to form an opinion about whether someone lives or dies, based on 30 second news reports. Is the woman able to respond or interact at all?
    No, she is not. She will move her head a bit and blink her eyes, but not in reaction to someone speaking to her.
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    If nothing else, it should wake people up to the fact that these situations can create enormous conflicts within families unless the individual has an advance directive signed and properly witnessed. Watching this whole tug o' war caused me to check my paperwork to make sure that it's up to date. That way, no one can say that it wasn't known what I wanted or didn't want done for my care in the event I'm no longer able to speak for myself, or otherwise unable to make competent decisions and/or directives.
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    After watching a couple of people that I know, I would have to say that he should be allowed to remove the feeding tube. That is not a lifr that I would want anyone to live. If there was some hope of recovery I would think a little differently about it.
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    If the Doctor's support it, and the Family supports it...

    ...What's the bloody issue.

    IMHO, Politicians and lawyers should keep thier noses out of a person's right to a dignified death.

    And I agree that the best solution is to ensure we all have this directive in a will or other document "Before" we are placed in this situation.
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    As bad and hard as it is to loose a loved one, having them lying there and knowing that they will never be any better than they are right now, removing life support is a hard decision. Believe me I know first hand, having to make a decision with my late wife.

    This has been going on all too long. The husband, who is the sole responsible person in this case, should without any interference from, her Mother, Father, Governor, courts, hospital, nursing homes or any one else, has that decision to make and to make alone.

    The hospitals and nursing home do not give a tinker damn about the person laying there in a vegetative state, only for the money that they are getting for them to be at their facility.

    I feel for him and loosing her will hurt, but not as bad as seeing her in this condition each and every day.


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    Originally posted by mcaldwell
    If the Doctor's support it, and the Family supports it...

    ...What's the bloody issue.
    The issue is that the husband supports it, but not the woman's parents.
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    Bones is right. The parents do not support it. Her husband is the one who wants to end it because he feels she would not want to live that way. To see her now is saddening. The picture of her before her problems started are beautiful.. If you did not know her you would swear it is not the same person.

    The family is even trying to get a judge convinced that Terri wants to divorce her husband in order to stop it.

    What I also think is bazaar is that there is now the threat that if they attempt to do it, there will be thousands of people that descend on the city of Pinellas Park to protect her and stop it. It could have catrastophic consequences. There are now increased police in the area and armed security at the facility. Someone is going to end up getting shot.....
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    To be honest, I haven't read all of the posts, nor have I paid a whole lot of attention to it in the news, but I think it's rediculous for all the "protesters" to get invlolved with this. It is none of their business. If she has been this way for this long, with no improvement, she probably will not get any better, without some kind of miracle........

    Speaking from experiance, I watched my mother fight cancer for 8 years. Towards the end she was in and out of the hospital (at the age of 44) and she did not want to suffer any longer. As much as I did not want to lose her, I did not want her to suffer, either.

    It is time to let her rest and go to a better place..........
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    My thoughts exactly.
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    This man has stood by his wife and now he has to make the hardest decision in the world. It cannot be one that he came by lightly. His wife has virtually no quality of life. This is not even about her anymore. The politicans are playing to the moral religious right. Her parents do not have any legal rights over her. Her husband is her guardian. Give them both their privacy and let her finally rest in peace.

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    what an interesting topic..........I have followed this case and I too think they should let her die. She has no quality of life, and the suffering needs to stop. Let her rest in peace.Oh ya '77 I am there with ya, but then again we already knew that.
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    Maybe this will come today and the husband will finally find peace. I feel for him and he has my complete support. This is a very hard to to do, but it is the best thing.





    Mar 18, 1:51 PM EST

    Judge OKs Removal of Schiavo Feeding Tube

    By MITCH STACY
    Associated Press Writer





    PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) -- The presiding judge in the case of Terri Schiavo ruled Friday that the feeding tube keeping the brain-damaged woman alive can be removed despite efforts by congressional Republicans to block the move by seeking her appearance at hearings.

    Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer refused a request from U.S. House attorneys to delay the removal, which he had previously ordered to take place at 1 p.m. EST. Greer determined that it should go forward about an hour after another judge issued a temporary delay blocking the tube's removal.

    There was no immediate word on when the tube might be removed.



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    Random thoughts:

    1. There are alot of people who are telling Congress to mind their own business in this case, but didn't have a problem with them sticking their noses into private industry...baseball.

    2. She is not being kept alive by technology. They are feeding her.

    3. If Mr. Schiavo is a such a righteous Dude, how come he will not allow his wife'e parents to see her? What are they going to do, force food down her throat?

    4. Somebody define death for me. This is important. Becuase we need to go out and round up everyone in nursing homes and hospices that meet the criteria and kill them too.

    5. A whole bunch of people are going to have to change their mantra from pro-choice to pro-death.

    6. Is it ironic to anyone else that a convicted murderer recieve a virtual endless stream of appeals and reviews, but this woman, who cannot speak for herself deserves very few?

    7. Is it ironic to anyone else that any development that may cause the death of even one tree frog must be stopped to prevent the death, but this lady should be allowed to die as a matter of convenience?

