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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some mixed feelings about this case, where this woman who has been in a coma since 1990, has now had her feeding tube removed and will soon die.

What do people feel about the arguement between Terri Schiavo's husband (for letting her die) vs. her parents who want to keep her alive in this state.

This is a scary situation. What scares me most is if I were trapped inside my body like that, unable to speak for myself.... my fear is being a stroke victime who can see hear and feel, but who can't talk. If my paliative care were removed I would clearly suffer a slow death on top of it all.

But I don't think the government should be making these decisions. And these judges and attorneys are certainly between a rock and a hard place.

Comments? Here is the latest report.

I'm in the middle of a move while my bathroom was just gutted. I need a break down here in "That's Life"... glad it's here.


Recent article on all of this:

Schiavo's Health Wanes As Parents Appeal

Updated 10:49 AM ET March 25, 2005
Associated Press


PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - As Terri Schiavo's health waned, a federal judge refused Friday to order the reinsertion of her feeding tube, thwarting another legal move from the brain-damaged woman's parents. They quickly appealed the ruling.

For a second time, U.S. District Judge James Whittemore ruled against the parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who had asked him to grant their emergency request to resume their daughter's nourishment while he considers a lawsuit they filed.

The Schindlers appealed again to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to review Whittemore's ruling. The Atlanta court refused earlier this week to overturn a previous Whittemore ruling.

Bob Schindler visited his daughter for about 15 minutes Friday morning; he declined to comment on his way into and out of the hospice where Schiavo lives.

Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered his legal team to scour state laws for a way to reconnect Schiavo's feeding tube. There were calls from a supporter of the parents for him to take further action.

The tube was removed a week ago on a state judge's order that agreed with Schiavo's husband, Michael, who has said she has no hope for recovery and wouldn't want to be kept alive artificially. The Schindlers believe their daughter could improve and wouldn't want to die.

In his 11-page ruling, Whittemore wrote that the Schindlers couldn't establish "a substantial likelihood of success on the merits" of their case. He also noted "the difficulties and heartbreak the parties have endured throughout this lengthy process" and praised the lawyers' civility, saying it was "a credit to their professionalism ... and Terri."

George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the ruling.

As of Friday morning, Terri Schiavo, 41, had been without food or water for almost seven days and was showing signs of dehydration _ flaky skin, dry tongue and lips, and sunken eyes, according to attorneys and friends of the Schindlers. Doctors have said she would probably die within a week or two of the tube being pulled.

She has now been off the tube longer than she was in 2003, when the tube was removed for six days and five hours. It was reinserted when the Legislature passed a law later thrown out by the courts.

The governor's request to let the state take Terri Schiavo into protective custody was denied by a Pinellas Circuit judge on Thursday.

On Thursday, Bush said his powers "are not as expansive as people would want them to be. ... I cannot go beyond what my powers are and I'm not going to do it."

But Paul O'Donnell, a supporter of the parents, contended the governor still has the power to take her into protective custody.

"Bob and Mary are begging Governor Bush to save their daughter on this Good Friday day," O'Donnell, a Franciscan monk, said after Friday's ruling. "Now is the day. Now is the time for the governor to have courage. The governor needs to take action and take action soon. She's dying."

A spokeswoman for the governor, Alia Faraj, said Friday he was "saddened by the decision. ... Judge Whittemore's willingness to take a look at Terri's case gave us a ray of hope."

Thursday, Felos said he hoped the woman's parents and the governor would finally give up their fight.

"Jeb Bush does not own the state of Florida and just cannot impose his will on Terri Schiavo," he told CBS' "The Early Show" on Friday.

The Schindlers' emergency request to have the feeding tube reattached included claims that Schiavo's religious and due-process rights were violated.

"It's very frustrating. Every minute that goes by is a minute that Terri is being starved and dehydrated to death," said her brother, Bobby Schindler, who said seeing her was like looking at "pictures of prisoners in concentration camps."

Michael Schiavo's brother, Brian Schiavo, strongly disagreed with that assessment, telling CNN that Terri Schiavo "does look a little withdrawn" but insisting she was not in pain. He added that starvation is simply "part of the death process."

In the federal court hearing Thursday, Schindler lawyer David Gibbs III argued that Terri Schiavo's rights to life and privacy were being violated. Whittemore interrupted as Gibbs attempted to liken Schiavo's death to a murder.

"That is the emotional rhetoric of this case. It does not influence this court, and cannot influence this court. I want you to know it and I want the public to know it," Whittemore said.

A perimeter around the federal courthouse was evacuated during the hearing after a suspicious backpack was found outside. The hearing was not interrupted, and the package was safely detonated using a remote device.

Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage in 1990 when her heart stopped briefly from a chemical imbalance believed to have been brought on by an eating disorder. She left no living will.

The resulting dispute between parents and husband has led to what may be the longest, most heavily litigated right-to-die case in U.S. history.

Earlier Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court, without explanation, refused to order the feeding tube reinserted. The case worked its way through the federal courts and reached the Supreme Court after Congress passed an extraordinary law over the weekend to let the Schindlers take their case to federal court.


