Skip to comments.Let Schiavo fade away, as so many others do
Posted on 09/25/2003 7:13:01 AM PDT by syriacus
[snip] It was maybe a rhetorical question but it stumped me. Would I treat my dog the way her husband is prepared to treat Terri Schiavo, letting her die by denying her food and water?
There is nothing unusual about denying medical treatment to the TERMINALLY ILL who don't want their lives prolonged. Withholding food and water is one way to accommodate them.
(Excerpt) Read more at sptimes.com ...
The rest of Melone's column tells half of Terri's story---the half her her extranged husband Mike would like you to hear.
All Freepers are welcome to contibute their thoughts and efforts at the thread TERRI SCHINDLER SCHIAVO CALLING ALL FREEPERS Pt2 Disabled FL woman given Death Sentence by FL Courts
Freepers can learn more about Terri, from those closest to her who support her right to live, at www.terrisfight.org
Ohhh... I thought you meant deranged.
I can probably freepmail you a copy of that journal article if you are interested. The gist of it was they were completely amazed to find that much of what they had believed about brain function up until that time was incorrect, if you compared the brain of Karen to her abilities after becoming disabled.
And that would have been about the mid-1990's. Not so long ago at all.
The other issue I want to raise is that, as a second-tier medical professional, the process of death by terminal dehydration for those in their very last days and made uncomfortable by food may not be all that cruel.
Inflicting it upon a person who is severely brain-damaged, whose organs are functional and still responding to the loss of fluid, is one of the most cruel things we have done in this country.
In cases like Terri's and many listed on my FR page, these people are not even granted the benefit of sedatives until they begin seizing uncontrollably - which upsets the family doing bedside death watch.
For the elderly with weaker hearts, it may go more quickly, but for younger and middle-aged brain-damaged people who are becoming a liability for their families, the process takes weeks and is one of unspeakable suffering.
We treat our worst criminals more kindly when we execute them.
"It took High nine days to die of dehydration. I met Joan Finn, his mother, outside the nursing home on October 7. Obviously distraught, she said, 'Don't let anyone ever tell you this isn't a horrible way to die. No law should allow this!'
A few days earlier she told a reporter, 'I just don't think that [Hugh] should be put to death. Tom and I are willing to take care of him.'
Except when sleeping, Hugh remained conscious with eyes open for eight days, as the press reported his mouth drying out and his deteriorating condition. While the media quoted doctors' assurances of a comfortable death, the nursing home administered morphine and Hugh's parents said he seemed to be in pain and was 'moaning and groaning something awful.'"
I like your way of interpreting what you read.
We have gone from allowing people to die who are connected to many machines and unable to breathe on their own, to defining food and water as medical care and attempting to remove it from people who play card games, can get around in a wheelchair, and speak.
The correlations with Germany just before Hitler came into power are like huge crayon writings on a wall.
Yes. Soon they will be putting the so-called "non-productive" elderly on ice floes.
Everything is relative...Did the Nazis ever determine if a freezing death is preferable to a dehydration/starvation death?
by Joseph R. Stanton, M.D.
In the movie "Judgement at Nuremberg", there is a poignant scene. The German Judge, sentenced to death, wishing somehow to justify himself to the American Jurist, begs him to visit him in jail before he returns to the U.S.A. As they pace up and down the corridor in that last encounter, the German says, "You must believe I never knew it would come to this." (all those deaths of the innocent and innocence). The American replied, "It came to this the very first time you knowingly allowed an innocent person to be put to death."
A long time has passed since a late night in New Jersey when a teenage girl entered an emergency room and history. Alcohol and drugs in vogue and involved, in those days, led to vomiting and asphyxia. Delivered to an emergency room, unconscious but resuscitated, the girl was placed on a ventilator and a feeding tube. The most oxygen-sensitive part of her brain, the cortex, remained permanently impaired. She was "in a persistent vegetative state" or "vegetative." After a period with no further improvement, the father of the girl sought Court permission to turn off the respirator. With permission granted and the patient refusing to die (even though medical testimony was almost unanimous that she would die), the father was asked, "Will you now clamp the feeding tube?" He replied, "No, that would be killing her." Karen Ann Quinlan continued to live for many years totally dependent until she died naturally. Yet, even as her tragic life continued, other Courts hearing cases of similarly distressed patients "at the edges of life" were giving permission to clamp off feeding tubes with inevitable death ensuing in a predictable way, in a predictable number of days.
In the meantime, an ethician in a leading American journal commented, "Cessation of nutrition may become the only effective way of making a certain large number of biologically tenacious patients actually die." Considering the fact that a short half century before, the Nazis had classified certain persons as useless eaters and exterminated them in a "crime against humanity," the very stones should have cried out, but they didnt.
Beginning in 1984, a succession of feeding cases has proceeded through the Courts of the United States. Some patients have been comatose; some in what is described as "persistent vegetative state"; another was conscious yet demented (delightfully); while yet another was young, an illegal immigrant, conscious, but quadraplegic and depressed.
