artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo - page 15

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   Spidey's mom
    There is no role for the President to play here except his statement, siding with life.

    He has a role in pardoning CRIMINALS but Terri is just an inconvenient human being, draining our resources and therefore obligated to die.

    Funny how some people jump to defend terrorists against being interrogated or "tortured" but Terri's quality of life is such that she needs to die. Funny how Governers can intervene in death penalty cases with people who murder other people but Terri is left to die for the convenience of her husband. Who could very easily get out of this by divorcing her and letting her parents take care of her.

    I've never bought the "quality" defense myself. Spending "quality" time with your kids instead of quantity time. I know many people who take care of disabled family members and consider it a blessing. Try telling someone like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who decided to resist the Nazis but who paid for that resistance by being killed. that his quality of life was such that he needed to kill himself. He left a huge legacy. I'll bet there wasn't much "quality" of life in that concentration camp. But he managed to encourage a large resistance against the Nazis and I'd say that life was worth it.

    I understand the horror of thinking we could end up like Terri . . but that cannot color the sanctity of life in my opinion. And the conscious active role in taking someone's life by starvation/dehydration, someone who has been alive for 15 years with a feeding tube. She isn't brain dead. She isn't terminal (well, now she is). She does respond.

    What possible harm could come from letting her parents take care of her? That is what I don't understand. There is harm in starting to judge people by their "quality" of life and then putting pressure on our elderly or disabled to die. There is a scary slippery slope there. But what is the slippery slope in deciding to let Terri's parents care for her?

    Terri had no advance directives - we are taking the word of a dishonorable man that she wanted to die.

    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Mar 19, '05
  2. by   TechieNurse
    if i may...this is exactly why nursing can't get it's act together and be a unified "profession".

    granted, we all have different values and beliefs, but i've yet to hear directly (in this forum) from someone who has cared for her (i know there are links to sworn affidavit's).

    that being said, let's stop the rumors, assumptions and emotional assertions. we may be experts or have experience in this type of a case, but we're not involved firsthand. stop assuming that you know what terri would want, why the husband is doing the things he is or what the parents are trying to accomplish. you don't.
    you only know what these people involved are telling you, what they want you to know.

    like it or not, these types of ethical cases will become more common (e.g. cloning, stem cell research, fertility treatments etc.) as technology advances and the legal system lags behind.
    i think nurses should decide for themselves where they stand on the issues, then educate themselves, their family, their patients and their leaders. that's what we do best.

    also, step back for a moment and consider this particular situation from a public health standpoint. this case should be a wake up call for everyone do complete a living will and health care proxy.

    we can't "solve" (or resolve) this particular issue, but we all can learn from it.
    and maybe, just maybe, that's what the purpose of terri's life is...
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from techienurse
    if i may...this is exactly why nursing can't get it's act together and be a unified "profession".

    granted, we all have different values and beliefs, but i've yet to hear directly (in this forum) from someone who has cared for her (i know there are links to sworn affidavit's).

    that being said, let's stop the rumors, assumptions and emotional assertions. we may be experts or have experience in this type of a case, but we're not involved firsthand. stop assuming that you know what terri would want, why the husband is doing the things he is or what the parents are trying to accomplish. you don't.
    you only know what these people involved are telling you, what they want you to know.

    like it or not, these types of ethical cases will become more common (e.g. cloning, stem cell research, fertility treatments etc.) as technology advances and the legal system lags behind.
    i think nurses should decide for themselves where they stand on the issues, then educate themselves, their family, their patients and their leaders. that's what we do best.

    also, step back for a moment and consider this particular situation from a public health standpoint. this case should be a wake up call for everyone do complete a living will and health care proxy.

    we can't "solve" (or resolve) this particular issue, but we all can learn from it.
    and maybe, just maybe, that's what the purpose of terri's life is...
    i think one of the things this thread has done is start a discussion about what is going to be an increasing occurance and points out the need for us to continue to educate ourselves.

    i belong to an ethics organization where we hash this stuff out all the time. i do come at it from the perspective that we are all created in god's image and that all life is sacred.

    where we come from colors our perspective.

    steph
  4. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from tiggerforhim
    Really? When was the last time you went 12 hours or 24 hours without a drink? How did they get input on this topic, ask comatose patients how they are feeling about drying to death? Or did a research project in a hospice where they cut off the feeding/fluids of people and then asked them if it was a painless and peaceful way to go? Now I know that I haven't researched the topic, but doctors are also of the opinion that babies don't feel pain as much as we do.... I work with them all the time (peds nurse), and they sure do.
    ______________
    I agree. We do not know enough about the brain to understand pain. It is impossible to know for sure.