Associated Press writers Mark Long, Mitch Stacy in Clearwater, Vickie Chachere and Jill Barton in Tampa, and Jackie Hallifax and Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Note: This does definitely emphasize the need for everyone to have a "Living Will" where you put your wishes in writing when you are HEALTHY. But the scary thing is, I've heard peoples' POV changes sometimes when they are unable to speak for themselves. THey report this if they regain the ability to communicate. I read of one stroke victim who was in horrible pain when her feeding tube was removed. But there are those who want to die who are kept alive. Terrifying.


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Like you, I'm a little divided on this issue.

I fully support the right and - in cases such as this where there is no chance of recovery - the desirability of terminating life; especially when it can be ascertained that the person is suffering, rather than being in some extreme kind of "blissful apathy".

What I do not support - and in fact I view this as utterly absurd - is the current medical procedure in which doctors are not allowed to terminate life in such cases, only to let it end of its own accord (in this case by starving to death).

It is the same in many cases of terminal illness. In fact, in a number of them the sufferer is able to express clear wishes to die. A lethal injection would end their anguish in 5 minutes; instead they, at best, are able to have their slow deaths eased by morphine and other drugs (although in extreme examples thse can even make things worse).

So yes, I support the fact that in this case and in others the patient should not necessarily be kept alive,certainly in this case where it was the patient's express wish prior to her vegetative state that she should not be kept alive in such conditions; I do not, however, understand why, in such cases, doctors are not able to administer a lethal injection but are instead compelled to make the person die of their own accord slowly, and in anguish.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Monkeydust said:
So yes, I support the fact that in this case and in others the patient should not necessarily be kept alive,certainly in this case where it was the patient's express wish prior to her vegetative state that she should not be kept alive in such conditions; I do not, however, understand why, in such cases, doctors are not able to administer a lethal injection but are instead compelled to make the person die of their own accord slowly, and in anguish
Yes, I agree with this fully. I personally would rather be put to sleep than forced to suffer MORE by starvation and dehydration... the "natural way." The end is the same -- death. Why make it horrendous and unbearable.

I felt this way when my father was dying of congestive heart failure. He suffered for 2 weeks. He was 85, he also had prostate cancer that had spread to his spine, he had NO chance of surviving, but he was kept alive, as it is "the natural way."

We worry about the suffering of our pets. I had to put my old cat down. He died in my arms. He was completely incapacitated by organ failure, though he could still walk, even play! It was heart-wrenching, but he was suffering. He couldn't eat or drink, etc. NORMALLY.

We are able to put our animals to sleep to end their suffering, but not human beings.

On the other end is the proverbial "slippery slope." Concerns about the Dr. Kevorkians of the world who perform assisted suicide for patients who ask for it.

Also, if doctors are allowed to do ths, there is the question of using this too frequently, perhaps unnecessarily.

But I agree. I wished my father could have been let out of his misery.

What is strange is a case like Terri Schiavo who sort of appears "with it" though she seems to have little brain activity. Her eyes are open, etc. But everything else has to be taken care of for her and she can't communicate. SHe is deemed to be in a vegative state.

I have a Living Will I want to update. This stuff just terrifies me. It is so difficult, how to decide, but it seems far less cruel in this case to use a quick solution rather than worsening this woman's suffering.

In the U.K. I recall years back reading about something called "Brompton's Mixture" -- a lethal dose of something that the dying patient could chose to take or not. I'll google it, but it seems like a logical thing, when there is NO hope of recovery.

This is so difficult to address.
Thanks MD for the response.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
P.S., the "Brompton's Mixture" was kept on the patient's bedside table. It was just there and would put the patient to sleep. The patient would decide. I have to research it myself further.


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Why make it horrendous and unbearable?
I know you meant that as a rhetorical question, but the main reason - in both the US and the UK - is that religious groups lobby governments to the extent that they cannot or do not change the law. Apparently the "sanctity of life" stipulates that we cannot ease the suffering in such circumstances.

On the other end is the proverbial "slippery slope." Concerns about the Dr. Kevorkians of the world who perform assisted suic*** for patients who ask for it.

Also, if doctors are allowed to do ths, there is the question of using this too frequently, perhaps unnecessarily.
I see where you're coming from, but in principle I don't see any reason why laws and procedures could be structured in such a way as to guarantee against unscrupulous practice in euthanasia.

I also don't really agree with the "slippery slope" argument - that somehow changing the law in one respect will inexorably lead to us seeing "death doctors" handing out suicide to those who wants it. I see no reason why this should have to happen

P.S., the "Brompton's Mixture" was kept on the patient's bedside table. It was just there and would put the patient to sleep. The patient would decide. I have to research it myself further.
That's interesting, I haven't heard of that before.

Is this "Brompton's Mixture" still in use, or was it a past practice?

In any case, it wouldn't be much help to those in a vegetative state.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dear Monkeydust,

You said, and I again think I agree with this....
I see where you're coming from, but in principle I don't see any reason why laws and procedures could be structured in such a way as to guarantee against unscrupulous practice in euthanasia.

