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Old 03-20-2005, 12:54 PM   #61
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When polled, something like 89% of people said that if they were in a situation like Terri is in, they would want to be removed from the feeding tube. Then they polled self-identified conservative Christians and they were around the same percentage.

It is my belief that this is no longer about Terri anymore and what it is in her best interest. It is now about proving who is right. If the husband is an asshole, that's completely irrelevant to this case. If he was a nice Bible-belting churchgoer and still wanted to unplug her, would that make it better?

I already posted the Catholic justification (which is Terri and her parents' religion) for unhooking her from the feeding tube, so I don't need to repeat myself on that front.

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Old 03-20-2005, 01:09 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
When polled, something like 89% of people said that if they were in a situation like Terri is in, they would want to be removed from the feeding tube. Then they polled self-identified conservative Christians and they were around the same percentage.

It is my belief that this is no longer about Terri anymore and what it is in her best interest. It is now about proving who is right. If the husband is an asshole, that's completely irrelevant to this case. If he was a nice Bible-belting churchgoer and still wanted to unplug her, would that make it better?

I already posted the Catholic justification (which is Terri and her parents' religion) for unhooking her from the feeding tube, so I don't need to repeat myself on that front.

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But you're wrong about the husband being an asshole being irrelevant. The thing that bugs the hell out of me is that he doesn't seem to give a SHIT what the parents think or want. I ask you, if you were in the husband's position, and your wife's parents completely disagreed with you about what to do, could you in good conscionce give your permission for your wife to die anyway? Could you be that callous, cold? That dismissive of her parents' wishes? It reeks of selfishness. He wants to rid her. You say this arguement is no longer about what's in Terri's best interests, well guess what? Mr. Schiavo doesn't seem to give a shit about that either.

What this comes down to for me, is this. If I were in that position, having guardianship over someone I love is in Terri's position, and having the final legal say over what happens to her - let's say it's a parent or a significant other - if I look into that person's eyes, if I touch that person, if that person shows any sign that they know who I am, and what they are to me and I to them, then that's it, I don't give any permission for anything. As long as that person knows who I am, they're not going anywhere. Now, that said, I don't know if Terri would know who any of her loved ones are should she see them. But if I were the guardian, I'd want more than just your 'court-appointed experts' telling me she's not. I'd want to get the opinions of the very best doctors in the entire civilized world, that she doesn't know me from an animal. If I'm making the biggest decision a person can make, that of live vs death, I want the opinions of the best doctors there are - NOT court-appointed experts. And I want to hear it multiple times.

I can't believe I'm leaning towards the right-wing on this. Although not for their 'sanctity of life/don't play god/blah blah blah' garbage reasons. For human reasons.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:32 PM   #63
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Originally posted by namkcuR
But you're wrong about the husband being an asshole being irrelevant. The thing that bugs the hell out of me is that he doesn't seem to give a SHIT what the parents think or want. I ask you, if you were in the husband's position, and your wife's parents completely disagreed with you about what to do, could you in good conscionce give your permission for your wife to die anyway? Could you be that callous, cold? That dismissive of her parents' wishes? It reeks of selfishness.
No, what "reeks of selfishness" is her parents, in defiance of all the medical tests that have been done showing her to be in a "persistent vegetative state" (court-appointed or otherwise), still refusing to let her go. And, honestly, I pity them more than anything else. With her being in such perpetual limbo for this long, they are both probably completely crazy and have never gotten a chance to grieve over her. It would be in all of their best interests to be able to move on, as sad as that sounds. Terri Shiavo is not a pet for her parents' amusement.

I've thought of this situation, and if the one I loved was in this situation, I would unplug him too, no matter what the parents thought. It's not out of selfishness; it's out of reason. And for such "Christian" people, I am still baffled as to why they are so afraid of "death" and "the afterlife." I would never keep a soul imprisoned for someone else's amusement.

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Old 03-20-2005, 01:33 PM   #64
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For me what this comes down to is we have no absolute proof of what Terri would have wanted in this situation. If she had signed a living will, it wouldn't be a problem. I just don't like the idea of setting this kind of precedent, where you can pull the plug on someone without their explicit consent. It could really lead to abuse down the line.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:35 PM   #65
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Originally posted by Bono's shades
For me what this comes down to is we have no absolute proof of what Terri would have wanted in this situation. If she had signed a living will, it wouldn't be a problem. I just don't like the idea of setting this kind of precedent, where you can pull the plug on someone without their explicit consent. It could really lead to abuse down the line.
Great point.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:37 PM   #66
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Originally posted by Bono's shades
For me what this comes down to is we have no absolute proof of what Terri would have wanted in this situation. If she had signed a living will, it wouldn't be a problem. I just don't like the idea of setting this kind of precedent, where you can pull the plug on someone without their explicit consent. It could really lead to abuse down the line.
Well, that's fine and all, but Terri does not have a living will, so this remains a matter of "what-if."

