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Terri Schiavo case

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jenwill

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Edited to remove my previous post...I realized I dont' want to get sucked into this, since along with religion and politics this is not a case where any of us will suddenly have an 'AHA!" moment from reading more...most of the posts have already covered the topic and some of its myriad angles.

Peace.
 

JCJD

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Just a rhetorical question here...

If Terri Shiavo is truly meant to live, i.e. if God still has a plan for her here on earth, will mere humans removing a plastic feeding tube from her body possibly stand in the way of God''s will?

Don''t need to answer this or discuss it, just think about it - I thought this was an interesting question and wanted to pass it on.
 

lmurden

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Err on the side of life??? I see that you have the Republican talking points down pack! The President needs to stay out of this! The Senate needs to stay out of this! The Governor of Florida needs to stay out of this! What''s next??? I would suggest everyone get a living will! This is the only way to keep the government out of our lives when it comes to making personal decisions like this!
 

fire&ice

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Date: 3/22/2005 3:58:55 PM
Author: lmurden
Err on the side of life??? I see that you have the Republican talking points down pack! The President needs to stay out of this! The Senate needs to stay out of this! The Governor of Florida needs to stay out of this! What''s next??? I would suggest everyone get a living will! This is the only way to keep the government out of our lives when it comes to making personal decisions like this!
I just want to make a point that this is a VERY conservative viewpoint - Government out of our lives.


That being said, Terry Schiavo is just ONE case. Unfortunately, there have been more, are more & will be more. Maybe because of the length and complexity of Terry''s ordeal - but this one has received soooooooo much attention.

I''m still confused by many issues about this case. This case has been brought up to different courts (many out of the jurisdiction of Fl - to heck with state''s rights). I heard 19 times. The 20th case being heard now in GA. And, as mentioned, Scott Peterson isn''t going to go before the court 20 times just to get the verdict he wants. Shouldn''t the courts be more responsible in refusing to hear the case.

JCDC - it was a question that I thought about. And, yes, it does make you think. Lot''s of "god" playing going on.

I agree that the Gov. should stay out of it. The courts perhaps not - as they are our ruling body (but not 20 times). But, I didn''t want anyone thinking for one moment that this isn''t a bipartisan WANT on both sides. Most likely politcally motivated by not wanting to seem heartless. Don''t soley blame the Republicans on this one. And, the right for the Gov. to stay out of our lives is a conservative stance.
 

icekid

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Date: 3/22/2005 5:17
1 PM
Author: Feydakin
But the biggest part of this entire issue that bothers me is that it took Mr. Schiavo 6 YEARS to remember that Terri didn''t want to live like this.. What made him ''remember'' that??
this is only my speculation, but i can see how this could happen- easily. for the first years, he was still in close contact with the parents who are obviously adamant about keeping her alive under any circumstances. there was probably still some hope at that point that she might improve?? as the years progressed and it became more obvious that the real terri was gone, and he knew what he had to do. when you''re talking about the death of your wife, i can definitely see how it could take time get to this decision.

and i agree very much w/ ammayer- all of the issues that we are hearing about now, the courts HAVE taken into consideration. they have heard the opinions of countless doctors, the parents, the husband. why do we think the courts have consistently made the same decision? have ALL the judges been mislead? doubtful. IMO, that should be it.
 

sparklish

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I heard 19 times.  The 20th case being heard now in GA.  And, as mentioned, Scott Peterson isn''t going to go before the court 20 times just to get the verdict he wants.  Shouldn''t the courts be more responsible in refusing to hear the case.
The case hasn''t been heard 20 times. There were, I think (?), 4 cases that dealt with in Florida and there have been a total of 19 judges involved (now 20). From what I have read, that figure of 19 is the number of judges involved and includes the judges on the Supreme Court and a Court of Appeal who refused to grant an appeal. So the thing is, 20 judges have been involved with this case (some quite peripherally), but not 20 trials.

Hope that helps!
 

movie zombie

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lmurden

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"Err on the side of life" is a talking point from a memo that the Republicans put out this week about this issue to get their right to life base motivated! All of the right wing radio talk shows have been using that exact wording.