I also don't really agree with the "slippery slope" argument - that somehow changing the law in one respect will inexorably lead to us seeing "death doctors" handing out suic*** to those who wants it. I see no reason why this should have to happen
I would think, especially with "Living Wills", request for DNR procedures, written by a healthy individual BEFORE they get in such a situation -- indeed a person in a coma can't act upon this... yup.

What ticks me off is in the U.S. we have a very good justice system on one hand, and are very out of step/out of date on the other. FOr instance, the fact that it is still up for debate if marijuana can be used to help cancer patients with pain. That is absolutely ludicrous to make that a criminal charge. For crying out loud.

I looked up Brompton's mixture, and it does sound humane. But one would have to be able to act on one's own behalf to use it, and I believe could "overdose" intentionally without much of a fuss.

From Googling:

"This liquid "cocktail" of morphine (or heroin), cocaine, alcohol
(and sometimes other central nervous system depressants),
chloroform water, and flavoring, which probably takes its name from
Brompton Hospital, was sometimes provided to patients suffering
from pain associated with terminal illness."

I then looked up the hospital which is alive and well in the U.K.

"Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust is the largest cardiothoracic
centre in the UK and probably the largest in Europe. Both hospitals
are at the leading edge nationally and internationally in the
investigation, treatment and care of people with heart and lung

Again, this cocktail would be easy for someone who has mobility to use. If one is stuck in a coma, unable to move, etc. it's useless. But here it would seem a patient can dictate how much suffering is bearable, and I read or heard somewhere, that in theory, I person can indeed choose to "take too much" and fall asleep, and no one would find that illegal.

I don't know enough about law to determine "the slippery slope". I think it has been argued re: so many things from abortion to gay civil unions to cloning to stem cell research. There ARE some legitimate issues that can set dangerous precedent. And in the case of Roe v. Wade ... was that the abortion case .... the law is shakey though the law passed.

I felt the ends justified the means in that case, but we're always openingu up cans of worms with these things.

My overall belief is make a Living Will and tell all those you know of your desire to be given death with dignity. Thank God my mother had this and there were no "special measures" to keep her alive. She had Alzheimer's for about 12 years, 10 of those in a Nursing Home. She suddenly developed congestive heart failure in 2001. Fortunately her wishes were known or they could have put her on a ventilator, given her heart medications, etc. It would have been a mess, and it could have prolonged her life for who knows how long.

I was told that on the locked Alzheimer's ward NO ONE had a resuscitation order. If any physical illness took over, no extraordinary means were to be used to keep the patient alive.

I wish others would weigh in on this. Mondeydust, I think you and I are in agreement here.

Did I say I HATE MOVING? :evil: I am starting to pitch stuff without mercy. How can I have 5 bottles of hand cream? Crap like that. And papers! Writing. Stuff I want, but don't want. ERRRRRRRRRRR :roll:

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"Better off dead than disabled?"

February 20, 2005

This week, unless a stay is granted by Florida courts, brain-damaged Terri Schindler-Schiavo will begin painful starvation at the hands of her husband, Michael Schiavo--as ordered by Circuit Judge George Greer, whose court is in Clearwater, Florida.

Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren last week that the judge's ruling is a "mandatory injunction" that "commands" Terri's legal guardian (in this case, her husband) to remove her feeding tube.

According to Felos--who's evidently been paid over $300,000 in legal fees from a 1992 medical fund intended for Terri's rehabilitation--Terri's husband has no option but to kill Terri, and he said his client is determined to follow through.

The issues

The central issue in this nationally-publicized case is whether a man can legally kill his wife solely on the basis of his "hearsay" claim that she never wanted to be kept alive artificially if she became severely disabled.

Her husband has no proof to substantiate his claim of his wife's wishes--which he cited in his original efforts to have her forcibly put to death several years ago at the outset of this ongoing legal battle. Terri never expressed her wishes in writing.

Also at issue is the true condition of Terri. Felos claims that Terri "is in a vegetative condition"--due to "massive structural brain damage"--and he asserts that she "has no consciousness."

Terri's family members strongly dispute such allegations, and say they have evidence that Terri "is able to interact with her visitors and caregivers"--to quote a petition recently made on behalf of Terri by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to the U.S. Supreme Court, which turned down the petition.

"Unconscious" people, Terri's defenders argue, do not "interact with their visitors"--nor do they demonstrably respond to music, voices, or interesting stories, as Terri does. Regular visitors say she is aware of others and responds through her eyes, through noises she makes, and through smiling. A nurse says Terri laughs at jokes.

Reportedly, she can't speak (although a nurse has heard her say, "Hi," "Momma," and "Help me"); she can't swallow (although at least one medical expert says he can prove she can); and she's bedridden--but she's obviously not "vegetative," as her husband's attorney claims.

The Schindler family's attorney, David Gibbs counters Mr. Felos by saying: "Terri is every bit as alive as you and I. She responds. She laughs. She loves her mother. She gets upset when music is turned off."