The fact remains that spouses and parents are unplugged on a regular basis outside of this media hysteria. The "precedent" was set decades ago.

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Old 03-20-2005, 01:49 PM   #67
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The only thing that separates this case from most is the parents screaming NO.

I put more weight on the wishes of the concious living than on the possible wishes of a brain damaged patient. T.S. missed her chance to make the decision. Too bad.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:52 PM   #68
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Originally posted by jay canseco
The only thing that separates this case from most is the parents screaming NO.

I put more weight on the wishes of the concious living than on the possible wishes of a brain damaged patient. T.S. missed her chance to make the decision. Too bad.
That's rather cold/harsh.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:58 PM   #69
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The husband's attitude is legally irrelevant, but it significantly influences the opinion I have on the situation.

Euthanasia is something I'm uncomfortable forcing people out of, although I think there is a lot of honor in sticking it out.

This particular case is puzzling because it's not up to Terri whether she wants to live or not, but it's up to her husband, who's case I do not buy into. I think he's in it for the money, and in an imperfect judicial system, chances are that he will get what he wants.

I don't like divorce at all, but it appears that this man is abusive, and Terri is better off without him. I don't understand why he can't wait to get rid of her.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:59 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by namkcuR
That's rather cold/harsh.
I agree.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:10 PM   #71
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It's been 15 years since she has been like this. Her family's lawyers claim she has the mental faculties of a 3 to 5 month old baby. Her husband did not make the decision to remove the feeding tube, the courts did. He petitioned the courts for advice on the situation after 8 years of his wife being in this vegetative state. What is he supposed to do, forget his own life and just stay by the side of a person who is basically a shell. Screw that.

What pisses me off the most about this is that this is one bloody person who is clinically dead yet the whole world is wasting all this energy and resources on her situation. In the meantime, thousands of people are dying every single day from preventable illness, disease, starvation, etc. Congress getting involved, puh-lease. Where the hell are our priorities? This is pathetic. I hope the husband says f**k it, you take care of her and wash his hands of her family and live his life in peace.

http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/infopage.html

Above link has unbiased report of the chronological events leading to the present debacle. It has legal report links and everything. Check it out and don't be so quick to judge the husband as "trying to get rid of her".
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:21 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/infopage.html

Above link has unbiased report of the chronological events leading to the present debacle. It has legal report links and everything. Check it out and don't be so quick to judge the husband as "trying to get rid of her".
Great link, and here's a summary I think everyone should read:

Quote:
You're left with a woman who suffered a heart attack 15 years ago, who essentially died but was resuscitated, though not entirely. Her brain had suffered enormous damage from the heart attack. As time passed, her brain further deteriorated -- to the point where much if not most of her cerebral cortex (the portion of the brain that controls conscious thought, among other things) was literally gone, replaced by spinal fluid. Doctors hired by Terri's husband say the deterioration of Terri's brain left her without thoughts or feelings, that the damage is irreversible, and that Terri's life-like appearance is merely the result of brain stem activity -- basically involuntary reflexes we all have. An independent doctor hired by the court reached the same conclusions. Doctors hired by Terri's parents did not dispute the physical damage done to Terri, but they claim there are new therapies that could improve her condition. In two separate trials, the trial court found such claims of potential improvement to be without merit. Terri's body continues to function without her cerebral cortex. She is sustained by a feeding tube surgically inserted into her stomach. She cannot eat through her mouth without a strong likelihood of choking to death.

You're left with a husband who lived with his in-laws following Terri's heart attack, who apparently provided care and therapy for years but who later came to believe Terri would never recover. He believes she would not have wanted to be kept alive in this brain-degenerated condition by a surgically implanted tube. He is apparently willing to continue his fight to achieve what he believes Terri would want despite ridicule, hatred, expense, and threats.

You're left with parents who were once allied with Terri's husband in an effort to care for Terri and restore her but, unlike Terri's husband, they never lost hope. They believe Terri reacts to them and has conscious thoughts. They believe Terri would not want, and does not want, her feeding tube removed, and that some cognitive function could be restored through new therapies. Terri's parents are willing to continue their fight to achieve what they believe Terri would want despite ridicule, hatred, expense, and threats.

You're left with judges who have been placed in the utterly thankless position of applying Florida law to this impassioned situation. Florida law calls for the trial court to determine what Terri would chose to do in this situation, and after a trial hard fought by Terri's husband and her family, where each side was given the opportunity to present its best case about what Terri would do, the court determined the evidence was clear and convincing that Terri would chose not to continue living by the affirmative intervention of modern medicine -- that she would chose to have her feeding tube disconnected. In a second trial, brought about by Terri's family's claims new therapies could restore her and that the existence of such a therapy would make her "change her mind," the trial court again heard evidence from all sides and determined that no new therapy presented any reasonable chance of restoring Terri's brain function. The propriety of these decisions -- from the sufficiency of the evidence to the appropriateness of the procedures used -- has been unanimously upheld on appeal each time.