    What I do know is that starvation/ lack of water has driven people throughout history to cannabilism.
  5. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from michelleicu
    i think terri is like stuck in the middle of this, poor lady doesn't even know what's going on she's brain dead.they should make a law in every state,that says if I am put in to a life threatning situation let me die don't keep me alive for sake of loved ones.everyone should sign one when they turn 18.then the hospital will know what to do.cause I know if i was in her situation i'd wanna die right away,you know let me go.let her rest in peace now GOD wants to give her angel wings now in heaven. :angel2:
    _______________
    she is NOT brain dead. Even her husband admits to that. She is brain damaged.
  6. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from stevielynn
    There is no role for the President to play here except his statement, siding with life.

    He has a role in pardoning CRIMINALS but Terri is just an inconvenient human being, draining our resources and therefore obligated to die.

    Funny how some people jump to defend terrorists against being interrogated or "tortured" but Terri's quality of life is such that she needs to die. Funny how Governers can intervene in death penalty cases with people who murder other people but Terri is left to die for the convenience of her husband. Who could very easily get out of this by divorcing her and letting her parents take care of her.

    I've never bought the "quality" defense myself. Spending "quality" time with your kids instead of quantity time. I know many people who take care of disabled family members and consider it a blessing. Try telling someone like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who decided to resist the Nazis but who paid for that resistance by being killed. that his quality of life was such that he needed to kill himself. He left a huge legacy. I'll bet there wasn't much "quality" of life in that concentration camp. But he managed to encourage a large resistance against the Nazis and I'd say that life was worth it.

    I understand the horror of thinking we could end up like Terri . . but that cannot color the sanctity of life in my opinion. And the conscious active role in taking someone's life by starvation/dehydration, someone who has been alive for 15 years with a feeding tube. She isn't brain dead. She isn't terminal (well, now she is). She does respond.

    What possible harm could come from letting her parents take care of her? That is what I don't understand. There is harm in starting to judge people by their "quality" of life and then putting pressure on our elderly or disabled to die. There is a scary slippery slope there. But what is the slippery slope in deciding to let Terri's parents care for her?

    Terri had no advance directives - we are taking the word of a dishonorable man that she wanted to die.

    steph
    _____________
    It is intersting that you bring up Nazis. There is an opinion article today on the Terry Shiavo case written by an Orthodox Rabbi. Here is the link: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=43381
  7. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from stevielynn
    I think one of the things this thread has done is start a discussion about what is going to be an increasing occurance and points out the need for us to continue to educate ourselves.

    I belong to an ethics organization where we hash this stuff out all the time. I do come at it from the perspective that we are all created in God's image and that all life is sacred.

    Where we come from colors our perspective.

    steph
    ____________
    Steph, can you give me more information about that ethics organization? Thanks.
  8. by   Fuzzy
    I think that thing that bothers me most is not the fact that people are fighting over Terri's life but the way that she is expected to die. She is to be deprived of water and food. To me this is slow, possibly painful and barbaric. If I were to euthanize a beloved pet by this method I could be jailed and fined if convicted for animal cruelty and neglect. This will take days of being dehydrated as well as hungry. Someone in an earlier post felt that dehydration was considered painless. Not so IMHO. I have seen dehydrated animals from abuse cases and they are in mental anguish looking, begging, and desiring a drink of water for their dry, agonized bodies. I would also imagine that the pain would be horrible as the end became nearer as the body tissues dried out. I know that when I have worked for hours in the hot, summer sun without much water, I have severe muscle cramping, dizziness, dry painful eys, and other painful aspects of dehydration. I cannot imagine going for days feeling like that. Why not deprive Terri of oxygen? The suffering lasts for only minutes instead of days.
    Fuzzy
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Fuzzy
    I think that thing that bothers me most is not the fact that people are fighting over Terri's life but the way that she is expected to die. She is to be deprived of water and food. To me this is slow, possibly painful and barbaric. If I were to euthanize a beloved pet by this method I could be jailed and fined if convicted for animal cruelty and neglect. This will take days of being dehydrated as well as hungry. Someone in an earlier post felt that dehydration was considered painless. Not so IMHO. I have seen dehydrated animals from abuse cases and they are in mental anguish looking, begging, and desiring a drink of water for their dry, agonized bodies. I would also imagine that the pain would be horrible as the end became nearer as the body tissues dried out. I know that when I have worked for hours in the hot, summer sun without much water, I have severe muscle cramping, dizziness, dry painful eys, and other painful aspects of dehydration. I cannot imagine going for days feeling like that. Why not deprive Terri of oxygen? The suffering lasts for only minutes instead of days.
    Fuzzy

