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Do you think Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 24, 2005

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Photo of Jeff Tanking

“I think the husband has got to override the parents on this one. He knows exactly how long she has been suffering.”

Photo of Erin Meyer

“Yes. I think that her husband is the closest one to her and should be the one to choose. It’s a shame that she didn’t have a living will in the first place.”

Photo of Rick Cowlishaw

“Yes I do. Based on what I know, she no longer has any chance of revival. I personally wouldn’t want to be kept alive in that state.”

Photo of Kristen Stuit

“If that’s what she said she wanted, then yes. It’s her choice.”


Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

I do not like the wording of this question at all (sounds so negative, though much to the point)

Perhaps the real question should be:

Should the legislative and executive branches meddle into business that oversteps their delegated separation of powers and disregard State and Federal judicial renderings?

Lulu 13 years, 1 month ago

Terri Schiavo sends me into a panic. It's impossible to think about euthanasia without first thinking about abortion. Anything that might jeopardize the precious right to abort must be resisted at all cost.

There are more important issues in this country. I am outraged over the condition of health care. America had better look to the immorality of the federal budget. We need to tell young girls that abstinence doesn't work. Celebrating the right to gay marriage is also more important.

Her parents need to move on like her husband. He got on with his life bringing two adorable children into this world with his soon to be wife. Perhaps Terri's parents should go on a hunger strike to see what they have put their daughter through.

Richard Heckler 13 years, 1 month ago

Certainly. It's my guess that the husband knows his wife and realizes what she would want in that situation. Judging from news reports she was in a great deal of pain at the point where she was ready to go.

How many of us would want to remain alive artificially? Not way Jose. This is absurd.

Absolutely would not want my family to go broke if my situation was terminal. I've asked my spouse to not drag it out as it must be time to move on. Interestingly, according to what I've read in the past two days, starvation and dehydration apparently is almost painless.

Grammaton 13 years, 1 month ago

I don't know enough about her medical state to make a determination, but I do know that one of the physicians where she is located stated that she is not in a vegitative state since she had been making several "grunting" noises.

I would agree if she were making those sounds when asked a question, or duing any kind of interaction with another, but what she is experiencing is termed as "agonal breathing." Keep in mind that this is the same doctor who claims that HIV can be contracted from tears, which is entirely incorrect.

If there is no hope of recovery, then she should be allowed to pass. She had stated as much to her husband, and I see no reason for him to lie about the issue.

Lulu, I agree completely that her parents must move on.

lunacydetector 13 years, 1 month ago

I do not think there is enough evidence to completely determine if she should be removed from the feeding tube. She has never had an MRI done on her brain. CAT Scans are essentially meaningless since they can't detect things on a molecular level.

A neurologist with the Mayo Clinic says she appears to be misdiagnosed. I could not find anything about this physician regarding HIV, so Grammaton must be referring to a different doctor.

If there is doubt about her state of mind, and since full medical tests have not been taken to help determine her state of mind, since one of the two neurologists appointed by the court is an advocate for euthanasia, and since Terri's episode was initially classified by the police department as an attempted homicide, and since Terri's husband has moved on with his life to have two children with another woman (incidentally, Michael didn't request the feeding tube to be removed until he got engaged to this "other" woman), I think her care should be handed over to her parents.

It is better to err on life than on death, regardless of how you feel you personally would want to go. If she can breathe, swallow (notice she doesn't drool), that she was able to be spoon fed in the past, that her husband stopped any therapy and it was alleged by two of her caretakers he questioned, "When is the b*tch going to die?", and since these two caretakers swore in affidavits that was ruled inadmissable in court -they also claimed that Terri could communicate on a limited basis - Terri should be given the benefit of the doubt.

This ain't Nazi Germany.

mrcairo 13 years, 1 month ago

What was I reading about Less Government Intervention from the Nazi Party oooops, I mean the Republicans.

Didn't she get this way because she tried to commit suicide anyway?

Topside 13 years, 1 month ago

I haven't followed this news story very close but, it sounds like the parents are being very selfish because they just can't accept letting go. Very sad.

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

Thomas Jefferson, who said, "To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy."

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

Saturday at 8:01am. Terri is bleeding from the eyes and the mouth. Painless??? Humane??? Or Nazi camp?

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

Are you people crazy???? Lawrence people, some of the most intelligent in Kansas, accepting the "norm" that the hubby knows best? Accepting that he has "Terri's interests" in mind? Please check your facts people. The husband has been trying to kill her since 1990 and may well have been responsible for her downfall in the first place!! Research, research, research ... Terri has been denied treatment every step of the way, since 1990, even when she showed signs of recovery. I'm NOT kidding .. this man is a P.O.S....

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

Governor Jeb Bush has the authority to intervene and the duty:

The Florida constitution in Article I, Section 2, that "All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law, and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life ... ." According to the Constitution, "no person shall be deprived of any right [including the right to enjoy life] because of ... physical disability."

craigers 13 years, 1 month ago

I would say that she has the right to die if she wants to, but the whole thing that troubles me is letting a husband that has moved on and is raising his kids of another woman, is making the decision for his "ex-wife". I don't think he should have a say at all in this matter.

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

oh and .... Terri Schiavo has been struggling for life since 1990, against ALL odds ... even when Michael Schiavo tried to kill her in sneaky ways ... such as injecting unsulin into her at the nursing home. She was NOT a diabetic! He has denied her treatment all the way ... and especially more so after his (sickening) engagement. Why hasn't this man divorced her? Nearly 2 milion bucks in 3 settlements, that's why ... c'mon Lawrentians!

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

Definition of OLIGARCHY:

The power which a few citizens (in this case, Judges) of a state have usurped the authority of the constitution, which authority ought by the constitution to RESIDE IN THE PEOPLE.

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

.... we should protect HER rights, not HIS .. especially her right to LIVE. (I am NOT a Republican, either!)

Christy_K 13 years, 1 month ago

Chiming in at the end may mean noone sees this, but the constant passing of biased news reports and rumors prompted me to actually do some research...gasp!

I found a website dedicated to Florida law. Yes it is a blog, but it is the most balanced website I have found. There is no agenda being pushed (unlike most news broadcasts I've seen), and actual court documents and explainations of judge decisions are posted and can be read.