You're left with a public that is much confused. Some see video clips of Terri moving, appearing to make eye contact, and making sounds, and they assume such are the product of conscious thought -- that Terri's "in there." Some believe Terri's husband has been motivated by money. Some believe that no heart attack occurred -- instead, Terri's husband beat her nearly to death and has been trying to end her life ever since. Some believe he is a bad person because he has taken up with another woman and has children with her. Some believe Florida's judiciary is corrupt or inept, to the point where death threats have been made against the trial judge. Some are sad that families would fight like this. Some believe that removing Terri's feeding tube would cause her pain and is inhumane (I'm no doctor, but the medical information I've seen on this subject uniformly says the opposite.) Some are disappointed that the law does not allow someone in Terri's condition to be kept alive perpetually if a family member is willing to care for him or her. Some believe no life should be permitted to reach an unnecessary end unless irrefutable proof, or at least written proof, shows the person wanted things that way.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:32 PM   #73
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I don't intend to be overly judgemental, but rather opinionated. Sometimes, you have to look at the people as well - although the legal system isn't designed that way - but to see if it's fair in your point of view. Unfortunately though, the "non-biased" law blogger never witnessed any of this first hand. I will continue to post affidavits from those who have.


AFFIDAVIT


STATE OF FLORIDA

COUNTY OF BROWARD

BEFORE ME the undersigned authority personally appeared Dr.Richard Neubauer, who being first duly sworn, deposes and says:


1. My name is Richard Neubauer, I am over the age of 18 years, and I make this statement on personal information.

2. I graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1947 and first began practicing medicine in as Director of Medical Research at Memorial Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware in 1951. Starting in 1954, I began practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and have practiced as an internist in Florida since 1962. I have been practicing hyperbaric medicine since 1972, and I have published many journal articles and presented papers on this subject in the intervening years. A copy of my published bibliography and curriculum vitae are attached.

3. I have studied a videotape, dated January of 2000, of Theresa Marie Schiavo. It is obvious to me that Ms Schiavo is a viable human being who is at least semi-responsive to her environment. It is my medical opinion that she is not brain dead nor is she in a persistent vegetative state.

4. I have treated patients who were in conditions similar to Ms Schiavo’s and who improved with hyberbaric oxygen therapy, to the point of becoming ambulatory, for example. While it is not possible to say how or in what manner Ms Schiavo’s condition will improve, it is my opinion, based on my many years of experience with and knowledge of hyperbaric therapy, that she will improve if given proper therapy.

5. It is my further opinion that Ms Schiavo’s present condition be investigated immediately by means of a simple test of functional brain imaging. If this test shows recoverable brain function, it is a mandatory obligation from a medical standpoint that Ms Schiavo receive the proper therapy. In my opinion, to forego treatment of this patient and deny her nutrition and hydration amounts to murder.

FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.

Richard Neubauer, M.D.


The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this ____ day of May, 2001, by Dr. Richard Neubauer, who produced a Florida driver’s license as identification OR who is personally known to me, and who did / did not take an oath.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:39 PM   #74
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And you don't think Dr. Neubauer isn't biased? Judges have reflected on these medical opinions of dissenting doctors offered by Terri's parents. They have consistently, over the past seven years of litigation, found their arguments to be non-credible.

As for the "blogger," he posts sources to his arguments, so they are not merely his opinion.

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Old 03-20-2005, 02:39 PM   #75
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the problem with everything being said here is this: terri is NOT braindead. she does not depend on a resperator to breathe. she communicates and has likes and dislikes. her brain does not function like it should, but it is still working.

she has never had a full neurological exam. she has never had an mri. she has never had a brainscan. her husband denies her any basic kinds of physical therapy. he refuses to let her go outside.

she has been in a hospice for five years. a hospice is a place that people go to die, usually very quickly. her husband refuses to let her be transfered out of the hospice into a treatment center.

bottom line, she may not be able to function in a normal way. she may not be able to communicate in a normal fashion, her motor skills may be infinitely limited, and she may not be able to feed or hydrate herself. but she is not dead. she is not being kept alive she is alive. the feeding tube only serves to keep her alive in the same manner that we are "kept alive" by eating and drinking on her own. she is unable to do that on her own, and depends on it for nutrion.

if she was truly brain-dead, or depending on a respirator then i would be inclined to say that it would be best to take her off of them, and to let her die a natural death. i would prefer that in that situation. however, that is NOT her situation, and until it is, the removal of her feeding tube is only causing her to die the same excrutiating death that any of us would face if our only means of acquiring nutrition was deprived us.
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