Gibbs continues:

"She had not met me before, and she liked my voice and she followed me around the room [with her eyes]. And I was absolutely impressed with how alive she is."

Terri's parents contend that, had Terri received the rehabilitative care her 1992 medical malpractice award was meant to guarantee (but which her husband has nearly exhausted on attorney's fees), she would be able to speak, swallow, and function with increased capability. And she would also be able to express her desire to live.

At least one report says that Michael Schiavo has withheld all rehabilitative care--even though he successfully obtained the malpractice award by testifying that he would use it to "take care of [his] wife."

"Artificial means"

Terri's husband and his attorney seek her death on the claim that she doesn't want to be kept alive "artificially"--as though she requires mechanical breathing support or other costly intervention in the first place.

She doesn't.

Like anyone else, she requires only food and water. In fact, her needs are so basic and simple that her parents have repeatedly petitioned to be granted the right take care of her themselves, at home. But her husband refuses to yield guardianship.

Yet, he himself has been living with an other woman for many years, and has two children by her.

Terri's parents have insisted that Michael divorce Terri, but he steadfastly refuses to do so--while pursuing every legal option to destroy her.

Ignoring the obvious

Meanwhile, Judge Greer has apparently never visited Terri to ascertain her physical condition for himself in this difficult case, nor has he been willing to accept the testimony of several medical professionals that she is aware, responsive, communicative, and susceptible to rehabilitation. There is talk of impeaching him for various offenses.

The husband's behavior

The inexplicable behavior of Michael Schiavo raises legitimate questions about his motivation.

Early in the legal battle over the fate of his wife, he stood to gain financially from her medical settlement (and evidently said so). The matter has now dragged on for so long, however, that any remaining funds in the award account will likely go to legal fees.

So what does he stand to gain by killing his wife?

At least one source reports that expert witnesses claim that Terri was the victim of spousal abuse--and that 6'6", 250-pound Michael Schiavo had a fight with his wife the day she suffered cardiac arrest and became seriously brain damaged.

Among the expert accounts is testimony that Terri had numerous broken bones and other injuries when she was treated for "cardiac arrest."

When he initially gained Judge Greer's approval to kill Terri in 2003--approval stayed through unprecedented action by the Florida Legislature and Gov. Bush that resulted in "Terri's Law"--Michael Schiavo stipulated that upon Terri's death, she was to be immediately cremated.

Such action, of course, would destroy all evidence of foul play that some experts have cited as the likely cause of Terri's brain damage.

No matter what lies in her husband's heart, or in his past treatment of Terri, something is definitely wrong with this picture. Michael Schiavo has shown that he has no regard for his wife, her family, or the integrity of America's legal system.


Absent any further stays, Terri's feeding tube can be pulled anytime beginning Tuesday, when remaining legal impediments expire. Michael Schiavo will then be authorized by the court--no, according to his attorney, he will be forced by the court--to kill Terri, because she "wants" to be killed, even though Michael cannot prove such a claim, even though Terri is not in a "vegetative" state as alleged; and even though she is not sustained by "artificial" means at all (beyond food and water sent through a tube).

The starvation death could take ten to fourteen days. In 2003, Terri survived six days of cruel starvation before Gov. Bush and the Legislature intervened at the last minute with "Terri's Law." Terri's death--if it occurs--will be extremely painful, as well as inhumane and unconscionable.

The effect of such an outcome will be that all of us, especially the disabled, will be at risk of arbitrary destruction at the hands of a judiciary that has seemingly lost all respect for the rule of law, and that has become, instead, a law unto itself.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think Joe brings up the important part of the "slippery slope". I don't know enough of the in depth story on this, but could the husband be unscrupulous? I don't know enough about it ... I would think, if Terri Schiavo's doctors feel this is indeed a vegetative state, the attorneys in favor of keeping her alive would have a weak (EDIT) case.

This is what is confusing to me. Also, the judge/judges involved, how can they rule to keep the feeding tube out if they aren't convinced the husband is right. If the judges felt this was illegal on the part of the husband... something to get her money, or.....? How can the legal system come to the decision it has?

Indeed, for all we know, her husband is a cruel man and is using the situation to his advantage?

But back to what Revelation said, I am thinking about this in terms of DP/DR I guess as well -- I'm looking at it from my POV, as we all do, if WE were in that situation. If I were trapped in my body, (my fear is literally an incapacitating stroke), where I am conscious, but cannot move. Maybe I can see/hear but can't communicate or do anything else, I think I'd go mad. Particularly with the DP on top of it.

The bottom line is, all of us (and I guess as you get older -- I'm a geezer I guess :? sigh -- you hear of these things, you think about these things, because they happen, to people you know, to people's parents, etc. Bottom line is we have to talk to those close to us, openly and make our wishes clear. We have to put it in writing, have it included in our Wills.