The document that most interested me is the December 1st 2003, Report to Gov. Jeb Bush and the 6th Florida Judicial Circuit by Jay Wolfson, Guardian Ad Litem.

Here are some facts posted in this document created before this media frenzy by an individual appointed by the Gov.

Micheal and Terri married in 1984.

In 1986 they moved to Florida and Terri's family followed shortly after.

Terri was seeing a fertility specialist in an attempt to get pregnant.

25 February 1990 Terri had her collapse, she weighed approximately 110 pounds.

There is evidence she suffered from Bulimia.

18 June 1990 Michael was appointed her legal guardian, no dispute by any party.

The Schindlers and Micheal worked closely together during her early years to try to rehabilitate her. Micheal and Mary Schindler worked closely together.

Autumn 1990 was when Terri was formally diagnosed as in a vegetative state.

Michael initiated a medical malpractice lawsuit on Terri's behalf on the fertility doctor. In 1993 he was award $300,000 and she was award $750,000. Terri's money was put in a trust fund. Michael has no access to this trust fund and there is no record of mismangement of this fund.

Shortly after the malpractice award is when the rift between the Schindlers and Micheal began. (Personal note - this is before he sought to have life support removed!)

At this point the Schindlers first accused Michael of abuse but the courts found no evidence of abuse. To this point evidence clearly showed Michael was "agressive" in pursuing her care.

Part II to come

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

Bob ... he tried to kill her, many times. Evidence was "inadmissable" along the way ... think to yourself, why? Did he pay off or threaten the judges? BTW, I think the parents should always choose over a spouse. They bring someone into the world, they should have the right to choose death or life above all others. But you're right - it's the spouse who is protected by the law. Perhaps it needs to be changed ...

Christy_K 13 years, 1 month ago

1994 Michael changed his mind about Terri's prospects for recovery.

In 1994, based on doctor's advice, he initially denied treatment for an infection to allow her to die naturally, but then allowed it to be treated.

"It took Michael a long time to consider the prospect of getting on with his life - something he was actively encouraged to do by the Schindlers, long before enmity tore them apart. He was even encouraged by the Schindlers to date, and introduced his in-law family to women he was dating. But this was just prior to the malpractice case ending."

Again in 1994 Schindler's sought to have Michaeal removed as guardian because he had been inattentive to Terri. Again court ruled no evidence could substantiate their case.

May 1998 the first petition to discontinue life support entered.

Document notes that at this time there was no dispute from any party that Terri's condition was a permanent vegatative state.

Again Schlinders seek to remove Micheal as guardian, stating his inheritance of the money was his motive. Michael reminded the court that if he was removed the money would go to the parents so they have the same financial motives he would. In addition Michael had formally offered to "divest himself entirely of his financial interest in guardianship of the estate."

Court dismissed the Guardian Ad Litum's decision based on bias.

11 February 2000 Judge Greer ordered removal of Terri's artificial life support.

Schindeers were granted repeated motions in court.

Michael, Terri's brother-in-law (Michael's brother) and his wife, all testified to statements made by Terri at a relatives funeral, who had been on life support, that she did not desire to be on life support.

Schindlers tried to use evidence that Michael's relationship with other women (personal note: as already stated was originally encouraged by the Schindler's) as reason he should be removed as guardian. And accused him of mismanaging her trust fund.

Testimony by Schindler family indicates that they were determined to keep her alive at all costs. "Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state."

Court again denied Schindler's request to remove Michael as guardian in 2001.

24 April 2001 - Terri's feeding tube was clamped. (Note time from Judges decision to actual action...14 months)

2nd DCA grants temporary injuction to have tube unclamped.


Christy_K 13 years, 1 month ago

"In October 2001, the 2nd DCA concluded that the Schindlers 'have presented no credible evidence suggesting new treatment can restore Mrs. Shiavo." Injuction lifted.

Five physician are appointed to review Terri's condition. 2 by Micheal, 2 by Schindlers, 1 by court. One of the Schindler's doctors was NOT a nuerologists.

Court ruled the doctors appointed by Michael and the court used sound scientific and medical evidence. Doctors appointed by Schindlers presented principally anecdotal information.

Schinlders continued to try and have Michael removed as guardian. 2003 national media coverage begins. 6 October 2003 Gov. Bush gets involved and gives preliminary injuction to determine if she can eat on her own. "That Theresa is in a diagnosed, persistent vegetative state is explicity recognized."

15 October 2003 Terri's feeding tube disconnected second time.

21 October 2003 Gov. reconnects tube and appoints Guardian Ad Litem (who wrote this report). Feeding tube reinserted.

Guardian reviews 30,000 pages of documents and spends numerous hours personally with Terri and all family members. An issues report.

More next message.

David Ryan 13 years, 1 month ago

Wow -- so now Mr. Schiavo is getting the Swift Boat treatment: disgusting allegations against him of trying to murder his wife, et cetera, with absolutely no basis in verifiable fact.

Courts of law have found that Mrs. Schiavo's wishes were not to be maintained on artificial life support.

It's a deeply understandable tragedy that Mrs. Schiavo's parents and siblings don't want for her to die -- no one wants a loved one to die. My heart goes out to them.

But Mrs. Schiavo's wishes should be followed here. And those wishes are already known. She did not wish to be kept alive on artificial support, and her parents -- and the rest of our bored TV-watching busybody country -- need to accept her wishes, and stop slandering and smearing Mr. Schiavo, violating the Constitution, and trying to grossly gain political points with the so-called pro-life (except for the death penalty, of course) factions.

The best thing we can learn from this tragedy is something my family learned the hard way: make sure your parents and spouses and children have a living will.

Christy_K 13 years, 1 month ago

Just a few more quotes from document:

"It is noteworth that the general principle of artificial life of artificial nutrition as artificial life support that may be removed in terminal and even vegetative state conditions is reflected in nearly all state's laws and within the the guidelines of end of life care enunciated by the American Conference of Catholoic Bishops and other religious denominations."

"...leads the GAL to conclude that all of the appropriate and proper elements of the law have been followed and met."

"Without cognitive capacity, the intentional act of oral nutrition and hydration is likely to lead to aspiration. Eating and drinking are not unconscious processes. Therefore, Theresa's neurological status is directly linked to her ability to swallow." Note she has failed all previous swallow tests.