In Massachusetts, these cases were manifested "in the matter of Mary Heir (1984)," "Brophy v N.E. Sinai Hospital", and "in the Guardianship of Donald E. McCarthy" (1993). In Massachusetts vigorous defense by Attorneys Philip Moran, J.D., Robert LeDoux, J.D., Peter Gubellini, J.D., and John Duggan, J.D. produced decisions where Mary Heir and Donald McCarthy continued to be fed and lived until natural death occurred. A brilliant lower Courts decision ordered Paul Brophys continued feeding, but a split Massachusettes Supreme Court decision overturned this humane and brilliant decision, the tube was clamped and death ordained.
In the Federal Feeding case of Nancy Cruzan, a split U.S. Supreme Court found in Roe and Does right of privacy, a "right to die." Unlicensed pathologist, Jack Kevorkian, with his mercitron and canister of carbon monoxide for inducing death (excuse please, "treating pain"), scoffs at the law with impunity and over 40 people have died. The media hail the merchants of death: polls show the public and medicine are ready to welcome the ethic and era.
Except for cases of malnutrition, dehydration or vitamin deficiency, food and water do not treat disease. They do, however, sustain and support human life. Removal of food and water in the healthy or the ill leads inevitably to death with no exceptions. This is the road to which the feeding cases have led, while each day the very right to live is systematically denied to over 4000 tiny dependent human beings in the erstwhile sanctuary of a mothers nurturing womb.
Pope John Paul II has accurately described all this as "The encroaching culture of death" and urged all to join in resisting it.
There was a Teacher who walked the shores of Lake Genesareth. He preached that imprinted on all who live and breathe no matter how obscured or marred or disfigured by disease or illness, there is imprinted Imago Dei, the Image of God. He taught that a cup of water given to "these My least brethren" in His name would bring eternal life. The challenge to doctors, nurses, health care personnel, families, indeed to each of us, is to act as if we really believe Him, and to care for the sick, the suffering, and the dying without questioning their worth or ours.
There are some good articles at http://www.terrisfight.org/recent.htm.
You can choose among the links to find articles that might be of interest to you.
what do this woman's brain scans show?
I'd like a cut and dry answer, too.
But it seems the neurologists differ in their prognosis.
Here is an atricle from CNN about Terri's CAT scan [please consider the source]:
The court said a neurologist who had reviewed a CAT scan of Mrs. Schiavo's brain and an EEG has testified that most, if not all, of Mrs. Schiavo's cerebral cortex -- the portion of her brain that allows for human cognition and memory -- is either "totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair."
"Although it is conceivable that extraordinary treatment might improve some of the motor functions of her brain stem or cerebellum, the Schindlers have presented no medical evidence suggesting that any new treatment ... would allow her to understand her perceptions of sight and sound or to communicate or respond cognitively to those perceptions," the court said.
I do not know, at the moment, which neurologist is being quoted.
Neurologists have ruled for and against her chances of recovery.
[Melvin Greer] was on the husband's side to boost the argument that Terri is too disabled to live...too disabled to appreciate sustenance, fluid, family, touch or hugs like I was doing today from my wheelchair with all my existing physical deficits.
There were some amazing factual gaps in his knowledge.
For example, he considered the message boards used regularly to assist people who can not speak well as something very rare. Innumerable places where people with cerebral palsy are helped every week refute that. [snip]
He claimed to have never heard of the most famous computerized message board user of all -- Stephen Hawking. [snip].
The additional possibility that a similar message board could help Terri Schiavo communicate is being totally discounted by this doctor and the others arguing for the discontinuation of her feedings.
[snip] Dr. Greer does not remember clapping to check Terri's startle response, but he thinks he probably sang "Melancholy Baby" to her.
While being asked to look at video of Terri's interaction with her mother, Greer also had to be asked twice to please look at his monitor. In addition, during this same line of questioning the doctor had to be asked to put his glasses back on so he could see his screen clearly.
Later when asked if Terri vocalized during examination of her, he said, "She probably did. I didn't notice...I didn't put it in my memory sources."
Not so coincidentally, the McKnight Brain Institute is associated with the HUMAN BRAIN TISSUE BANK
The Human Brain Tissue Bank (HBTB) is a core facility of the Evelyn F. & William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida (MBI-UF).
Its purpose is to facilitate the procurement, characterization, storage and dissemination of human brain tissue to principal investigators for brain research. Because the human brain is vulnerable to certain diseases (such as Alzheimer's Disease) that do not occur in other species, it makes the study of human brain tissue essential if we are to explain and hopefully treat the destructive processes of these diseases.
While the willingness of donors (with central nervous system disorders) increases there is a very real need for normal control tissues as well.
The Human Brain Tissue Bank procures, characterizes, stores and disseminates human brain tissue for brain research.
By calling 1-352-294-0537 you can receive further information on how to become a donor. For a more in depth overview of the HBTB, including a description of research and education, click here.
Does anyone else find this to be amazing? I have long been considering opening my presentation with this Scripture.
I think it would be very effective and memorable.
Melone's column had so much rubbish.
Great post, MarMema, thank you for the ping.
I once wrote an editorial about the basic problems in medicine, not particularly related to euthanasia, but to the loss of the soul and foundation of western medicine. You can read it here:
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