artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo - page 11

I posted this here becaue I think this subject is something that we as nurses deal with on a regular basis.....Many many people state that they have a big problem with the feeding being stopped... Read More

  1. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from JustaMaleRN
    Listening to all the issues and commentary about Terri, I have a good feeling for what the husband is going through. He has attempted to fulfill what he felt were Terri's desires. He has been twarted the entire way by her well meaning, but misguided parents. (His view) He is lashing out for his rights as her husband and now legal guardian. Her parents are ignoring the true facts of the case that they have no legal say in this matter anymore. They lost that say when Terri signed her name to the marriage certificate and the marriage ceremony was complete.

    Michael is mad as heck, and he is not going to take it anymore. I would feel the same way if I were trying to fulfill my wife's last wishes and had her family members come in and challenge these wishes. I would become bitter, especially if it went on for more than 14 years. It hurts to see your loved one in these kinds of situations.

    I have dealt for years with well intentioned but misguided parents, spouses and family members. Keep grandma on the ventilator, do everything, damn the expenses. They have no grasp of what the realities of the situation are.

    Terri has beat the odds. Bless her for what she has gone through, hell in this life. May she achieve the peace she desired in this life.
    ________________
    So once you sign a marriage certificate you no longer have rights? You can be treated any such way as your spouse sees fit?
  2. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from mattsmom81
    I don't believe this is about euthanasia. This is about letting some natural events occur without massive medical intrusion. Our healthcare system as well as our medicaid and social security system is crammed full of people who are little more than vegetables. They have no quality of life and are a massive financial drain on everyone involved...and this usually becomes state and federal funds in state run facilities in time because it is soooo expensive to care for these cases. Its part of the problem with our failing social security system.

    We treat our animals better than humans when it comes to a dignified death.
    I would not want to live in Terry's condition and yes I DO have a living will.
    She has been proven brain dead. Just because her eye seems to follow a balloon doesn't mean she's 'in there' but people don't understand that.

    We need to stop intervening in the natural demise of people in these situations IMHO. If after a certain timeframe there is proven brain death we need to let them go and stop going to extremes to prevent their natural deaths. A big part of the problem is the futile care we deliver because of fear of lawsuit in our acute health systems.

    I understand there are many POV's on this issue. I believe if the brain is dead this is no longer a human with a quality of life and we need to respect what that means.

    JMHO.
    _________________
    Is she was on a breathing maching and the husband was fighting to have her removed, I wouldnt have a problem with it. If she had written down to withhold a feeding tube, I would have no problem with it. But this is not the case.

    We are not talking about a woman whose family wants the state to take care of her. They want to take her home and care for her. Nurses and Dr.'s have offered their care free of charge.

    You are right on the animals. Better to put a bullet in Terri's head than to remove a feeding tube. If you had an injured paralyzed animal and took the animal to the vet, would the vet say..."we are just not going to feed him or give him water for 10 days...he will eventually die". How would you (or the Humane Society) react?? It would be seen as abuse.

    She has NOT been proven brain dead. Even the husband admits to that. His point is that she is brain DAMAGED and in a vegetative state. That is not the same thing.
  3. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from payday
    Think of the sheer monotony of her days. One day identical to the next. Never tasting food. Pleasure seeking is natural. What pleasure does she have? What does she have to look forward to---oral care? Being turned and positioned. Staring at mom for another decade. How natural is that for a life. Would you want to grow old that way?

    Real living is enjoying new signs of spring outside, experiencing life, having coffee at the mall with friends, going for a new haircut. I wouldn't want my dog to live like she does. She has suffered enough. Let her rest in peace. She should be nominated for sainthood having endured hell on earth.

    I think the clergy that what to "save" her have never worked with those in vegetative states. Let her go to a much better place with dignity.
    ___________________
    In your opinion, should Christopher Reeve have been kept alive? He had to have a machine.

    What about Steven Hawking? A truly brilliant man..but confined.