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    This is a very personal and emotional decision that should be made by the family. Its a travisty that it has become a media circus. And now Congress, who apparently has nothing better to do, has subpoened her to testify before them.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    1. There are alot of people who are telling Congress to mind their own business in this case, but didn't have a problem with them sticking their noses into private industry...baseball.
    Right. And that's perfectly fine. Her choice to not be a perpetual vegetable is her business, not that of the Congress. That would be my choice, too, by the way. Baseball can have its private sector autonomy as soon as it gives up the one magical thing it has that other private industries don't - its antitrust exemption. If Baseball agrees to give up its special legal status and be subject to the laws that govern the rest of private industry, then it can be free of the Congress.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    2. She is not being kept alive by technology. They are feeding her.
    ...through technology that was developed for this very purpose and without which they couldn't keep her alive. That's how that sentence ends.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    3. If Mr. Schiavo is a such a righteous Dude, how come he will not allow his wife'e parents to see her? What are they going to do, force food down her throat?
    I'd shut out relatives too, if they stood in my way when I'd been entrusted to carry out someone's last wishes.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    4. Somebody define death for me. This is important. Becuase we need to go out and round up everyone in nursing homes and hospices that meet the criteria and kill them too.
    This isn't about the definition of death. It's about her autonomy over her own existence. Nobody...not you, not some church, not the government...has any right to tell me when or whether I get to choose to end my own life unless I choose to let you. Same for her. Same for you. Same for everybody else.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    5. A whole bunch of people are going to have to change their mantra from pro-choice to pro-death.
    No. I'm both pro choice and pro death penalty. In your view, I'm entirely consistent. So there.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    6. Is it ironic to anyone else that a convicted murderer recieve a virtual endless stream of appeals and reviews, but this woman, who cannot speak for herself deserves very few?
    Right. Get rid of most of those appeals.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    7. Is it ironic to anyone else that any development that may cause the death of even one tree frog must be stopped to prevent the death, but this lady should be allowed to die as a matter of convenience?
    She should be allowed to die as a matter of her choice, not someone else's convenience. And...her death won't lead in any way to the extinction of her species. Certain animal species are protected because so few ihndividuals survive that the deaths of only a few could lead to the extinction of their species. Whether you care about the extinction of species or not, there's no irony here...just apples and oranges.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Random thoughts:

    1. There are alot of people who are telling Congress to mind their own business in this case, but didn't have a problem with them sticking their noses into private industry...baseball.
    Many people were telling congress to keep out of baseball. But I on the other hand thought they had a role in the baseball oversight based on baseball's special federal anti-trust legal status, but no role in this private individual family and state issue.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    2. She is not being kept alive by technology. They are feeding her.
    It is modern medical technology that produces the
    Pre-digested Nutrient solution that they pump into the modern medical feeding tube. It is the same as having a resperator pump O2 into her lungs. The only difference is the duration of time before death if you stop them.
    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    3. If Mr. Schiavo is a such a righteous Dude, how come he will not allow his wife'e parents to see her? What are they going to do, force food down her throat?
    He is the legal guardian and would like her to be able to find peace, that is impossible with the media circus the parents have created.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    4. Somebody define death for me. This is important. Becuase we need to go out and round up everyone in nursing homes and hospices that meet the criteria and kill them too.
    No, we need to allow people to have the choice in theie lives and those of their spouses when situations like this occur.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    5. A whole bunch of people are going to have to change their mantra from pro-choice to pro-death.
    This has nothing to do with abortion, this is about folks who have lived having a right to death with dignity.

    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    6. Is it ironic to anyone else that a convicted murderer recieve a virtual endless stream of appeals and reviews, but this woman, who cannot speak for herself deserves very few?
    You must not have been by a TV for the last 48 hours. This has also been in the news for the last decade off and on. Additionally this has essentaully been appealed and everytime overturned for 13 years. It actually has lasted a lot longer then many that sit on death row. Look at Tim McVay, OKC was four years after she fell into this vegatative state, and he has been dead for three years.
    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    7. Is it ironic to anyone else that any development that may cause the death of even one tree frog must be stopped to prevent the death, but this lady should be allowed to die as a matter of convenience?
    I know many conservatives, of the non-religous right variety, that feel that an individual should have a right to die with dignity. This is not a conservative vs. liberal issue, or a religous vs. non-religious issue. It is a personal issue, and should be a lesson to all that your feelings should be know or be able to be shared easily with all of your loved ones.
    Last edited by DennisTheMenace; 03-18-2005 at 05:11 PM.
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    This isn't about the definition of death. It's about her autonomy over her own existence. Nobody...not you, not some church, not the government...has any right to tell me when or whether I get to choose to end my own life unless I choose to let you. Same for her. Same for you. Same for everybody else.
    I couldn't possibly agree with you more. But this is where your side of the debate goes off the tracks. If she had expressed her wishes to be premitted to die, this wouldn't even be int he national spotlight. But, you see, there is zero proof that she ever expressed this wish...zero proof. If I'm wrong, please prove it to me.

    In my OPINION (we're alowed to have those here), Mr. Schiavo is an incredibly selfish man. New house, new kids, new life. All the while, the woman he swore to love until death do us part, lies ina hospice bed. Spare me the rosy sentimentality.

    Oh. Let me save you some typing...No, I don't want to switch places with her. Yes, I would take care of here until she died naturally if she was my wife. No, if she truly expressed these wishes, they should have been out into their will or their living will. Yes, I know I know what I am saying. No, I'm not an uncaring jerk.

    There are way too many open issues here for this to be allowed to happen. This is way more complicated than allowing someone to choose to die. Way more complicated.

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    Ok, despite knowing I shouldn't touch this with a 14' pike pole (and yes, we have some...)

    Anybody want to guess the inlaws didn't get along with the son when he was alive? Because this sure sounds like one big, ****y family arguement.

    Legal: He has the right to determine treatment. If you want it otherwise, you have to change the law through the legislature.

    Moral & Ethically: Not so clear cut.
    You can make arguements pro and con for him carrying out what he believes is a sincere belief, or for making arrangements for her parents to assume legal guardianship and divorce her.

    Call me silly, but someone with eating disorders likely didn't have the best pyschological environment to begin with, and I have a feeling she's still just a pawn between people with control issues.
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