artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo - page 4

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
    Quote from Kyriaka
    _____________
    Agreed.

    We have no way of knowing what is going on in her mind. Perhaps if she did receive therapy..you just never know.

    Nurses and Dr's have offered to giver her physical therapy free of charge and yet it is rejected.

    Something is just weird here.

    I had physical therapy. I cant imagine where I would be today if it had been denied.

    My step-dad had a traumatic brain injury back in the late 60's. He was basically an infant in intellectual terms and had to relearn everything. Walking, talking, etc. He was in physical and occupational therapy for years and when he met my mom was a truck driver, 6'7" tall, blonde and good looking. You'd never know he had a brain injury.

    I'm not saying this is what the future holds for Terri . . .in fact I'm sure it isn't. But whose to say what would have happened if her husband had allowed more physical therapy? We had a guy in our LTC with contractures from a paralyzing accident who didn't get P.T. initially. Later he did and was finally able to get out of bed and into a chair and engage in life with his family.

    My step-dad died of a brain aneurysm in 1971. But he had a few years of life after his injury with my mom and he took an active part in raising her four kids.

    Life is complicated. Since Terri is already in this state and we don't know what she would have wanted and her husband doesn't want to care for her anymore and her parents do . . . . why not just let them take care of her? You can't go back in time. The feeding tube is in.

    steph
  2. by   begalli
    The other night I watched a Discovery Health program. It was about a man in Arkansas who was in a vegetative state for 19 years. Suddenly, one day he woke up and started talking. He could recognize his mother. He was not functional in any other way, just he regained the ability to speak, albiet very garbled.

    So they took him to all the specialists around the country (mainly east coast) and they studied him. BTW, he was in an automoblie accident and suffered a TBI. They found that this gentleman had absolutely no grasp on the reality of time or place and he had no ability to "make" new memories. So when he was introduced to his now 19 year old daughter he did not ever recognize her as such, even after being told on each occasion of her presence, and actually made sexual advances toward her.

    He was and always will be 20 years old in his mind. Ronald Reagan will always be the POTUS to him. He will always be in small town in Arkansas, his daughter will always be a toddler, and he will always be profoundly disabled. In his mind, he is 100% functional.

    I don't follow the Shaivo case closely because I think it's a political tragedy. This guy's mother was much like Terri's family is. They think that she will eventually come around or that there is something there. This guy's mother was right in that her son did eventually come around in his ability to speak again, but other than that, what is there? Nobody can explain why be began talking again and no one can explain either why he is unable to make any new memories.

    Gosh, I NEVER want to live this way.
  3. by   fergus51
    Quote from ~Kitty~
    You know what, if it were my kids, I would fight for them with everything I had!!!
    Think about it, when you marry, you are still someone's baby!!!
    What if you had some joker telling you he was going to let your baby girl die!
    Of course you would. That's exactly why parents of adults aren't necessarily the best people to make those decisions. I don't know if you are married, but would you want your mother in law to be the one to decide if your husband lives or dies rather than you? I know parents are always parents, but children aren't always children. They become adults, they leave home and they create families of their own. The role of husband or wife takes priority over the role of daughter or son. That's the natural way of things. Anything else is wishful thinking on the part of parents.

    I think it's disgusting when parents meddle in their adult children's affairs as though they are convinced they know best. Like it or not, this woman chose this man. She didn't leave him. They weren't separated, they weren't divorced. He may be a world class jerk, but SHE CHOSE HIM. Whether her parents can accept it or not is irrelevant. It is so disrespectful to her to assume that she was too stupid to make good decisions in her own life. And if he was beating her so badly like it's been claimed and they were such a close family, why didn't any of her family know about it or intervene before? Seems more like a convinient excuse for them to force their will onto their daughter to me. I don't understand how anyone can argue that suspicions negate a marriage. I might suspect your husband is a jerk and treats you badly, but I know I'm not the one who gets to invalidate the commitment you made to him. You get to make those decisions for yourself.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Mar 14, '05
  4. by   elizabells
    Quote from fergus51
    Of course you would. That's exactly why parents of adults aren't necessarily the best people to make those decisions. I don't know if you are married, but would you want your mother in law to be the one to decide if your husband lives or dies rather than you? I know parents are always parents, but children aren't always children. They become adults, they leave home and they create families of their own. The role of husband or wife takes priority over the role of daughter or son. That's the natural way of things. Anything else is wishful thinking on the part of parents.

    I think it's disgusting when parents meddle in their adult children's affairs as though they are convinced they know best. Like it or not, this woman chose this man. She didn't leave him. They weren't separated, they weren't divorced. He may be a world class jerk, but SHE CHOSE HIM. Whether her parents can accept it or not is irrelevant. It is so disrespectful to her to assume that she was too stupid to make good decisions in her own life. And if he was beating her so badly like it's been claimed and they were such a close family, why didn't any of her family know about it or intervene before? Seems more like a convinient excuse for them to force their will onto their daughter to me. I don't understand how anyone can argue that suspicions negate a marriage. I might suspect your husband is a jerk and treats you badly, but I know I'm not the one who gets to invalidate the commitment you made to him. You get to make those decisions for yourself.
    Exactly. We, us, on this board, don't know the truth of this situation. We just don't. Fergus, you said everything I've been percolating in my mind but couldn't find the words to say.
  5. by   jeepgirl
    as to why there are no recent videos/pictures...

    i think there has been an order barring any videotaping or photographing of her. her parents have brought a motion to the court to try to get them to allow this right.
  6. by   jeepgirl
    Okay... so this guy has

    Removed and stopped her feedings... twice. This will be the third time.

