View Full Version : Terri Schiavo case



Rev. Bob
03-19-2005, 03:21 AM
Should the feeding tube be removed? Patrick I'm curious to hear your thoughts since your a med student.

"House GOPs Want Feeding Tube Reinserted

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Lying in her hospice bed with a crowd of protesters gathering outside, Terri Schiavo stopped receiving nourishment through a feeding tube that has kept her alive for more than a decade.

Doctors removed the tube Friday despite an extraordinary, last-minute push by Republicans on Capitol Hill to use the subpoena powers of Congress to keep the brain-damaged woman alive.


Schiavo, 41, could linger one to two weeks, provided no one intercedes and gets the tube reinserted something that has happened twice before.


But activists promised to keep a vigil for Schiavo, while congressional Republicans and her parents' lawyers promised to go on fighting for her life as she spent her first full day Saturday without food and water.


Outside the hospice, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition said activists planned to try to enter the hospice Saturday morning "to try to give Terri a cup of water."


But Schiavo's husband said removing the tube was the right thing to do.


"This is what Terri wanted. This is her wish," Michael Schiavo said late Friday on CNN's "Larry King Live." He was at her side shortly after the tube was removed at mid-afternoon. Efforts to reach him for further comment were unsuccessful.


The removal signals that an end may be near in a decade-long feud between Schiavo's husband and her devoutly Roman Catholic parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. The parents have been trying to oust Michael Schiavo as their daughter's guardian and keep in place the tube that has kept her alive for more than 15 years.


Michael Schiavo says his wife told him she would not want to be kept alive artificially. Her parents dispute that, saying she could get better and that their daughter has laughed, cried, smiled and responded to their voices. Court-appointed physicians testified her brain damage was so severe that there was no hope she would ever have any cognitive abilities.


David Gibbs III, the Schindlers' attorney, said he would work through the weekend to prepare another appeal for a federal appellate court. He also said he hoped lawmakers in Washington or Tallahassee could agree on legislation that would force that the tube be reinserted.


"I'm hopeful these men and women can get a strategy, get a focus, because we're running out of time," Gibbs said.


Earlier Friday, Republicans on Capitol Hill used their subpoena power to demand that Terri Schiavo be brought before a congressional hearing, saying that removing the tube amounted to "barbarism." Michael Schiavo's attorney shot back at a news conference, calling the subpoenas "nothing short of thuggery."


"Terri Schiavo has a right to die in peace," attorney George Felos said.


The judge presiding over the case ruled in the husband's favor and rejected the request from House attorneys to delay the removal, which he had previously ordered to take place at 1 p.m. EST.


"I have had no cogent reason why the (congressional) committee should intervene," Circuit Judge George Greer told attorneys in a conference call, adding that last-minute action by Congress does not invalidate years of court rulings.


Gov. Jeb Bush said the judge's decision "breaks my heart" and noted it often takes two decades for a death row inmate's appeals to go through the system.


"There's this rush to starve her to death," Bush said.
Late Friday, the Supreme Court, without comment, denied an emergency request from the House committee that issued the subpoenas to reinsert Schiavo's feeding tube while the committee files appeals in the lower courts to have its subpoenas recognized.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said in a statement late Friday that they "are committed to reaching an agreement on legislation that provides an opportunity to save Mrs. Schiavo's life."

Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when a chemical imbalance apparently brought on by an eating disorder caused her heart to stop beating for a few minutes. She can breathe on her own, but has relied on the feeding and hydration tube to keep her alive.

Both sides accused each other of being motivated by greed over a $1 million medical malpractice award from doctors who failed to diagnose the chemical imbalance.

The Schindlers also said Michael Schiavo wants their daughter dead so he can marry his longtime girlfriend, with whom he has young children. They have begged him to divorce their daughter, and let them care for her.

The tangled case has encompassed at least 19 judges in at least six different courts.

In 2001, Schiavo went without food and water for two days before a judge ordered the tube reinserted when a new witness surfaced.

When the tube was removed in October 2003, her parents and two siblings frantically sought intervention from Gov Jeb. Bush to stop her slow starvation. The governor pushed through "Terri's Law," and six days later the tube was reinserted.

That set off a new round of legal battles that culminated in September 2004 with the Florida Supreme Court (news - web sites) ruling that Bush had overstepped his authority and declared the law unconstitutional.

