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Old 03-23-2005, 04:45 PM   #256
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
extreem behavior.
By taking a glass of water to Schiavo's room?
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:48 PM   #257
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bingo


the kid should be playing baseball or reading a good book

not trying to bust a Police line
behind some phony crap his parents put into his head.
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:53 PM   #258
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bingo
reading a good book
do you mean reading THE good book?
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:53 PM   #259
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bingo


the kid should be playing baseball or reading a good book

not trying to bust a Police line
behind some phony crap his parents put into his head.
Children are quite capable of compassion on their own, free from political grandstanding.

Perhaps if we could all act this way, free of calculation.
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:00 PM   #260
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An interesting article on all of this on Slate.com...

Not Dead at All -- Why Congress was right to stick up for Terri Schiavo.
By Harriet McBryde Johnson

The Terri Schiavo case is hard to write about, hard to think about. Those films are hard to look at. I see that face, maybe smiling, maybe not, and I am reminded of a young woman I knew as a child, lying on a couch, brain-damaged, apparently unresponsive, and deeply beloved—freakishly perhaps but genuinely so—living proof of one family's no-matter-what commitment. I watch nourishment flowing into a slim tube that runs through a neat, round, surgically created orifice in Ms. Schiavo's abdomen, and I'm almost envious. What effortless intake! Due to a congenital neuromuscular disease, I am having trouble swallowing, and it's a constant struggle to get by mouth the calories my skinny body needs. For whatever reason, I'm still trying, but I know a tube is in my future. So, possibly, is speechlessness. That's a scary thought. If I couldn't speak for myself, would I want to die? If I become uncommunicative, a passive object of other people's care, should I hope my brain goes soft and leaves me in peace?

My emotional response is powerful, but at bottom it's not important. It's no more important than anyone else's, not what matters. The things that ought to matter have become obscured in our communal clash of gut reactions. Here are 10 of them:

1. Ms. Schiavo is not terminally ill. She has lived in her current condition for 15 years. This is not about end-of-life decision-making. The question is whether she should be killed by starvation and dehydration.

2. Ms. Schiavo is not dependent on life support. Her lungs, kidneys, heart, and digestive systems work fine. Just as she uses a wheelchair for mobility, she uses a tube for eating and drinking. Feeding Ms. Schiavo is not difficult, painful, or in any way heroic. Feeding tubes are a very simple piece of adaptive equipment, and the fact that Ms. Schiavo eats through a tube should have nothing to do with whether she should live or die.

3. This is not a case about a patient's right to refuse treatment. I don't see eating and drinking as "treatment," but even if they are, everyone agrees that Ms. Schiavo is presently incapable of articulating a decision to refuse treatment. The question is who should make the decision for her, and whether that substitute decision-maker should be authorized to kill her by starvation and dehydration.

4. There is a genuine dispute as to Ms. Schiavo's awareness and consciousness. But if we assume that those who would authorize her death are correct, Ms. Schiavo is completely unaware of her situation and therefore incapable of suffering physically or emotionally. Her death thus can't be justified for relieving her suffering.

5. There is a genuine dispute as to what Ms. Schiavo believed and expressed about life with severe disability before she herself became incapacitated; certainly, she never stated her preferences in an advance directive like a living will. If we assume that Ms. Schiavo is aware and conscious, it is possible that, like most people who live with severe disability for as long as she has, she has abandoned her preconceived fears of the life she is now living. We have no idea whether she wishes to be bound by things she might have said when she was living a very different life. If we assume she is unaware and unconscious, we can't justify her death as her preference. She has no preference.

6. Ms. Schiavo, like all people, incapacitated or not, has a federal constitutional right not to be deprived of her life without due process of law.

7. In addition to the rights all people enjoy, Ms. Schiavo has a statutory right under the Americans With Disabilities Act not to be treated differently because of her disability. Obviously, Florida law would not allow a husband to kill a nondisabled wife by starvation and dehydration; killing is not ordinarily considered a private family concern or a matter of choice. It is Ms. Schiavo's disability that makes her killing different in the eyes of the Florida courts. Because the state is overtly drawing lines based on disability, it has the burden under the ADA of justifying those lines.