The think that strikes me is Christopher Reeve again. What a brave soul. His wife and children with with him to the end, but even he considered suicide. I make no judgement one way or the other. And he chose life, and he chose to become a spokesperson for spinal chord injury -- the greatest role of his life. But he was able to have a healthy mind, and he could communicate. He hadn't lost any of that. Yet he yearned to simply hold/feel his wife and children, and that was so painful for him. Such a "together" guy.

I don't know what I would do. I can't imagine what it's like to be Terri Schiavo. Last I saw on my internet news is she is getting close to death.

Joe, what newpaper did you get that article from? I need to do more research on the legal battle here. I would think if her parents wanted to care for her... if they could care for her completely themselves... why not?

Unfortunately, she didn't have a written directive for her wishes.

And even then, there are doctors who feel they can't intervene. They must "do no harm."

Sad, very sad.
And this really scares me. I think it's one weird fear I have in getting older. A stroke. Go figure. It was so much easier being a hypochondriac at age 13! Life is......... so hard.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Clarification re: Chris Reeve. He said, many times, after his accident, he wish he had been killed -- had not survived the fall. He couldn't take his own life after that as he was quadreplegic (sp?! sorry!) .... couldn't move anything below the neck.

I would think anyone who knew him would have a helluva time helping him die -- couldn't do it. He had to have 24 hour round the clock care for seven years. He could NEVER be left alone. Now that would drive me crazy as well.

At any rate, he became very depressed, then fought on.
That's tough. That's brave.

Very difficult. Very.

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But back to what Revelation said, I am thinking about this in terms of DP/DR I guess as well -- I'm looking at it from my POV, as we all do, if WE were in that situation. If I were trapped in my body, (my fear is literally an incapacitating stroke), where I am conscious, but cannot move. Maybe I can see/hear but can't communicate or do anything else, I think I'd go mad. Particularly with the DP on top of it.
I (ME, MY BEING) just wants to live forever, that is why I made that point.

It's not even a point about THIS case, its just so much about ME.

I never want to go 'away'.
When I close my eyes that final time I believe I will open them again. Many think this is silly but I live by it.

I do NOT let go of things I love, life is a big love of mine.
I'm wicked selfish.

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You can't really compare Christopher Reeve Terri Schiavo for pretty obvious reasons.

I fully support the husband in this case. Regardless if she were suffering or not, she is a vegetable and I personally don't think she has a chance of recovery. I would think the suffering of her husband and family having to see her in a vegetative state for the rest of her life would be unbearable. If I was in Terri's situation, I would have wanted the plug pulled years ago. I wouldn't want my family to remember me as this guy who drools all over himself and also bear the burden of taking care of me. And not to sound cold, but it probably isn't cheap to keep supporting her.

There are hard-core Christians and others who see it as murder but I would rather let her live in the kingdom of heaven than like that.

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im glad someone brought this up. i feel very close to this issue, because i used to take care of people just like terri. and when i say just like i mean JUST LIKE. curled hands and feet, very low functioning completely dependant for all their needs. thats what i was there for. every disabled person i cared for were like my own children. you cannot know these people unless you are close to them like i was. they have more personality and zest for life than most people i know including myself. for them to crack a smile is a huge feat becuase their muscles dont want to do anything. and these clients of mine would smile the biggest smiles you ever saw.. and thats saying something. i got so close to them that i knew i would die for them. i got too close and watched too many of them pass away from their ailments, and it devistated me and i had to quit.

this whole ordeal scares the hell out of me. because it means so much more than this one woman. whos to say who is next on the list to die? and not just die.. to die by horrible evil torture of the worst kind. this has nothing to do with politics or religion. not to me. all i care about are my kids. the voiceless ones who cant stand up and go.. PLEASE DONT KILL ME! DONT STARVE ME TO DEATH I BEG YOU! all they can do is lay there and take whatever is being done to them. it absolutely disgusts me and i have to say.. i hope her husband gets the karma he deserves. how can he say hes doing this out of love and compassion? starving his wife to death? its all bullsh1t. complete and total rubbish and it makes me so sad and worried beyond belief that no one can see that. what does this mean for the other terris out there? for the ones whos families are sick of changing diapers and nursing bedsores and giving spongebaths? all they have to do is say.. "well they told me they want to die." and that makes it ok to stop feeding them until they perish of dehydration?

i really dont understand it. this is so scary and major.

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I do see where you're coming from, and perhaps (though perhaps not) I'd agree with you were it the case that Terry Schiavo had left no express wishes before she became ill.

But the point is that she herself said - and the court accepted her husband's evidence on this - that, were something like this to happen to her, it would be her wish to die.

I don't think it's fair to turn round to her after that and say "sorry, we know you said that then, but we don't think you mean it now", when your judgement would be merely on the general "feeling" you get from being around these people about their quality of life.

all they have to do is say.. "well they told me they want to die." and that makes it ok to stop feeding them until they perish of dehydration?
No, I don't think they do.

Terry's husband had been pleading his case to a court for years. Anyone who wanted to do the same to their relative or loved one would clearly have to present a fair amount of evidence for the claim that someone "wanted to die" and would have to fight their case for a long time. It wouldn't be so simple as saying "well they told me they want to die".