On Feb. 25, Circuit Judge George Greer gave Michael Schiavo permission to order the removal of the feeding tube Friday. "

mranderson
03-19-2005, 07:39 AM
Personally, if I was in a health situation like this woman, I would want every effort made to keep me alive, no matter what. I do not believe in euthenasia, be it a family pet, or be it a human. I find it wrong. I think it is murder.

nurfe75
03-19-2005, 11:10 AM
Here we go again with our black and white visions of morality. Guys, read up on this case. This woman specifically told her family that she did NOT want to be kept alive like this. Mr. Anderson, I'm glad you think you would want to be kept alive as a vegetable, unable to think or speak coherently, and unable to feed yourself. Most people wouldn't. I know I wouldn't. My family knows that if I'm ever in a serious enough accident that I am left a vegetable--to shut off whatever machines are keeping me alive and let me die a NATURAL death. It is not murder; it is mercy. And this woman asked for it herself. The government does not have the right to step in and contradict that.

You guys are so fond of bringing up what is "natural" in the eyes of God. Don't you think that when our bodies shut down and are incapable of functioning without special machines, that our creator is ready to call us to the great beyond? What is so wrong with honoring the wishes of a woman and letting her die a humane death? I think keeping people attached to machines as vegetables is tantamount to torture--especially if it is against the express wishes of that individual.

Once again, your own personal value system should not interfere with the way other people want to live and die.

windowphobe
03-19-2005, 02:25 PM
More precisely, her then-husband said that she said that. There is no corroboration elsewhere.

And if a simple plastic feeding tube constitutes "machinery," then clearly my ability to produce a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich qualifies me for a chef's position.

This is an execution, plain and simple. And here's the methodology for it:

http://thrownback.blogspot.com/2005_03_13_thrownback_archive.html#111118109408509 082

Midtowner
03-19-2005, 06:08 PM
More precisely, her then-husband said that she said that. There is no corroboration elsewhere.

And if a simple plastic feeding tube constitutes "machinery," then clearly my ability to produce a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich qualifies me for a chef's position.

This is an execution, plain and simple. And here's the methodology for it:

http://thrownback.blogspot.com/2005_03_13_thrownback_archive.html#111118109408509 082

Unless he really had a strong belief and emotional reason to stay in like this, he would have taken one of the several million plus dollar offers, gotten a divorce, signed over the guardianship to her parents, and moved on with his life. I just don't see why he would fight this fight just because he wanted to kill her. That'd be very puzzling.

Actually, she doesn't have the ability to chew and swallow. They did try to ween her from the feeding tube at one point, but it didn't work. She's that severely brain damaged.

Letting nature take its course is not execution. From your statement, it would logically follow that anyone that signed a "Do not resuscitate" Order wished to be executed. Execution would involve changing her body in such a way that it couldn't survive. In this case, they are just removing the artificial means by which life was preserved.

Keith
03-19-2005, 08:39 PM
Unless he really had a strong belief and emotional reason to stay in like this, he would have taken one of the several million plus dollar offers, gotten a divorce, signed over the guardianship to her parents, and moved on with his life. I just don't see why he would fight this fight just because he wanted to kill her. That'd be very puzzling.

Actually, she doesn't have the ability to chew and swallow. They did try to ween her from the feeding tube at one point, but it didn't work. She's that severely brain damaged.

Letting nature take its course is not execution. From your statement, it would logically follow that anyone that signed a "Do not resuscitate" Order wished to be executed. Execution would involve changing her body in such a way that it couldn't survive. In this case, they are just removing the artificial means by which life was preserved.

I agree.

windowphobe
03-20-2005, 10:25 AM
"If I take the money now, it will look like all I ever wanted was the money from that medical settlement."

Look back on this fellow's behavior over the past decade or so. He wants her dead, and he wants her dead as soon as he can get away with it. Strong belief, emotional reason. Were I the suspicious type, I'd tell you he was hiding something. (Hint: I am the suspicious type.)

nurfe75
03-20-2005, 11:53 AM
Keith and I agree on something. Go tell your friends! :)

sweetdaisy
03-21-2005, 04:01 PM
I have to hop in and comment on this situation b/c it really infuriates me. We have so many problems in our country, but our government came to a screeching halt to intervene for ONE person. That is just baffling to me. Folks, Terri will NEVER get better. It just ain't gonna happen.

I have read all sorts of things on this subject from both sides of the argument. My take:

I think Michael loves Terri, but what is he supposed to do? He's tried to be supportive of her and has lost years of his life while doing so. And though I believe he is trying to respect her wishes of not being kept alive in this kind of state, I also think there is a selfish motivation as well. But I do not fault him for being selfish.