    There was a story today that ran on the BBC of a late term abortion performed in Britain. The reason? Child would be born with a cleft lip. The Dr.'s felt they wouldnt want to be born that way...so to them there would be no quality of life.
  4. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from Nancy2
    JustaMaleRN,

    Thank you! This man has been without his partner for 14 years and people are down on him for being engaged and having a life with someone else. This matter was supposed to have been settled long ago! Her spouse is trying to carry out her wishes and the parents can't let go. Legally, he is her next of kin. These people are supposed to be Christian. Even the Bible states that when we get married that is our new family, not the one we came from. Even is he gets money from life insurance or whatever, it won't be enough to pay all the legal fees and agony he has been through in his attempts to honor his wife's wishes! I only pray that my husband would be so steadfast if he needed to be,
    Nancy2
    he's had multiple partners and an engagement since her initial collapse. he actually was living with a woman before the malpractice case, however he then moved in with parents after he was told by his attorney that this behavior would put him in a less than favorable light. but this isn't the actual problem. besides, why won't he just divorce her so he can move on... get married to his fiance, etc. if you're engaged, WHY won't you divorce your ex so you can do that? that's an indication of an alterior motive if i ever saw one. does he have to wait until she's dead?

    i could understand that position in the quote above if he weren't doing things such as denying her dental care, PT for her painful conditions, sunlight, cards and flowers. he's also been verbally demeaning to her in her presence to her caregivers and staff. Terri's injuries were most consistant with strangulation. the chemical imbalance / cardiac failure DX was given by the ER doc on the initial examination after collapse. She has no cardiac damage consistant with a heart attack.

    just a lot of stuff that doesn't add up.
    i have seen and been in abusive relationships. this just seems like another one of them... and she can't get out of it because of her state.

    My biggest concern is that he wants to cremate her (something she had verbally not wanted and is against her religion) and he wants to move her ashes to Penn instead of having it near her family. Also, he doesn't want her to have anything by mouth after the TF is dc'd. From almost all reports, she's never had explicit dysphagia.
    Last edit by jeepgirl on Mar 18, '05
  5. by   icyounurse
    Quote from Kyriaka
    __________________
    she is not brain dead.

    right now many people are paying for her care. Her family wants to take her home to care for her. Dr.'s and nurses have offered their care FREE OF CHARGE. But the husband has refused even free physical therapy.
    she only has use of her brain stem. that is why she can breathe. you see your brain stem contols breathing and blinking and other VERY basic life functions. terri has lost cognitive neurological functions, which are controlled by the upper part of the brain. basically, she cannot form words, thoughts or purposefully coordinate movements. this is called living in a persistive vegatative state. there is no evidence of anybody ever regaining brain function after brain death[the upper brain is what i mean, i know she still has a brain stem] she will never think or speak or feel pain again. I hardly think that breathing and blinking constitutes living or quality of life. I have never met anybody who wants to breathe and blink while family members suffer emotionally for years and years and tons of money and time are spent keeping you alive so you can poop on yourself, be covered in bed sores, be repositioned, have desitin smeared on you, be contracted and never do anything but breathe and blink. make involuntary movements. i cannot understand why anyone fights to keep somebody in a state of limbo. it is not natural. it seems to me that if you cannot feel pain because that part of your brain is dead, starving would not hurt. just common sense. i think she will be in a better place with no glucerna, desitin, diapers, diahrrea[tube feeding can cause HORRIBLE diahrrea] and other unpleasant realities. just give the woman some peace.
    would you want to live like that honestly?
  6. by   icyounurse
    Quote from Kyriaka
    ___________________
    In your opinion, should Christopher Reeve have been kept alive? He had to have a machine.

    What about Steven Hawking? A truly brilliant man..but confined.