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Life is precious. Im not a religious person, but I believe every minute we are alive its a gift from God. We only get to live once. Once its over, its over FOREVER. There are people(her own blood) who deeply love this woman who are willing to take all the resposibiltiy for her care. As a parent I cant understand this. The husband is insisting she die instead and he backs it up with hearsay that he didnt come up with for over 7 years after the situation started. Her husband should walk away and forget about her(like hes done in the past with his new family). He had NOTHING to do with her for years yet now hes at her bedside every minute to watch here slowly and painfully die. What a sick fuck. Gee, I wonder why hes insisting on an immediate cremation? I think the state of Florida should make sure there is an autopsy once its finally over.

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I understand both sides of the story and sympathize with each of them.

But, do we really know Terry Schiavo wants to live? If she said she wouldn't want to live if put in that situation and there is evidence to support it, than that is proof enough for me. Face it. The husband and her family are both in this for selfish reasons. The husband is probably a bastard- he doesn't want to pay and care for her anymore and she is more of a burden than a joy to him. He wants to get on with his life. The family obviously comes from a different viewpoint, but they just don't want to let her daughter go. I don't really know what the financial situation is- but I'm guessing she's under her husband's insurance plan. Her family may have a different opinion after being burdened by her expensive medical bills for more than a decade. I feel like a sh*thead bringing money into this but personally, I would want my family to be able to pursue their dreams if this happened to me, and if finances are preventing them from doing so, I say let me go.

SB, I know what you are talking about to some extent. For 3 or 4 years my grandmother was pretty much bed-ridden and she had a feeding tube towards the end. She was completely senile, couldn't really move anything but her fingers, but she could talk. You really had to listen hard to understand her, but when she did talk, it was something hilarious. She loved making fun of my uncle's fat wife which was hysterical. I remember one time I had to lift her out of her wheelchair and into her bed by myself which isn't easy. It usually takes two nurses, and I ended up doing such a terrible job and she just laughed at me for about 5 minutes straight, and you're right- you do get a lot of joy out of it.

But, still, I agree with the courts.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dear Rev,
No worries, I was just curious in general about this, and I'm seeing that I respond to this from my own fears of a similar situation.

And Gimpy and Monkeydust.
I agree with both of you, bottom line, though I'm also saddened with what Sleepingbeauty has to say.

I volunteered at my Uni Hospital during my college days with sick babies who had been abandoned by their parents. These babies had serious birth defects and the parents come in, have the child, then would never come back

My friend and I got up at 4am to help with the 5am feedings. This ward had like 20 abandoned babies. Some had serious birth defects like spina bifida, or were blind, deaf, whatever. We helped the nurses really just give the babies love. I will admit, I did not notice the babies' infirmities after some real first-time shocks. Beth and I loved doing this, once a week. I wasn't disgusted by these little ones. And they all acted like.... babies. They were sweet, and funny, and loveable. And no one wanted them. But their illnesses were overwhelming. Many would die within their first year of life.

Gimpy, I brought up Chris Reeve as I say, OK, if I, Dreamer, were in a horrid situation like Schiavo or Reeve, I'd choose Reeve's situation -- if my brain/thinking/feeling/ability to commuicate where 100% functioning (and it would be nice to have no DP/DR anxiety, etc.) I could (maybe?) push on with that. I personally couldn't live, or wouldn't want to live like Terri Schiavo. Again, my greatest fear.... what is going on, trapped inside that mind of hers? It terrifies me, but I am projecting my own fears onto her. No one can really know.

Also to add insult to injury. I read in the AP this morning that Terri had a serious eating disorder and this was the cause of her brain damage!Man life is a bitch if you'll excuse me. I feel so lousy for this woman.

Joe, I don't think anyone thinks the husband plotted to kill his wife. She has been seen by so many doctors, (see article below) and cremation could also have been mentioned as a wish in her Will or she could have said this to her parents. There is no criminal investigation into the husband is there? They've had plenty of time to conduct one.

I don't know what I would do in his situation either. I can't answer it, though my husband and I have talked openly about what we wish. My husband is spooked by Wills and this sort of stuff. I have a Will and Living Will and Burial wishes. My husband doesn't, yet we have talked repeatedly about his wishes. If something were to happen to him, like this, I know what he wants, but damnit, he won't put it in writing. I just had a thought that I should tape record him over the phone saying it!

Everybody, getting a Living Will. Select a Guardian (which is normally your spouse if married), and write down exactly what you want if you're in this situation!

Anyway, the following is a warning of the dangers of eating disorders. Very SAD and scary situation.

Eating Disorder Underlies Schiavo Tragedy
Updated 3/25/2005 11:37:44 PM

By Daniel DeNoon

March 25, 2005 - One of the scariest things about the Terri Schiavo tragedy is that many, many women - right now - risk the same fate.

According to the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation, Schiavo collapsed in her home not because she had a heart attack or stroke, but because her body chemistry was horribly out of balance.

Court documents state - and medical records suggest - that the then-26-year-old woman suffered from bulimia, an eating disorder.

