artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo - page 19

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
    The whole thing truly is a tragedy. There are no winners.

    If anything is learned...it is so important for people to write down what they do and do not want.

    One day, we will be able to tell at what level the person is "in there". Right now, we dont know. The brain is very complicated.
  2. by   BeachNurse
    Congress Announces Deal in Schiavo Case
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    Mar 19, 6:46 PM (ET)

    By MITCH STACY

    (AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, center, speaks to reporters regarding brain-damaged...
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    PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - Congressional leaders said Saturday they reached a compromise that would call on federal courts to decide Terri Schiavo's fate, as emotions swelled outside the hospice where the brain-damaged woman spent her second day without a feeding tube.

    Four protesters were arrested after they symbolically tried to smuggle bread and water to Schiavo, and her mother pleaded for the 41-year-old woman's life.

    "We laugh together, we cry together, we smile together, we talk together," Mary Schindler told reporters as supporters maintained a vigil outside the hospice where her daughter is cared for. "Please, please, please save my little girl."

    Congressional leaders announced a compromise that would allow the brain-damaged woman's case to be reviewed by federal courts that could restore her feeding tube.

    (AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, pauses while speaking to reporters about brain-damaged...
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    The Senate was expected to meet Saturday evening on the matter, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said the House could approve the bill as early as Sunday.

    "We should investigate every avenue before we take the life of a living human being," said DeLay, R-Texas. "That's the very least we can do for her."

    The measure would effectively take Schiavo's fate out of Florida state courts, where judges ordered the feeding tube removed on Friday, and allow Schiavo's parents to take their case to a federal judge. DeLay said that would likely mean restoration of the feeding tube "for as long as this appeal endures."

    President Bush was expected to sign the bill as soon as it gets to him.

    The development was the latest in an epic right-to-die battle between Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, and her husband, Michael Schiavo, over whether she should be permitted to die or kept alive by the feeding tube.

    (AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, speaks to reporters regarding brain-damaged Florida woman...
    Full Image
    Randall Terry, an anti-abortion activist who is acting as a Schindler family spokesman, described the parents as "hopeful" that the congressional compromise would succeed. He said the parents also were concerned about the tight security in their daughter's room, which includes a police officer standing guard.

    "They are so determined to kill her that they don't want mom or dad to even put an ice chip in her mouth," Terry said.

    In Tallahassee, Gov. Jeb Bush's spokesman Jacob DiPietre said the governor applauded the actions in Congress and would work with legislative leaders "to adjust our laws in a similar fashion."

    Passage of the measure would require the presence of only a handful of lawmakers. Congress is on its spring recess, making it more difficult to locate lawmakers.

    President Bush, who has said he favors a "presumption of life" for Schiavo, would also have to sign the bill into law. Schiavo, 41, could linger for one or two weeks if the tube is not reinserted - as has happened twice before.

    (AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, second right, speaks to reporters regarding brain-damaged...
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    The attempted compromise would mark the latest wrinkle in the long-running legal battle over the fate of Schiavo, who doctors say is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery. Her husband has insisted she never wanted to live in such a condition.

    "I am 100 percent sure," Michael Schiavo said Saturday on NBC's "Today." He did not respond to requests for an interview from The Associated Press.

    Michael Schiavo was at his wife's bedside after the tube was removed and said he felt that "peace was happening" for her. "And I felt like she was finally going to get what she wants, and be at peace and be with the Lord," he said.

    About three dozen supporters of Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, maintained a vigil outside the hospice where she lives. Four people, including right wing leader James Gordon "Bo" Gritz, were arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges when they attempted to bring Schiavo bread and water, which she would be unable to consume.

    "A woman is being starved to death, and I have to do something," said Brandi Swindell, 28, from Boise, Idaho. "There are just certain things that you have to do, that you have to try."

    (AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, speaks to reporters regarding brain-damaged Florida woman...
    Full Image
    A spokesman for Schiavo's parents, Paul O'Donnell, later told reporters that they do not want supporters to engage in civil disobedience on their daughter's behalf.