Democrats are not, I repeat not for the government telling people/families what to do in their private lives! The Republicans aren''t for government staying out of peoples lives when it comes to a woman''s right to choose, the Schiavo case, or Elian Gonzolas. They just want the government out of their lives when it comes to taxes.
 

movie zombie

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imurden, did you read the website i posted? i think you''ll find it interesting and VERY VERY scary.

peace, movie zombie
 

Kaleigh

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This is indeed a very emotional case, I feel for both sides. My children were talking about this at dinner, my daughter is taking a bio-ethics class. I feel the government should stay out of this, but guess that is not going to happen. This poor woman has been through this before starved then put back on the feeding tube, it''s abuse in my mind. What I mean to say is how many times is the law going to take her feeding tube away and then a judge decides to put it back, the poor woman????
 

movie zombie

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some judge puts it in?! last i knew we were a nation of laws...and we have to follow them even if we don''t like it.

peace, movie zombie
 

Rank Amateur

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It seems to me that her husband lost the rights due a husband when he chose to shack up with another woman and make babies with that woman. I don't know many facts of the case but just that one is compelling to me.

So what's wrong with the view of "erring on the side of life"? I know that it is a Republican talking point (a horribly tacky polital move, no doubt) but so what? From what I understand we don't have anything to go on other than the word of a man who remembered this conversation about Terri not wanting to live on a feeding tube some seven years after the fact. This seems like shaky ground to purposefully starve/dehydrate someone to death.

As for the recent bipartisan legislation, all it did was afford the opportunity for a federal review of the case. The executive and legislative branches have made no "decisions", but these are the Dem's (and obviously several here's) talking points, vapid as they are. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines - life is the first one! If your State deprives you of one of these you are in big trouble. Isn't your gov't obligated to step in?

It looks so far that the Feds are going to rule with the State. After that, she'll be dead.
 

Rank Amateur

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Date: 3/23/2005 4:54:20 AM
Author: movie zombie
some judge puts it in?! last i knew we were a nation of laws...and we have to follow them even if we don''t like it.

peace, movie zombie
What a simplistic point of view!


We are a nation of judge''s opinions. Their idea of the "law" varies greatly from judge to judge. It is the nature of the beast.
 

fire&ice

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Date: 3/22/2005 10
7:25 PM
Author: lmurden

Democrats are not, I repeat not for the government telling people/families what to do in their private lives! The Republicans aren''t for government staying out of peoples lives when it comes to a woman''s right to choose, the Schiavo case, or Elian Gonzolas. They just want the government out of their lives when it comes to taxes.
I said NOTHING about Democratic or Republican. I said CONSERVATIVE (in the true sense) view. And, I don''t know what Democratic party you belong to as I do NOT see them in your light.
 

lmurden

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Fire and Ice, what do you mean you do not see them in my light?
Are you saying that the Democratic party that you belong to is pro life and not pro choice?
Very strange.

Anyway, I''m getting my legal affairs taken care of so that I won''t have to worry about this happening to me.

 

mightyred

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If you have a minute check in to the 1999 Texas Futile Care Law signed into law by then governor George W. Bush (co drafted by National Right to Life Committee). Google it and you will find several references over the last few days.

A six-month old boy named Sun Hudson died last week after a Texas hospital removed his feeding tube, despite his mother''s pleas. He had a fatal congenital disease, but would have been kept alive had his mother been able to pay for his medical costs, or had she found another institution willing to take him. In a related Texas case, Spiro Nikolouzos, who, because of a shunt in his brain, is unable to speak and must be fed through a tube but who his wife says can recognize family members and show emotion, may soon be removed from life support because health care providers believe his case is futile.'' The Hudson and Nikolous cases fall under the Texas Futile Care Law.

How can Bush be outraged about the Schiavo case but not about the Hudson and Nikolouzos cases? Bioethical flip flopper much? Now granted he did amend the original draft 1997 bill and allowed patients 10 days to find alternative placement so we must be grateful for that but it still seems to me this bill doesn''t "err on the side of life".



If you are interested in this case from a journalist perspective and how the media is skewing this case emotionally over factually read here:

http://www.cjrdaily.org/archives/001390.asp
 

icekid

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Date: 3/23/2005 9:13:32 AM
Author: fire&ice

Date: 3/22/2005 10
7:25 PM
Author: lmurden

Democrats are not, I repeat not for the government telling people/families what to do in their private lives! The Republicans aren''t for government staying out of peoples lives when it comes to a woman''s right to choose, the Schiavo case, or Elian Gonzolas. They just want the government out of their lives when it comes to taxes.
I said NOTHING about Democratic or Republican. I said CONSERVATIVE (in the true sense) view. And, I don''t know what Democratic party you belong to as I do NOT see them in your light.
haha, SO TRUE. i always find myself very conflicted when it comes to politics as i greatly dislike both parties! they both want to force THEIR standards on me. when it comes down to it, they''re basically the same as far as i am concerned.
 

fire&ice

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Date: 3/23/2005 9:54:35 AM
Author: icekid

Date: 3/23/2005 9:13:32 AM
Author: fire&ice


Date: 3/22/2005 10
7:25 PM
Author: lmurden

Democrats are not, I repeat not for the government telling people/families what to do in their private lives! The Republicans aren''t for government staying out of peoples lives when it comes to a woman''s right to choose, the Schiavo case, or Elian Gonzolas. They just want the government out of their lives when it comes to taxes.
I said NOTHING about Democratic or Republican. I said CONSERVATIVE (in the true sense) view. And, I don''t know what Democratic party you belong to as I do NOT see them in your light.
haha, SO TRUE. i always find myself very conflicted when it comes to politics as i greatly dislike both parties! they both want to force THEIR standards on me. when it comes down to it, they''re basically the same as far as i am concerned.
Precisely.