In that, she is not alone. An estimated 1% to 4% of American women suffer from bulimia. The central symptom of bulimia is repeated cycles of binge eating followed by purging. Purging means self-induced vomiting and/or abuse of laxatives, diuretics (water pills), enemas, fasts, and/or excessive exercise.

And these people - the vast majority of them women - run a terrible risk. Terri Schiavo, for example, collapsed when her potassium levels dipped frighteningly low. Her heart stopped, which likely caused decreased blood flow to her brain, leading to her brain damage.

Johns Hopkins psychiatrist and eating disorder specialist Graham Redgrave, MD, has seen similar cases.

"I have known two people who died of electrolyte imbalance," Redgrave tells WebMD. "Neither were in treatment at the time. Both were actively engaged in disordered eating behavior. And I have treated patients walking around with a potassium level that, if you had it, it would be lethal. Their bodies had adapted. But it is not clear that this is a stable state. If life events become more stressful, and you engage in eating disorder behaviors, it is more likely you would decompensate and have one of these terrible events."

Nobody realized that Terri Schiavo might suffer from bulimia until it was far too late. How can we recognize bulimia in our own loved ones? How can we help?

Eating disorders are mental health problems. A person with a mental health problem starts to behave differently for no apparent reason, Graham says.

"It is really up to people who know the person well to notice those changing patterns of behavior," he says. "The reason is that eating disorders are conducted in secret. They are appropriately stigmatized. It is not normal to vomit after meals or to obsessively exercise or to not eat. People who engage in these behaviors will make excuses or lie. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell."

Most of us think we'd know if someone close to us was doing something as extreme as vomiting after every meal. But people with eating disorders aren't easily found out, says Rick Kilmer, PhD, clinical director of the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders.

"People with bulimia find their behavior shameful or embarrassing and they will hide it at all costs and be very creative in hiding both bingeing and purging," Kilmer tells WebMD.

"It is something family members only gradually become suspicious of. They may notice evidence of vomiting, they may see a pattern of someone always disappearing after a meal, someone who always has a reason not to eat with other people or with the family. They may see wrappers for diuretics or laxatives. They may see evidence of large quantities of binge food hidden in the trunk of the car or below all the other garbage. And they may notice large quantities of food missing and nobody is admitting what happened to it."

Kilmer says there may also be physical and emotional cues:

Bloodshot, teary eyes
A swollen face, particularly swollen jaws or throat
Mood swings. "After someone has been through a binge or a purge they may be very isolative or moody or embarrassed," Kilmer says.

-Looking tired
-A preoccupation with food and/or dieting
-Body-image distortion. "The person is self-critical of their body or talking about wishing they could change or wishing they could have a certain plastic surgery, or a certain diet, or things that seem irrational or over-the-top to those around them," Kilmer says.

"If you suspect that you or one of your loved ones has an eating disorder, getting into treatment early is critically important," Redgrave says. "The earlier treatment is, the more chance there is for improvement. Without treatment, these things can be terrible."

Ignoring suspicious behavior or hoping it will go away won't work. Redgrave and Kilmer both advise telling a person you suspect of having an eating disorder that you know something is wrong. This should be done in a supportive way.

"Say, 'I am very concerned you may be hurting yourself,'" Kilmer advises. "Rather than confronting someone and telling them you think they have an eating disorder, it is better to say, 'I am concerned and wonder if you have some problems with food.' Tell them you love them and support them doing things in a healthy way. And tell them there are people that can help someone be happy and healthy without doing drastic and destructive things. Professionals can help them have a better relationship with food."


SOURCES: Graham Redgrave, MD, instructor in psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Rick Kilmer, PhD, clinical director, Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders. Eating Disorders: Facts about Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions, National Institute of Mental Health, 2001. The National Women's Health Information Center, Department of Health and Human Services. Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation[/b[

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Michael Schiavo: Loving Husband or Monster?

The results of a 1991 bone scan indicate that Terri Schiavo had numerous broken bones in various stages of healing, including compression fractures, a broken back, pelvis, ankle, bone bruises and ossifications.

As national pro-life groups and prominent leaders converged in vigils outside Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, Terri Schiavo is inside the building in her bed, still hooked up to the feeding tube that has been center-focus of this so-called ?right-to-die? case for the past several years. Ms. Schiavo is profoundly disabled and cannot communicate with words at this time.

But she knows. She feels. There?s expression in those eyes. Just one look at her in a video with her mother and everyone except the Scarecrow on his way to Oz knows it, too.

Recently, another presumed ?brain-dead? woman made news in Kansas. In a coma after becoming the victim of a drunk driver, Sarah Scantlin snapped out of a twenty year silence and began to speak. Memories are now coming back to her. By legal definition, Miss Scantlin?s life is valid. Yesterday, it was not. Was she ever in a persistent vegetative state, or PVS? She?d respond to questions by blinking once for no, twice for yes, but since she couldn?t speak no one was ever sure she understood the questions.

