artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo - page 16

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   nurse4theplanet
    It makes me sick to think of what if's in this case....what if he is just money hungry...what if the parents just can't let go...what if Terri suffers horribly until she dies but is unable to express it.... But what it all comes down to is that according to Florida law this woman is PVS. The husband is the guardian and he has the legal right to make this decision. That is why the court keeps deciding with him even though all these politicians are involved. Personally, I would not want a law in place that would REQUIRE me to live on a feeding tube. Each case is different. We will probably never know what exactly happened to Terri and what the real intentions of everyone involved are. This attempt to keep the feeding tube in place is just as cruel if its is merely for their own selfishness. I have read several documents on removing artificial hydration from a terminally ill and severyly brain damaged person and it is not like starving a healthy person....or animal for that matter as some have compared it to. It is actually a natural process of dying that people go through that stimulates the brain to release endorphins to create a state of peace and euphoria as you die. It works sort of like accupuncture that people view as barbaric and seems like it would be excruciating....but actually has the opposite effect. If this woman's family is so religious then why do they not let her go? Because they believe her death will be painful and they are not ready to let go of her....some could say that is almost selfish but I think it is natural. But if they love her they know she will receive no better care than in the Kingdom of God. :angel2:
  2. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from vanderfk
    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.
    It is not considered heresay because he has legal guardianship and whether she said it or not he is granted the right by law to make ALL decisions of her care.
  3. by   sugarmag22
    I question the husbands motives. It is difficult to be on the outside looking in on this case. I however feel that if there were not written words on what she would want done if she was to go into a vegitative state, then the husband should have the say. I do however do not think in this case the husband should die. He is with another woman, has a family and has "moved on." If I had a husband that was with another woman, I would have divorced him along time ago therefore leaving the parents to decided. These cases are not black and white, none of them every will be. It's a shame that there has been such termoil for the families. I pray that she peacfully goes to God
  4. by   James Huffman
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    It is not considered heresay because he has legal guardianship and whether she said it or not he is granted the right by law to make ALL decisions of her care.
    In our society, NO ONE is given such an ultimate right by law. In every situation, decisions -- especially life or death ones, such as in Ms. Schiavo's case -- are subject to review, evaluation, and due process.

    For example, parents have "legal guardianship" over their minor children. But if the parent abuses a child, then that action must be answered to. Michael Schiavo has no ULTIMATE right to make decisions for Ms. Schiavo and her care. Most especially, he has such right when he stands to gain by his decision about her care.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  5. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from James Huffman
    In our society, NO ONE is given such an ultimate right by law. In every situation, decisions -- especially life or death ones, such as in Ms. Schiavo's case -- are subject to review, evaluation, and due process.

    For example, parents have "legal guardianship" over their minor children. But if the parent abuses a child, then that action must be answered to. Michael Schiavo has no ULTIMATE right to make decisions for Ms. Schiavo and her care. Most especially, he has such right when he stands to gain by his decision about her care.

    Jim Huffman, RN
    I am not saying he has the right...i am saying he has the legal right according to Florida law. This case has gone to court several times and the Judge has ruled in his favor each time.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from Kyriaka
    _________________
    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.
    You are correct of course we should watch our terms. 'Persistent vegetative state' is undoubtedly the correct medical term term. She is breathing thus has some brainstem function. Its much easier to let someone go if they are not breathing, obviously, but I look at the bigger picture: quality of life.

    This woman would die on her own without people continuously tending to her, feeding, turning, cleaning, changing diapers. How many of us would want our animals living like this? She has been dead many years IMHO. Her 'shell' has been kept alive via a tube by selfish people, IMHO.

    Lots of $$ is being funnelled out of our welfare system for care and feeding of human shells/ vegetables and its a real shame IMO. I believe we've gotten way off track in our attempts to 'save lives' at all costs. But...follow the $$$...healthcare has a vested interested in this...

    If anything I hope this issue has raised public awareness about the need for advanced directives.
  7. by   Boston1
    You said what I wanted to say better than I might have.

    Quote from Kyriaka
    I question his motives.

    Last time she was removed from food/water, her parents wanted a priest to giver her last rites. The husband refused.

    There has been a sworn statement from Terri's nurse that her husband came into the room and asked, "is the b*tch dead yet?" and "I am going to be rich!"
  8. by   TechieNurse
    How come some religions (I'm thinking mostly Judeo-Christian) would have us believe that heaven +/or the afterlife is so wonderful, but the people practicing these religions are in no hurry to get there?!?! Why are they afraid of death?
    Also...if heaven/afterlife is so great, why does death (sometimes) hurt so much?
    Shouldn't it be easier to get to whatever waits for us?