"In the observed circumstances, the behavior that Theresa manifests is attributable to brain stem and forebrain funcstions taht are reflexive, rather than cognitive."

Christy_K 13 years, 1 month ago

The last few to clear my conscious.

"Until recently, while both Michael Schiavo and the Schinlers agreed that Theresa was in a persistent vegetative state, they could not agree as to the matter of discontinuation of life support. Recently, the Schindlers have adopted what appears to be a position that Theresa is not in a persistent vegetative state, and/or that they do not support the fact that such a medical state exists at all."

"Of Michael Schiavo, there is the incorrect perception that he has refused to relinquish his guardianship because of financial interests, and more recently, because of allegations that he actually abused Theresa and seeks to hide this. There is no evidence in the record to substantiate any of these perceptions or allegations."

"As a consequence of this circumstance, extensive urban mythology has created toxic clouds, causing the parties and others to behave in ways that may not, in the order of things, serve the best interests of the ward."

The above are not my words or opinions but statements and interpretation of court documents. MY opinion - Terri belongs to GOD, not Michael and not her parents. Her parents behavior is clearly irrational (and grief driven). The court is acting in a rational and compassionate manner. Both sides are right and wrong, thus an impartial judge has to act. The courts have spoken. God made his decision 15 years ago to recall her soul, let nature take it course and allow Terri to go home to her loving GOD.

tell_it_like_it_is 13 years, 1 month ago

This is gonna sound really cruel and I don't mean to be...but I'm really tired of hearing about it. I think since hubby has moved on with his life he should give up guardianship to the parents and go on.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 13 years, 1 month ago

Well, I think that she should be allowed to die if that is what she wanted. I would want to die if it were me. However, I don't think you can take the word of her husband since he has obviously moved on. Why is he fighting so hard to have her knocked off? Why hasn't he taken her parents up on their plea to get a legal divorce from her so that they can take care of her? I would imagine it has something to do with the life insurance policy that is in effect. If he divorces her he gets squat. If she dies while he's married to her...

Redneckgal 13 years, 1 month ago

If there is any question we need to error on the side of life. From all reports I've heard their marriage was no bed of roses and I question if he is the appropriate person to be making these decisions. I agree with tell it. I feel sorry for the family but I'm tired of hearing all about it.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Also, the doctor that has supposedly "diagnosed" Terri as being something other than PVS, has never actually met her in person. He made his "diagnosis" based on witnesses, case history and watching video tapes of Terri. I swear these people who want to "err on the side of life" sure are pulling a lot of dirty punches. Now we have blatent lies about Michael Schiavo being told by the conservative christian media and regurgitated by the likes of LD and Centrist on forums like this one. It really speaks to the dirty pool that is being played. If they can assasinate Mr. Schiavo's character then it won't be hard to push him out of the way. How very unchristian to lie and slander someone to further your own agenda of "life". How truly sad.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Christy_K! That was a very worthwhile read. It seems Michael Schiavo is not the monster he is portrayed as by the "other side". It really is slanderous and immoral the lies that have been told about him. I just wish the twisting of the media would end. I have a feeling the Schindlers' love of their child has been perverted by all the media influence. It really is so sad. And her husband will never get back his credibility. Yet he sticks with it....Amazing.

jonas 13 years, 1 month ago

What I think we need to keep in mind is that, by the time any information about her condition has reached our ears, it has been spun multiple times to make it fit into a particular viewpoint, and probably has less bearing on the truth than it did in the beginning. From what I have read though, her cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that controls higher order mental functioning, or human thought) has completely eroded, replaced by fluid. If that's true, there is no chance, under our existing world and technology, of her ever resuming any life of a higher order than a plant. There is a possibility that we may develop the technology at some point, but how long are they supposed to keep her alive on the mere possibility that we may, someday, perhaps be able possibly fix her problem.

But all this sidesteps the true point. The decision is not ours to make. It's not mine, it's not yours, it's not the freak'n governments. It should lay only with the family and the husband. And since, in our society, it's seen that the family gives the bride away to the husband at her marriage (mysoganist though that might be) then his decision should take precedence over theirs.

Oh, and if I were her husband, I would have tried to kill her by now, as well. Better a quick painless death, than a slow death by starvation, or worse, a life "of dignity" being confined to a bed as your body withers away, your mucles atrophe and your image is used selfishly to further someone else's cause.

acg 13 years, 1 month ago

I've heard doctors say, since this whole debacle has began, that when you're that close to death you don't feel the pain of hunger and dehydration. How do we KNOW this? Have any of these doctors been that close to death? I don't think this poor woman should be kept "alive" any longer but I have to admit I have a real problem with starving/thirsting her to death. It seems incredibly harsh. Why can't we just give her a big shot of something so she can at least go out quickly and hopefully painlessly?

jonas 13 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and this is somewhat interesting. I won't vouch for the veracity, so take what you want from it.

From page 14

Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

It is truly disturbing that Terri's parents would go to such measures. But I am not surprised. It would be hard to let your child go. I have been in multiple situations where life support had to be removed from a loved one and I can say that it is the only way to move on with your life and find peace. Keeping someone alive for your own selfish needs is beyond reprehensible. Currently, I take care of my grandmother who is in the last frail stages of Alzheimer's disease. She is barely able to eat and I worry about her hunger pangs. The Hospice nurses always tell me that when someone is in a weakened state or on their deathbed, hunger and thirst are not really an issue. These nurses reassure me that she wouldn't feel "hungry" because her body compensates for that need. Maybe the fact that Terri Schiavo is even on a feeding tube goes against what her body wants or needs. Also, all that I have read on this case, states that Terri had a serious eating disorder and that was a large factor in why her heart stopped beating, thus causing the brain damage.

lunacydetector 13 years, 1 month ago

Carmenilla, you are wrong. The neurologist spent 1 1/2 hours with her on March 1st.

...and i_tching, though i said in the past i would never respond to you, she has not had an MRI or a PET scan. she hasn't had a neurologist consultation in over 3 years.

she is going to die now, so some of you should be happy.

it cannot be said her life wasn't worth it.

(copy and paste these addresses if you want to see what this vegetable can't do)

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, that is not an unbiased source. And its full of unsubstantiated accusations. Just cause they say its so, doesn't mean it is!

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

I can care less what she can/cannot do...