    "The family is asking that the protests remain peaceful," said O'Donnell, a Roman Catholic Franciscan monk.

    Schiavo's parents have been attempting for years to remove Michael Schiavo as their daughter's guardian and keep in place the tube that has kept her alive for more than 15 years.

    Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when a chemical imbalance apparently brought on by an eating disorder caused her heart to stop beating for a few minutes. She can breathe on her own, but has relied on the feeding and hydration tube to keep her alive.

    Court-appointed physicians testified her brain damage was so severe that there was no hope she would ever have any cognitive abilities.

    Republicans on Capitol Hill were rebuffed by state and federal courts Friday when they tried to halt the tube's removal by issuing subpoenas for Schiavo, her husband and caregivers to appear at congressional hearings.

    Both sides accused each other of being motivated by greed over a $1 million medical malpractice award from doctors who failed to diagnose the chemical imbalance.

    The Schindlers also said Michael Schiavo wants their daughter dead so he can marry his longtime girlfriend, with whom he has young children. They have begged him to divorce their daughter, and let them care for her.

    The case has encompassed at least 19 judges in at least six different courts.

    In 2001, Schiavo went without food and water for two days before a judge ordered the tube reinserted when a new witness surfaced.

    When the tube was removed in October 2003, the governor pushed through "Terri's Law," and six days later the tube was reinserted. The Florida Supreme Court ruled in September 2004 that Bush had overstepped his authority and declared the law unconstitutional.
  3. by   James Huffman
    Quote from JustaMaleRN
    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.
    .
    Perhaps you live in a different state than I do. Can you give me an example of where in the law "women and children are chattel, property"?

    Jim Huffman, RN
  4. by   LilRedRN1973
    I would hope that my husband would fight for me as long and as hard should I ever be in this situation. I would NEVER want to live as she has for the past decade and a half. I could care less WHAT his motives are for wanting her to die peacefully, but the whole thing has gotten out of hand.

    I'm sick of hearing about it and thankful that I am not part of the healthcare team that has been taking care of her. Because I would have real issues helping keep her alive in the state she is. My nana died in hospice and more than likely, it was from either "starvation" or dehydration since she was unable to consume either food or liquid. She died peacefully and I had no problems letting her go like that.

    I don't know all the specifics of the case, nor do I care. What I do understand is this should be a wake up call to every single citizen in this country to get IT IN WRITING what your wishes are. Because now that we have all these politicians getting involved, there is a strong possibility that you may, someday, be kept alive when you wish not to be because someone who knows nothing about you decides it's best for you.

    For a side note, cremation is not looked upon as a sin or deemed inappropriate for a Catholic. I come from an extremely devout Catholic family and both grandparents have been cremated and my parents plan to be. I can't fathom them choosing that if their church was against it.

    Melanie = )
  5. by   nursepotter05
    Congress should not be allowed to decide this matter! The decision has been placed in the hands of the judicial branch of government. The executive branch should not be overriding the courts! If they are allowed to do this, it is tilting what this country was founed on...balance of power. If the President and Congress can override the next of kin's decision, then where does it stop? I do not see why her parents are being allowed to have a say in the matter. Her husband is next of kin and should be making the decisions, whether they agree with him or not.
    I believe she died the day she had the heart attack. I know if I was a vegetable and had been for over ten years (I obviously am not going to get any better), I would want all measures to keep alive stopped. I don't believe anybody would want to live like that.
  6. by   UnewmeB4
    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...
    re: living will and poa
    unfortunately, that is no guarantee. if a family disagrees, they will still treat the patient. all it takes is one parent or child to say "please, do everything you can to save my mother..." and the drs will!
  7. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from TNnurse05
    Congress should not be allowed to decide this matter! The decision has been placed in the hands of the judicial branch of government. The executive branch should not be overriding the courts! If they are allowed to do this, it is tilting what this country was founed on...balance of power. If the President and Congress can override the next of kin's decision, then where does it stop? I do not see why her parents are being allowed to have a say in the matter. Her husband is next of kin and should be making the decisions, whether they agree with him or not.
    I believe she died the day she had the heart attack. I know if I was a vegetable and had been for over ten years (I obviously am not going to get any better), I would want all measures to keep alive stopped. I don't believe anybody would want to live like that.
    Congress isn't the executive branch, its the legislative branch, and they are charged with making laws. Why shouldn't they be asked to intervene in this matter, when so many people feel the decision of the judge was wrong? The entire point of dividing the branches of government is that there are checks and balances. Our Constitution gives us a right to redress when we feel any branch isn't making the right decisions.
  8. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from Kyriaka
    ___________
    My grandmother died of cancer in hospice. She would gasp "thirsty" all the time. My mom would wet her lips because she could not swallow. They kept her "pain free" yet she still was thirsty. The whole experiance still haunts my mother.
    I have cared for pts like that-sedation is appropriate in such a case to stop the suffering.....as I've (and others ) have said-with good oral hygiene and good symptom control the process appears to be painless.....I would not want my loved one alert and suffering....
  9. by   Crumbwannabe
    Ever see the commercial where the guy says "i'm not a doctor, but I play one on television" and then proceeds to tell you why you should take a certain brand of aspirin? A fallacious appeal to authority. The argument does not follow from the premise.