It''s politics as usual. I am a true conservative. I would be a libertarian if I can ever find a candidate that''s moderate. Some government is necessary for a society to function properly.

I just have to shake my head that a conservative has come to mean in the eyes of the nation as a "religious right". But, that certainly gets votes. And, that''s what it''s all about.

BTW, Jenwill - I read your first version. You should have kept it in. No, one is not going to sway firm opinions. But, I think it is necessary to voice different perspectives - even though in the past I haven''t agreed
. I listen to people who don''t shut down. Getting back to my BTW, I agree with what you wrote. Legislation should not be made in the throws of passion so to speak. Yeah, what seems dandy at the time.

I just feel so badly for all the parties involved.
 

pricescope

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Messages
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Personal Democracy: Schiavo: The Power of a Networked Minority

"Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, with sizable majorities saying Congress is overstepping its bounds for political gain," writes ABC News'' Gary Langer. "The public, by 63-28 percent, supports the removal of Schiavo''s feeding tube, and by a 25-point margin opposes a law mandating federal review of her case. By a lopsided 67-19 percent most think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved."

Also MSNBC: Live Vote: Should Terri Schiavo''s feeding tube be reinserted?

Yes: 31%
No: 69%http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3080261/

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/PollVault/story?id=599622&page=1

 

elepri

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Jun 29, 2004
Messages
759
Thanks Leonid for posting that, that's really reassuring, sometimes it seems that Christian fundamentalists are really taking over this country, forcing their values on everyone. Personally, I think "erring on the side of life" is also a value judgment. I can't imagine anyone wanting to be kept alive and in Terri's place, I certainly wouldn't want anyone erring on the side of life at all. Sure, we don't know what Terri specifically would want but my guess is the probability of her wanting to live this kind of "life" is very low.
 

fire&ice

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Date: 3/23/2005 4:26:21 PM
Author: Feydakin
If we are not going ''err on the side of life'' then at the very least we should have the decency to end her life quickly and painlessly with a simply hypo.. Starvation is the wrong method..
You know that can not be done. The human in me agrees though.
 

Matata

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Date: 3/23/2005 4:55
4 PM
Author: fire&ice
You know that can not be done. The human in me agrees though.
It can't be done even though our hearts tell us that it is more humane. At some point, for the good of our society, we will have to craft a protocol for dealing legally with the questions that our ever increasing medical technology provides.

edited to add: Anyone remember Alvin Toffler's Future Shock ?
 

elepri

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I agree completely, there must be a humane way to let her go, certainly more humane that starvation. Too bad it''s not legal.
 

yellowfan

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.

Exactly Elepri and that's one of the reasons I am so upset about this case, the other is that her parents are not allowed to make her decisions. I am truly sad that her former husband can make these decisions. He could allow for liquid medications such as liquid morphine. Whether or not she has said she wanted to die or live, she should be allowed pain medications for a more humane peaceful death.


Starvation is an awful way to die and is not painless.



For the political ones, I am a registered democrat if that makes a difference.

I am also a registered nurse and thats why I err on the human side of life.
 

bar01

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
622

I don't know the answers to any of this. I wish I knew what the best approach is with anyone (not just Terri). I am trying so hard to learn everything I can. My fiancé' and I are discussing this intensely before we meet with a lawyer about trusts and wills and power of attorney. I am trying to understand what she wants and what I want. This is very depressing stuff to think about.


I am going to try to talk with my personal physician of 15 years who I trust greatly and he will be listed in my legal documents as the final medical authority (prognosis/assessment) if something happens to me.

About stopping feeding being a horrible way to die -it certainly seems that way to me and my gal - but I just don't know.
Here is an article from the Chicago Tribune on this issue. I can't post the link because it requires registration.

I don't endorse it. Just trying to learn.

------------------------------------------

Is starvation a painful way to die?
Suffering is uncommon, experts say
By Jeremy Manier
Tribune staff reporter
Published March 22, 2005

One of the main rationales of religious advocates and lawmakers seeking to keep Terri Schiavo alive through a feeding tube has been that removing her only source of nutrition and liquid would be cruel, leading to a "horrible and painful death," in the words of one activist.