As a human being, he has decided he would actually like to try to live his life and have a family and children, etc. His wife esentially died 15 years ago. Is he not allowed to move forward with his life just because Terri's "shell" is still being kept alive by unnatural means? He was in his late 20's/early 30's with his whole life ahead of him. Can you honestly say that you wouldn't do the same thing if you were in his situation?

Rather than being suspicious of his actions, I have tried to look at this from a different perspective: what would I do if the man I loved was in a vegetative state? I'd want him to be able to go to a better place and be with his maker. I would want him to have peace, and I would fight to my last breath to give him that. And I know that any man that I loved that much would NEVER want to emotionally or financially burden me with this type of situation.

What amazes me is that our government steps in to intervene on one severly brain damaged person's right to die, but they continue sending healthy young men overseas to their potential deaths? I think we have lost sight of our underlying "right to life".

nurfe75
03-21-2005, 05:10 PM
well put, daisy!

sweetdaisy
03-21-2005, 05:27 PM
Why thank you, nurfe75. I'm still waiting to get "thumped" for sharing my opinion. :)

Midtowner
03-21-2005, 05:51 PM
Why thank you, nurfe75. I'm still waiting to get "thumped" for sharing my opinion. :)

You stated your case well. I wouldn't worry about being "thumped".

Keith
03-21-2005, 08:51 PM
well put, daisy!
Yes, we do agree on something:wink: . Sweetdaisy, that is what this forum is for...expressing yourself. You did a magnificant job of it.

"As a human being, he has decided he would actually like to try to live his life and have a family and children, etc. His wife esentially died 15 years ago. Is he not allowed to move forward with his life just because Terri's "shell" is still being kept alive by unnatural means? He was in his late 20's/early 30's with his whole life ahead of him. Can you honestly say that you wouldn't do the same thing if you were in his situation?"

:iagree:

Patrick
03-22-2005, 01:14 AM
I have mixed emotions on this case, and I suppose I could take either side.

Personally, I think if you're purposely starving someone to death that's murder, regardless of the circumstance.

How is this lady any different from a toddler who can't feed itself?

Why not let nature take its course with toddlers? They'd all die, because they can't feed themselves. I think the same law should apply here.

Regardless, this case points out the importance of a living will. If you haven't completed a living will, ask you physician for one today, and make sure it's on file in your medical record.


Hmmm...notice that I disagree with several members here, but I'm not trying to tear their opinions apart! Hint! Hint! I completely respect their opinions, and can see the logic in their opinions. Obviously, the other side of the coin is that this lady is suffering and essentially not living anyways.

For us medical people, this is a great course topic for medical ethics. Medicine is supposed to prolong life, but at the same time it's supposed to improve quality of life. Hmmm....tough call here what to do.

workman45
03-22-2005, 07:39 AM
She is not a toddler, so I find myself supporting sweetdaisy's argument.

mranderson
03-22-2005, 07:45 AM
I see two choices. One. Be alive. Two. Being placed in a box, in a hole in the ground holding by breath forever in a stiff state.

Humm. Which one do I choose. It is a tough call... Death? Naw... I would rather be alive. No matter what. Who knows. Maybe that miracle might just happen. Strange things have occured.

Rev. Bob
03-22-2005, 08:39 AM
She is breathing on her own, which tells me she is alive. Should we starve a living person to death? This brings up memories of the death doctor. How is this any different than Jack Kevorkian? Death should be in God's hands, not the hands of lawmakers. Withholding food from someone who's breathing is not allowing God to perform a miracle in this lady's life.

Whose to say that she couldn't recover? God can perform any miracle.

Rev. Bob
03-22-2005, 08:49 AM
Here's a pic of Michael Schiavo:


http://www.finalexit.org/images/drj.gif

Midtowner
03-22-2005, 08:52 AM
She is breathing on her own, which tells me she is alive. Should we starve a living person to death? This brings up memories of the death doctor. How is this any different than Jack Kevorkian? Death should be in God's hands, not the hands of lawmakers. Withholding food from someone who's breathing is not allowing God to perform a miracle in this lady's life.

Whose to say that she couldn't recover? God can perform any miracle.

I supported the mercy that Dr. Kevorkian helped to bring as well. He was/is a courageous man, even to the point of being locked in prison for life. In my opinion, he is a political prisoner.

As for a toddler, or even an infant, Patrick, they can swallow, as you know, that's a reflex. Shiavo is so damaged that she cannot even do that.