    Now in the case of our elected officials and the judicial, seems they do much the same thing. It must be nice to know all they do about medicine, biomedical ethics, theology and so on without having to attend medical school or seminary, perhaps study philosophy...apparently you learn all this at law school, while learning to say it in a way that is completely unintelligable to the layman. Money designated for 'school taxes' goes into pet projects, there is not a thin dime in Social Security which was designed to be untouchable, to give a few examples. If their skill as economists comes anywhere near their medical and ethical acumen, we may as well all stop eating and drinking, and get it over with. The hubris is so ingrained, they can tell you what is the right and ethical thing to do in these situations and even the course of the paient's disease/disorder, and assure you that it won't be uncomfortable for the dying patient to starve and dehydrate.

    And I maintain that the day will come when it will be legally decided when an individual meets enough criteria of inconvenience to be euthanized, willing or not. As will the day that the MD or Nurse will be required by court order to participate in the procedures against their own ethic.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    I'm already reading the attitudes I'm afraid of . .. . calling a human being made in God's image a "vegetable". Like she isn't worth anything. Like she is garbage.

    That is the slippery slope, come home to roost. Already.

    Some human beings aren't worthy of life . . .so let's kill them.

    It is a scary world.

    steph
  11. by   NurseDreams
    My father and I were discussing this issue not long after my grandfather (his father) passed away. He had had a massive stroke and they stopped feeding him or giving him fluids so he could go in peace. My father and I both agree on this issue (for once we agree on something LOL).

    Why is it humane to let a human starve to death but it isnt humane to euthenize a human? However, it's not humane to starve an animal, but it is humane to euthenize. I just dont get it. I dont think that someone who just doest want to live for mental reasons should be allowed to get "put to sleep" but I dont see how this process couldnt be more effective in cases such as my grandfather. I dont care what anyone says, he starved to death, feeling those hunger pains for 4 days. That is cruel in my opinion. I would much rather have had someone give him a shot to allow him to go quickly and painlessly. JMHO and I am sticking to it.

    Please dont flame me. I am not posting this to start a flame war or anything of the sorts. I am however, interested in hearing what others think of this topic on a civilized level.
  12. by   head injury unit RN
    I Beleive The Decision Was Made Long Ago To Keep Her Alive When The Feeding Tube Was Inserted. She Is Still Breathing And Her Heart Is Still Beating. She Would Be Dying From Starvation And The Complications From It. Its Wrong And He's Doing It For The $. Her Parents Should Be The Only Ones Permitted To Make This Decision
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Because I don't believe in actively taking a life, I could never agree that euthanasia is right.

    I'm not talking about a terminal patient on a vent and the family decides to turn the vent off.

    But lethal injection is wrong, in my opinion. And I also don't believe in taking Terri's feeding tube away.

    steph

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