8. In other contexts, federal courts are available to make sure state courts respect federally protected rights. This review is critical not only to the parties directly involved, but to the integrity of our legal system. Although review will very often be a futile last-ditch effort—as with most death-penalty habeas petitions—federalism requires that the federal government, not the states, have the last word. When the issue is the scope of a guardian's authority, it is necessary to allow other people, in this case other family members, standing to file a legal challenge.

9. The whole society has a stake in making sure state courts are not tainted by prejudices, myths, and unfounded fears—like the unthinking horror in mainstream society that transforms feeding tubes into fetish objects, emblematic of broader, deeper fears of disability that sometimes slide from fear to disgust and from disgust to hatred. While we should not assume that disability prejudice tainted the Florida courts, we cannot reasonably assume that it did not.

10. Despite the unseemly Palm Sunday pontificating in Congress, the legislation enabling Ms. Schiavo's parents to sue did not take sides in the so-called culture wars. It did not dictate that Ms. Schiavo be fed. It simply created a procedure whereby the federal courts could decide whether Ms. Schiavo's federally protected rights have been violated.

In the Senate, a key supporter of a federal remedy was Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a progressive Democrat and longtime friend of labor and civil rights, including disability rights. Harkin told reporters, "There are a lot of people in the shadows, all over this country, who are incapacitated because of a disability, and many times there is no one to speak for them, and it is hard to determine what their wishes really are or were. So I think there ought to be a broader type of a proceeding that would apply to people in similar circumstances who are incapacitated."

I hope against hope that I will never be one of those people in the shadows, that I will always, one way or another, be able to make my wishes known. I hope that I will not outlive my usefulness or my capacity (at least occasionally) to amuse the people around me. But if it happens otherwise, I hope whoever is appointed to speak for me will be subject to legal constraints. Even if my guardian thinks I'd be better off dead—even if I think so myself—I hope to live and die in a world that recognizes that killing, even of people with the most severe disabilities, is a matter of more than private concern.

Clearly, Congress's Palm Sunday legislation was not the "broader type of proceeding" Harkin and I want. It does not define when and how federal court review will be available to all of those in the shadows, but rather provides a procedure for one case only. To create a general system of review, applicable whenever life-and-death decisions intersect with disability rights, will require a reasoned, informed debate unlike what we've had until now. It will take time. But in the Schiavo case, time is running out.

Harriet McBryde Johnson is a disability-rights lawyer in Charleston, S.C. Her memoir in stories, Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life, will be released in April.
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:52 PM   #261
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Originally posted by nathan1977


1. Ms. Schiavo is not terminally ill. She has lived in her current condition for 15 years. This is not about end-of-life decision-making. The question is whether she should be killed by starvation and dehydration.

2. Ms. Schiavo is not dependent on life support. Her lungs, kidneys, heart, and digestive systems work fine. Just as she uses a wheelchair for mobility, she uses a tube for eating and drinking. Feeding Ms. Schiavo is not difficult, painful, or in any way heroic. Feeding tubes are a very simple piece of adaptive equipment, and the fact that Ms. Schiavo eats through a tube should have nothing to do with whether she should live or die.

So that's all life is? Working lungs, kidneys, heart, and digestive systems?
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:53 PM   #262
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It's grotesque to keep a dead body with a living soul here.
Absolutely.
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:53 PM   #263
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So that's all life is? Working lungs, kidneys, heart, and digestive systems?
you bet. what else?
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:53 PM   #264
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a working brain? consciousness? a quality of life?

let. her. go.

it's the kindest thing.
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:54 PM   #265
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a working brain? consciousness? a quality of life?
oh now thats just liberal chit-chat
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:22 PM   #266
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Her parents have said they would contest this even if TERRI herself had a living will specifying she did not want to live this way.

That should tell you something about these poor people's complete and utter inability to let their daughter go.
It does. And none of it good. To me it shows they are just using her too, the very same way the accuse her husband of doing.
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:29 PM   #267
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
a working brain? consciousness? a quality of life?

let. her. go.

it's the kindest thing.

