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Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley

0 posted 10-23-2003 10:13 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

There are so many things to discuss!!

Liza Minnelli and her soon to be ex...

The tree stump in New Jersey that they say looks like the Virgin Mary....

Pirate-mania courtesy of Survivor Pearl Islands...

The fact that it has been reported to be snowing in Boston, raining in Seattle and we're breaking a 70 year old heat record here today - we should reach at least 98-100 degrees!

So...HI. What's happening in your world today?
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002

1 posted 10-23-2003 10:39 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The Florida Legislature enacted a law allowing Gov. Bush to intervene to save a brain damaged woman, Terri Schiavo, from a court order allowing her "husband" and "guardian" (who is living with his "fiance" with one child already and another on the way) to disconnect her feeding tube (she is on no other life support of any kind) which would lead to death by starvation and dehydration, absent a written directive from the patient herself.

Gov. Bush ordered that Terri be reconnected to her feeding and hydration tube and a circuit court judge is going to appoint a guardian for her.

There are many who need feeding tubes to survive: brain damaged, mentally retarded, and other physically disabled. It's scary to think of the precedent the Florida courts could have set if they had gone unchallenged on this.

Sometimes sanity prevails, just not often enough nowadays.
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart

2 posted 10-23-2003 11:42 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

On Ms. Schiavo:
"In Schiavo's case, the medical community feels pretty certain that this is the condition she is going to live in forever, unless you stop the feeding tube," said Jeffrey Spike, an associate professor of medical humanities. He said he expected the Schiavo case to kindle a nationwide debate on what kind of care an estimated 10,000 Americans diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state should receive.

"Americans can ask themselves this question: if this happens to someone you love, who do you think should make the decision about continuing or stopping treatment?" Spike said.
from:  San Francisco Chronicle,

Regardless of the husband's "new life", I cannot stress the importance of NOT relying on verbal wishes to make one's desires known.  If you want certain decisions made when you are unable to act for yourself, write it down!

Denise, please don't think I believe what they are doing is right.  Media, unfortunately, never shows all sides of any story - and ofentimes go for the most dramatic storyline possible, as we all know.  In the same storyline in this instance that is referenced above, they say this "action" is ONLY for this particular incident.  It DOES, however, open the door for this case to be cited to future incidents.  I believe all matters of this sort need to be looked at on their merits, alone.  Would we be reacting the same if Ms. Schiavo were 95?

Write down your desires.  Make sure your doctor, lawyer, parents or siblings, as well as your spouse, have copies.  There should be no question in anyone's mind your intent on how to live out the remainder of your life in an instance such as this.
Marge Tindal
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since 11-06-1999
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Florida's Foreverly Shores

3 posted 10-23-2003 02:11 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

You and I have discussed this case and are in agreement on the action taken by Govenor Bush, signed the petitions to the Governor's office, and I have become even further involved with the blood family of Terri Schaivo.

Yes, it would have been nice if her wishes had been documented - either way.  However, that is not the case. Her parents dispute the husbands claim that she would not wish to be kept alive by artificial means (and I don't personally believe that tube-feeding some one is 'artificial'.
And the self-serving motives of the husband should be, in my opinion, overuled by the courts.
With a new guardian appointed to oversee Terri's progress and hopefully end the controversial nature of this case.

From the same article link provided here is also this  
"We have close to 15 doctors who are on record with the courts saying she can improve and will improve," Schindler said.
And were she 22 or 102, I can proclaim that it would not make any difference to me.

The right to die 'with dignity' is a personal choice that many make ... starving a patient to death doesn't meet the 'dignity' criteria, in my opinion.

My wishes are documented with my blood family, not a spousal mate who may or may not have ulterior motives.
I have joined the thousands who have sought to have Terri's feeding tube re-attached.
With the fervent prayer that she will pull through her ordeal.

The state she is in was also under 'questionable doubt, as to how she got the way she is to start with.  She responds to stimuli from her parents and family ... and it's my fervent prayer that she be given the chance to survive with proper medical care.

I agree with you 100% that all SHOULD document and make our wishes known, but it didn't happen in this case.
So it falls on an intervening party to take it under advisement and render the BEST solution for the individual.

IF I had NOT made my wishes known in advance to family members, then I would hope that someone cared enough, as the Florida Legislature did to rush through a bill to be signed by the Governor to intervene.

These are my opinions and reflect how I personally feel about the case.

~*When the heart grieves over what it has lost,
the spirit rejoices over what it has left.
- Sufi epigram

[This message has been edited by Marge Tindal (10-23-2003 02:13 PM).]

Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA

4 posted 10-23-2003 05:43 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Marge, I do hope you have certifiable written documentation. Otherwise, you fate may be up to the courts and/or governors too.