But many of the doctors and nurses who witness the consequences of removing such treatment from patients say withholding nourishment is a common—and largely painless—way of letting nature take its course for ill patients. They say many people near death actually choose to have their feeding tubes removed, which typically leads to a calm, peaceful death.


Most of the experience comes from patients whose cases may differ from that of Schiavo, who has survived for 15 years in a persistent vegetative state. But experts say Schiavo, who is in a Florida hospice, likely would be given the same simple care that makes feeding tube removal an easy way out for many patients and their families.


The most common problem is a dry mouth and thirstiness, which caregivers treat with moist swabs and ice chips, if a patient is able to swallow. Those are steps Schiavo would have needed for some time, since she hasn't taken food or drink through her mouth since the 1990 heart stoppage that left her permanently brain damaged.


None of the doctors, nurses and hospice employees interviewed for this article said they have ever seen removal of a feeding tube increase suffering of a hospice patient.


"I've helped thousands of people be comfortable at the end of life," said Dr. Michael Marschke, medical director for Horizon Hospice in Chicago. "Most stop eating on their own, and they're very comfortable doing it."


Some hospice workers said they feel the controversy over Schiavo has placed their mission in question. They also criticized what they described as bad information put out by lawmakers who over the weekend moved to allow a federal court to decide Schiavo's fate.


Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) said that Michael Schiavo, by testifying that his wife would have wanted the tube removed, "sentenced her to a most excruciating death."


'They're wrong'


"I listened to those representatives, and I was appalled," Marschke said. "They're wrong. To talk like that is an injustice to the public."


A 2003 survey of Oregon hospice nurses whose patients had chosen to speed death by refusing food or fluids found that those patients experienced relatively little apparent pain or suffering. About one-third of the nurses contacted had at least one patient who chose that course in the previous four years, according to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Most of the deaths "were peaceful, with little suffering, although 8 percent of patients were thought to have had a relatively poor quality of death," the authors wrote.


Advocates for Terri Schiavo's survival insist the dehydration process is painful, and they have cited the experience of one former patient, Kate Adamson, who had her feeding tube removed and has described it as "torture." But most people who provide end-of-life care said her story is not typical.


Some patients feel hungry for two or three days after the withdrawal of food, but experts said it's a surprisingly short-lived sensation. After that the body begins a process called ketosis, getting energy from fat stores.


Many experts believe that chemicals released in the process have the effect of relieving hunger and may even give rise to a feeling of euphoria. Oddly, having even a little food at such times may create more hunger than complete starvation.


"Within a few days, you're not very hungry," said Dr. Jeff Frank, a neurologist at the University of Chicago who has watched any patients die after having feeding tubes removed. "When you eat something, you actually feel uncomfortable."


Studies have shown that feeding tubes do not produce the same feeling of satiety that normal eating produces. Therefore, removing a tube probably does not result in the same sort of hunger that a normal fast would, Frank said.


Patients become sleepy


Lack of water makes the body stop producing urine in an effort to conserve fluid. The body retains more sodium and waste products, some of which tend to make patients sleepy.


"You get a level of sedation that enhances comfort," said Nancy Harte, a registered nurse and director of the Rainbow Hospice LIFE Institute for Learning in Park Ridge.


After a week or so, the patient's blood pressure decreases, and eventually blood carbon dioxide levels increase, starting a terminal spiral. More carbon dioxide lowers blood pressure further, making it harder for the body to get enough oxygen. The increase in carbon dioxide has a separate sedative effect, often called "CO2 narcosis." Most patients die of an infection or from cardiac arrest.


Many experts said it's only natural to assume that withholding water and food would be painful. Susan Dolan, executive director of Des Plaines-based Seasons Hospice, said her staff has a name for such reactions: "The out-of-towner syndrome."


"The family at the bedside has accepted what's happening, then sister Sue shows up, sees that Mom has lost 50 pounds, and she has a knee-jerk reaction," Dolan said. "It's the same thing with Terri Schiavo; if you're hearing about this for the first time, it's like, 'Oh my gosh, they're starving her, do something.'"


Doctors said one risk of the crisis may be to cast suspicion on the practice of removing feeding tubes. One bill that passed the U.S. House last week but failed in the Senate would have given federal courts broad power to review the removal of feeding tubes.


Marschke of Horizon Hospice said such measures would take away what is, for many families, the best option.


"There are lots of patients dying this way," Marschke said, "and now their family members will be concerned they're doing the wrong thing. All for the sport of politics."

 
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