    Barred the family from seeing her during these periods.

    Won't allow photographs / video for the family.

    Is waiting for her to die so he can:
    claim insurance money
    get remarried to the mother of his two young kids.

    He has a hx of being verbally abusive when speaking with the nursing staff about Terri... IE "is the ***** dead yet?" It is also documented in the medical record at the time of her original "collapse" that she sustained injuries consistant with a beating.

    He's refused to let her take communion.

    He's refusing to allow her to be buried... instead wishing to cremate her, which is against her religion.

    He's refused her dental care.

    He's refused her sunlight.

    He's refused her having any sort of rehabilitative treatment.

    He doesn't seem like a nice guy to me. While I can see the point... Terri might not want to have had a feeding tube inserted. But now, it is there. She's lived with it for YEARS.
    She's thriving on it. It probably shouldn't have been inserted in the first place. But now that its there, don't take it out to euthanize her.

    Also, I don't think that she would have wanted to be kept from her parents and been refused things such as SUNLIGHT! I mean, come on now!

    These things would not her wishes. Would she really have said...
    "Okay, if I am in a vegetative state, let me be in my dark room all day long with a nasty, grody mouth. I hated flossing anyway!!!" I doubt it!

    I bet that her husband... being a nurse and all... figured that by denying these issues death would come quicker. The effects of immobility and poor hygiene... even mouth hygiene... can be deadly. One bad infection and he could have tried to deny her antibiotics... and then she'd die of septic shock. Now its been 14 years since he started denying rehabilitative and other treatment. In the past few he's become impatient.

    Edited to add: I've seen conflicting stuff saying that he's an RN or a repiratory therapist.
    Last edit by jeepgirl on Mar 14, '05
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from jeepgirl
    Okay... so this guy has

    Removed and stopped her feedings... twice. This will be the third time.

    Barred the family from seeing her during these periods.

    Won't allow photographs / video for the family.

    Is waiting for her to die so he can:
    claim insurance money
    get remarried to the mother of his two young kids.

    He has a hx of being verbally abusive when speaking with the nursing staff about Terri... IE "is the ***** dead yet?" It is also documented in the medical record at the time of her original "collapse" that she sustained injuries consistant with a beating.

    He's refused to let her take communion.

    He's refusing to allow her to be buried... instead wishing to cremate her, which is against her religion.

    He's refused her dental care.

    He's refused her sunlight.

    He's refused her having any sort of rehabilitative treatment.

    He doesn't seem like a nice guy to me. While I can see the point... Terri might not want to have had a feeding tube inserted. But now, it is there. She's lived with it for YEARS.
    She's thriving on it. It probably shouldn't have been inserted in the first place. But now that its there, don't take it out to euthanize her.

    Also, I don't think that she would have wanted to be kept from her parents and been refused things such as SUNLIGHT! I mean, come on now!

    These things would not her wishes. Would she really have said...
    "Okay, if I am in a vegetative state, let me be in my dark room all day long with a nasty, grody mouth. I hated flossing anyway!!!" I doubt it!

    I bet that her husband... being a nurse and all... figured that by denying these issues death would come quicker. The effects of immobility and poor hygiene... even mouth hygiene... can be deadly. One bad infection and he could have tried to deny her antibiotics... and then she'd die of septic shock. Now its been 14 years since he started denying rehabilitative and other treatment. In the past few he's become impatient.
    This is what has been percolating in my mind. Good job articulating it.

    steph
  8. by   webblarsk
    I have mixed feelings about this case. My feelings and thoughts have changed some. The thing that bothers me the most about this case is her husband. I don't think Terri's husband is looking out for her best intrest. I think he is being spiteful and is out to hurt the parents. If they are willing to take over her care I don't think they should be denied that. It would be different if her husband hadn't moved on with his life, but hasn't he remarried?

    On the other hand..........I still feel that living the way she is isn't living and maybe the best thing would be to allow the feeding tube to be removed. I don't feel like it is being cruel, it is done all the time. However I can't say what I would do in that situation. I think letting go of your child would be the most difficult thing in the world to do.
    Such a sad case. I tell my parents and husband everyday what I would want done in a situation like that. I also have a advanced directive.
  9. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from webblarsk
    I have mixed feelings about this case. My feelings and thoughts have changed some. The thing that bothers me the most about this case is her husband. I don't think Terri's husband is looking out for her best intrest. I think he is being spiteful and is out to hurt the parents. If they are willing to take over her care I don't think they should be denied that. It would be different if her husband hadn't moved on with his life, but hasn't he remarried?