    Heck, why not just put a pillow over her face?

    steph
  10. by   Jrnalist2RNinOR
    Quote from jeepgirl
    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?
    Fine i'll tell you why a spouse would do such a thing.........

    My DH's parents are deeply religious, and probably still think he is, since he was raised that way and when he grew up he went to church and was a "good boy"

    Well things have changed, he's a big boy now, he's moved out of the house and while he and I still respect his parents wishes not to swear while we are at their house and do rude things - such isnt the way around our house

    I know that we didnt have a religious marriage ceremony (Las Vegas) and we dont have religion in our life now

    However, his parents - if that ever happened to him - may think he wanted a proper burial and so forth

    Though I know that really isnt the case, because only I know the man I live with
  11. by   lisamc1RN
    Quote from stevielynn
    Heck, why not just put a pillow over her face?

    steph
    Exactly. What is merciful about this kind of death? If they are intent upon killing her, at least let it be painless and quick.
  12. by   vanderfk
    Quote from Fuzzy
    I think that thing that bothers me most is not the fact that people are fighting over Terri's life but the way that she is expected to die. She is to be deprived of water and food. To me this is slow, possibly painful and barbaric. If I were to euthanize a beloved pet by this method I could be jailed and fined if convicted for animal cruelty and neglect. This will take days of being dehydrated as well as hungry. Someone in an earlier post felt that dehydration was considered painless. Not so IMHO. I have seen dehydrated animals from abuse cases and they are in mental anguish looking, begging, and desiring a drink of water for their dry, agonized bodies. I would also imagine that the pain would be horrible as the end became nearer as the body tissues dried out. I know that when I have worked for hours in the hot, summer sun without much water, I have severe muscle cramping, dizziness, dry painful eys, and other painful aspects of dehydration. I cannot imagine going for days feeling like that. Why not deprive Terri of oxygen? The suffering lasts for only minutes instead of days.
    Fuzzy
    Yesterday, in Southwest Florida, approximately 140 miles south of Terri's residence, a man was arrested for starving his cattle and is being held on $100,000.00 bond. How ironic.
    I certainly would hope that the nurses and the CNA who signed affidavits DID report the neglect. Florida has a mandatory reporter statute. In the affidavits it's mentioned that nursing notes were removed from the chart and destroyed. If true, that is a criminal offense. How could that have gone on for so long without being reported? Any facility recieving State & Federal monies (Medicare/Medicaid) is surveyed at least annually. The Agency for Health Care Administration in Florida regularly receives complaints regarding abuse and neglect and is obligated to investigate each and every allegation. If the information in the affidavits is true, every person from the facility adminisrator down to nursing staff should be investigated for sanctioning the neglect and lack of services. If the facility is certified by Medicare they have the burden of proving that they provided all necessary services and treatments for Terri to maintain her highest practicable status. Where have the regulatory agencies been? I've seen investigations started without a fomal complaint because some one in Tallahasse read a newspaper article about a facility. Surely they've looked into this. I'm not writing this to defend the husband. I believe in written advanced directives and I for one would not be part of pulling a tube based on heresay, which is what Terri's "Advance Directives" are based upon. Heresay evidence is not supposed to be allowed in court cases as far as I know.
  13. by   Fuzzy
    >>>Heck, why not just put a pillow over her face? <<<<
    I'm glad to see that you have read 'in between my lines'.
    Fuzzy

close