...I'm just happy as hell the Republican party didn't cart her body onto the Capitol floor during their late-night debates to make a point, as was initially planned.

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

The Constitution says that the government has a duty to protect life, not a judge.

If the husband wanted the best thing for Terri, he would give her care over to her parents. He won't because he would loose the remainder of the 1.5 million dollars that goes with her care. Just follow the money trail as usual.

Michael Peroutka of the Constitution party says: Dear Mr. President And Governor Bush:

Greetings, friends, in the blessed Name of our Lord, apart from Whom we can do nothing (John 15:5). We write to both of you as fellow Christians and beseech you, respectfully, to do everything within your considerable power to keep Terri Schiavo from being murdered in cold blood.

The New International Version translation of Proverbs 24:11-12, referring to those who are innocent, reads: "Rescue those being led away to death ... If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He Who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He Who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?"

Explaining this passage from God's Word, the great Puritan Bible commentator Matthew Henry says that it requires "a great duty" from us, "that is to appear for the relief of oppressed innocency," that we ought "to bestir ourselves all we can to save them ... If any [innocent person] be set upon by force or violence, and it be in our power to rescue them, we ought to do it."

This Proverb, of course, applies to all of us. But, all of us do not have it within our power and ability to rescue Terri Schiavo, to stop her from being murdered in cold blood.

You, Mr. President, and you, Governor Bush do, however, have this power. And we intend no presumption, sirs, when we tell both of you that you must exercise the power you have to save Terri Schiavo's life because God commands you to do so and your oath of office makes it your affirmative duty!

Both of you have the power and ability to stop the murder of Terri Schiavo. If you do not act and use the power you have, her innocent blood will be on your hands.

Here, please, are some of the things we think both of you have the power and ability to do right away:

--- You, Mr. President, could order Federal marshals to be sent to guard Terri Schiavo, have her feeding tube reinserted, and arrest anyone who attempted her murder by removing this tube. If her case goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the ruling there is to take her feeding tube out, ignore this ruling and leave the Federal marshals there as long as is necessary to keep her from being murdered. Any court ruling that orders murder is illegal and binds nobody...

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

I really wish these same conservative-minded, Bible-preserving and Constitution-abiding citizens would apply such laws, principles, proverbs and mores to ALL sectors of our life.

Perhaps such mindsets practiced consistently would abolish the thought of anti-gay marriage practices.

Because, you Mr. President and you, Governor Bush...also have that power.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Lunacydetector, where do you get all your Terri info? Is it from a site that has been sponsered by her parents and their supporters? I'd really like to see where you get your "facts".

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

And Liberty--

...let's not forget the courts have been ruling death penalty (murderous) decisions for quite some time now. And these decisions and penalties bind us all.

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

Michael Schiavo lawyer gave to judge's campaign George Felos made contribution to Greer day after key ruling by court in Terri's case

kansas 13 years, 1 month ago

I don't like the way that the government is getting involved in this.--All the way up to the Supreme Court, no less! Geez!

I think that this is a case of mom and dad deep-down knowing that their daughter is "never coming back" (in a manner of speaking).....and for the past 15 years they just haven't been able to let go! It's almost as if their feeling is: "Hey, better to have a vegetable for a daughter than no daughter at all!" You can say what you want about the husband and his motives, but I really do think it's time for the parents to stop being sooo selfish....and just let daughter go....peacefully.

mrcairo 13 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if Jeb is looking for her to be his Running Mate in 2008... Looks like Jeb finally found someone with less of an IQ than he has, Terri will be a fitting fixture for the Bush Family, someone who always nods in agreement, kinda like Condi Rice and the rest.

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

The rest of the letter from Michael Peroutka:

--- You, Governor Bush, could do, basically, the same thing --- order your relevant law enforcement personnel to take Terri Schiavo into protective custody; order her feeding tube to be reinserted; and arrest anyone who attempts to murder her be removing this feeding tube. And if any court, at any level, orders her feeding tube to be removed, ignore this order because no court order that orders the murder of anybody has any validity.

Mr. President, Governor Bush, you are men to whom much has been given; thus much is required of you. We pray fervently that you do your Christian and Constitutional duty (remember your oath) and act now to save the life of Terri Schiavo.

kansas 13 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and I almost forgot.....

Thank you LJ World! Thank you for asking a good, thought-provoking question for once! For far too long now you guys have been asking some really silly questions that have sparked little to no interest by the readers. But not today! Today you guys have hit a home run! Good for you! Keep it up!

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

I'm also surprised that CNN and Fox News haven't begun running non-stop coverage yet? Or have they...I haven't tuned in yet today!

jonas 13 years, 1 month ago

Wasn't that video set edited down from four hours of video footage to gain the desired effect?

Redneckgal 13 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone know for sure how she got this way? I've heard several stories...suicide attemp heart attack or stroke brought on by an eating disorder and then something about illegal drug use. Which one is true?

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

I hate to actually try to find a positive from all this national reaction...

...but this entire sad scenario is one more bit of proof of what geniuses the Framers of the Constitution and Founding Fathers worked so difficult on--to create a balanced, democratic, and limited government.

Though this is such a divisive issue, with very compelling arguments on both sides...laws are laws, and each political branch is limited in their powers. Civil rights are upheld and legal precedent is followed.

This really is an amazing country, as divided as we are.

jonas 13 years, 1 month ago

No offense, Liberty, but that's pretty frightening stuff!

remember_username 13 years, 1 month ago

Wow, its been a while since I contributed. Mainly because the questions have been so unworthy of comment. But this issue has truly been galvanizing, and not as politically partisan as people might think.

Here's a question I would like someone to address. I'm not a Christian so please excuse my ignorance, but this issue seems charged along religious lines. If Ms. Schiavo were to die wouldn't her family believe she would go to a better place. I mean being in Heaven is got to be better than being a vegetable or semi-vegetable whichever is the actual case. So what's the problem with letting her go? Or is this a really stupid question, and I don't mean to insult anybodies religion.

tell_it_like_it_is 13 years, 1 month ago

remember user name...don't really know whether or not her family is religous and believe in heaven and hell or not. But I suppose it would be awfully hard to let go of a child even a grown one in this manner either way.

Terry Bush 13 years, 1 month ago

These types of cases, and decisions, go on every day of the week. And they have for as long as the medical world has possess the power to prolong life by these extraorindary means. They are always heart breaking situations.