    On the other hand..........I still feel that living the way she is isn't living and maybe the best thing would be to allow the feeding tube to be removed. I don't feel like it is being cruel, it is done all the time. However I can't say what I would do in that situation. I think letting go of your child would be the most difficult thing in the world to do.
    Such a sad case. I tell my parents and husband everyday what I would want done in a situation like that. I also have a advanced directive.
    Terri and her husband are still legally married, even though he is living with a woman who has had his two kids. he's proposed to her and they are going to get married as soon as she dies. however, if he divorces Terri, then the insurance money goes to her parents, not him. so, if he stays married to her... and she dies... he gets the money. so, he can have his cake and eat it too. live with another woman, set up house, have kiddos, etc. Then, to top it all off... when his ex (whom they were supposedly having lots of problems before her collapse) dies, he gets money!!!
    If only we were all so lucky!
  10. by   mitchsmom
    Fergus, interesting to think about the parents vs. the spouses rights. I am not a religious person but I would think that the Bible ranks parents above spouses... it made it into the ten commandments whereas the spouse did not. Of course the law doesn't agree and that's what we have to go with. Just very interesting to think about, lots of angles... your parents will love you when your spouse doesn't anymore, parents will (generally) never eschew you, but a spouse will.
    I am on the fence about the case, don't feel like I know enough to form an opinion.
  11. by   KrisRNwannabe
    My point of anger surrounding this case has to do with the husband. First off, I truly believe her husband is partly why she is the way that she is. he definetly had something to do with it. Secondly, her parents say that she has been denied rehab, even though there was plenty of money for her rehab. The husband has stated multiple times that there is hardly anything left and that he stands to gain NOTHING from her death. well then if you stand to gain nothing then why don't you divorce and go make your life with the other women???? Terri's parents have offered him tons of things including lots of money yet he still refuses to divorce her. Also, I have read several articles and watched a family when the feeding tube was removed. this not a painless death, yes you are dehydrated but you are also starving. TPN is nutrition. i watched my great-great aunt die an agonizing death. nose bleeds, dry heaves, and severe hunger pains. this was the most disgusting thing i have every witnessed. I have read many articles about this. Sure, people in a persistant vegitative state don't feel any of this. Terri is not in a persistant vegetative state. I truly believe her husband refused her any rehab because he was scared she would one day be able to tell everyone what he did. I only hope something happens soon so this poor girl doesn't have to go through this and her parent's won't have to watch. we know her husband won't be there. from what i have read her husband hasn't been to see her in a few years.
  12. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from mitchsmom
    Fergus, interesting to think about the parents vs. the spouses rights. I am not a religious person but I would think that the Bible ranks parents above spouses... it made it into the ten commandments whereas the spouse did not. Of course the law doesn't agree and that's what we have to go with. Just very interesting to think about, lots of angles... your parents will love you when your spouse doesn't anymore, parents will (generally) never eschew you, but a spouse will.
    I am on the fence about the case, don't feel like I know enough to form an opinion.
    i thought in the bible that the woman left her family to "cleave" and become one with her husband?
    I was looking and it says that it has been offered by various professionals to come and perform various rehab therapies for FREE. PT, OT, dental for FREE. They would even come to her. He still refuses.
    I never really had too much of an interest in this case, but it intrigues me. I was looking at a timeline. In 1997, he annouced his engagement to the "other" woman in July, and in August sent his notification to the family that he was withdrawling the feeding tube.
    Hummm??
    I was right about my theory about denying antibiotics. He's refused them at least twice before.

    What makes me madder than heck though is that the judge is not allowing the family to feed her by mouth after the tube feeding is withdrawn on the 18th. They state that she doesn't have problems swallowing...

    www.terrisfight.org is a pretty good website by the family. They have all the court docs in PDF format on the website, along with a timeline that shows all kinds of goodies.
    Last edit by jeepgirl on Mar 14, '05
  13. by   mitchsmom
    Quote from jeepgirl
    i thought in the bible that the woman left her family to "cleave" and become one with her husband?

    www.terrisfight.org is a pretty good website by the family. They have all the court docs in PDF format on the website, along with a timeline that shows all kinds of goodies.
    Yeah I think so, I certainly am not an authority on the Bible even though I brought that up But even if people come together in marraige, respect for elders still seems pretty high on the priority list, no? I would think in old timey religion that that spouse would be expected to go with the elder's (parents) word.

    Again, I'm not religious so that doesn't really mean a hill of beans to me.
    But I just can see several angles to the spouse vs. parental rights thing... same thing with the idea of what is "natural"... that idea can vary from person to person too... to me, a mother would "naturally" nurse and try to care for her child no matter what. First do no harm, right? On the other hand, you could say in "nature", she would die because she can't care for herself (then what about babies?). On and on...

    I don't know if the videos on that terrisfight.org site are really representative of her state, but I could never let my kid go if that's the way they were - she is maybe in an infantile state in those videos but not vegetative at all IMO. And from the vidoes, I would think that therapy would be helpful, if not mentally, at least physically. I would love to be able to talk with someone who really knows the real deal with this case, a nurse at the hospice, etc etc...

    Good debate material, I feel for everyone in that kind of situation.

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