    There was a story today that ran on the BBC of a late term abortion performed in Britain. The reason? Child would be born with a cleft lip. The Dr.'s felt they wouldnt want to be born that way...so to them there would be no quality of life.
    um, not to state the obvious but they had undeniable brain functioning, THE WHOLE BRAIN, not just the brain stem. they could think, speak and well THINK.
  7. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from icyounurse
    she only has use of her brain stem. that is why she can breathe. you see your brain stem contols breathing and blinking and other VERY basic life functions. terri has lost cognitive neurological functions, which are controlled by the upper part of the brain. basically, she cannot form words, thoughts or purposefully coordinate movements. this is called living in a persistive vegatative state. there is no evidence of anybody ever regaining brain function after brain death[the upper brain is what i mean, i know she still has a brain stem] she will never think or speak or feel pain again. I hardly think that breathing and blinking constitutes living or quality of life. I have never met anybody who wants to breathe and blink while family members suffer emotionally for years and years and tons of money and time are spent keeping you alive so you can poop on yourself, be covered in bed sores, be repositioned, have desitin smeared on you, be contracted and never do anything but breathe and blink. make involuntary movements. i cannot understand why anyone fights to keep somebody in a state of limbo. it is not natural. it seems to me that if you cannot feel pain because that part of your brain is dead, starving would not hurt. just common sense. i think she will be in a better place with no glucerna, desitin, diapers, diahrrea[tube feeding can cause HORRIBLE diahrrea] and other unpleasant realities. just give the woman some peace.
    would you want to live like that honestly?
    yeah but she's been like this for 14 years (almost 15). of course, i'm not her nurse, but i have never seen reports of bedsores, etc. she does respond to stimuli as well as interacting with her enviroment. she tries to mouth words even... there's a video on the website www.terrisfight.org...

    she can't do it and she seems to become preplexed and upset.

    she also begins to cries when her parents leave occasionally.

    i guess that there is some debate among her physicians about how much of her brain is damaged. some of them think that she could be higher functioning if given proper treatment. she's playful (goo goos and ga ga's) and laughs. all of her actions make me think that she does feel pain.

    i think there is a difference after someone is acutely ill and when someone has been like this for almost 15 years. they should have done this stuff 15 years ago instead of dragging it out.
  8. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from payday
    Think of the sheer monotony of her days. One day identical to the next. Never tasting food. Pleasure seeking is natural. What pleasure does she have? What does she have to look forward to---oral care? Being turned and positioned. Staring at mom for another decade. How natural is that for a life. Would you want to grow old that way?

    Real living is enjoying new signs of spring outside, experiencing life, having coffee at the mall with friends, going for a new haircut. I wouldn't want my dog to live like she does. She has suffered enough. Let her rest in peace. She should be nominated for sainthood having endured hell on earth.

    I think the clergy that what to "save" her have never worked with those in vegetative states. Let her go to a much better place with dignity.
    but, her husband refuses for her to have Holy communion and wants her cremated which is against her religion.
    hum. why would a loving spouse do such a thing?
  9. by   icyounurse
    Quote from jeepgirl
    yeah but she's been like this for 14 years (almost 15). of course, i'm not her nurse, but i have never seen reports of bedsores, etc. she does respond to stimuli as well as interacting with her enviroment. she tries to mouth words even... there's a video on the website www.terrisfight.org...

    she can't do it and she seems to become preplexed and upset.

    she also begins to cries when her parents leave occasionally.

    i guess that there is some debate among her physicians about how much of her brain is damaged. some of them think that she could be higher functioning if given proper treatment. she's playful (goo goos and ga ga's) and laughs. all of her actions make me think that she does feel pain.

    i think there is a difference after someone is acutely ill and when someone has been like this for almost 15 years. they should have done this stuff 15 years ago instead of dragging it out.
    i agree that yes these issues should definantly have been addressed a very long time ago. i also think there should be more focus on the PATIENT, and not the politicians, the family and the husbands motives. too many posts about gossip that has nothing to do with the patient and her state of mind and right to live or die, which is what it should be focused on.
  10. by   icyounurse
    i challenge anybody to post that they would like to be kept alive in a persistive vegatative state for 14 years. anybody at all. has anybody put that in a living will ?
  11. by   pkapple
    I too have personal feelings and beliefs, but this post is just to clarify some misconceptions

    #1 the Catholic Church does allow cremation.