They raise more questions then answers. When is someone really better off dead? When is a life truly over? Who gets to decide such things? Who should get to decide when/if to "pull the plug" on another human being? When/should the courts interfere, and which courts? Laws change. Policies change. The jurisdiction of courts change.

And most of all societal values change.

Change is painful to all concerned...especially those who are afraid of new things. But one thing is for sure. We shall all die some day.

I for one have used this occassion to obtain a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care decisions. If peoplewant to have some "say so" as to what happens to them when they are no longer able to experss it, I would strongly suggest obtaining copies of these forms - on-line - or getting a lawyer to draft them for you. Otherwise, your loved ones and doctors may one day be in a situation where they have to guess at your wishes and what you would want.

I know I will fill mine out to say that if I am officially "brain dead" (how and if that can be ascertained I am not sure), I want to be allowed to die. I am not afraid to be dead. There are I believe far worse things!


We do not put stray dogs, food animals, or even murderers down by stravation! The least they could do for Terri, and patients like her, is to give them PLENTY of drugs - BEFORE AND WHILE they are finally let go. Starving any human to death seems a really cruel idea ... We may believe they can't feel it...but how does anyone know (for sure) unless they've been through it?

remember_username 13 years, 1 month ago

I just responding to the large number of Christians supporting the parents and assumed since they were being escorted by the brotherhood of Franciscans(?) that they were catholics - maybe that was a wrong assumption.

remember_username 13 years, 1 month ago

Ladylaw, there are a couple of others to raise that point and it is an interesting one. Starving to death seems harsh to me as well. The alternative is to give her a overdose of morphine - I've had morphine before and I can tell you that wouldn't be a bad way to go.

But here's where it gets tricky. Would I give her the shot? That really puts responsability onto a single person. I say that believe anyone has the right to die when they are terminally ill or "brain dead". But would I administer the shot? I don't think I could. Does that indicate a doubt in my own belief? Maybe, until I am willing to do the deed I'd just better stay out of the arguement. What does everyone else think?

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Its called Ketosis, ladylaw. When a severly weakened individual is either unable to eat or is taken off of a feeding tube the body starts to use fat and muscle to "feed" itself. There are also some medical studies that suggest when a body goes through ketosis the individual experiences some euphoria and the pain factor is very low.

jonas 13 years, 1 month ago

Isn't Ketosis what the Atkins diet is supposed to simulate?

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Yes, jonas, it is. I should have been more specific. Ketosis happens for many different reasons. I was referring to the idea that once a body starts to shut down and is no longer able to sustain itself thru feeding, ketosis steps in and feeds the body is a different way.

Redneckgal 13 years, 1 month ago

sylvie...thanks for the info. I missed it in carmenilla's post earlier. What an awful thing to happen to someone. And you are right no one knew to much about it back in the 80s.

Curious 13 years ago

Posted by i_tching on March 24 at 10:09 p.m. "Curious is apparently unfamiliar with the flavored swab sticks that are used to moisten the mouths of patients who may not have oral fluids, lest they aspirate, precipitating pneumonia."

Cotton swabs, whether flavored or not, are used to moisten the mouth not to hydrate the mouth. Terri swallows her saliva, if there is any; and she swallows when they brush her teeth. So I assume they have stopped cleaning her teeth, also. No need to have clean teeth and sweet breath now and extend her life -- just a little (it would be inhumane) That is also probably the reason Terri is not on a morphine drip. It would hydrate her and delay her death.

Again, since when does a court order to remove a feeding tube, stop one from giving a person fluids by mouth? I really am curious about that. Anyone have an answer?

Only God knows who is right, if anyone, or wrong, if anyone, in this case. What WE need to do is analyze what we do know and decide if this is the way we want society to go. I believe if we go on starving and dehydrating healthy bodies to death because of a mental disability, we will have to seriously consider euthanasia. And that is what I believe this is really all about. Michael's lawyers and doctors are all euthanasia promoters. What better case could they have linked up with to promote their cause? And they found a judge who would come to all the right findings. Once you find that judge, all the other judges fall in line because they don't want to second guess each other and throw our judicial system into chaos. AND . . . that is where legislatures, rightfully and constitutionally, come in!

drugdealer 13 years, 1 month ago

I think they should keep her alive forever. Cart her off to capitol hill and stick all kinds of feeding tubes and iv's in her. Get her a mechanical heart, hook her up to oxygen and let her live at least until she's 150 years old.

jerriathey 13 years, 1 month ago

I am just wondering why, if Terri's husband has moved on with his life, as I have heard reported, with a new girlfriend and children, why not just divorce Terri and let the family that loves her do with her as they wish? What purpose does is serve to him to let her die? Do not get me wrong because my husband and I had to make this same dicision 14 years ago with our own daughter and she died in my arms.

Terry Bush 13 years, 1 month ago

Well well ....ketosis huh......who knew ...... starving to death is now a pleasant, painless, and even euphoric way to die.... And all this time I felt sorry for those who had to go this way..... Maybe we should suggest it as the preferred means of killing dogs, cats, murderers, chickens, (oh wait...we need them fattened up before we kill them).... All I can say is that if you think people who starve to death go sweet and can go first.....and then let the rest of us know how it went... For me, I pick morphine. And a living will will so state! LOL.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Ladylaw, its not so simple. I never said it was. And no, starving people is not a "preferred" method. What I was trying to relate is something I have had recent experience in. My aunt had terminal cancer and was giving up her will to live. She had not eaten in days when she finally went. There was no pain from hunger. She had minimal awareness and was quite peaceful when she went. We are talking about the body's natural processes as it dies. My grandmother is on an incredibly slow decline and food is no longer a priority for her. She survives on a minimal amount as her mind deteriorates and it is no longer necessary for her to eat that much because her processes are slowed down. I have seen with my own two eyes, the dismantling of a human being as they die, I believe that in certain states of decline our bodies do override what we take for granted as a necessity.