It's very sad what congress, you people, etc. are putting this family through.

mom2des_n_nate
03-22-2005, 09:02 AM
If there is not something stating her wishes then as far as what someone says she would want may very well be that persons opinion. As far at the bit with her husband goes I think he should just divorce her and turn her care back over to her family since he has moved on with another woman and started another family of his own. One comment I have heard time and time again she is brain damaged NOT brain dead.

Patrick
03-22-2005, 10:28 AM
My point is though that toddlers can't feed themselves; someone else has to feed them. Same thing with Terri.

Again, if she would've had a living will, this wouldn't have happened.

Midtowner
03-22-2005, 10:34 AM
My point is though that toddlers can't feed themselves; someone else has to feed them. Same thing with Terri.

Again, if she would've had a living will, this wouldn't have happened.

If the point was made to contradict my point about the inability to feed oneself, you missed my point.

What I was saying was that she not only cannot feed herself (meaning go to the fridge and make a snack), she also can't chew or swallow -- two things that even infants are capable of doing.

sweetdaisy
03-22-2005, 01:34 PM
I may be wrong about this, but I didn't think "living wills" really existed 15 years ago. Am I way off base here?

Midtowner
03-22-2005, 04:18 PM
I may be wrong about this, but I didn't think "living wills" really existed 15 years ago. Am I way off base here?

Yes.

Midtowner
03-23-2005, 10:52 AM
Looks like with this appeals panel's ruling, this thing will probably end soon. It's always sad to see a young woman's life end so prematurely, however, it's obvious to me that it's for the best.

It's just very sad that her parents went to these lengths rather than to just accept the facts as they were. It must be emotionally devestating to them. I do have a tough time feeling too sorry for them, however, after the character assasination ploy they tried against Terri's husband/guardian.

Patrick, we're going on day 5 or 6 with no water, what's your medical opinion on how long she has left?

Patrick
03-23-2005, 02:41 PM
Patrick, we're going on day 5 or 6 with no water, what's your medical opinion on how long she has left?

Personally, I don't like when doctors predict how long one has to live. IMO, it's all relative. She could live 1 week, she could live 3 weeks.

Okay, okay...I'd say without water she may not make it past the weekend.

Geesh! I gave in!

Some people are fighters though, so who knows.

Patrick
03-23-2005, 02:43 PM
I will say that I really feel for the parents. It's their daughter, flesh and blood, and they have absolutely no say in the case. How sad!

Either way the ruling went, it would've set a bad precedent in this case. Had the courts intervened, it would've limited indivudual liberties.

But, allowing her to die by starvation opens up a whole new can of worms. So, is it now okay in the case of a relative who is suffering, to withhold food from them in order to put themout of their misery? Kevorkian was different because he gave patients lethal meds to take their own lives, but this isn't far off....starving someone would typially be viewed as murder, if it were viewed under different circumstances.

Patrick
03-23-2005, 02:50 PM
This is kind of cruel, IMO:

"Terri Schiavo has not received any nourishment since the tube was pulled Friday afternoon. By late Tuesday, Terri's eyes were sunken, her skin was parched and flaking and her lips and tongue were parched, said Barbara Weller, an attorney for the Schindlers. "

Midtowner
03-23-2005, 04:03 PM
I will say that I really feel for the parents. It's their daughter, flesh and blood, and they have absolutely no say in the case. How sad!

Either way the ruling went, it would've set a bad precedent in this case. Had the courts intervened, it would've limited indivudual liberties.

But, allowing her to die by starvation opens up a whole new can of worms. So, is it now okay in the case of a relative who is suffering, to withhold food from them in order to put themout of their misery? Kevorkian was different because he gave patients lethal meds to take their own lives, but this isn't far off....starving someone would typially be viewed as murder, if it were viewed under different circumstances.

The fact is, she probably never should have been put on the tube to begin with.. If she can't feel pain, and is essentially a vegetable with no brain function, I guess it's kind of like the old question "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?".

I can understand why the parents fight.. but really, that's a long time to be in denial about their daughter's condition. Of course, I'm not a parent, so I doubt I could really understand what they're going through.

Karried
03-24-2005, 11:25 AM
I'm a parent and can only imagine (my worst nightmare) how this would be... I can't really decide what would be best here but I think if my son's wife said he wanted to die then it would depend on the relationship with her before, if she was credible and believable then I might consider that he really wouldn't want to live in this state. On the other hand, no one knows if she ever said, 'if I get into an accident and can't swallow, kill me' - who knows the truth? Only the husband and he has to live with it if it wasn't true, he would then be a murderer in my opinion.

This is inhumane and cruel, do you think she feels hunger pangs? I haven't eaten breakfast or lunch today and am already hungry & uncomfortable - how does she feel I wonder?