    #2 A coma is a profound or deep state of unconsciousness. The affected individual is alive but is not able to react or respond to life around him/her. Coma may occur as an expected progression or complication of an underlying illness, or as a result of an event such as head trauma.

    #3 A persistent vegetative state refers to a condition in which individuals have lost cognitive neurological function and awareness of the environment but retain noncognitive function and a perserved sleep-wake cycle. In persistent vegetative state the individual loses the higher cerebral powers of the brain, but the functions of the brainstem, such as respiration (breathing) and circulation, remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli, but the patient does not speak or obey commands. Patients in a vegetative state may appear somewhat normal. They may occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh.

    #4 Brain death is defined as the irreversible loss of all functions of the brain. It can be determined in several ways, clinical and techno.
    There are several ways in which a person can become brain dead, these include:
    Anoxia caused by drowning, respiratory diseases, or drug overdose.
    Ischemia - Blockage of an artery
    Intracranial hematoma
    A gunshot wound or other injury to the head
    Intracranial Aneurysm
    Brain tumors - can destroy brain tissue and increase pressure within the brain.


    When any of the above occur, they cause swelling of the brain. Because the brain is enclosed in the skull, it does not have room to swell, thus pressure within the skull increases (this is "intracranial pressure"). This can stop blood flow to the brain, killing brain cells and causes herniation of the brain (pushing the brain outside of its normal space).

    When brain cells die, they do not grow back, thus any damage caused is permanent and irreversable.

    Some points to note:
    A persons' heart can still be beating because of the ventilator and medications helping to keep the blood pressure normal.This is needed for organ donation.

    A person who is declared brain dead is legally dead.
  12. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from icyounurse
    i challenge anybody to post that they would like to be kept alive in a persistive vegatative state for 14 years. anybody at all. has anybody put that in a living will ?
    I wouldn't want to be in a persistant vegetative state and die of dehydration and starvation.
    She shouldn't have been put in the position in the first place. But now that she is there must we give her a painful death?
  13. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from pkapple
    I too have personal feelings and beliefs, but this post is just to clarify some misconceptions

    #1 the Catholic Church does allow cremation.

    #2 A coma is a profound or deep state of unconsciousness. The affected individual is alive but is not able to react or respond to life around him/her. Coma may occur as an expected progression or complication of an underlying illness, or as a result of an event such as head trauma.

    #3 A persistent vegetative state refers to a condition in which individuals have lost cognitive neurological function and awareness of the environment but retain noncognitive function and a perserved sleep-wake cycle. In persistent vegetative state the individual loses the higher cerebral powers of the brain, but the functions of the brainstem, such as respiration (breathing) and circulation, remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli, but the patient does not speak or obey commands. Patients in a vegetative state may appear somewhat normal. They may occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh.

    #4 Brain death is defined as the irreversible loss of all functions of the brain. It can be determined in several ways, clinical and techno.
    There are several ways in which a person can become brain dead, these include:
    Anoxia caused by drowning, respiratory diseases, or drug overdose.
    Ischemia - Blockage of an artery
    Intracranial hematoma
    A gunshot wound or other injury to the head
    Intracranial Aneurysm
    Brain tumors - can destroy brain tissue and increase pressure within the brain.


    When any of the above occur, they cause swelling of the brain. Because the brain is enclosed in the skull, it does not have room to swell, thus pressure within the skull increases (this is "intracranial pressure"). This can stop blood flow to the brain, killing brain cells and causes herniation of the brain (pushing the brain outside of its normal space).

    When brain cells die, they do not grow back, thus any damage caused is permanent and irreversable.

    Some points to note:
    A persons' heart can still be beating because of the ventilator and medications helping to keep the blood pressure normal.This is needed for organ donation.

    A person who is declared brain dead is legally dead.
    http://www.terrisfight.org/documents...tionBurial.pdf

    Here's a link to the court doc that explains the family's beliefs concerning cremation.

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