Terry Bush 13 years, 1 month ago

My mother has what appears to be terminal cancer and so eating has been a real chore for I know the process only too well. HOWEVER, until/unless I have personally gone through 2 weeks without food AND WATER (!!) I can't quite buy it that starving (and dehydrating) till you die isn't felt and painful (on some level). My little sister died in my parents arms (when she was 11 and I was 19) and had stopped eating for the most part...but even she still drank fluids up the end. And I watched a dear friend's aunt as she passed from cancer, and again, she at least kept hydrated until the end. If you want to leave instructions that make it OK to remove all food/hydration from you, if your brain functions fall below a certain level, please feel free to do so! I am just saying that if it happens to me, or a loved one, I am at least going to use drugs to help ease what might otherwise be a painful passing.

Terry Bush 13 years, 1 month ago

If we really thought that removing food/water was a humane way to kill (or let someone die) we'd probably have ok'd it for other situations (animals and murderers)...don't you think?

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Once again, for those who don't seem to get it..... This is about certain cases where the body is in decline. Why are you so defensive on this, ladylaw? If you want morphine, bully for you. I was only trying to point out that some medical information suggests that food and water may become unnecessary as the body declines. You keep bringing up animals and murderers. I'm not suggesting starvation for them. Nor am I saying that I know "for a fact" that it doesn't hurt. But I am saying that I have watched folks pass away in a variety of situations. I am also in nursing school and talk to RNs who work for Hospice regularly. This is just a little information I'm passing on with some small measure of certainty that it could be accurate. The body is amazing in its ability to block pain.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

I hope we understand each other and this topic obviously hits close to home for anyone who has tended to a dying person. I just keep thinking about quality of life versus quantity. Hopefully whatever happens to Terri in the end, she will finally find some peace.

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

This is my last set of comments on the matter ...

  1. BOB - I AM married .. and my wife and I agree.
  2. I am NOT a Republican, nor a Pro-lifer or Christian
  3. Michael Schiavo is a murderer. Evidence was withheld, time and time again, implicating him.
  4. The nurse was fired from the care facility because she reported that she had found a needle in Terri's room and she had just been injected with insulin, right after Michael's "closed door" visit. It was NOT administered by the staff, NOR was Terri Schiavo a diabetic!!
  5. Look for yourself ... and ask why this man got engaged to someone else within 2 months of ordering her tube be removed (the first time).
  6. Please don't you all fall for the "system". Ask questions, look DEEPER at this man. He is a murderer.
  7. I would normally side with anyone against Pres. Bush. I hate the man, and his policies. But this time, this time only, they are right to investigate. Let's see what happens after she dies ... and she will. We know that, don't we, because this is America ... no-one has been on her side except her parents, who brought her into this world.
  8. I propose that any spouse separated from their married partner shall give up rights - meaning it goes back to the nearest of kin. They cannot possibly have the spouse's "best interest" at heart any more at that point. Can we at least agree on that????
  9. Go Hillary for 2008, or perhaps even John McCain, a moderate ... just no more extremists, Left or Right!!

Liberty 13 years, 1 month ago

Here is a excerpt of an article: warning: graphic detailed description of what Terri is or will suffer.

"Contrary to those that try to paint a picture of a gentle process, death by dehydration is a cruel, inhumane and often agonizing death," said Dr. David Stevens, who says most so-called experts have never seen someone die under such circumstances.

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

It sounds awful what happens to a human body as it is denied food/water.

It has been reported her cerebral cortex and portions of her brain is nothing but liquid, which would imply she cannot feel pain, right?

I cannot deny, depriving anybody of food/water can be a terrible thing...but her life is forever deteriorating and her brain is almost no more. This may actually be a blessing for her, not sin.

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

An excerpt from an article printed in the Chicago Tribune's online addition:

Her parents and their doctors argue that she could get better and that she would never have wanted to be cut off from food and water. But Ronald Cranford of the University of Minnesota, a neurologist who was among those who made a previous diagnosis of Schiavo, said "there isn't a reputable, credible neurologist in the world who won't find her in a vegetative state."

If it's a decision that her husband legally must make, bless him in making the right decision.

If it were me, I sure hope my wife and family understands it is my time to go.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Dr. David Stevens is the head of the Christian Medical Assoc. according to the article. Could he also be one of those fine doctors that limits contraception to unmarried women? Could he also be someone fueling an agenda set by a government he thinks is working in his best interest? I think its hard to think critically about this situation. I think there are a lot of falsehoods regarding Terri's circumstances and her husband's motivations. There is so much spin its hard to see clearly.

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

I am referring to the article Liberty posted above.

Terry Bush 13 years, 1 month ago

FOR TERRI AND ALL OTHERS LIKE HER They say you'll feel no pain as you slip away forever we merely helped you pass the mortal coil and tether; we pulled the plug and watched the rest of you pass by and hoped it would go fast and that you'd finally die. There's worse things it is true then dying, we have heard, and so we'll help you go at last without a single word. We hope you will know peace beyond this world of tears and then we'll live our lives with you no longer here. We only wish some day when our turns finally dawn someone will love us true and not keep the food turned on. May we be treated thus as we have treated you. For as we care for others so we'll be treated to.

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

Dammit people ... ok, one more :)

Terri Shiavo was NOT in the "act of dying" when they pulled the tube ... she was existing on a plane that maybe someday could be changed .. if I was deteriorating and it was proven that I was, in fact, dying (unlike Terri), then of course I'd want the tubes pulled, providing they pumped me with morphine as well.

She was NOT dying when they did this to her ... several times. She was NOT dying when denied treatment, over and over again, by her husband, who was apparently already seeing someone else (for who-knows-how-long!).

Terri was mistreated, over and over again, denied care when she needed it, even when improving, denied resources, denied rights (we have a patient's bill of rights, apparently in this country).

Last but not least, she was treated like absolute crap by her husband during the marriage, then mysteriously had a heart attack at age 26 or so. He COULD have caused this, or even the "eating disorder" ... Think, people, before you defend that lowlife Michael Schiavo ... of course he wants her to die! She might testify against him ... others have been gagged along the way too, like his former girlfriend, who was too scared to talk, or the doctors who were denied access and ordered out of the room. He has done EVERYTHING he can NOT to help her!

Please think about it, people ..

remember_username 13 years, 1 month ago

The really sad thing about all of this is how we've just managed to polarize the country into another set of emotional pro and con camps. I may be pleased that this is not so easily divided up into Rep and Dem but still there are extremes in play.