That?s the problem. No one is ever sure. The only ones who claim to know what?s best for the profoundly disabled are those who seek to benefit the most by having them legally murdered.

On Monday, February 21, new hearings began before Judge Greer with regard to the Schiavo case. The Empire Journal reports that David Gibbs III, the attorney representing Terri?s parents Robert and Mary Schindler, will argue that new medical tests be ordered for Terri based upon a new brain imaging study published in the journal Neurology. These tests could determine whether Terri Schiavo is, in fact, in a PVS. Since Judge Greer believes she is, already ruled to have her killed and has thus far refused the admission of any medical evidence that would save Terri?s life, I?d be shocked to see him budge.

Greer has been acting in the dual role of judge and guardian ad litem. He previously denied a petition by Terri?s parents that their daughter be given a swallowing test, and has denied them the right to visit Terri. He continues to promote the interests of Michael Schiavo by refusing Terri the right to independent counsel, a right which even serial killers like Ted Bundy received.

Whenever people discuss euthanasia, you?ll always find those who will defend the odious practice. However, no one defends domestic violence. That leads to the 6 ft. 6 inch, 250 pound problem: Michael Schiavo. The evidence compiled against him suggests a history and pattern of domestic abuse against Terri and other women that is strong and significant. An immediate criminal investigation is warranted.

The main evidence comes from a bone scan taken on March 5, 1991. As Terri?s guardian, Michael Schiavo denied her family access to Terri?s records, the results of which were not made available until November, 2002. This scan indicated numerous broken bones in various stages of healing, including compression fractures, a broken back, pelvis, ankle, bone bruises and ossifications.

Board certified radiologist Dr. Walker read the scan in 1991 and interpreted the results as abnormal, which he attributed to either an accident or earlier trauma. Based on the remodeling process of her bones, Dr. Walker stated in his deposition that a) the injuries indicated by the scan occurred on or around the time that Terri Schiavo collapsed; b) the abnormalities on the bone scan were not typical of someone suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing to the floor, and c) the fractures indicated by the bone scan are not typical of patients bedridden only thirteen months. As recorded in Dr. Walker?s November 21, 2003 deposition, Terri might have been the victim of foul play via a blow to her body, being thrown into a sharp furniture corner, or assaulted with a blunt object.

On October 24, 2003, renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden was interviewed by Greta van Susteren on Fox News. He disclosed that with low potassium and no elevated enzymes, it would be extremely rare for a young woman to collapse as Terri did from a heart attack. When asked what the bone injuries suggest to him, Dr. Baden replied, ?Some kind of trauma. The trauma can be from a fall, or the trauma can be from some kind of beating that she obtained from somebody somewhere. It?s something that should have been investigated in 1991 when these findings were found.?

Other medical testimonies are in agreement. One medical expert testified that a diagnosis of a heart attack was never made. Another testified that Terri?s rigid neck indicates she may have been the victim of strangulation. Psychiatrist and expert witness Carole E. Lieberman, M.D., M.P.H. offered preliminary thoughts and provided a chilling profile of Michael Schiavo as an abusive husband.

Prior to Terri?s collapse, there were serious financial problems in her marriage and her husband Michael tried to control her behavior. He was fired from six jobs in two years, some of which he held only two weeks. They often lived on her income, which Michael often spent on himself. He monitored her odometer and isolated her from her family and friends. On the day of her collapse, Michael and Terri had a bad fight after he accused her of spending too much money at the hairdresser.

Dr. Lieberman concludes: ?He (Michael) should most definitely be investigated as the perpetrator of the ?incident? that caused Terri?s collapse and her current condition.?

Michael Schiavo insists that Terri stated early in their marriage that she never would want to be kept on life support. Even if that were true, Terri is not on life support; she breathes on her own. Since Terri has no written will, everything Michael Schiavo says is hearsay. He violated numerous Florida statutes and the Americans for Disabilities Act by failing to perform his duties as his wife?s guardian, most notably by denying his disabled wife basic medical care as part of a malpractice settlement award he received.

However, of all Michael?s offensive actions against his wife, what I deem most suspicious was his decision to have Terri cremated immediately upon her demise. In all the documentation on this case, there is not a single account of Terri Schiavo having ever expressed a desire to be cremated. Michael?s excuse is to say that she wouldn?t want a standard burial because she ?doesn?t like bugs.? I?m not buying. The likely reason is that Michael has something to hide -- like the cause of her numerous bone injuries, perhaps? -- and he doesn?t want an autopsy to uncover any incriminating evidence.

So, what really happened on February 25, 1990? We know that Terri fell in her home and sustained serious injuries. We know that Michael Schiavo, who was trained in CPR, oddly did not administer CPR to his wife. We know for the past fifteen years his only mission has been to deny any rehabilitation for Terri.

Dr. Carole Lieberman observed, ?If Terri were to be allowed to die, as Michael has been desperately struggling to achieve for years, it could help him escape detection. This would be a grave miscarriage of justice.?

That?s exactly the way Michael Schiavo and the Florida judicial system want it.
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