Irvine, how do you determine when and who should do this "letting go business"? Could you really do it?
My son was born in 1980 with a brain malformation. It was never determined how it happened. It wasn't genetic or the doctors fault or anything I did or didn't do before he was born.
He lived to be 12 years old.
Could I have gone to his doctors and or a Judge - at say, age 6 and tell them, I'm sorry I can't put my life on hold any longer I'm going to stop tube feeding him.
I mean Judge, I haven't had a full nights sleep in 6 years and he has seizures, doctors and physical therapy appointments. Can I just stop feeding him so I can move on?

I don't know how much this husband has gone through with the one exception I took care of my son at home with no professional/nursing help untill the early 90's when President Clinton changed a few laws dealing with medicaid and nursing care. I was able to get a nurse to come in for 6 hours a day. By then I still couldn't leave him because his life was hanging in the balance every day.
Since my older son needed my attention more than my husband, he couldn't deal with it after so many years, so he just went his own way.
Point is,
Even as hard as this life was, I never considered not feeding my child. It's difficult to believe anyone could. Even though I know it is probably done all the time.
It's not as easy as you might think.
Terri would have died, in due course, even with continued tube feedings because of her condition.
I'm horrified to hear on the news just now that her eyes are sunken and her lips are cracked and bleeding because of lack of fluids.
How can someone do this?

With all due respect.. It's not the kindest thing.
IMO

Edited to say: Irvine I wasn't trying to single you out personally, it was just the way I took the "let her go" that made me feel, "that easy for you (and others) to say".
Nothing personal, love...
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:35 PM   #268
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With all due respect.. It's not the kindest thing.
IMO
I wish that euthanasia, in very limited circumstances like with Terri, could be accepted.

It just seems like a lose-lose situation all around.

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Old 03-23-2005, 11:46 PM   #269
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Sue,

I am sorry for your situation.

But, this is not about your son.

This is a different situation.

This woman is an empty shell.

I believe her parent's "selfish" need is wrong.

I respect her husband, he did not abandon her.

I have been in the room with a relative that was gone and had to agree to quit the life support.


Not that it matters, because Terri is gone.

There is no pain



Quote:
MEDICAL PERSPECTIVES

Ceasing Food and Fluid Can Be Painless
Concerns for Schiavo's comfort have galvanized the debate. But experts say dying of starvation and dehydration is a peaceful end for the ill.
By Karen Kaplan and Rosie Mestel
Times Staff Writers

March 23, 2005

After suffering through cancer, the middle-aged woman decided her illness was too much to bear. Everything she ate, she painfully vomited back up. The prospect of surgery and a colostomy bag held no appeal.

And so, against the advice of her doctors, the patient decided to stop eating and drinking.

Over the next 40 days in 1993, Dr. Robert Sullivan of Duke University Medical Center observed the woman's gradual decline, providing one of the most detailed clinical accounts of starvation and dehydration.

Instead of feeling pain, the patient experienced the sense of euphoria that accompanies a complete lack of food and water. She was cogent for weeks, chatting with her caregivers in the nursing home and writing letters to family and friends. As her organs failed, she slipped painlessly into a coma and died.

In the evolving saga of Terri Schiavo, the prospect of the 41-year-old Florida woman suffering a painful death from starvation has been a galvanizing force.

But doctors say that going without food and water in the last weeks of life is not traumatic, and that the body is equipped to adjust to such conditions.

In fact, eating and drinking during severe illness can be painful because of the demands it places on weakened organs.

"What my patients have told me over the last 25 years is that when they stop eating and drinking, there's nothing unpleasant about it — in fact, it can be quite blissful and euphoric," said Dr. Perry G. Fine, vice president of medical affairs at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Arlington, Va. "It's a very smooth, graceful and elegant way to go."

Doctors say Schiavo, who hasn't had food or water since Friday, has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, which they say makes it impossible for her to recognize pain.