How about this folks...I can't answer the above question. All of the articles I've viewed, read, heard on the news, and been referred to by links have been produced by one side or the other and are thus suspect. If there is to be found any truly neutral party I don't know where other than the courts and they have rendered judgement.

This serves to provide us all with an example of what could happen if we don't provide living wills or whatever documentation is necessary to keep our families from fighting. I for one never want to be responsable for causing the strife I see on the news today, and if there is anyone who thinks we have'nt yet seen the worst of it...

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

... and I guess we should stop feeding and giving fluids to all the "retarded" people too then, since by the definitions in several posts above ... they're really "not here anymore". Hey let's not stop there. Let's declare that once married, you're bound to your spouse, no matter what, even if the marriage breaks down. Let's put a clause/agreement to be notarized in with every marriage application/licence that says "your spouse owns you now and can force you to die so they can be with someone else" ...

Worldly_Sage_Advice 13 years, 1 month ago

Granted I am like many here and I have based my thoughts on numerous articles and news programs and like EVERYONE here I do not know everything that either the Husband knows or the Family of Terri Schiavo knows. BUT it seems brutally plain to me, if Terri wished NOT to be kept alive by artificial means, then that is her wish. Her husband is trying to follow Terri's wishes and what right does the Government, her family or the general public have in that decision? NOTHING, sorry folks, the government, her family and of LEAST OF ALL the general public do not now and should not EVER have the power or ability to change a persons dying wish.
I apologize if I am being to simplistic and not considering EVERYTHING, but it was her wish, sorry, once again for anyone who is hard of hearing or who's sight is failing; IT WAS HER WISH TO NOT BE KEPT ALIVE BY ARTIFICAL MEANS!!!!!!!!!!

Enough is enough, if Terri's husband/ex-husbands?? is lying and if he is just in it for the money, which is all most completely the most insane and totally stupid thing I have ever heard, and he wins the court cases until Terri finally passes then he will have to face a higher power, and ultimately pay the consequences.

But we do not have the right to interfere with the fulfilling of a woman's dying wish.

Sorry for ranting, but I have had enough and watching the court battle(s) and a Govenor over step his authority and the federaly goverment step in, I just hope that when my time comes that my wishes are respected.

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

Her "wishes" have never been proven, not even by the judges .... herein lies the problem. Plus - Terri was NOT on life support, as such ... she just needed assistance in feeding. That's not "artifical means" of existence ..

Carmenilla 13 years, 1 month ago

Centrist what unbiased source are you getting all your information from? I have read many things on either side. The "right-to-die" camp is pretty clear. Cut and dry. They say she is PVS and her brain is deteriorating. The other side, the "err on the side of life" camp has this whole "Days of our Lives" scenario that has so many biases and opinions its hard to find the facts in their story. They say she had a mysterious heart attack. If she was bulemic its very probable. I've also read things that say her husband tried to kill her. It all seems so inflammatory and slanderous. I would like to read some actual information on her treatment in the Hospice facility she has lived in for the last decade or so.

Worldly_Sage_Advice 13 years, 1 month ago


I do not have a problem with your argument, except for the fact that a surgically implanted device to maintain a tube in your stomach to feed with just might, just might be seen as an artificial means of survival.

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

I repeat .... Terri's wishes have NEVER BEEN MADE PUBLIC in any way, shape or form. It's all on the word of the husband. That it. And if you want proof of Michael's "efforts", look for yourself in the historical records, unless of course the Kangaroo Courts of Florida have hidden them from public view in the last few days (wouldn't surprise me).Time and time again, Mr. Schiavo has denied his wife real help. And he is advocating for himself .... so he can take what's left of the cash and be with his new family. If he's so "honorable" .. why didn't he divorce her???? Oh and by the way, I'm going AGAINST my "own politics" on this one!

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

Worldly ... you could see that as artificial, yes :)

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

Also - if the Dems were trying to save her, how many posts here in Lawrence would be against it? (Just a thought)

Centrist 13 years, 1 month ago

Guys, thanks for the blogging - it's been fun! I just want to state once more that I believe Terri Schiavo has been wronged, very very badly ... and that over-rides any politics. If she must die, let's pass a law that allows it QUICKLY ... i.e. EUTH-A-BLOODY-NASIA! Oh wait ... isn't that a "liberal" idea? Well heck, now I must be a liberal ... as well as an "echo" of the Right smirk. I am neither - I am a Centrist.

Cheers to all ....

lunacydetector 13 years, 1 month ago

The pending death of Terri Schiavo, coupled with the Minnesota massacre, are emblematic of our culture of death.

In Terri's case, an innocent person is being intentionally starved to death because lawmakers have decided to honor the words of her discredited, morally delinquent husband, preferring to err on the side of death. In the Minnesota tragedy, nine innocent persons-plus their killer-are dead because school teachers, administrators and counselors decided not to honor the telltale signs that were right before their eyes. In both cases, nonchalance, and passivity produced deadly consequences.

Terri's fate did not land on the laps of Florida lawmakers overnight. They have had years to address antiquated case law on the subject of euthanasia, but they've been too busy contemplating the hidden meaning of hanging chads to do so. Moreover, one would have thought that following the Elian debacle, these lawmakers might have taken the time to reconsider the wisdom of family law in all its aspects. But instead they did what they do best-they procrastinated.

Jeff Weise went to school wearing eye makeup and a black trench coat. He wore combat boots, had chains on his pants and sported black spiky hair. He wrote stories about zombies, drew pictures of people with bullet holes in their heads, and depicted himself with monster's teeth. The self-described loner frequently posted messages on the Internet site of, and no doubt believed what the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party had to say. Not only does the site flatly reject Christianity and Judaism, it expressly says, 'We reject morality in all its forms as unnatural.'

So there you have it. Legislative listlessness, combined with an increasingly amoral culture, has left death in its wake.

Satan is smiling right now.

Curious 13 years, 1 month ago

First post said Separation of Powers. Is that like Separation of church and state. These terms pop up from no where. There is a balance of power between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government. The legislative is the one that represents us (well, sometimes). If the judicial doesn't call it a constitutional matter, the legislature has free reign to pass a law. That is why it is a balance.

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

But the courts have rendered decisions on this case in FL and the Federal and Supreme courts have chosen to not listen to the case because there is no merit in this case. It would be unconsitutional for the courts to intervene, which also implies, it is unconstitutional for the legislative branches to attempt to pass a bill that would be opposite of these courts' renderings.