    Sorry to stray off topic, but after reading some of these posts from some people worring about Terri suffering from a horrible, painful death from dehydration and then some about 'going with G*d', it leaves me confused.
  9. by   BRANDY LPN
    On CNN.com just now, her parents have managed to get congress/senate? someone to pass a bill and the pres. is expected to sign it basically they will be re-inserting her feeding tube until her parents have time for an appeal and the case will be moved to federal court.
  10. by   JustaMaleRN
    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
    The ironic part of this is that he won't have a red cent left over. The vast majority of the $1 million was spend on her care for the past 15 years. Come on people, we know what healthcare costs don't we?
  11. by   JustaMaleRN
    Quote from James Huffman
    In our society, NO ONE is given such an ultimate right by law. In every situation, decisions -- especially life or death ones, such as in Ms. Schiavo's case -- are subject to review, evaluation, and due process.

    For example, parents have "legal guardianship" over their minor children. But if the parent abuses a child, then that action must be answered to. Michael Schiavo has no ULTIMATE right to make decisions for Ms. Schiavo and her care. Most especially, he has such right when he stands to gain by his decision about her care.

    Jim Huffman, RN
    There is a difference when it comes to family law. Our legal system is based on the fact that men are the only ones that count, and that women and children are chattel, property. As gross and disgusting as that may sound, that is what our rule of law was built upon.

    The biggest issue I have over this whole mess is having some Putz in Washington D.C. write/sign into law a mess that will not allow me to die with dignity.

    If they have three witnesses that state that Terri didn't want to live this way, then button it, and let the poor woman go to her rest. Again, think of the costs of healthcare. The $1 million is already gone to healthcare costs, legal costs, costs of guardianship. Her family has burnt through the money from the malpractice case by trying to bankrupt the husband.

    To those who think dying of dehydration is such a terrible death, I would reccomend you start looking at how cancer patients die while they are in hospice. Start reading up on the end of life issues. You will find that the vast majority of our cancer deaths end up in this fashion. It is very peaceful, more so than keeping the body hydrated and twarting the body's means of handling the disease and all of the associated chemical changes that come with dying.
  12. by   Kyriaka
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    It makes me sick to think of what if's in this case....what if he is just money hungry...what if the parents just can't let go...what if Terri suffers horribly until she dies but is unable to express it.... But what it all comes down to is that according to Florida law this woman is PVS. The husband is the guardian and he has the legal right to make this decision. That is why the court keeps deciding with him even though all these politicians are involved. Personally, I would not want a law in place that would REQUIRE me to live on a feeding tube. Each case is different. We will probably never know what exactly happened to Terri and what the real intentions of everyone involved are. This attempt to keep the feeding tube in place is just as cruel if its is merely for their own selfishness. I have read several documents on removing artificial hydration from a terminally ill and severyly brain damaged person and it is not like starving a healthy person....or animal for that matter as some have compared it to. It is actually a natural process of dying that people go through that stimulates the brain to release endorphins to create a state of peace and euphoria as you die. It works sort of like accupuncture that people view as barbaric and seems like it would be excruciating....but actually has the opposite effect. If this woman's family is so religious then why do they not let her go? Because they believe her death will be painful and they are not ready to let go of her....some could say that is almost selfish but I think it is natural. But if they love her they know she will receive no better care than in the Kingdom of God. :angel2:
    ___________________
    Since I have flatlined (twice) and been brought back I can truly say that death IS natural.

    But even if the so called "experts" say there is no pain, they cannot know this for sure. Throughout the ages "experts" have been wrong many many times. And I am sure the parents know this. Dr.'s can be wrong.
  13. by   JustaMaleRN
    Quote from kaykay
    As a person dies from lack of food and fluids, his or her

    Mouth would dry out and become caked or coated with thick material.
    Lips would become parched and cracked.
    Tongue would swell, and might crack.
    Eyes would recede back into their orbits.
    Cheeks would become hollow.
    Lining of the nose might crack and cause the nose to bleed.
    Skin would hang loose on the body and become dry and scaly.
    Urine would become highly concentrated, leading to burning of the bladder.
    Lining of the stomach would dry out and he or she would experience dry heaves and vomiting.
    Body temperature would become very high.
    Brain cells would dry out, causing convulsions.
    Respiratory tract would dry out, and the thick secretions that would result could plug the lungs and cause death.
    At some point within five days to three weeks, the person's major organs, including the lungs, heart, and brain, would give out and death would occur.

    [Source: Brophy v. New England Sinai Hosp., 398 Mass. 417, 444 n.2,


    Interesting, I never saw even half of these problems in dealing with terminal patients in palliative care/hospice. I have been fortunate to witness some of these brave, wonderful souls pass on. They are not suffering, especially not to the point you are taking it. You are listing a reference for what? Looks like a legal case to me. I don't think it really applies here. Suggest you read up on palliative care, end-of-life care and hospice. We have thousands of people in this country die every day from dehydration.

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