"Her reflexes with respect to thirst or hunger are as broken as her ability to think thoughts or dream dreams or do anything a normal, healthy brain does," Fine said.

But even if her brain were functioning normally and she were aware of her condition, she still would not be conscious of pain, doctors say.

"The word 'starve' is so emotionally loaded," Fine said. "People equate that with the hunger pains they feel or the thirst they feel after a long, hot day of hiking. To jump from that to a person who has an end-stage illness is a gigantic leap."

For those fighting to have Schiavo's feeding tube reinstated, the issue is not merely one of pain but of her right to live.

Though people may fear death by starvation, it is the norm in nature — and the body is prepared for it.

"The cessation of eating and drinking is the dominant way that mammals die," said Dr. Ira Byock, director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. "It is a very gentle way that nature has provided for animals to leave this life."

In a 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 102 hospice nurses caring for terminally ill patients who refused food and drink described their patients' final days as peaceful, with less pain than those who elected to die through physician-assisted suicide.

The average rating given by the nurses for the patients' quality of death was eight on a scale in which nine represented a "very good death" and zero was a "very bad death."

The process of dying is usually gradual. Patients deprived of food and water will die of dehydration rather than starvation — if they don't succumb to their underlying illness first.

Without fluids, the body loses its ability to maintain a balance of potassium, sodium, calcium and other electrolytes in the bloodstream and cells.

The kidneys react to the fluid shortage by conserving as many bodily liquids as possible.

The brain, which relies on chemical signals to function properly, begins to deteriorate. So do the heart and other muscles, causing patients to feel lethargic.

"Everything in the body is geared toward trying to maintain that normal balance," Fine said. "The body will do everything it can to maintain this balance if it's working well."

Meanwhile, the body begins mining its muscles and stores of fat to get the carbohydrates and proteins it needs to make energy.

"If you mine too many proteins in the heart, it gets unstable," said Sullivan, a senior fellow at Duke's Center for the Study of Aging. That can give rise to an irregular heartbeat, which can cause the patient to die of cardiac arrest. Or, if the muscles in the chest wall become weak, the patient can end up with pneumonia, he said.

Patients already weakened by disease begin feeling the effects after a few days, Fine said.

They eventually descend into a coma and finally death. The entire process usually takes one to two weeks, though a patient who is otherwise relatively healthy — such as Schiavo — could hold on for much longer.

Throughout the process, the body also strives to suppress the normal feelings of pain associated with deprivation.

That pain of hunger is only felt by those who subsist on small amounts of food and water — victims of famine, for instance, or concentration camp inmates. They become ravenous as their bodies crave more fuel, Sullivan said.

Patients who are close to death don't get hungry or thirsty like healthy people, said Byock of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

"If you ask people who have stopped eating and drinking if they're hungry, they will say no," Byock said.

The lack of pain is part of a protective mechanism developed over millions of years, Sullivan said.

After 24 hours without food, "the body goes into a different mode, and you're not hungry anymore," he said. "Total starvation is not painful or uncomfortable at all. When we were hunting rabbits millions of years ago, we had to have a backup mode because we didn't always get a rabbit. You can't go hunting if you're hungry."

After a few days without food, chemicals known as ketones build up in the blood. These chemicals cause a mild euphoria that serves as an anesthetic.

The weakening brain also releases a surge of feel-good hormones called endorphins — the same chemical that prompts the so-called "runner's high."

Doctors also have a host of treatments to ameliorate acute problems, such as sprays and swabs to moisten dry mouths, and creams to moisturize flaky skin. They can also give morphine or other painkillers.

Sullivan said doctors were likely to give painkillers to Schiavo, but added: "Frankly, I think they might as well give it to each other, because it will probably be more painful for them than it will be for her."
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:12 AM   #270
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As a dutchman I really should stay out of this due to limited info, and MABY some biased on Holland thrown at me, but let's not kid ourselves here. The real problem is only that the husband and family have different views on the matter. If they wouldn't have this whole debate wouldn't be here and she would be fed or dead.
To see that the whole thing is being picked up by the media and after that by politicians is the real sickening part for me. IMO of course
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