I don't know if that made's been a long day.

Curious 13 years, 1 month ago

I have been trying to find a place in any constitution, in any law, that states . . .

"When it has been determined that all artificial means of support are to be removed, it also means NO ICE CHIPS IN THE MOUTH because you might swallow some liquid and make us watch you die for another day or two. Everyone who comes to visit you will be searched to ensure they are not carrying contraband liquid to put on your parched lips."

I agree with those of you who say starving to death is peaceful. That's why it is illegal! Who wants animals to die peacefully.

I have known people whose bodies have shut down just before their "unaided" death. They have no appetite. Their skin is very fragile. But they still intake liquids. My dear aunt functioned perfectly, lived in her home alone, until she couldn't maintain her energy through eating. She knew her body was shutting down for some reason. She didn't go on any life support. She died two days after leaving her home - an unassisted death. Drinking liquids did not delay her death. So I believe it is food the body rejects, energy it can't create.

But, that probably takes too long when death is the goal for a person whose body is not shutting down conveniently (sorry, naturally).

Someone told me at lunch last Saturday that dehydration is painless so I thought I would check it out. I did cheat a little, I swallowed when I rinsed my teeth and I did take communion at church - after all this wasn't for real. I got really thirsty Saturday evening but by morning I was fine. My stomach never did demand food. I wonder if the lack of liquid helped? I can tell you there wasn't any pain for the first 28 hours. My eyes and nose were feeling dry and there was a sticky sensation in the back of my throat. What scared me though was the wierd sensation in my chest. I don't know if it was my lungs, my ribs, or my heart. But I had supper on Sunday!! After all, this wasn't for real!! Today I still have not recovered. I feel dehydrated yet even though I am drinking more than I did before my "experiment."

John1945 13 years, 1 month ago

I find it strange that on a forum where one must apologize for being pro-life or Christian that Republicans are considered Nazis. Apparently the writer is ignorant of who and what the Nazis were.

Personally, I don't think I'd want the decision of whether I lived or died in the hands of a "spouse" who was shacked up with someone else who had already had two kids by him.

This is truly a sick, crypto-Nazi society, but not because of the Republicans. Heil our liberal judges.

Curious 13 years, 1 month ago

following was posted by Jayhawk226 on March 24 at 5:39 p.m. "But the courts have rendered decisions on this case in FL and the Federal and Supreme courts have chosen to not listen to the case because there is no merit in this case. It would be unconsitutional for the courts to intervene, which also implies, it is unconstitutional for the legislative branches to attempt to pass a bill that would be opposite of these courts' renderings."

It is not that there is no merit in the case. It is that there is no merit in the fine point appealed. No court but Greer's has looked at "the case," I think. Judges trust and support each other, in fact, if they contradict each other very often our judicial system could lose credibility.

If it is unconstitutional for the courts to intervene, it simply means it is not part of their duties as stated in the constitution or the constitution is silent. Where the courts cannot intervene, is exactly where the legislative bodies are able to act.

For example: The court says there is no law dealing with this [whatever this is] therefore we have nothing on which to base a judgement -- it is out of our purview. The legislatures then can make a law dealing with it. Legislatures are open to pass any law. When they pass the law, someone brings them to court, and the court then makes a determination if it is constitutional.

Have to go.

Jayhawk226 13 years, 1 month ago

That is a very good clarification...and much appreciated.

This has been an amazing topic to speak of and your insight is greatly respected. Thank you for not being rude or demeaning and having a logical conversation!

Just glad I don't have to make these decisions, yet anyway.

mic35wild 13 years, 1 month ago

The Cingressional Republicans overstepped the bounds of decency when they tried to subpoena Terry, The so-called "Right to Life" crew is throwing their usual tantrum when they fail to get their way. Now they are circulating uggly "testimony" whihc is northing more than hearsay. Terri's parents and siblings are in desperate need of counseling which will allow them to accept the fact that the Terri they knew has gone elsewhere as a resut of a cerebral meltdown. Let them get back to realliving.

Curious 13 years ago

Posted by i_tching on March 28 at 11:18 p.m. "Even an enormous amount of morphine, perhaps 8 or even 10 mgs per hour would only supply a few ounces of fluid over the period of a whole day."

Assume 8 ml of fluid (with the morphine) an hour. That would be 192 ml of fluid over 24 hours which is 4/5 C. That would prolong the dehydration of a body somewhat. She has not been on a morphine drip. (Healthy bodied people on a drip with no feeding or other hydration do live longer. The bodies will to live is amazing!)

Posted by i_tching on March 28 at 11:18 p.m. "Terri's mouth is moistened and her teeth are gently brushed, almost certainly."

You say, almost certainly. I certainly hope so. Though once the tongue swells up from dehydration and then becomes hard as a board, I doubt very much if "moistened" is an accurate description of the application of a cotton swab. When her teeth are brushed she also swallows the water used, so that again will keep her alive longer -- which is why I wondered if they would allow her teeth to be brushed. (Have you ever awakened to such a dry mouth that when you take a drink you feel nothing? You can't even swallow - just have to kind of pour the water down.)

Posted by i_tching on March 28 at 11:18 p.m. "A primary reason for feeding tubes is that the patient cannot swallow without aspirating fluid into the lungs."

I have never heard 'they have stopped suctioning fluid from her mouth.' She has been swallowing her saliva through all these years. She just hasn't had the therapy to see if she can swallow.

I really don't care what the government allows to be done to any individual. They (at all levels) can, and will, do anything they want. What I care about is our society. If we can watch another person die of starvation and dehydration whether they are aware of their surroundings or not, what does that say about us and what does that portend for the future generations? Maybe nothing. Maybe we will be like the Germans when Hitler tried to kill all the handicapped. At that point they rose up and said NO. But I wonder if they were hardened by it anyway because they either ignored or approved all the things that happened after that.

We also need to discuss, and this is where I think this is intended to lead us, euthanasia.

Did you know what is happening to Terri Schiavo could not be done in the Netherlands? It would be illegal to starve and dehydrate a person to death. It would also be illegal to kill in any way a person in her mental condition. I do agree with the Pope when he said that a person can never be deemed to be a vegetable nor treated as a vegetable.

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