I have some personal experience with this problem, having had to make the decision to remove all forms of artificial life support from both my mother and my dear stepmother. I was an agonizing decision to make in both cases. Fortunately I had siblings to help in that decision.

My mother survived about a week after a severe auto accident. In her case, the decision was a little easier in that she showed almost no brain wave activity. Still how do you make the decision to end your mother's life?

My stepmother was in intensive care for 5 months due to complications from surgery. During this time she was always alert and there was assurance that she would survive. Finally, had a massive stroke. The result was a vegetative state and the prognosis was no chance for improvement. My father waws barely recovering from a severe heart attack and was unable to rationally make such a decision. Ultimately my brother, sister and I had to decide to remove life support, everything except hydration, which the doctors advised.

That was 5 years ago and we still have to live with that decision, wondering whether we did the right thing. I feel pretty sure I would do the same again today if I had to.

I understand Terri has been in that condition for 13 years now. I also heard that the medical experts say there is no chance for recovery. Although I am sure they meant well, I have to wonder if the legislature and governor have done the right thing.

Poet deVine
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5 posted 10-23-2003 07:58 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Pete, sometimes the hardest decisions are made out of love. I think you and your family were right. I can't imagine living without being able to function - I would not want my family to sit by my bedside for 13 years hoping I would be better. I want them to get the best opinions they can and do what I would want....give me some dignity.

I know this topic can divide people - it divided Terri's family - so please let's understand everyone has the right to their own views.

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Member Patricius
since 09-09-2000
Posts 10848
In Your Poetic Mind

6 posted 10-23-2003 08:46 PM       View Profile for Greeneyes   Email Greeneyes   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Greeneyes

Maybe we only see it as starving to death, because her body can not function like yours or mine, personally I think Gov-Bush had no right to step in.  She has been the same for 13 years I think, as emotional as it is the way to show compassion would be to let her die, in peace-- her husband obviously loves her enough to be able to make that decision, that could not have come lightly....I think the DR's have said she is brain dead..  and most likely will not recover... letting her die/letting her go is showing diginity and humanity.....MHO

Will the wind ever remember the names
it has blown in the past with
its crutch its old age and its widsom
it whispers no this won't be the last

[This message has been edited by Greeneyes (10-23-2003 08:47 PM).]

Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002

7 posted 10-24-2003 01:45 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Every case has to be taken individually as to life support measures. But when someone's only "life support" measure is a feeding tube, I don't think that is really life support under the "extraordinary measures" understanding. It is not a machine breathing for a person or a machine pumping their heart. It is nutrition, period.

We had to make the decision regarding my father's care when he collapsed during a vacation in Florida from a blood clot that stopped his heart and he was deprived of oxygen for over 8 minutes. He had virtually no brain wave activity but just enough, as it turned out, to breathe on his own. We decided not to have him receive any extraordinary life saving measures, and due to the severe brain damage we opted not to have a feeding tube inserted because we were told that his organs were slowly shutting down due to the brain damage, and that feeding him would not do any good because his system wouldn't be able to process the nutrition (this isn't so in Terri's case.) He continued to receive hydration though. He lived for another 13 days without ever regaining consciousness or responding to any stimuli. Even so it was a gut-wrenching decision and one that we still question today.

The situation with Terri is that she has been denied all rehabilitative measures of any kind over the past 13 years, which could have led to her improvement. Immediately upon receiving millions in a malpractice law suit in which he stated that it was determined that she would live an average life expectancy and he would need money for her care and therapy for the long haul, her "loving" husband issued a do not resucitate order and denied any physical or mental rehabilitation.

Contrary to what you are now hearing in the media, all the doctors, at last count fifteen of them (except the ones hired by her husband's right-to-die lawyer)who have examined Terri say that she could be helped with therapy, and had she gotten therapy in the past would probably not still be on a feeding tube. And a diagnosis of PVS has an error rate of 41%.

And contrary to what you are hearing now in the media, Terri does react to her family's presence and conversations, tries to talk, smiles, laughs, cries, at times has tried to get out of bed, is capable of sitting upright by herself, etc.

All her family was asking for was that Terri be given the therapy for which the jury awarded millions of dollars. Instead, it has been frittered away by her husband to his right-to-die attorney in his ten year attempt to pull the feeding tube. The husband also received a substantial amount from the jury for himself for loss of consortium. The family's request to pay for Terri's therapy themselves was also denied by Judge Greer. And contrary to the talking media heads, tax dollars are not involved. I heard one guy tonight say, "Do you want your tax dollars being spent to keep someone like this alive?"