Wasn't there a better way to end this? :(

This is so sad all the way around for everyone involved. Did you see the pics of her before the accident, she was gorgeous. What a horrible tragedy.

mranderson
03-24-2005, 11:48 AM
The US Supreme Court has denied the appeal. Unless Jeb decides to intervene, She will soon be gone.

I have said before, I do not believe in what her husband is doing. I think it is murder.

Yes. Karrie is right. She was an attractive woman before she was injured. What a shame.

Midtowner
03-24-2005, 12:12 PM
Jeb can't intervene legally at this point. He's already tried.

This is looking like a done deal.

This is worse than the Scott Peterson case though. It's being completely blown out of proportion -- or at least it was until Congress intervened. That, in my opinion is the real issue here. My heart goes out to the Shindlers, but this is so much bigger than this family tiff now. Congress has had this pattern recently of moving more things to the federal courts, which I don't like, because they are further politicizing those courts with the new scrutiny that's being placed on judicial nominations (and the majority party's attempts to pack the court).

I'm really not liking the media and how they sell these stories when there are things going on overseas that are MUCH more important and meaningful to our daily lives. I guess somewhere, someone decided that the war on terror was too boring though...

Keith
03-30-2005, 08:28 PM
I'm really rethinking this issue. They didn't take her off of oxygen, they took her food and water away from her. Even if she still needed assistance eating, then she should still have a right to live.

The way I look at it, if she was on oxygen or a ventilator, and that was the only thing keeping her alive, then it would be an easier decision to take her off the ventilator than to take her food and water away from her and watch her suffer.

It makes me wonder what she really feels...is she suffering? Does she feel any pain? It's not right to watch someone starve to death.

http://www.aish.com/graphics/articles/ShouldTerriSchiavo230x150.jpg

On her wedding day...a beautiful bride.

http://www.terrisfight.org/images/weddingday.jpg

sweetdaisy
03-30-2005, 08:45 PM
You know, I'm rethinking my opinion on this, too. Part of me thinks it was the right thing to do, but part of me just aches knowing she is starving to death. I'm praying she is not suffering, and is unaware of what is happening to her. :( This makes me cry.

God be with her and her family...

Midtowner
03-30-2005, 08:54 PM
No worries, she has no cerebral cortex, ergo, she does not have the ability to feel pain. Nor does she have the ability to process the fact that she feels pain. She can't think, she just "exists".

Death in this case is humane. I am sad for her parents though. They must be going through hell.

Patrick
03-30-2005, 09:54 PM
I'm glad to see some of you guys are coming around! Starving someone to death is cruel, regardless of whether he/she can feel the pain or not.

Midtowner
03-30-2005, 09:57 PM
I'm glad to see some of you guys are coming around! Starving someone to death is cruel, regardless of whether he/she can feel the pain or not.

And letting them live in such a state is worse in my opinion. Two weeks of pain vs. 15 years is no contest.

Not to mention the cost -- and to me, that is a serious factor. Why pay to keep something alive that really isn't experiencing life? I didn't know that the state was supposed to pay that kind of money just to keep the parents from feeling bad.

But I have officially lost respect for the parents. They've allowed a horrible character assassination ploy to go out against Michael -- one that had zero effect on the courts, they've told lie after lie to the press, and to sum it up, they just sold the names and addresses of every single person that's given them money to a direct marketing company. Top notch people, they are.

Sooner&RiceGrad
03-30-2005, 11:46 PM
Well if you are the alleged Catholic you say you are, you agree that the value of Life is imperative.

Patrick
03-30-2005, 11:55 PM
Yeah, I see Pope John Paul II just got a feeding tube. Should it be removed to stop his pain and suffering?

Midtowner
03-31-2005, 09:37 AM
Well if you are the alleged Catholic you say you are, you agree that the value of Life is imperative.

I believe that brain function is a necessary component to life.

Anyhow, she died this morning. We'll all get to see whether or not she had a cerebral cortex. If not, I believe it lays the argument to rest. Without any kind of cognitive function, she was just a biological, living mass that resembled a human. My feeling is that it's thought and free will that make us human.

-- Or at least the capability for thought and free will.

mranderson
03-31-2005, 10:18 AM
It was just announced that earlier today, Terri Schiavo expired. May she rest in peace.

Midtowner
03-31-2005, 01:31 PM
It was just announced that earlier today, Terri Schiavo expired. May she rest in peace.

Please read the above post that was posted a half an hour before yours.

Thank you.