The family has also asked for an investigation into the cause of their daughter's collapse. A battery of tests were run on her years ago when she had an attorney representing her interests appointed by the court when her husband first went to court to pull the tube, and it was concluded that she did not have a heart attack which caused oxygen deprivation as has been purported, but instead there were indications that abuse and possible strangulation caused the deprivation, as xrays showed numerous healed over bone fractures. The attorney also stated that he found evidence of her husband's conflicts of interest which should preclude him from continuing to be her guardian. But the judge sided with the husband and his right-to-die lawyer, took Terri's attorney off the case and never assigned another one.

His first girlfriend after his wife's traumatic event stated recently that he was physically abusive to her, and he also stated to her that he just wanted Terri dead. It took her all this time to come forward due to her fear of him.

Her "loving" husband also asked a nurse on one occassion (and overheard and attested to by another nurse), "Isn't that (expletive deleted) dead yet? Swell guy.

There is much more to this sad tale than you are hearing from the mainstream media. This is not a right to die with dignity situation by any stretch of the imagination.

Here's an enlightening article:

Please pay particular attention to the description of dying by dehydration. Is that what any of us would want for a loved one? Is that humane? The closing paragraphs sum up my view.

Some doctors insist that Terri's smile at the sight of her mother is some neuronal misfiring. Fine, so be it. But since Terri cannot tell us whether she would rather be dehydrated to death, in accordance with her guardian's wishes, or whether she prefers to grimace apparently inanely and comfortably at mom for years to come, let sympathy and common sense prevail.

The woman's wishes are more likely to be approximated if her loving parents are allowed to preserve a life they if not their sinister son-in-law so value.

You can visit Terri's site to get a fuller picture of events.

[This message has been edited by Denise (10-24-2003 01:47 AM).]

Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart

8 posted 10-24-2003 09:10 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Thank you for fleshing out
"the rest of the story" Denise.

[This message has been edited by Sunshine (10-24-2003 09:11 AM).]

Paula Finn
Member Ascendant
since 06-17-2000
Posts 5525

9 posted 10-24-2003 10:57 AM       View Profile for Paula Finn   Email Paula Finn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Paula Finn

I work in a skilled care facility. Everyone of our residents is required to have a prime directive on file as to theirs or their guardians wishes about life support and resusitation in the event of a heart attack or other life threatening problem. Most choose not to resusitate. The ones where the family can't let go are the saddest and most heartwrenching cases I have ever seen. I can't imagine being kept alive with no brain function, no reasoning, no ability to communicate just because someone isn't willing to let me die. Please Please its a simple process to fill out the papers of a living will. Make your wishes known. TALK to your family. Believe me my children know how I feel about this. Keeping someone alive mechanically is wrong, unless there is proof that the situation can be reversed. Keeping someone alive for your benefit alone is selfish and painful. A feeding tube is NOT natural. Its an invasion of a body by a foreign substance, it can cause infections and considerable pain. And its not dignified...I'm sorry Marge but I see too much of this in my line of work and when you see these people crying with the pain, crying because they just don't want to be forced to do something, pulling at this object...thats not dignity. This woman has been comatose for how long? And they still hold out hope she will come out of it? If thats so, how long should the husband have to suffer? Ten years? Twenty? If they take the feeding tube out and she holds her own, by all means help her. Ok thats enough...this is a very sore subject for me if you cant tell.
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10 posted 10-24-2003 11:35 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

This is a tough issue for most of us. I would not want to live so long in a vegetative state, if the prognosis was indeed 'NO posiibility of RECOVERY'
However, if starvation is humane and dignified, then why worry about all the starving children or adults around the world? why send money to feed the hungry, if their deaths can be 'dignified' simply by denying them nutrition?
Seems to me we usually treat confessed murderers in prison better than this.
I wish she had been allowed to receive the treatment she deserved. Without going into details, I work fulltime with someone who HAS received great care and treatment, who once was not expected to live. Here it is 14 years later, and I am now beginning to teach her to use a computer, surf the internet, and use Corel Paint/Draw SW.
Terri needs to be given a REAL chance, not just a feeding tube, and then be re-evaluated by a team of professionals. I seriously question the motives of her ex-husband, and would not want a such a spouse to be in control of my life support. I think the Gov did the right thing in this case, even though I'm not convinced Terri will ultimately make it back to a functioning capacity. I have always supported the right to die forces, but of course, starvation is NOT a dignified or humane method. Removing the feeding tube is the same as denying the baby his/her nutritional needs for survival when incapable of caring for itself.
Have you ever watched someone starve themselves to death? It's not a sight I wish to ever see again. MHO is that the tube should stay, intensive therapy should begin, and the husband removed as guardian.
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